The story of technology infiltrating an industry is always the same: adopt the new technology or fall behind the more tech savvy competition. The restaurant industry is facing this dilemma today more than ever. Orders are typed into iPads, long paper checklists are no longer used to evaluate inventory, and credit cards are processed right at the table customers just ate at - and restaurateurs are taking notice.
If you’re one of these restaurateurs who’s starting to realize all of the enhancements your business can achieve through new technology, but aren’t necessarily sure how to go about it, help is here.
1. Invest in a smart POS system
When it comes to running a restaurant, the POS system you choose matters—a lot. From chefs to managers to servers and customers, a restaurant POS system touches almost every aspect of the business.
Opting for a newer cloud-based mobile POS system that runs off a tablet, instead of the traditional legacy portals with limited capabilities, can help streamline your restaurant business and save staff a ton of time. As NerdWallet says, “restaurant POS systems these days do much more than accept payments. They track inventory; text and email receipts; analyze customer and sales data; do invoicing; and help manage employees, among other capabilities.”
An intuitive POS system can do anything from creating loyalty programs to accessing insights and analytics, anywhere with an internet connection, unlike old systems bound for obsoletion.
2. Dive into data
One way to really leverage restaurant technology is to collect as much data as possible to find actionable insights that will boost efficiency and profits. Figuring out the best metrics to track will help restaurant managers capitalize on the best parts of their operation.
For example, tracking what your best-selling items are will give managers visibility on what options to keep during a menu change. On a higher level, you can also track which servers are performing better than others and create a schedule that has your MVPs on during your busiest nights. Having data at your fingertips can be the evidence you’ll need to start making smart changes to your restaurant.
3. Simplify inventory management
Despite being one of the least fun parts of owning a restaurant, inventory management is one of the most important tasks in making sure your operations run smoothly. How well you manage inventory directly impacts your bottom line, but with the right tech solution, you can make the process much easier. Say goodbye to the days of writing up everything by hand on a massive list, thanks to restaurant inventory management solutions. Reducing waste and cutting food costs are added bonuses on top of the number of hours you’ll save each week having automated inventory management features.
4. Optimize your online presence
With the millions of responsibilities that come with running a restaurant, most people in the restaurant industry probably aren’t too focused on how well their website looks, but it could make all the difference.You don’t have to be a digital wiz to make a well-designed website. Even if you don’t have a single social media account, using free tools like Wordpress and Squarespace makes it easy for anyone to set up a clean site that will attract customers.
Another critical component of a restaurant’s online presence is the quality and quantity of their reviews. According to TripAdvisor, in most countries more than 90 percent of consumers were influenced by restaurant reviews before deciding where to eat, and more than 60 percent said finding photos online was important to their decision as well. If you have positive reviews, social media engagement, and a clean website, your digital marketing strategy is already off to a great start.
5. Utilize online training
There are plenty of reasons to look into Online Training, but one of the simplest is how efficient it is. Online training for restaurant staff is not only engaging for any employee trying to learn more about the restaurant industry, but it also means less time worrying about training staff on the job. Instead of having to create a complex training plan from scratch, you can focus on running the ins and outs of your restaurant. Typsy is a great resource for all aspects of hospitality training, whether it’s just serving beer for beginners, or something more complex like up-selling customers.
6. Get more tips for your hard-working staff
Servers who rely on tips are always looking for ways to improve their customers’ experience and their own performance. Practicing server etiquette is the best way to start, but another tactic to getting more tips could be to utilize technology. Using tablets with predetermined tipping suggestions can actually increase tips, especially when given the choice of three options. According to a survey from Software Advice, 46 percent of customers would tip 20 percent if given the option to tip 15, 20, or 25. This means making that middle tipping option an optimal percentage of the check can prompt consistently strong tip amounts.
You can also increase table turn times with tableside devices that allow servers to take orders and process credit cards without having to leave their side. Not only does this help turn tables faster, liberating the waitstaff to handle other tasks, but it also provides a dining experience that’s worth the consumers time (and tips).
There’s a lot of passion that goes into owning a restaurant and the traditions that come along with it are protected with the utmost security. At any establishment’s core is the food, atmosphere, and staff members. That’s not a recipe technology wants to mess with. However, a partnership between the digital tools that the modern age has provided, and the important long-standing traditions of the past, can be the perfect combination for restaurant success.
With more than 1000+ online lessons available in Typsy's video library you can train your staff in the skills they need to help your business keep kicking goals. Sign up today and get the first 10 day's FREE!
|Ryan McSweeney is the Growth Marketing Coordinator at Upserve, an organization that helps independent full-service restaurants run and manage their entire business through an all-in-one restaurant management platform.|
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