All restaurant owners and managers know, there is no business like a restaurant business. In addition to being one of the most high-risk industries on the planet, restaurants are often challenged with financial risks, increased competition, and growing customer expectations.
Restaurants must be innovative in order to stay in the game. Let’s play ball, by showing you new and emerging restaurant technology that can lend a helping hand.
Why Innovative Technology?
Combining technology with restaurants just makes sense! As restaurants strive to deliver an enjoyable customer experience, technology offers streamlined processes and improved customer service.
1. Menu Engineering
Menu engineering is the study of profitability and popularity of menu items and in turn managing how to make those items appealing to your customers. The goal is to increase profitability per guest. Menu engineering software allows you to view your menu items by popularity and statistics. Some of the statistics the software lays out for you are menu cost, item cost, and gross margin. These help you review exactly how much you are making per menu item. Studies show that by analyzing your cost per item, categorizing items according to profit and popularity levels, and designing a new menu can increase your restaurant profits by 10-15%. A restaurant’s menu is the one free advertisement that every customer will see, why not make it generate sales?
2. Smart POS System
Until recently, the point of sale system was just used for the exchange of money. Today, one of the most important pieces of technology to have in a restaurant is a smart point of sale system. New features include flexible payment options (Apple Pay, Venmo, etc.), data analysis, and inventory management. The data analysis feature can detail sales based on product, hour, or even by employee. Allowing you to keep a close eye on every aspect of the customer experience. Inventory management can be one of the most time-consuming tasks for a restaurant manager. Allow your POS to do the tracking for you, just plug-in your ingredient counts and receive a notification when stock is running low. How easy is that?
3. Self-Ordering System
Self-ordering is gaining popularity for a number of reasons. In the 2019 Restaurant Success Report, about 50% of guests marked self-ordering kiosks as somewhat important and 60% marked tabletop tablets as extremely important to their guest experience. It gives the guests a sense of control during the ordering process, allowing them to view the menu with ease and identify different ways they can customize their meals. Thinking past the customer experience, tablets, and kiosks give restaurants the opportunity to increase the average check size by utilizing up sell prompts throughout the menu. Self-ordering also helps eliminate ticket errors by having the guest authorize the order ticket before it is sent to the kitchen, this in turn helps avoid staffing and productivity constraints.
4. Reservation Manager
No one likes waiting in line for anything, especially when it comes to food and hangry customers are not what an enjoyable customer experience looks like. Let’s avoid these issues by offering an online reservation manager that allows flexibility to make and change dining reservations for the customers. These apps allow the restaurants to have a seamless reservation experience by removing the burden from their staff and avoiding possible human error.
5. Restaurant Scheduling Software
Managing a restaurant isn’t easy and creating a schedule for the whole restaurant staff can be a big headache. Get rid of that headache by allowing a scheduling software to build your schedule in just a few clicks. Managers can publish digital schedules right to the employee’s phones. The software takes in to count employee availability, requested time off, and shift swaps. It then generates a schedule based on your restaurant’s staffing patterns and forecasted sales, which helps avoid over or understaffing. These softwares are also capable of monitoring staffing budgets to reduce overtime and ensure profitability. Having one centralized place for scheduling and team communication is key to cultivating the right employee culture by holding all parties accountable. Let’s face it, getting all the right people in the right place at the right time just became a whole lot easier.
Ultimately, we have shown that technology in a restaurant improves the way the business operates by creating a memorable customer experience and increased profitability. Hopefully, these innovative technologies will help you get back in the game.