How Technology Helps Overcome Restaurant Challenges
Smart business owners know when to get help when they need it –– and technology offers the support restaurants need.
It's no secret the restaurant industry has suffered over the past few years. Many have closed their doors, and for those who survived, the landscape looks much different than prior to the pandemic lockdowns, and restaurant challenges are mounting.
Unprecedented inflation is causing skyrocketing prices. The USDA is now reporting double-digit price increases across the board. Dairy is projected to increase by 11.5 percent, eggs by 20.5 percent, fats and oils by 15 percent, and wholesale poultry is expected to go up by 23 percent. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows almost 1.5 million job openings in the accommodation and food service industry. Many businesses are trying to operate and provide excellent dining experiences with fewer employees than usual.
Solutions That Help Overcome Restaurant Challenges Technology is available that can ease the pain of current restaurant challenges. Consider how implementing these solutions could improve different aspects of your business to make them manageable now and optimize them in the long run.
Order and Pay at the Table
Of the 1.5 million job openings in the industry, your restaurant probably has one or two. This may mean your staff is wasting time running back and forth between tables, point of sale (POS) terminals, and the kitchen. Wasted steps equal wasted time –– and that’s time employees don’t have when they’re covering extra tables.
A mobile POS solution will decrease those inefficiencies. For example, a study of Tabit users found our solution reduces table turn time by 12-15 minutes. It eliminates the redundancy of writing down orders and then entering them again in a terminal on the other side of the restaurant. This frees your servers to focus on more profitable tasks like upselling food and drink specials while simultaneously engaging your customers in a way that makes them feel like they are in control of their experiences.
One of the challenges facing many restaurant owners now is the increase in online ordering and takeout or delivery. Third-party delivery applications have been a go-to for many, but these applications are often very costly. Further, those third party delivery companies benefit from your customer’s data. Wouldn’t you rather have access to that data to help you better serve your customers? Technology can put you in control of your online ordering process and allow you to communicate directly with your customers. Moreover, you can manage different menus for the dining room and online ordering, quickly updating them when you’re shorted on delivery or need to change prices.
Dining Room Management Hostesses and servers who feel stressed can make poor decisions when it comes to seating your guests. However, automating the process identifies the most effective table assignments based on the current workload in the kitchen, restaurant capacity, and maybe even tables a customer prefers.
Many kitchens are short-staffed and looking for ways to work more efficiently. A kitchen display system can be a great time saver for your cooks and servers. With a combination of in-kitchen displays and smart software, it keeps your kitchen moving with clear displays of all orders as well as streamlines the production process. A kitchen display system also accurately tracks customer special requests, reducing food waste from dishes made incorrectly or at the wrong time.
Scheduling staff is one of the most trying restaurant challenges. With current labor shortages, scheduling has become much more difficult. A restaurant labor management solution automatically calculates labor costs for shift, day, and month so you can see in real-time what your schedule will cost. Employees can easily trade shifts to accommodate vacation plans or pick up extra shifts. The right solution also gives you an efficient way to track regulatory information, sending you important notifications to keep you in compliance with labor law.
Data and Reporting
With all the challenges currently facing your restaurant, you need to be able to measure and analyze menu sales, employee efficiency, and overall business performance. But collecting and analyzing your key performance indicators (KPIs) is time-consuming and labor-intensive. Managing restaurant operation is difficult enough, let alone in these challenging times. Let a restaurant data and reporting solution give you the insights to make the critical decisions your business needs to increase profits.
A Solution for Today’s Challenge
Technology can benefit restaurants anytime, but it is crucial when the industry faces a period of transformation. Embracing cutting-edge technologies will allow restaurants to thrive. Change can be difficult. But well-planned adaptations in the face of pressures from inflation, labor shortages, and changes in customer behavior will help your business weather the storm and be better positioned to prosper when calmer times return.