More alarmingly, the survey, which polled decision-makers in the F&B and hospitality sector on how much time they spend on admin each week, also found that 10% spend more than 20 hours on their paperwork, with half of these admitting they spend up to 60 hours every week (more than the average hourly working week in total).
Jerry Brand, MD at Caternet, is sympathetic to these findings but fears the industry is digging itself deeper into a hole that is hard to climb out of unless managers wake up to what’s happening under their noses.
“It’s no wonder the industry is struggling to control costs and retain competitive edge,” he said, “if more than half the week comprises shuffling bits of paper rather than focusing on aspects that will increase the bottom line, such as forecasting margins, reducing cost overspend, improving service quality and supplier relationships and managing staff retention. How can businesses expect to survive long-term in a sector where cash is undoubtedly king?”
The survey results also suggest that the majority of F&B managers need to significantly reduce the hours spent on paperwork, and regain control of their business operations. Brand blames the current systems and processes the sector uses and argues for a shift towards ‘paperless environments’.
“The quest to save time and money seems to be an ongoing battle for most, but if we waste this much time on admin, how can we expect to maximise our profitability?” said Brand. “What we are finding in the market is an inbuilt conservatism about switching to modern technologies. The industry must move towards a paperless environment, with live supplier prices that allow people to regain control of their business, and we are working hard on educating people in this regard.
“Whether that means building dynamic recipes and shopping quickly and easily in a ‘one-screen’ process, or via the seamless automation of P&L reporting, payroll and HR tasks, successful business operations need to squash this excessive admin bug, and quickly.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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