How Technology is Changing HR in the Restaurant and Retail Industries

Jonatan Marc Rasmussen
Last updated:
March 6, 2023

Technology is transforming the way we think about HR in the restaurant and retail industries. From recruiting to feedback, we explore how technology is optimizing the employee journey and improving business outcomes.

Let's take a look at how technology is changing the way we think about HR in restaurant and retail industries. As employees become increasingly accustomed to platforms like Instagram, Tiktok, and Whatsapp, companies are finding new ways to optimize their recruitment, onboarding, and employee journey processes.

Below we've highlighted differences we expect to see along the employee journey, from the first day a candidate interacts with your business to the final day.


  • Old world: Job descriptions are functional and boring, employers simply ask for a CV (even from people with no experience).
  • New world: Job portals showcase the company culture through videos and highlight what's fun about the business, creating a more engaging experience. Candidates can even apply on the spot by shooting a 30-second video with their phone.


  • Old world: Candidates simply sign a contract and are told when to show up, leading to anxiety about the job and uncertainty about what it entails.
  • New world: Candidates go through a structured pre-boarding process, where they receive relevant content on the company and their role. Managers can send personalized videos the day before to welcome new employees and create a sense of comfort before their first day.


  • Old world: New hires show up and hope that a colleague will show them the ropes. Their manager may or may not be annoyed with having to deal with a new person, and training is inconsistent from one person to another.
  • New world: New hires watch digital training videos before starting to gain a clear understanding of what their first day on the job will be like. Managers receive reminders to show new employees how to do specific tasks, leading to more consistent training and better outcomes.


  • Old world: After finishing a shift, employees get paid an unknown amount 2-6 weeks later, which can create uncertainty and anxiety.
  • New world: With digital tools, employees know exactly how much they've earned and have access to their money instantly. This can make planning for bills and future shifts easier and less stressful.


  • Old world: Employees may only know the three people they work with every Thursday, leading to a lack of connection and a sense of isolation.
  • New world: Companies are creating social walls, chat groups, and event calendars to connect employees and create a sense of community. These digital tools can help employees feel more engaged with their company and more connected with their colleagues.

Personal growth journey:

  • Old world: If a manager resigns, one employee is simply picked to replace them, with little training or preparation. Leadership programs are often only available after a year or more on the job.
  • New world: Companies are providing a clear path to management, with digital training available to help employees develop their skills and prepare for leadership roles. HR teams are more focused on helping employees progress in their careers and providing new opportunities to learn and grow.


  • Old world: Employees may have ideas for improvement or may have been harassed by their manager, but they need to actively reach out to HR, whom they may not know well, or even their manager.
  • New world: Companies are creating digital tools to make it easier for employees to share feedback and feel heard. Employees can choose a smiley when they finish a shift, receive surveys after onboarding, and have a direct, anonymous line to HR through an app. Exit interviews are also becoming more common to help companies understand how they can improve the employee experience.

Overall, technology is rapidly changing the way we think about HR in restaurant and retail industries. By embracing these new tools and approaches, companies can create a more engaging, supportive, and fulfilling employee experience, leading to better retention rates, higher productivity, and a more positive workplace culture.

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