Improving Employee Productivity is a Top Priority for Restaurants

Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor, Restaurants

New research from Zenput and Technomic reveals new insights into the top barriers to consistent team execution and customer experiences facing both corporate brands and franchisee organizations, as well as where operators are prioritizing initiatives to improve operational execution in 2020.  

Key findings from the survey reveal:

The barriers to consistent store execution most frequently cited are rising labor costs (48 percent), employee turnover (44 percent) and insufficient training (39 percent)

Less than one in five restaurant operators say their stores are very effectively complying with operating procedures and key initiatives

Only one out of three operators report being very confident that they’re able to identify potential food safety concerns before they become an issue

The top cited priorities for the next 12 months are store employee productivity (48 percent), improving compliance with procedures (43 percent), field team productivity (42 percent), and improving store-level task completion (42 percent). 

The research study was based on a survey of 295 restaurant operators conducted by Technomic last fall.  The pool of survey participants was comprised of operations leaders and managers, field leaders, store managers, IT leaders, C-suite execs, and owners. 

Confidence in compliance is lacking

Less than 20 percent of restaurant operators felt their stores were very effectively complying with operating procedures and key initiatives rolled out by the operations team at headquarters.  Among full-service operations, this figure drops to 11 percent.

A core part of the compliance issue may stem from how operators report getting visibility into store execution today. Almost half of operators are still using traditional tactics like communicating via phone calls and text messages.  Only 20 percent of operators indicated utilizing software to improve visibility. 

Food safety 

The ability to quickly identify issues and proactively address them before they become bigger problems is essential to long-term profitability.  88 percent of restaurant operators agree that a customer food safety issue could put their business at risk and would lead to a negative sales impact yet only 34 percent of respondents report they are very confident that their operation is able to identify potential food safety concerns before they become issues. 



Just 27 percent of operators say they are embracing technology to automate various aspects of their organization “to a great extent.” That said, of those that are embracing automation at least somewhat, 83 percent say their experience has been positive.  

You can download the full report here.


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