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New Restaurant Tech Seeks to Tackle an Old Problem: Staffing

The restaurant industry is replete of complicated problems. Even though it has added jobs at a steady pace this year, restaurant owners still struggle to manage historical issues such as employee turnover and scheduling each shift.

According to the Department of Labor, the restaurant industry accounts for 10 percent of the overall workforce, and the employees that make up its workforce primarily work part-time. On top of that, the industry is plagued with an 82 percent turnover rate, which makes it difficult for owners to get a consistent output from their staff.

To help restaurants overcome these difficult situations, a few new restaurant technology companies are tailoring themselves as all-in-one solutions to the age-old problems of hiring and staffing that every service industry business incurs.

Fountain, a company headquartered in San Francisco, recently received $23 million in Series B funding from investors, allowing the company to scale its operations to the east coast. The company has been around since 2015, and currently has 1 million users utilizing its platform to fill over 150,000 hourly jobs. The application allows users to streamline the hiring process by amalgamating sourcing, interview scheduling, background checks, document signing and onboarding all under one roof.

Instawork is vying to fill a similar role in the hospitality space and has even received generous funding from investors to expand eastward. The company created an app that integrates the logistics of hiring with staffing decisions that managers often struggle with by allowing qualified professionals to book open shifts at busy businesses. Instawork also handles all the insurance and billing so that hospitality businesses can get back to doing what they do best, providing customers with an exceptional experience and great food.

Another company competing in this space is Pared, the brain-child of two restaurant industry veterans who saw firsthand how devastating staffing problems can be for businesses. After working in fine dining and opening his own fast food chain, Will Pacio, who studied business at Stanford and went to culinary school at the French Institute, found himself working on the line one day because an employee quit. His struggles to balance daily operation with finding a replacement caused him to have a eureka moment. He called his friend Dave Lu from business school and the two built a company dedicated to making hiring and staffing a breeze. Businesses post their staffing needs on Pared and then Pared blasts the opening to their vetted and referenced-checked candidate marketplace. This allows owners and operators to focus on growing their business instead of living in a staffing nightmare.

The game of mixing an matching employees to open shifts is one that seems never-ending. But, with new technology companies focusing on solving this problem, soon restaurant operators will be able to get back to ensuring their customers have a great experience. After all, that’s why they got into the business in the first place.

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