Productivity Improvements are recession proof
May 2023: Recent research reports have indicated that concerns about a pending recession later this year are causing senior management at many independent restaurants to hit the pause button on spending plans, as it should. Restaurant operators expense budgets have been hit from all sides this year. Food costs have gone up, financing costs have gone up, building lease management costs have gone up, and staffing costs have gone up. The ability to price these impacts onto the customer and into the menu, is limited to a certain degree, and not all of it can be captured this year.
The last thing a restaurant operator needs currently is a slow down in customer traffic, so the concerns about a recession and the decision to freeze new spending makes perfect sense, with few exceptions. Now may not be the time to upgrade the dining room chairs, change the décor, replace the bar, or replace the gas stoves. Unless the roof is leaking, or the wall paper is peeling, all building expenses can wait. Even the current menu changes and re-prints can wait for a while.
However, there are some decisions that are, well, Recession Proof. Any investment that can increase performance and productivity is recession proof. A new wireless POS tablet system for your dining room that allows you to operate with fewer people, increase customer service, improve sales reports, and reduce staffing costs is a very clear example of a recession-proof decision.
Another example is the new Hospitality Serve Robots that have recently hit the market delivering food, returning dirty dishes to the kitchen, and cleaning floors. This technology can reduce your staffing costs by 10%, improve customer service, improve employee retention rates, and provide new customer traffic flow protection not available yesterday.
These are recession-proof executive decisions that the bold should make, because regardless of which way the market goes up or down, these programs pay for themselves and improve customer service. Waiting for tomorrow to improve the bottom-line with technology is a sure way to create your own recession and fall a step behind the competition.