Are you planning to start a restaurant? Opening one is a tall order on many levels. Apart from funding, you need to take care of tons of paperwork.
You also need to find the best kitchen equipment and hire the right people.
Moreover, you need to adapt to the trends that are changing the restaurant industry. One of which is technology. Today, businesses use different kinds of software and gadgets to improve their services.
Failing to use technology to your advantage may spell doom for your business. But what kind of technologies should restaurant owners consider?
Continue reading below and discover some of the best ones.
Technologies You Need to Consider
If you wish to start a restaurant the right way, you need to cover all bases. By using some of the best gifts of technology, you can stay ahead of the race and leave the competition behind. Here are some tools, gadgets, and software you should include in your restaurant:
As customers become more dependent on the internet, you need to use online ordering. This is crucial especially if you wish to cater to more customers via food delivery. You can also use it to avoid having your guests queue up for long lines.
There are several benefits you can enjoy from online ordering. First, you will get more accurate orders. Online ordering reduces errors that take place while ordering food via the telephone.
A poor connection can cause miscommunication over the phone. But through online ordering, customers only need to tick their choices.
Furthermore, online ordering improves your data tracking. Since customers place orders on your website, you can easily track all the details of the orders. You can also identify the customers who frequently order.
You can also expect your revenues to increase. This is because customers don’t feel any pressure when ordering. They can browse through the menu and order at their own pace.
This encourages them to order more items.
Additionally, make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. A study revealed that about 69% of consumers place their online orders through their mobile devices.
Another tech to consider is the digital point of sale (POS) system. This system will serve as the focal point of your restaurant. It will help ensure the flow of the restaurant’s operations.
The POS system is where the servers will send the orders to the cashiers. This is where the cashiers will relay the orders to the people in the kitchen. This is also where your people clear customers’ bills.
Compared to the cash drawer setup and a set of pen and paper for taking orders, the POS system simplifies things. One of the key features of a POS system is its reporting capabilities. It gathers data and helps pinpoint the best-sellers in your menu.
It also helps you identify the items that people rarely order. Through this information, you can apply the necessary menu adjustments. You can tweak or replace the ones that do not generate enough sales.
When it comes to choosing a POS system, go for a cloud-based model. This will help you and your managers to keep track of the operations wherever you may be. Whether you are at home or outside in a meeting, you can stay on top of things.
Additionally, make sure you invest in a system that comes with customer support. This will help you whenever glitches occur.
Say goodbye to the pen-and-paper method and say hello to digital inventory tracking. An electronic inventory system will give you more visibility to your key assets. You can equip your employees with the tracking system so they can view and submit inventory reports.
There are inventory tracking systems that you can download on your mobile devices. This gives your staff more flexibility when tracking items.
Furthermore, a digital tracking system can also project your inventory levels. It can help predict the movement of your items. This enables you to purchase supplies ahead of time.
Digital tracking also lets you control the portioning of your supplies. It can also guide you when looking into any discrepancies.
This also brings additional protection and security to your business. The tracking system makes it hard for employees to steal from your supplies.
If there is one tool that complements your digital inventory tracker, it is the automated purchasing system. You will link this tool to your inventory system. In turn, it will send automatic alerts to warn you if your inventory is low.
Furthermore, it provides purchasing recommendations in line with the sales and lead time of your suppliers. You can also program the tool to place automatic orders once inventories reach a certain level.
Additionally, the software allows you to approve or reject orders. It lets you verify invoices. It also enables you to compare the prices of different vendors.
In connection with your purchases, you need to invest in dependable accounting software. This tool will help you organize your bills and invoices.
In a restaurant business, bills pile up quickly. Moreover, you will likely spend several hours on data entry alone. Thus, you need accounting software that offers automated invoice scanning.
This software offers several benefits. First, you can generate paperless invoices. This will further reduce your overhead expenses.
Next, you can extract data in a matter of seconds. You can also perform automated accounting, which saves you precious time. Additionally, you can file a digital cabinet online.
Good accounting software lets you do your accounting tasks through your mobile devices. It also allows OCR scanning of invoices using a mobile app.
What is the best restaurant accounting software? Here’s the link to find out.
One of the keys to running a successful business is successfully managing your employees’ schedules. Thus, you also need to invest in a scheduling tool.
This software helps restaurant managers streamline their scheduling process. Look for software that comes with automated scheduling.
You will input your employees’ availability on the software. Thereafter, the software will schedule each one of them according to their availability.
For example, if a server is free to work every Friday evening, you can input the information on the software. This prompts the software to automatically schedule that particular employee every Friday night.
Scheduling software can also assist in handling leaves and vacation requests. Your employees can go online and enter their requests. The software will ping you if you schedule them for work during the days and hours they applied for a vacation.
Furthermore, the software allows employees to review their work schedules using their mobile devices. They simply need to go online and input their login credentials into the system. This will help reduce instances of employees bugging their managers regarding their schedules.
Another important benefit of using scheduling software is the satisfaction of your staff. Since they have a clear picture of when they should work, they can manage their time more effectively. They can strike a work-life balance that is crucial in their productivity.
This is a no-brainer, though some restaurants remain on the fence with the matter. First, the Wi-Fi connection easily adds plus points to your restaurant. It is an easy way of increasing foot traffic.
It helps your restaurant attract new patrons.
With the internet of things taking over, customers want to do tasks wherever they are. A Wi-Fi connection will attract people to finish some of their tasks inside your restaurant.
Offering Wi-Fi enhances the overall customer experience. Moreover, it will help improve your search rankings.
The tricky part is finding a dependable Wi-Fi provider. This is crucial when it comes to customer retention. If your Wi-Fi connection is erratic, your customers may become irritated.
This increases the possibility of them looking for another restaurant with free Wi-Fi.
During the first few months, expect hordes of people trying out your restaurant. To avoid the long, chaotic lines, you need to invest in a restaurant reservation software.
This tool will allow you to take online reservations. It will also help your staff keep track of the reservations and manage the availability of the tables accordingly.
Some reservation systems feature online booking widgets. These widgets allow customers to book their reservations online. They can do so using their mobile devices or laptops.
This practically eliminates the need to make phone calls to reserve a table.
Moreover, some reservation software offers email and SMS confirmation. This feature sends automatic emails and SMS to customers concerning their bookings. This updates your patrons of any changes and reduces the “no show” rates.
Furthermore, reservation software comes with a customer database. This database keeps all the important information of all your guests. This allows you to track their reservation history.
You can pull out data regarding the items they normally order. You can also view the dates and milestones that are important to them. You can even take note of their allergies to tweak your menu for them.
Using this information, you can come up with custom deals that match your customers.
Though a traditional menu that guests flip page-by-page offers that traditional restaurant vibe, a digital menu can make the ordering process faster.
If you are opening a self-service restaurant, a digital menu in the form of a touchscreen tablet will work wonders. Customers simply need to scroll down the menu and pick their orders. After selecting, their orders automatically go directly to the kitchen.
This cuts a huge amount of time people spend lining up in front of a cashier. Furthermore, some restaurants are using tablets that come with entertainment options. Some of these tablets feature games or music to keep customers company.
Food safety is paramount if you are going to open a restaurant business. Thus, you should consider using Bluetooth temperature sensors. These sensors monitor the temperature of the food before you send them out to your customers.
These sensors allow you to customize limits for your dishes. The same thing applies to all the kitchen equipment. In under five seconds, you can determine if the food and equipment meet restaurant-grade standards.
Furthermore, the sensors can record the temperatures. This helps protect the integrity of your data. Your employees cannot falsify their reports and daily logs.
Hiring several people and forming your staff involves days of training. It also means hiring a venue to conduct the training. But through virtual reality (VR) onboarding, you don’t need to worry about those things.
Considering the soaring rate of employee turnover, hiring people forces you to spend thousands in training.
But that will change through VR onboarding.
All you need is a headset and customized software and you’re good to go. You can conduct the training sessions even if your new hires are in their respective homes. You can conduct a 360-degree virtual tour of the restaurant.
You can show the different parts of the kitchen and explain their duties as if they are present. VR onboarding cuts down your training expenses. It also saves you more time to do other important tasks.
Last but not least, you need to consider offering a digital loyalty program. This digital version means you don’t need to give out physical cards. These cards only wear out after a year or so.
Customers can even misplace them.
On the flip side, a digital loyalty program uses an app that they can access via their mobile devices. Because it is digital, you can keep track of their visits. You can offer deals and discounts that they can enjoy in a few taps.
Start a Restaurant the Right Way, Today!
Through these technological advancements, you can start a restaurant business with fewer complications. You can save more money and time to improve on other areas of the business.
We invite you to read our different articles on building a business. We discuss various topics that will guide you on the road to success.