As a thank you to our Mentors for taking time out of their schedules to advise our start-ups (on how to one day be as successful as they are) we hosted our acclaimed “Mentor Dinner” on November 15th.
This year, the dinner took place at PAHR, a new restaurant located in Wedding; an up and coming “Kiez” (quarter) in Berlin – but more on them in a later post.
With the spotlight on the hospitality industry, Jan-Peter Wulf, the editor of Nomyblog – a gastronomy blog based out of Berlin – and close collaborator of Berlin’s Food Entrepreneurs Club, could not be a more fitting choice as Keynote Speaker. He shared insights on Generation Z; challenges they pose to entry level staffing in hospitality and how restaurateurs can solve these by taking advantage of the technologies available. Here’s what he told us:
“I think that tech can play a crucial role in improving hospitality. Not only by providing tools, but also by leading the way in how new forms of collaboration, creation and, well labour work in other industries.”
– Jan Peter Wulf
Generation Z, born between 1995-2010 (now 8-23 years old) are reaching an age where they begin to look for their first entry level jobs. 90% of Generation Z think family life is important; 71% want a secure workplace while only 37% are looking for good career options (Source: Shell Studie). These statistics make up for a generation that puts value on secure jobs and life experiences. They are also more focused on obtaining a good salary and structure in the workplace. The conditions currently set out by operational positions in hospitality such as; long working hours, repetitive processes using pen and paper, and low salaries need to shift to match those values and attract the new labour force.
Digital solutions exist to support various aspects of the business, and it has become METRO Accelerator’s mission to identify these and support their development. To improve working conditions our start-up FragPaul, has developed a digital tool that adjusts and creates transparency around working hours. Our start-up Gofer, supports short-term staffing and has created a platform matching staff to specific positions, while also eliminating menial paperwork. On the operational side our start-up Barratio is developing a solution that completes back office duties in the space of 5 minutes per day …to name only a few of the solutions out there. All these digital tools set out to create efficiencies, and allow for business owners to decrease the number of repetitive tasks, therefore increasing diversity in job positions and ultimately making them resonate better with Gen Z.
“This is obviously a huge challenge for many hospitality businesses but there’s hardly any other way to go about it, there are no prefab solutions for that, every hospitality business has to create their own strategy. This will play a huge part in the future competition for employees.”
– Jan Peter Wulf
Given Generation Z’s aptitude for digital, and their reputation for not only being digital natives like Gen Y, but to have grown up in a world where digital exists for everything; incorporating digital tools in business operations will also contribute to better suited operational roles for Generation Z-ers Jan Peter tells us, “Businesses should consider involving technologies strategically in their processes”. Gen Z have digital in their DNA, they therefore expect it at their work place. Not to say that tech should completely replace human interaction but rather those tasks that are not customer facing and tedious.
“Many of our needs are very unique. The key is to create something that helps me do my business better. An app should not take away my contact to the customer.”
– Moritz Estermann, Grill Royal (also a mentor of our program)
The last tip Jan Peter shared is to use relevant channels in order to reach Generation Z more efficiently, for example; Business owners should consider changing their website to not only target potential customers, but also to target potential employees. It will also be more effective to post on communication channels where Gen Z exist for example; Instagram. Our start-up HeyMojo helps businesses identify how to best reach their target group via the right channels at the right time. The key is to pay closer attention to employer branding, and for businesses to have a footprint on the right channels.
As Generation Z continue to reach an age where they look to take on entry level jobs, it will become increasingly important for the hospitality industry to move to meet the expectations and the values they put forward. METRO Accelerator works to bridge the gap between Generation Z’s perspective on digital tools and how they are actually applied in the industry. By identifying viable solutions that support all aspects of the business from management to marketing, the program acts as a platform for business owners to upgrade to the new generation.