Could Co-Sourcing Help Restaurant Staffing Issues?

While restaurant staffing levels increased across the U.S. in recent months (a net 1.9 million jobs were added), total industry employment remained below pre-pandemic levels in the majority of the states. The question remains: Where are restaurants going to find enough people to fill those jobs? 

There is a myth surrounding traditional outsourcing models amongst small businesses, such as in the restaurant industry, that they are too small to take advantage of the global talent market. Thankfully, that is not the case anymore. 

Utilizing co-sourcing, restaurants, restaurant software providers, food distributors, or suppliers of any size can take advantage of the global talent pool at a scale that makes sense for them. It’s an excellent way to improve business processes, reduce cost structure, and make your restaurant business more productive. Here are a few areas where outsourcing can help the restaurant industry increase productivity, resilience, and profits.

HR and Payroll

Payroll processing and benefits administration are easy roles to fill using co-sourcing. For example, a chain of Jack in the Box restaurants is using multiple payroll specialists successfully and supporting these tasks for all their employees. With proper training and employee manuals in place, these roles do not need to be filled in-house.


This is a popular area for businesses to outsource because it’s easy to integrate new employees into the business operations. Tasks such as managing Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, handling ledger entries, and invoicing can easily be handled by co-sourced employees. A chain of popular steakhouses utilizes a remote team of accounting associates to support their local accounting team. 

Customer Service

Co-sourcing Customer Service employees is extremely popular in the restaurant industry. These team members act as a virtual front desk for restaurants, taking reservations, takeout orders, etc. This allows the restaurant staff to deliver outstanding customer experiences inside of the restaurant and not have to worry about also managing outside calls. 

Inventory management and supply ordering is another area where the restaurant industry can benefit from co-sourcing. By removing this task from an in-house employee, you are giving that employee the freedom to focus on their tasks that in turn helps restaurant productivity and success. 

Moving to next-gen order taking should be a focus for quick-service restaurants. Fast food chains are starting to use artificial intelligence (AI) order-taking systems. By outsourcing backup support for order taking, they are utilizing tier 2 support for the AI system. This frees in-store staff to focus on their customers that are at the registers or at the drive through window versus multi-tasking.


Need more customers but don’t have the time to manage your social media, website, or marketing campaigns? Hire an outsourced employee to help. These skills can be applied to support businesses in all industries and functions to drive revenue with marketing and social media. 

The co-sourcing model was designed to make your business more efficient. The restaurant industry is seeing three needle-moving results when they outsource staff for the positions discussed above: 

  • Better customer experience: We all know that exceeding customer experience is the goal of any restaurant. By outsourcing certain positions, you are freeing staff to be able to deliver a stellar customer experience to their in-store customers. 
  • Better staff retention  and increased productivity: Outsourced staff handles the repetitive, tedious tasks that suck up your employees’ time and, quite frankly, they don’t want to do. Give them the freedom to focus on the tasks they enjoy. This, in turn, will increase restaurant operations, employee morale, and customer experience. 
  • Increased revenue: Consistent and results-producing social media and marketing efforts will help increase customer traffic. When those customers come through your door, they will ultimately have a better experience because your staff is now focused on them. And we all know that better customer experiences create word of mouth and more return customers.

The staffing crisis in the restaurant industry is here to stay for a while. If you’re struggling with these functions and can’t find the staff you need to fill the jobs you have open, it’s time to shake things up a bit! Taking advantage of the global talent pool and outsourcing a job or two may be a great option for your business.