Smartphones and tablets are more than just a convenience in our industry today. They can help make money, save money, streamline operations and even attract the right talent.
By the end of this year, more than 2.7 billion people worldwide will be using smartphones. Although mobile use can be a distraction, when it’s applied correctly to business operations, it improves productivity by as much as 60 percent.
Not only do smartphones ensure your employees are more connected and informed, but they can also have a huge impact on your business performance. If used correctly, they can help offset some of the challenges restaurants and hotels face today, in light of wage increases.
Why Mobile Matters
Imagining a world without smartphones is close-to-impossible. The first devices, introduced in 1992 were smarter than their predecessors but were still limited in functionality.
Fast-forward 25+ years…
Today’s restaurant, hotel, or other hospitality operator uses mobile in many ways.
Marketing: In the food and beverage industries, more than 80 percent of overall consumer traffic results from consumers searching locally on their mobile devices. In fact, restaurants are the most-searched mobile category. Diners and travelers utilize social media to share their experiences, reviews, and photos.
Streamlining POS: The proliferation of tablet-based ordering is evident. Seeing a server with paper is rare these days. Sustainability benefits aside, the integration of mobile ordering and a POS systems speeds service and improves accuracy. But from a business standpoint, it also gives operators real-time data; consumer preferences, traffic patterns, and more.
Talent Management and Operational Excellence. People are at the core of excellent service experience and they can make or break your hospitality business on many levels. Mobile systems -- used for hiring, scheduling, communication, analysis, and much more are ultimately the critical lifeline between your employees and your bottom line. Seemingly counter-intuitive, technology enables operators to master the people aspects of running a restaurant or hotel.
Business Management Through Mobile
By integrating your mobile-enabled scheduling system with your POS system, you’ll have a clear and up-to-the-minute picture of what positions you need to fill, at what times of day, and (in the case of multi-location brands), at which locations.
Understanding your data is the silver bullet that enables you to manage staffing in the face of wage increases and talent shortages.
All this information being available in one place, on the go, is a game changer for managers in the hospitality industry who need to be on the move the majority of their shifts. Using Harri’s newest application, Harri Live, frontline managers are granted with the ability to access live sales and labor data, full scheduling management, employee requests, communications, live compliance alerts and team data in one place, on the go.
Mobile is the Ultimate Key to Building the Right Team
The war for talent is raging in both the restaurant and hotel industries. Although 82 million hourly workers exist in the U.S., finding the right skill set in a specific place at a particular time of year presents an ongoing challenge to operators. Ebbs and flows in traffic make holding on to top performers challenging. Understaffing creates service issues but overstaffing creates financial issues.
The candidate pool for the hospitality industry is mostly mobile. As such, mobile recruiting tools give operators the upper hand in landing quality talent. Harri’s Job Seeker App provides candidates with the ability to upload a job seeker profile, browse jobs, and schedule interviews, all through the palm of their hands. The Harri App simplifies the job search by allowing candidates to monitor shortlisted job posts, applied for jobs, and scheduled interviews, all in the same platform.
Finding and Hiring
Mobile enables operators to pinpoint, browse, interview, and ultimately hire those employees who will be the best fit. Employees have access -- via their phones -- to positions that work best for them. Mobile also enables you to screen, track, interview, and ultimately offer jobs to candidates from wherever you are. Having that access and efficiency at one's fingertips can be a true game-changer for busy hospitality managers. Just as online dating transformed the relationship world, mobile hiring will be the primary way qualified candidates look to “match” with the right employers.
The Harri Hire app allows hiring managers to post jobs, screen candidates, conduct interviews, and communicate with candidates all from the convenience of their mobile device. The application allows managers to syndicate posts to other job distributors and create links to share via email or text. Adding these mobile capabilities to the job search increases the talent pool exponentially.
Classroom (and breakroom) education is becoming history. A third of all education now involves online or distance learning. Although live hands-on training will always be an essential aspect of the hospitality industry, onboarding and engaging employees is more effective when done on the learner’s terms -- when most convenient for him or her. A smart Learning Management System can also match the type of training to employment stage. Important modules like health and safety and sexual harassment prevention education can be easily standardized and deployed across an entire chain or group of locations and operators can monitor and coach along the way -- from anywhere.
The ability to set a schedule, shift-swap, and scale up or down -- from wherever people are -- is critical to employee satisfaction and operator control. A recent study revealed that a whopping 87 percent of workers value having control over their schedules.
Cloud-based mobile scheduling apps have become something of a commodity. When you’re choosing a system, you need to pick the one that works for both you AND your employees.
As compliance becomes more important to today’s operators, choosing a system that acts as a “gatekeeper and sherpa” can save headaches and legal/financial woes in the long-run. Functions like facial recognition, fair work week considerations, overtime infringement, and much more add an extra layer of security for operators.
A truly smart scheduling system (like the one Harri recently launched) combines seamless demand forecasting, activity-based staffing systems, and streamlined demand forecasting. An optimized sales forecast and schedule for a 50-employee full-service operation can be created and published in minutes.
The ability to share schedules and company updates nimbly is available to employees and managers using the TeamLive app by Harri. In addition to having a platform to share live company updates with employees, managers are also able to participate in a team chat, fostering effective labor operations.
Studies show that when employees are engaged, profitability increases more than 20 percent. In the hectic hospitality world, ensuring that engagement during the workday is challenging.
Mobile enables individuals and teams to better share policies and concerns and to celebrate successes -- 24/7. Direct SMS messages, team communications, dialogues between people who perform the same function, and even brand newsletters are all possible with the right mobile functionality.
Harri Live is the most powerful mobile application on the market granting frontline managers the ability to drive communications to employees in multiple channels, even at the point of clock in with TeamHub by Harri, our biometrically controlled time clock.
Ultimately, Mobile Integration Can Control Your Profitability
We’ve addressed specific functionalities that mobile can deliver, but what ties it all together -- and leads to success -- is the integration of all of these mobile benefits.
All too often, vendors will sell a mobile solution that addresses one aspect of the talent loop (e.g., hiring or scheduling), but having an end-to-end and fully integrated system will save you time -- and make you money -- in the long-run.
Having all your key data in one accessible place will enable you to analyze your business and make immediate and meaningful people-related decisions, even when traveling.
Your profitability, employee satisfaction, compliance, analytics, and the future of your brand are all (literally) now in the palm of your hand.
We’re committed to helping our client partners with best-in-class solutions that solve for labor-related challenges -- and helping YOU realize that 60 percent increase in productivity...now and into the future.