The Essential Tech To Make Your Restaurant A Success
By TOI Team July 12, 2022 Update on : July 12, 2022
When it comes to building a successful restaurant business, some things are non-negotiable. A great menu, friendly waiting staff, and a welcoming ambience are all essentials, and, whilst this will never change, right now there are also plenty of innovative tech tools that can also play a valuable part in creating a healthy business with plenty of longevity.
A Smart POS System
Having a great POS (Point Of Sale) system is now pretty much regarded as essential for running a modern restaurant business. A POS system can handle everything from taking drive-through orders, to managing staff shift scheduling and stock inventory, and controlling the seating area. Also commonly known as a restaurant management system, using a POS system saves on waiting times by the cash register, by allowing your diners to pay at the table. Whilst these systems are typically cloud-based solutions, most also have an offline capability which means that it is still business as usual should the internet connection fail. The software is also a great tool for developing your restaurant’s marketing strategies, as it delivers vital metrics on sales, such as peak sales periods and the most popular menu items.
In practical terms, it makes sense to opt for a POS system that comes with portable tablets that are durable and resistant to liquid. After all, in the restaurant business, spills happen!
Invest In A Digital Kitchen System
Get the most from your POS by investing in a digital kitchen system, that gives your chefs an at-a-glance overview of orders in real-time. This tool works by showing the orders placed on the POS on a screen in the kitchen, with useful color-coding to highlight important information such as how long a ticket has been open. Kitchen staff can then prioritize orders accordingly, and management can keep track of how long it takes for orders to be fulfilled. The end result is that efficiency in the kitchen is optimized, which of course means that diners get their meals faster, and your table turnaround times can decrease. As studies have shown that in-restaurant diners don’t like to wait longer than 10 minutes to receive their meal, a KDS can be a very worthwhile investment indeed.
Choose Digital Menus
The value of digital screens extends beyond your kitchen staff. Switching out your paper menus for digital ones can bring a host of benefits. Digital menus are quick and easy to update, allowing you to change the day’s specials in just a few clicks. Furthermore, you can update the menu to reflect stock, cutting dishes as soon as they are sold out (and thereby preventing disappointment for customers placing their order), or rotating dishes to make sure that food wastage is minimized. Using digital menus is also a wonderful way for your diners to check which dishes are suitable for their particular dietary needs, as they can easily identify vegan or diabetic-friendly meals, or those containing allergens.
A digital display board is another excellent tool for keeping your customers happy. Using a digital sign outside your restaurant can tempt in passers-by, as a study by FedEx showed that 8 out of 10 people will enter unfamiliar premises after seeing digital signage. Studies show that digital signage in restaurants helps to cut perception of wait times, and can display in real-time how an order is coming along. Digital signage can also be used in conjunction with QR codes, encouraging check-ins by your customers that will help to earn your restaurant the valuable status of a “verified location” on Google Maps, thereby helping new diners to find your business.
Have Your Own Online Ordering Tools
After the events of the last few years, it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that many diners now prefer to order food from their favorite restaurant to enjoy at home. Getting your restaurant listed with popular app-based delivery services such as DoorDash and UberEats can be a good move, but increasingly, customers want to order direct from the restaurant itself. This means that investing in a secure online ordering platform that facilitates contactless delivery can be an excellent way to build customer relationships that last.