HONU Shares Its Secret to Overcoming Restaurant Workforce Challenges through Advanced Technology

- 22 November 2022 12:02 WIB
Abadi Musa Putra, who has been working at HONU as a store manager since 2018 (Photo courtesy of HONU)
Abadi Musa Putra, who has been working at HONU as a store manager since 2018 (Photo courtesy of HONU)

JAKARTADAILY.ID - When the pandemic hit and social restrictions were imposed, many restaurant employees struggled with massive layoffs, a severe decline in working hours, and salary reductions by employers to reduce business costs.

While restaurants made a quick turn to pick-up and delivery service to survive, those unemployed individuals had no choice but to seek employment elsewhere or sign on for unemployment benefits.

Now, two and a half years into the pandemic, restaurants are opening up again, and diners are joining in. Even Statistics Indonesia noted that accommodation and F&B, which includes restaurants, was one of the sectors with the highest GDP growth at 6.56 percent and employed 470,000 people from February 2021 to February 2022.

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As the Covid situation is improving and restaurants are back in business, many, such as HONU Poké & Matcha Bar, are adjusting their strategies to ensure productivity and retention of their workforces.

"There are many talents out there, but if we hire the wrong person, we lose the productivity of the person we hire. If we hire the right one, they can produce a good quality of work. Thus, we need to reevaluate our HR strategy to hire the best talent and retain them long term,” said Stefani Hutabarat, HR Lead at HONU Group, in a statement received by JakartaDaily on Monday, November 21, 2022.

Consequently, retaining current staff by keeping them motivated and engaged is now a crucial part of HONU’s efforts to strengthen its workforce.

HONU Poké & Matcha Bar was first established in Kemang, Jakarta, in 2017 as the first Indonesian restaurant to offer Poke Bowl (Hawaiian dish), founded by Sashia Rosari, Jenda Badilangoe, and Kevin Rumantir.

As local enthusiasm for the dish grew, the restaurant opened in other locations, including Thamrin, BSD, Bintaro, and Bellezza.

The three founders went on to develop other business units under HONU Group, where Stefani led the workforce that has grown to 75 employees, with a range of roles spanning chef, cook helper, server, cashier, marketing, finance, and more.

The way she sees it, technology is already being effectively used in restaurants, from fulfilling online orders from customers to managing staff schedules, assessing, and hiring.

Yet, those existing technologies have not addressed the main problems employees face, like living paycheck-to-paycheck and the financial stress that comes from it.

She is aware that stress plays a huge role in the productivity and focus of employees, especially in a restaurant business where everything is fast-paced and can be overwhelming.

She said that waiting a month for the employees to get their salary was challenging considering today’s rising cost of living and their struggle to manage personal cash flow.


Editor: Suksmajati Kumara


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