IT replaces people power

Staffing struggles among region's restaurants have prompted an explosion of up-to-the-minute reservation software.

Staff shortages and the skills gap in the Middle East's foodservice sector have prompted the current shift towards IT solutions.

Reservation systems are now in high demand due to the dearth of competent front-of-house staff, according to Masood Al Janahi, managing director of Dubai-based IT solutions provider Key Information Technology.

"Reservation systems have grown in popularity and although the industry has traditionally been very labour intensive, the difficulties sourcing quality employees have pushed restaurant owners and managers to look for IT solutions," he said.

Al Janahi also said that the key requirements for the latest systems among restaurant professionals include ease of use, reporting abilities and local support teams.

He revealed that the Table Management System (TMS) - which permits the addition, organisation and management of table assignments - will be launched in the Middle East within the coming months.

The new software will offer innovative features such as the estimation of table turn time based on the business in the restaurant and the items ordered, and an interface with third-party applications to create a web service for handling Internet reservations.

He added that the main challenges of offering the latest technological advances to the foodservice sector is instilling understanding among staff about using the software to its maximum potential.

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