The National Restaurant Association estimates that the average restaurant loses $150,000 annually in staff turnover. Further, 70 percent of operators are struggling to hire new staff, so it’s crucial for operators to improve employee recruitment and retention – and to find ways to do it that look different from what they have tried before. Research shared during a recent webinar from Nation’s Restaurant News indicated that restaurant operators are making a number of labor-specific investments in technology in a direct effort to boost retention by making restaurant jobs feel more like careers. By and large, these changes are not designed to reduce headcount; rather, they are about automating parts of the job that employees aren’t as good at, find tedious, or both. Restaurants can reap significant benefits if they find ways to think long term about transforming restaurant service in ways that maximize the parts of it that staff enjoy most (and make the tougher parts of the job more accessible). According to a report from The Takeout, staff tend to find the relationship-building parts of the job most fulfilling: getting to know repeat customers as friends, discovering what they appreciate about the business, and bonding with them over the ingredients and techniques used across the menu. Do you know what aspects of the job led your staff to you? If it’s simply the chance to earn a paycheck, how can you make the job about more than that? If you can’t delegate any of your most tedious tasks to tech, can you reform your training to make those tasks easier? Where possible, take steps in the right direction – even if you don’t have the budget to invest in tech right now.