Far from the mom-and-pop or manually-run restaurants Americans have historically loved, the addition of restaurant technology has enhanced restaurant operations for the better. Point-of-Sale systems, inventory management, digital staff timekeeping, automated food/beverage purchasing systems, and similar have all been bolstered with technology. Business owners are seeing profit margin increases with decreased manual activity and increased technological activity.
According the National Restaurant Association, 32% percent of restaurant owners believe their business is lacking restaurant technologies. Here are some technology tips to maximize your business through technology:
- Automate the Back of House
- Create Mobile Ordering and Scheduling
- Establish Mobile Management/Staff Tools
- Use Smart Kitchen Technology
Restaurants use technology in other ways. Businesses who go cashless cut down on theft, and reduce potentially dirty money-handling as a safety measure. Purchases can be better tracked through restaurant software tracking platforms. Mobile ordering is enhanced through technology – using delivery apps as a profit stream. Technology is also used for customer retention. Now, software can book a patron, manage patron preferences, and rebook the patron with scalability.
In fact, all business activity is enhanced through technology. For example, adding a restaurant staff tip has moved from sitting at a table and manually counting up a meal tip percentage to utilizing automated tip calculators or credit card apps for tipping. Hotel restaurant staff for servers, bartenders or room service expect a standard 15-20% gratuity. Tip calculators and credit card apps work well.
The pinnacle of restaurant technology/automation is the robot. As in, robots replacing human staff. The Center for an Urban Future recently reported a 77& automation potential for wait staff, increasing to 87% for prep staff. Robots are currently being used within coffee shops to automatically pull espresso shots and make cappuccinos. Robots are used for to enhance bartending. Self-ordering tablets are customary technology within restaurants. Operational efficiencies are seen that also include small interpersonal touches. Customers want convenience and the human touch as well.
Think of the profitable fast food industry. Processes are automated, technology-driven to reduce labor costs. Substantial profit is seen. Delivery service apps connected to fast food, and other restaurants, have been trending. Technology is used to automate purchasing, buying in bulk to reduce costs, and classic inventory management. Smart kitchen technology is cutting edge. Restaurant branding/franchise ownership streamlines efficiencies as well.
According to 2018 national restaurant statistics:
- 78% of restaurant owners check sales/metric data daily
- 95% of restaurant owners agree that technology improves their business
- POS Upgrades are high importance
- 32% of diners believe their restaurant needed more technology
- As of 2017, diners are 30% more amenable to restaurant technology
So, as the traditional/manually-oriented restaurant trends to automation, business owners are well-served to identify helpful information, use fail stories to avoid pitfalls, and use all technological tools for cost-effectiveness and profit margin. As they say, work smarter not harder.