As the restaurant industry becomes more and more competitive, something of a technological arms race is taking root. While a reliable staff and a solid cash register was once enough to keep a restaurant operating smoothly, the tech that keeps a restaurant chugging along are becoming increasingly complicated. Fortunately, competition in the market and the rise of the cloud-based software as a service model makes these technologies eminently affordable and provides the means for even the smallest of restaurants to compete with wealthy and well-established chains. Here are some of the most worthwhile technologies on the market.
Point of Sale Systems
POS has come to replace the conventional cash register at most restaurants, but it accomplishes a lot more than just that. Modern POS software for restaurants serve as the spine for all operations, allowing servers to more easily take orders, managers to make changes to the menu on the fly, and owners to oversee operations and finances in real time. And with the increased prevalence of cloud-based systems, it’s easier to scale a restaurant to changes in the industry. Your POS system can run a wide range of devices, so servers can oversee their work from a simple tablet, and investors can get a scope of the business model directly from anywhere in the world. Many POS systems are even beginning to implement customer relationship management components into their software.
Making the most of your space is critical for a restaurant to remain in peak operations. Finding the balance between using all of your tables during the dinner rush while leaving as few customers waiting in the wings can be a delicate balance, but guest management platforms can help significantly with this. Reservation software can provide you with the means to understand and streamline your business during high traffic times, but it can also serve as a financial tool by helping you calculate your potential revenue per seat. In tandem with your POS, the guest management system can help you build profiles on your repeat customers to create a more personable and personalized experience. This can help you build guest loyalty and maintain a consistent pool of customers to keep your restaurant in the black.
One of the most labor-intensive parts of a manager’s job is putting together a schedule. Coordinating a schedule that balances your staff’s desire for high-tip shifts while working around requests for time off and accounting for business spikes can turn the task into a complex puzzle, but there are a number of scheduling apps on the market that ease the job and allow things like shift trades to be handled directly between the employees themselves.
No matter how much you plan in advance, it’s likely something in your shift won’t go to plan, and given the hectic environment of a kitchen, it can be easy to forget to communicate the important details that could affect the next shift. There are a number of note-taking tools that can serve essentially as a logbook, communicating to incoming staff everything from registered complaints to inventory shortages to financial information. By coordinating all of these logs in one place, you can avoid the chaotic game of telephone that so often plagues a restaurant’s inner workings.