As consumer behavior continues to change, businesses must adapt to succeed. This is no different in the foodservice industry.
Over the last few years, there have been a multitude of technolog
ical innovations focused on streamlining restaurant operations, but many of them are still underutilized.
Regardless of you taking out a restaurant business loan, here are four ways that technology can help you improve your restaurant’s profitability.
Employ A Cloud-Based Point Of Sale System
Implementing a cloud-based point of sale (POS) system in your restaurant, whether it’s a bar, a small bakery, or a local pizza shop, can not only save money but it can also increase your profits in numerous ways.
- Cloud-based POS systems tend to be cheaper in the long run than a traditional on-site POS system because the installation and maintenance costs are much lower; using a traditional POS requires you to store your data on an internal back-office server, which could cost about five times as much as keeping your data in the cloud.
- Using a cloud-based system also means that all of your restaurant’s data can be accessed from anywhere at any time, which means owners and managers don’t have to be physically confined to the restaurant when working on financial strategy.
- These types of POS systems typically integrate into accounting and marketing software so you can more effectively track costs and revenues.
- Some POS systems even come with inventory controls that alert you when supply levels decrease.
Depending on the additional functionality you need, these 20 restaurant-friendly POS systems may be a great fit.
Implement An Online Ordering System
Online ordering is an innovation that continues to gain popularity for multiple reasons:
- Millennials are opting to online order rather than eat in at their favorite restaurants.
- Restaurants are successfully utilizing online ordering to maximize revenue while controlling costs.
Enabling online ordering completely nixes having to take orders over the phone, which reduces labor costs and the possibility for human error, while increasing average sales by creating upsell opportunities through the ordering experience.
Kenji’s Ramen & Grill located in Vancouver, WA implemented online ordering and saw results immediately. Doing so also allowed them to create additional revenue streams like selling t-shirts, hats, and other branded merchandise.
Adding online ordering to your restaurant’s repertoire can increase your sales and provide a new option for those in your area who prefer to order online rather than in person or over the phone.
Integrate An Online Reservation System
Is your restaurant struggling to keep up with the number of reservations that are called in each day? Is staying organized a struggle? If yes, an online reservation system may be just what your restaurant needs.
Online reservation systems save you time, keep you organized, and enable you to take reservations outside of restaurant dining hours. The ability to take reservations 24/7 without a human standing by the phone provides a few benefits:
- Your restaurant gets additional coverage, without paying incremental overhead costs for additional employees.
- You can spend more time pleasing guests and less time trying to fill seats.
- Taking online reservations can help you boost brand awareness by building your digital presence.
The benefits are clear and obvious. And if you’re concerned that people may set reservations but never show up, you can always require a small deposit.
Automate Your Purchasing
As a restaurant owner, inventory is one of the most difficult things you have to manage. If inventory is too low, you’ll run the risk of running out of popular menu items, leaving a bad taste in your guests’ mouths. Conversely, too much inventory is a poor usage of space, a waste of money, and potentially a health risk.
By introducing an automated purchasing tool, you can maintain optimal inventory levels in far less time. Instead of checking inventory levels on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, managers can track inventory on a daily or weekly basis.
As a result, many companies have reported saving 1-4 percent of sales in food and liquor costs. Additionally, the increased reporting frequency allows for more accurate forecasting. Planning and adjusting for seasonality, marketing offers, and other historical knowledge becomes far easier.