Blog / Conferences & Tradeshows

Exploring the Latest Restaurant Facility Services Trends Ahead of RFMA 2024

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

The past several years have not been easy for restaurant operators. First there was the pandemic, which caused an estimated 72,000 establishments to shut their doors between 2019 and 2022, according to news reports. Then, the operating dynamics became more complex than ever due to ongoing labor shortages, rising costs of supplies, and heightened consumer expectations for cleanliness.

Addressing these challenges and anticipating what’s next will be a core focus for attendees of the upcoming 2024 Restaurant Facility Management Association (RFMA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., scheduled for March 17-19. The KBS team will be exhibiting at the conference (Booth #411), offering its insights and showcasing its outsourced solutions for kitchen and equipment cleaning, front of house detailing, and exterior services such as snow removal and landscaping. KBS provides service for a wide variety of restaurants and hospitality facilities, including major fast food chains, restaurant groups, food halls, country clubs, hotels and more.

We asked our KBS restaurant facility service experts, EVP Bob DiMaio, VP Ira Altman, and VP Ray Smith, all of whom will be will be attending the show, what they see as some of the hot topics in the industry. Here’s a glimpse into the three key areas that they anticipate exploring more at the event:

1. Addressing Ongoing Labor Challenges

Despite renewed demand for dining out, securing reliable and skilled labor has become increasingly daunting. According to one study, rising costs and staffing shortages are prompting restaurants to reduce operating hours, with the average restaurant now open 6.4 fewer hours than three years ago. The study notes that this has led to significant revenue losses, ranging from 10% to 25% per store due to inadequate staffing against demand. This is compounded by increased wage demands in the wake of economic recovery, which in turn puts restaurants at risk of employing unauthorized workers, Altman says.

This is where using a facility services provider can help. Large providers like KBS are able to take advantage of their deep pool of labor resources, the latest equipment and technology, and enterprise-class HR processes to ensure the highest compliance standards possible. For example, KBS uses a rigorous onboarding process that includes comprehensive background checks, drug screenings, employee eligibility verification, and much more to ensure workers are fully vetted, properly trained and ready to go.

“By outsourcing these responsibilities, restaurants not only circumvent the expenses and intricacies associated with maintaining in-house cleaning teams but also free up valuable resources that can be reinvested into other facets of their operations,” Altman says.

2. Improving Safety Through Advanced Equipment

Restaurants are increasingly looking for help in mitigating common hazards like slips and falls as a way to protect customers and employees and also reduce the risk of potential litigation. One way to do this is to outsource to a facility services provider, which gives restaurants access to state-of-the-art equipment, as well as full indemnification, DiMaio says.

For example, instead of using a traditional mop and bucket to clean up food and beverage spills—which can lead to wet floors that contribute to slips and falls—Altman notes that providers like KBS have access to powerful wet/dry battery-powered vacuums. These machines allow employees to swiftly spray chemical cleaners, scrub the floor, and vacuum it dry – all in a fraction of the time it would take to use a mop and bucket.

"Investing in tools like specialized vacuums not only enhances safety measures but also reduces the risk of injuries among staff and patrons,” DiMaio says. “By incorporating these into their cleaning protocols, restaurants can boost efficiency while creating safer environments."

3. Enhancing Accountability Via Technology and Reporting

Technology has helped revolutionize many industries, and facility services are no exception. Companies like KBS harness proprietary digital solutions and innovative equipment not only to enhance productivity, but also to offer improved transparency and accountability across locations, Smith says.

For example, through its core operations platform, KBSForce, KBS clients gain access to real-time operational data and graphical dashboards, giving them detailed insights into daily attendance, status updates, and the completion of cleaning and exterior service tasks. The platform also delivers comprehensive inspection reports, complete with photos, comments, and ratings for each area serviced.

This repository of data and reporting empowers leaders in the restaurant and food service sectors with increased visibility into cleaning and exterior service processes such as snow removal and landscaping, ensuring consistent adherence to high-quality standards across multiple sites.

"Since leaders with multiple restaurant locations can't be everywhere at once, partnering with a national provider like KBS ensures they have the visibility they need across multiple locations,” Smith says. “Through our proprietary technology, clients gain real-time insights and can rest assured that work is being completed to the highest standards across all sites."

Partner with KBS

With our innovative technology and unwavering commitment to service quality, KBS is ready to support your establishment's success. To learn more about how our facility services can address your restaurant's needs, request a quote today.