A funny thing happened during the pandemic. People decided there was more to life than working and decided not to. Many rode out their extended unemployment and stimulus checks before going back to work. Some must be starving because it seems not everyone came back.

We've seen those labor shortages across many businesses but nowhere did it seem as prevalent as the restaurant industry. As eateries reopened after the lockdowns customers came back in droves.

The National Restaurant Association reports sales increased in 2022 by 12.5% over 2021 and are expected to increase again this year. Yet restaurants are still coping with a lack of staff. Almost 2 million openings are left unfilled in restaurants, bars, hotels and casinos across the country.

Neon Store Sign Series

What are some restaurants doing to stay open with increasing demand? If no one wants to work as a server anymore they're looking at ways to not need them.

me&u USA is a company leading the way in at-table ordering technology. President Brian Duncan says,

Restaurants can handle an upsurge in customers without needing to increase staffing to accommodate them. Tech solutions can increase the customer footfall, ultimately resulting in happier customers, higher profits, and bigger tips.

Is this really the solution? Well, think about it. Are you at the restaurant for a treat, for the good food and break from routine? Or are you there for a disinterested server to half-heartedly ask if you want to hear tonight's special and take far too long to come back to take your order? For most of us it's A not B.


'By adopting scan-order-pay technology, restaurants can reduce strain on their staff and significantly improve the customer experience. Diners can sit down and enter their orders as soon as they’re ready. Servers can cover more tables during a shift without becoming overwhelmed or sacrificing customer service,' explains Duncan.

Imagine that. You order exactly when you're ready. Servers who still want to be servers covering more tables and getting more in tips. How is this not an improvement?

You know your order will be accurate with a QR-code based ordering system because you did it yourself. If you have a question you can always call a server over. Most of us don't need that.

Also, how many hours of your life total do you guess you’ve wasted just sitting waiting to pay your bill and your server is nowhere in sight? You pay right at the table as soon as you're ready to go.

Man with smartphone and tablet computer in restaurant
Adam Radosavljevic

This system also turns over tables more quickly for restaurants. That means more profit in a business with slim profit margins. It also means less wait time for those hungry customers on the bench in the lobby looking for a table.

New Jersey restaurants and places across the country are looking into this technology more and more. From my perspective they can't make the change fast enough.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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