Could automation be the answer to perennial labor challenges in restaurants? As the opportunities for restaurant automation increase and pressure remains on operators to manage tasks with the support of a smaller-than-ideal staff, it’s natural to ask the question. How you answer it could mean the difference between attracting talented employees and losing them. While it may be tempting to envision running your business without having to worry about an employee calling in sick or forgetting their shift, the human touch is something that guests and restaurants want. Recent research from PYMNTS found that only a small portion of guests enjoy using QR codes (17 percent) and kiosks (18 percent) for ordering instead of menus and counters – and while younger consumers are more interested in these tools, almost 60 percent still enjoy the experience of interacting with waitstaff. Automation can help you make those interactions better by allowing your staff to spend less time on tasks that the guest doesn’t even see. A recent report from Modern Restaurant Management advises operators to focus on hiring talented people and automating inventory management, food preparation and other unseen tasks that support staff but don’t replace their interactions with your guests. Finding the right balance between those parts of your business is where you can deliver the personalized, convenient experiences that will most delight your guests.