Innovation is great for business. It optimizes processes and streamlines operations to help provide better products and services for the consumer. With advancements in technology, innovation is drastically changing entire industries. Especially within the restaurant world. 

It may not immediately seem like an HR issue, but those changes are something to be aware of. Any changes in business operations will directly impact the organization’s people. The workforce will most likely need a different skill set. As an HR or business leader, decide if you can retrain your current employees or if will you need to source for new talent.

Also, look at how your org structures will change. IT and technical support will need to grow exponentially to support the technology in the stores. The number of people at the local stores may decrease but will grow in IT. Ask the question if there will be pathways for employees to transition in technical roles. 

Different innovations will require different approaches to workforce planning. Here are a few examples of change that’s happening now in restaurants that go beyond mobile apps on ordering kiosks.


McDonald’s Tests a Robot Fryer in Kitchens

In an effort to decrease wait times for customers, McDonald’s is testing robotic fryers in the kitchens outside of Chicago. It does also decrease safety risks since employees would not be directly working with hot grease. This change is in addition to innovations already implemented. Like self-serve order screens and conveyor-style drink fill machines for drive-through orders. 


Domino’s Looks to Start Testing Driverless Delivery

Self-driving cars are not just for Uber, Google, and Tesla. Domino’s will soon start piloting driverless pizza delivery vehicles in Houston through a partnership with Nuro. Customers will be able to order online, opt into the driverless delivery, then track their orders. They’ll receive a PIN to get their pizza out of the car. Unfortunately, they don’t address whether tipping will still be expected. 


Uber Eats Using Drones for Delivery

San Diego will soon see more drones flying over with food deliveries from Uber Eats. Right now, the drone deliveries will just take the last leg of the journey between two couriers. Customers will still receive their food by a person, not self-service from the drone. It will allow for restaurants to expand their delivery areas which can be crucial for increasing business.


Expanding Footprints With Ghost Kitchens

A ghost kitchen is essentially a restaurant with no storefront or dining for customers. Ghost kitchens are becoming popular to help service high-volume delivery areas. Delivery footprints have grown exponentially with the development and expansion of third-party delivery apps and online/mobile ordering. Additionally, ghost kitchens can handle large catering orders without having to worry about disrupting walk-in customers. Ghost kitchens are being considered with businesses like Starbucks and Chik-fi-A.



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