Business partnerships can be a strategic way to combine strengths by those with aligned objectives. In this “On Foodable Weekly” episode, host Paul Barron addresses the labor market as well as the recent partnership between PeopleMatter and HotSchedules. Joining us are Jay Nathan, vice president of customer success at PeopleMatter, a 7-year-old talent management platform company for the foodservice industry, and Anthony Lye, president and CEO at HotSchedules, a company that provides tech solutions for the industry including scheduling, inventory, shift management, and analytics.
From hot topics like cook shortages, minimum wage changes, and a more public discussion of no tipping policies, there is no denying that labor has become a front-line topic for the industry. There are a few shifts, discussed below, that have gotten us here today.
Priorities Are Shifting
“When I joined the company just under three years ago, people wanted to manage their spend, and everything they did with our product was about reducing their expense,” says Lye. “Making sure that the inventory costs and the labor costs were as low as they possibly could.”
But in the past year, he says, that’s changed. “As the industry has grown, largely due to the population growing and grocery declining, people have realized that retaining talent is a much stronger and necessary priority for them than just expense.”
Talent Market Becomes Tighter
On the flip side, talent within the foodservice market has become a lot tighter in the past three years, says Nathan. “We [at PeopleMatter] have gone from handling all the volume that was there three years ago, to now, turning around and finding the best candidates and filling the top of the funnel,” he says. As more people in the funnel strive for careers—as opposed to just filler jobs—in the industry, PeopleMatter now uses an assessment engine to better cater and tailor people to the right jobs using data science.
Communication Becomes More Seamless
Both HotSchedules and PeopleMatter are utilizing technology to bridge the gap of seamless communication between talent and team and management and operations.
“As the Millennial generation comes of age and becomes management and leadership in these organizations, they expect to use the same types of tools they use in their everyday lives in their day-to-day job as well,” says Nathan.
Understand the Partnership
There are a lot of similarities within the two companies, but why the partnership? “For us, it’s a very symbiotic relationship,” says Nathan. “There are areas with regard to labor management and some of the back-office expertise that HotSchedules brings to the table that PeopleMatter frankly has taken a run at, and just wasn’t something that we were able to achieve.”
For Lye, it was about taking two industry best products and merging them together for the user. “Rather than making the customer piece this stuff together or make them go to another company that has average in both areas, they’ve come to us and say, ‘Hey guys, I want to use PeopleMatter and HotSchedules together.’”
“[The restaurant industry] is an industry that demands transparency…we can provide our service to customers for a month, a quarter, a year, or many years, but if the service does not work…does not perform, our customers don’t pay us,” says Lye. “So we are driven to serve this industry—an industry that works incredibly hard for little or no money—and so, there’s this fundamental goal of measuring value.”