Jobs in the hospitality sector tend to be fast-paced. Perfect for someone young and constantly on the move, who want convenient working hours a few days a week to fit around studies or other such activities. With 47% of hospitality workers being under 30, it is clear that many restaurants, pubs and clubs tend to target young people, both because they’re usually the ones preferring weekend and evening work and because it generally means lower wages and lower labour costs.
However, as medicine advances, the average life-span has grown longer and there are now more over-65s than under-16s. This means the amount of older people entering or remaining within the workplace has increased significantly.
And although older people are not who usually come to mind when thinking of potential hospitality workers, it may do restaurants, pubs and Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) well to bridge the generation gap within their team.
Fast food giant McDonald’s has recently published new analysis suggesting multigenerational working led to employees being 10% happier as well as improving customer satisfaction. In a survey of over 32,000 McDonald’s UK employees, those who worked within their own peer group reported a 10% decrease in happiness levels than those who work with a variety of ages.
It’s not just staff who are happier: out of 1,000 McDonald’s customers, 84% reported that they like to see a variety of ages working within the restaurant with 60% expecting better service as a result.
With new technologies on the rise, it has also become easier for older people to work in classically physical environments. The technology in many QSR restaurants, such as digital touch-screen kiosks that allow customers to make and pay for their own orders, create jobs for the less physically fit or slower workers, as it means less running around for employees and a quicker overall delivery time.
This is just one example of how technology can open the door for various types of people within the workplace. Advanced EPoS and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, like Axent, allow employees a smoother working shift, as orders aren’t lost and bills aren’t totalled incorrectly. Taking orders through the use of tablets at a table means that orders go directly to the kitchen, rather than waiting staff having to go back and forwards to the kitchen with tickets. BI software and live CCTV footage also makes it possible for busy supervisors, management or owners to work from home and still monitor what is going on in their organisation.
Technology is introducing new ways of working within hospitality and could open the door to completely new members of staff. A multigenerational workplace could bring a wealth of wisdom, physicality and innovation to the hospitality workplace, and with technology making it that much easier to do so, all hospitality organisations should consider employing staff from a range of ages.
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