Technology solutions for establishing consistent quality across restaurant branchesAuthor: Ben Luxon
Those in the restaurant business are all too familiar with the dynamic and ever-evolving challenges that come with growing customer expectations, high health and safety standards, financial risks, and increased competition.
Implementing the right technology into your operations is an important strategy for restaurants to empower management to get ahead in such a competitive industry.
In this article, we explore how restaurant technology solutions help food industry players improve their operations and services.
A restaurant’s success ultimately starts in the kitchen. Ensuring that service processes are supported by fantastic equipment and technology will make all the difference for contemporary restaurants that want to meet or exceed customer expectations.
For example, IoT enabled refrigerators can notify chefs of product expiry dates and help streamline product ordering and inventory management. Additionally, having smart equipment can improve workplace safety as well as ensure timely equipment repairs.
Wastage or insufficient stock during busy periods means lost revenue. Additionally, if customers can’t order what they want because you’ve sold out they might go somewhere else. Even worse (and any servers nightmare) is when an order is put through only to have the chef shout back that they’re out of ingredients. This, amongst other things, unnecessarily slows down service.
Unsurprisingly, restaurant inventory software is one of the first technologies a restaurant owner is likely to invest in. Such software helps keep track of the product shelf life and predict order volumes. Modern inventory management software will also integrates with POS systems and online ordering systems, which helps streamline inventory ordering and tracking.
Finally, by utilising technology in this aspect of the business managers and chefs can create accurate orders and save time when doing it.
A POS system isn’t just for taking orders. It performs a number of additional functions as well such as inventory tracking. Moreover, it collects important data around customer and sales which can be integral to improving efficiency and better staff management.
A quality point of service system will also play a pivotal role in tracking accounting data, helping owners keep their finger on the pulse of all restaurant operations.
Restaurant self-ordering systems like kiosk ordering and table ordering are being utilised by global brands for a reason. They speed up service, improve customer experience, remove human error, cut overhead costs and more. In a fast-paced quick service restaurant, self-ordering systems help restaurants meet customer demands for a fast and hassle-free ordering experience.
With staff doing shift work, getting that perfect rota which is both fair and actually fit for purpose is a real challenge. Scheduling software can help management teams plan out jobs and tasks, manage shift assignments, improve payroll management and perhaps most importantly, ensure that there are the right number of staff during peak service periods.
Analytics and data
Last, but not least, the restaurant business can benefit from advanced data analytics, helping management make informed decisions about every aspect of their restaurant’s operations – from menu engineering and marketing to revenue forecasting.
Restaurateurs are increasingly integrating technology into their restaurant operations. The full impact of engaging technology is yet to be seen. While adopting disruptive tech into service can be costly, the rewards can quickly pay for themselves.
There are additional challenges too, such as bridging the talent gap and ensuring all staff are proficient in the use of the new systems. This can be especially challenging for those staff members who are used to legacy systems.
Embracing change and implementing the right tech across branches however, empowers restaurants to ensure quality service and operations. Additionally, it gives management teams and head office clearer oversight of financials. This allows for data-driven improvement and enhancement of processes.
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