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There’s a new era of employment. Enter the “gig economy”.

Gone are the days when a full-time 9 to 5 job was the only way to live the American dream. Now, temporary positions are more common than ever before and the trend towards short-term jobs has begun.

By 2020, Intuit predicts, 7.6 million Americans will be working as providers in an on-demand economy – an 18.5% year-over-year growth in the next 5 years.

What’s bringing about this change in workforce habits?

74% cite a lack of employer engagement, but more interestingly, it’s a lifestyle. Employees are choosing a work style that allows them to have better work/life balance, more control over their careers, their income, and their skill development.

And the gig economy isn’t just confined to obvious areas like hotels (Airbnb), transportation (Uber and Lyft), and contract-based work (Work.com, TaskRabbit, and Etsy). It’s easily spreading through the restaurant industry as well – in both consumer and employee facing facets.

Restaurant guests have “Uber-ized” restaurants.

This new economy means that consumers have also become accustomed to a new standard of service. Now, with an unlimited array of dining choices available, and virtually infinite ways to choose, the competition increases for restaurants.


Whether it’s ordering ahead, making a reservation online (who calls a restaurant anymore), or putting your name on the list via a mobile app, the restaurant industry is being transformed by this “on-demand culture”.

Need a ride? Uber will be there right away – a new standard that everyone expects to be met every where they go.

Restaurant staffing is harder.

It’s not just the consumer that is experiencing a shift in behavior. Restaurants must also face a changing workforce – and not in the most obvious sense. The rise of the gig economy, on the surface, seems like a great thing for restaurants – an industry that consistently struggles with labor shortages.

Unfortunately, however, the more freedom hourly workers have to perform all sorts of tasks, the more options they have besides working in a restaurant.

And we thought working in a restaurant was the most flexible work life.

How do restaurants compete?

Restaurant owners were already struggling to take back their cooks from BlueApron, and now they need to take back their servers from Uber. But how?

Go right to the source. Gig-centric employees are drawn to the technology behind the economy. Uber drivers can choose their own schedules from the flexibility of an app. Task workers can log online and choose to accept (or not) a variety of contract options. Workers are turning to technology as a way to enhance their skills, accept jobs, and complete the work.

chef preparing food in restaurant

Restaurants can offer that, too.

Restaurant technology offers a wide array of options for restaurateurs looking to complete in the gig economy, as long as they adopt it. Scheduling software allows owners to give more flexibility in shift determination; social logbooks take the Manager’s Log online; and it doesn’t stop there. Outdated legacy POS systems are quickly being replaced by cloud-based POS systems that are not only more intuitive for restaurant employees, but allows them to learn more on the job about menu, guests, and their own server performance.

And it doesn’t stop with servers. Upserve offers a complete suite of restaurant technology, including a mobile app, that enables managers, owners, and staff alike to learn everything they need to know about their business in an instant to provide better hospitality.

Restaurants can win in this gig economy, it’s just a matter of adaption.


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In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time... and she'd own all the shoes her heart desired. When she's not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to "Long Island". Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence's historic Federal Hill.
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