Owning and operating a restaurant is not an easy job. You have to make sure the food is delicious and memorable, the atmosphere hits the right notes, and the service is excellent. With so much on your plate, you may find it challenging to keep up with the latest trends in technology that can help streamline your business operations and improve your customer experience. In this article, you’ll learn about 13 pieces of tech that can revolutionize your restaurant business and help take your operations to the next level.
The world is transitioning progressively towards a technology-savvy era, and you should not be left behind. Just because running a restaurant is very much a ‘people’ business, does not mean that technology cannot help you. The reality is quite the opposite! By investing in the right pieces of technology, you’ll have more time for the human side of the business. Some of the points highlighted in this article are online ordering systems, mobile payment, kitchen display systems, and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Each of these technologies is designed to aid you in taking your restaurant business to the next level. Keep reading to find out how you can use the latest tech to improve your restaurant operations.
1. Online Ordering Systems
Online ordering systems allow customers to order food delivery and take-outs through your restaurant’s website, mobile app, or third-party online platform. With online ordering, you get to streamline your operations, reduce order errors, and increase your serving time by making it easier for customers to order online ahead of coming to your establishment. These systems usually come with features such as order tracking, menu customization, and integrations with payment processing systems. By making your restaurant’s menu accessible online, you can also reach a broader audience.
2. Tabletop Ordering Kiosks
Tabletop ordering kiosks allow customers to order food and pay conveniently when dining in. They improve restaurant service quality by reducing waiting times, customizing orders, and streamlining payment processing. The kiosks also eliminate the need for servers to wait tables, freeing them up to cater to other customer needs.
3. Mobile Payment
With mobile payment, customers can pay using their smartphones without cash, debit, or credit cards. The technology allows quick and seamless payment processing, reduces fraud, and helps maintain compatibility across multiple payment systems, such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Mobile payment options are becoming increasingly popular because they eliminate the need for traditional cash registers, providing a secure and convenient way for customers to make their payments.
4. Digital Menu Boards
Digital menu boards provide an interactive, dynamic way for your customers to view your menu and offer. With digital menus, you can display beautiful food images, prices, descriptions, and promotions, all at once, without overwhelming customers with excessive information. Digital display menus also allow your staff to introduce changes or remove items with ease, saving on printing costs, and giving your restaurant an eco-friendly vibe.
5. Asset Management Software
Asset management software allows you to keep track of your restaurant’s physical assets such as kitchen equipment, furniture, and bar stock. With this software, you can easily monitor the condition of your assets, manage routine maintenance, and track depreciation. Using asset management software helps you stay organized and prevents unexpected losses due to equipment malfunctions. It also means you can keep on top of maintaining all your physical assets to prevent downtime and losses due to poorly functioning equipment.
6. Kitchen Display Systems
Kitchen display systems are designed to improve communication between your kitchen staff and servers, reduce order processing times, and prevent errors. With these systems, orders are displayed on a screen, with every order highlighting its order’s delivery time and type. You can also integrate the system with your inventory management software to alert your kitchen staff when stock levels are low, providing an automated ordering process for your suppliers.
7. Point of Sale (POS) Systems
Modern POS systems serve as control centers that oversee all your restaurant’s business operations. They aid in automating order processing, managing inventory, and monitoring employee performance and scheduling. A modern POS system offers real-time sales reporting, robust customer data management, and 24/7 support for your employees. Some POS systems come with a variety of features, such as table management, loyalty programs, and gift card processing.
8. Staff Scheduling Apps
Staff scheduling apps make it easier for restaurant owners to plan employee schedules, monitor timesheets, and cut down on overtime expenses. The apps help visualize employee availability, wages, and skills, making it easy to create and monitor schedules, send shift reminders, and delegate tasks.
9. Contactless Delivery
Contactless delivery is a great way to enable your business to adapt to the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic. This innovative technology removes the need for direct physical contact with your customers, enhancing the safety of your customers and delivery drivers. With contactless delivery, customers would receive food and drinks right at their doorstep, without any interaction with delivery drivers.
10. CRM Software
Customer Relationship Management software allows you to monitor, organize, and improve customer interactions throughout their journey with your restaurant business. The system stores customer preferences, contact information, and order history to personalize your communication and marketing campaigns. With CRM software, you can create targeted offers and loyalty programs, boost customer retention, and increase sales.
11. Inventory Management Software
With inventory management software, you can track inventory levels, reduce waste, and eliminate stock shortages. The system helps to automate the ordering process by sending automated reminders when stock levels are low, and you can also set reorder points to ensure that you always have the stock you need. With real-time inventory data, you can also identify your fast-selling and slow-moving items, helping to optimize your menu and reduce food waste.
12. Waitlist and Reservations Technology
Waitlist and reservations technology allows customers to make reservations ahead of time, reducing wait times and improving customer satisfaction. The technology can also aid your reservation process by tracking the progress of the diners, seating, and purchase processes.
13. Employee Training Software
Employee training software provides a platform to train, onboard, and track employee progress. The software can include video tutorials, quizzes, and interactive training tools to improve employee performance.
Technology is transforming the way we operate our restaurant businesses. Investment in tech can help improve customer service, increase productivity, streamline operations, and boost your bottom line. The above-listed technologies are just a fraction of the tech innovations revolutionizing the restaurant industry. As a restaurant business owner, it’s essential to keep up with the latest tech trends to stay ahead of the curve.