A new US Foods survey has found that only one-third of 500 independent restaurant decisionmakers are implementing technology to boost their operations.

According to the study, almost 50% of the restaurant decision makers agreed that challenges such as food waste, managing staff and driving customer traffic can be solved using technology.

US Foods business solutions director Adam Stinn said: “This gap between the promise and adoption of technology to run restaurants successfully is an important one to close.

“There is a universe of technology solutions that can reduce the operating headaches. But that’s also the problem – the number of choices and the time it takes to sort through them.”

The survey explored restaurant decision makers’ views on three primary areas, including driving customer traffic, simplifying staffing and reducing food waste. These areas were identified by independent restaurant operators as opportunities to grow their business.

The study also noted that around 25% of restaurant decision makers agreed that “attracting customers” was “harder” in the last year.

A majority of the marketing decision makers (80%) mentioned keeping up with the competition’s marketing efforts as a critical factor.

In addition, 75% agreed that they are offering more specials for customers, 68% are spending more on digital advertising, 67% on hosting more events, and 51% to use third-party services when compared to the last 12 months.

Around 35% of restaurant operators agreed that they are finding it hard to fill job openings, 49% of operators expressed mentioned labour shortage as a concern in the restaurant industry.

The study also mentioned that 59% of operators are confident about hiring skilled employees, 20% were increasing their recruiting efforts, and 30% agreed on creating robust employee training programmes.

Furthermore, 79% of restaurant operators agreed that they are concerned about food waste in their restaurants, with 36% of them citing inefficient food preparation, 35% mentioned the inability to accurately forecast demand, and 34% portion sizes of food as the major driving factors.