Restaurant tech platform Presto today launched a new product bundle it says is meant to help restaurants keep their operations up-to-par in the midst of the ongoing labor shortage. The Staff Multiplier technology package is meant to help both QSRs and full-service restaurants reopen at full capacity even with limited workers onboard, according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
“Presto Staff Multiplier includes a variety of technologies designed to enable restaurants to increase the guest-to-staff ratio, improve speed and quality of service, identify bottlenecks, and offer guests a superior experience.”
In terms of actual tools, that includes a feature called Vision, which uses computer vision cameras to track throughput and order accuracy, and the Line Buster/Server Assistant, which are handheld tablets staff can use to take orders from anywhere, whether in the dining room or drive-thru. The bundle also includes voice ordering and pay-at-the-table features via tabletop kiosks and QR codes that let guests order and pay from their own mobile devices.
Some of these features are not brand new. Presto began offering QR codes for diners early on during the pandemic. The computer vision system and the company’s pay-at-the-table kiosks both pre-date the pandemic. Rather than a suite of new tools, Staff Multiplier is instead a neatly bundled package of existing Presto hardware and software that can make the order and pay process faster for restaurants, and easier with fewer people on the floor.
Presto, which counts Chilli’s, Outback Steakhouse, and Aramark among its clients, launched a similar “bundle” last year, just as restaurants began to cautiously reopen after the first major lockdown. It’s “contactless” package was one of the instances of a restaurant tech company bundling a suite of tools together and branding them as a way to help restaurants reopen. Others quickly followed Presto’s lead, unveiling their own bundles of “contactless” dining room kits.
Of course, all that got put on hold when new lockdowns and capacity restrictions once again shuttered dining rooms. Now, with vaccinations widely available and capacity restrictions lifting or already lifted, we can expect more restaurant tech companies to follow Presto’s lead and launch tech bundles branded as tools to help with reopening. Only this time, the angle is combating the labor shortage. While more complex than first meets the eye, the shortage of restaurant workers is creating difficulties for restaurant owners when it comes to delivering high-quality service to guests in the dining room. Hardware and software can’t fix some of the bigger issues at stake, like the need for wage increases, but they can help restaurants grapple with the current situation a little more easily.