There’s a lot that goes into running a successful restaurant. You need to have a good location, stellar staff, and a killer menu that will keep patrons coming back again and again. Of course, you also need to provide your team with the tools they need to succeed. These days, a lot of those tools go beyond various kitchen equipment and implements and come in the form of technology.

Inventory Management

Restaurants have to operate on a tight budget if they are to make a profit. There are plenty of overhead costs that can’t easily be controlled such as rent and utilities, but you can manage labor and food costs. With your food cost being on the list of controllable expenses, how well you manage your inventory has a direct relationship with how successful your restaurant can be. A good inventory management system will integrate with your point of sale system to help you keep track of how much you have of the different items you keep in stock. It should make it easy to see a record of what you have on hand and notify you of the items you need to reorder. Some systems may be able to automatically reorder supplies for you based on the predetermined minimum and maximum quantities.

Point of Sale System

Your point of sale system is the in-store equivalent of the online checkout. As with online checkout, if the system isn’t working properly, your customers are going to be frustrated and less likely to leave with a positive impression of your business. You must have an effective, efficient point of sale system. With recent advancements in technology, your system may be able to handle contactless transactions. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, company apps, and others all allow customers to pay for their food without actually having to touch anyone or anything else. Considering the current pandemic environment and the recommended distancing guidelines, that can only be a good thing for restaurants. Your system doesn’t have to be limited to just transactions either. A POS system with multiple capabilities makes your job much easier. It may be able to integrate with your inventory management system to make it easier to keep an accurate record of what ingredients you have on hand and what you go through the most. This can help you formulate more accurate projections for what to expect in your sales going forward.

Time Clock

If you have any employees at all, you need to have a time clock. Technically, it isn’t a legal requirement, but it’s still a really good idea. You are required to keep records of hours worked, the wages you’ve paid your employees, and other conditions of employment. Since you have to pay employees for their time, having actual software that is used to keep track of that time makes it easier for everyone. That software can integrate with your payroll system to make it an automated process instead of one that requires manual entry. At the end of the pay period, you should be able to look over the time clock, make sure that things look correct, and submit it so employees can be paid for their work.

Customer Data Tracking

Patterns and projections are important for restaurants to keep track of. Technology offers you a way to track a variety of customer data points. You can see what dishes are most popular with your guests and which ones are seldom ordered. This can be invaluable in helping you refine your menu to make it easier to control your food cost and generate a profit. Beyond fine-tuning your menu, tracking customer data can help you get a feel for spending patterns. It can take a year or two to gather enough data, but after a while, you should notice patterns in what seasons are busier than others. This helps you plan your labor accordingly so you can schedule employees as efficiently as possible.

Intranet

Your restaurant likely has proprietary information such as policies and protocols, recipes, and other important data and information. This information is only valuable if the right people can access it. Having an intranet gives you an exclusive computer network that only your company should be able to access. This can be a great way to make sure that your employees have easy access to the information they need to do their work in your restaurant.

Tablets

Tablets are an incredibly useful tool for restaurants. They can be connected to your intranet, allowing your cooks and kitchen staff to easily access the most up to date recipes while giving you the ability to update them as needed. You can track important data such as the performance of temperature checks and data on taste checks that ensure that your food is safe and tasty. Once recorded, that information can be passed along to the head of your kitchen and yourself for review, allowing corrective action to be taken promptly when necessary. Tablets can also be a handy way of letting your waitstaff place orders, which can then be automatically received by the kitchen. Beyond that, they give you an easy, portable way to track information and make notes on the go.

Intra-Company Communication Platform

Effective communication is essential to the success of your restaurant. This goes beyond just communication between employees within the actual restaurant itself. It can be highly beneficial to have a platform that allows employees to communicate with one another outside of work. Such a platform can be a good way to send out important notices, reminders about promotions, and even a way for employees to trade shifts. By facilitating communication between your employees, you can increase the effectiveness with which your restaurant is run.

If your restaurant is going to be successful, you need to take advantage of the various tools technology offers. These tools can streamline your business operations from ordering your ingredients to interacting with customers. With customers increasingly interested in quality experiences and expecting smooth service, the more you can make use of the advantages technology has to offer, the better off your business is likely to be.

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