Running a restaurant is a demanding and often thankless job. Managing restaurant operations requires coordinated systems at all levels to run smoothly. Efficient restaurants streamline their processes and automate managing restaurant operations that allow them to guarantee a positive customer experience by reducing the chance of error. A study by the National Restaurant Association found that 32 percent of restaurant owners think their restaurant is lacking when it comes to technology. Technological advancements allow restaurant owners to employ tools to reduce human error and automate restaurant operations.
Is your current restaurant operations strategy failing? Read this article to understand how to fix it.
Here are our top 7 tools for automating managing restaurant operations:
1. Centralized POS
An all in one point-of-sale system (POS) is a vital and basic requirement for restaurant management. Receiving payments, tracking orders, scheduling reservations, tracking inventory, and more in an orderly fashion can be handled with a centralized POS. Point of sale systems typically require significant investment, but one that is well worth it, as they assist in managing several areas of your restaurant with ease.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a POS:
- User-friendly with a training system
- Offer offline capabilities to ensure the loss of internet does not mean the loss of business
- Necessary features like touch screen compatibility and inventory management
- Table side ordering system
- Ongoing maintenance costs
When selecting a POS system for your restaurant, consider whether the analytics and reporting will meet your needs. Reports generated by your POS system will help you formulate strategies and predict trends.The reporting will provide you with information about ordering habits and help you to create customized offers to attract more customers.
2. Inventory Management
Understanding what stock you have on hand, where it is, and how much of it is being used will help you lower costs, avoid unnecessary waste, and prevent theft. Inventory management systems will help owners maintain the right balance of inventory for your restaurant and immensely decrease the chance of losing a sale because you didn’t have enough food product. Automating your inventory process will allow you to take stock more quickly and accurately.
Closely monitoring inventory is an essential part restaurant management as it identifies discrepancies within your product numbers and strengthens your pricing strategies. Select an inventory management system that will notify you to reorder when you are low on supplies. Setting reorder levels is especially useful in the case of perishable items that require frequent restocking.
Having the ability to integrate your POS with your inventory management system is convenient as it will allow you to load your menu onto your POS system and track ingredients based on orders.
3. Online Ordering
Every restaurant can benefit from the ability to manage online and offline orders at the same time in order to ensure customer satisfaction. Having a an online ordering system, whether you opt with ChowNow, Toast, MenuDrive or another similar system, allows you the ability to manage online customers seamlessly without interfering with the physical operations. Customers value the ability to choose pick-up and delivery times and place their own orders online. Online ordering and order tracking systems are most effective when they offer reporting and analytics capabilities that that can help you to know your customers better and understand your margins.
Restaurant owners who offer online ordering restaurant technologies experience the following benefits:
- Increased Revenue: When customers are able to leisurely browse rather than hurriedly placing their order in person or over the phone, they order more. Since there’s no pressure, customers are more likely to respond to upsells, leading to higher sales.
- Order Accuracy: Ordering over the phone does not appeal to younger generations and isn’t efficient for restaurants. Not only do phone lines get tied up, but background noise on either end can make the transaction difficult. When orders are mistakenly recorded incorrectly by staff, food waste increases, customers become frustrated and revenue declines.
- Detailed Tracking: Orders placed through your website can be easily tracked and analyzed. If you are a data driven business owner, you will appreciate the ability to track your regular online customers, order frequency, and popular items.
4. Automated Food Safety
The FSTEC trade show was a clear indicator that food safety technology is at the forefront of food industry innovations. Walmart is leading the way with automated blockchain processes to ensure food safety during food distribution. But, what technology can restaurants use to ensure that food remains safe all the way to the plate? FreshCheq has emerged as an industry leader of food safety automation specifically for restaurants. Systemizing and automating food safety logs, cooling logs, and sanitation logs allows restaurant owners to hold employees accountable and maintain consistent food safety best practices.
Food safety automation allows restaurant owners to streamline the following:
- Cooling logs
- Line check logs
- Sanitation and Cleaning Checklists
- Quality check logs
5. Food Waste Tracker
Nothing can cut into a restaurant’s bottom line as quickly as pre-consumer food waste. But how can a restaurant effectively monitor and control food waste? Chances are, you have no idea how much money is thrown in the trash in the form of food waste. FreshCheq’s food waste tracker allows restaurants to track each unit of food that is thrown out and automatically assign a dollar value to the waste. Understanding food waste is the first step towards controlling it and software solutions like FreshCheq can help operators reduce cost while minimizing food waste.
6. Scheduling Software
Scheduling is one of the least fun, but most important restaurant operations tasks. A bit like a mind teaser, most managers struggle with scheduling. Last minute call outs and conflicting vacations can quickly become a scheduling headache. However, restaurant technologies like ZoomShift can streamline the scheduling process, saving time and money.
Most scheduling software solutions offer:
- Automated Schedules
- Vacation Requests
- Schedule Checks
The success behind every major restaurant chain lies in its operations and management. Automated tech tools designed for restaurants provide restaurant owners with an opportunity to make life easier and more profitable. Not only will investments in technology allow your restaurant to grow, but will also create efficiencies that will increase profit.