Our last blog was dedicated to the importance of technology for your restaurant’s survival in today’s uber digital world.
But with countless applications and tools to make your job easier, the hard part is figuring out which ones you need to implement. After all technology can’t run your restaurant for you, at the least, not yet.
Here are some key technologies that we think will make your job, at least, a little bit easier, and streamline your operations.
Modern restaurant technologies, in general, fall under three broad categories (see table below). Some technologies, like point of sale (POS) systems, fall under multiple if not all categories, while others will be very specific to each category.
When thinking about adopting a technology, the table above should help you figure out and prioritise where to begin.
Alongside identifying where a technology can come in handy it’s always vital to consider the unique needs of your restaurant, including costs and time. After all, if you’re a two-man operation, an employee on-boarding system is unlikely to generate sizeable returns relative to the investment in it.
Your task is to decide where to focus and how to roll out new technology with your guests and staff.
To guide you through the process, we’ve identified some key technologies that we think will result in genuine gains for your restaurant, whether that’s in terms of profits or easing day to day burdens.
1. POS system.
A point of sales (POS) system is like your restaurant’s central nervous system — the key link between your customers, front of house staff, your chefs, and admin.
When it comes to POS systems there’s no debate as to whether you need it or don’t. It’s always a conclusive and resounding answer – yes you need it! Without it you’ll struggle to track sales, cash flow, and inventory of goods you are selling.
But used properly, POS systems offer much more. The real gold lies in the in-depth data some systems offer you, giving you access to the best and worst selling items on your menu, the flow of business, and even how long a customer typically spends at a table. And with that data, you can make concrete, data-driven decisions that’ll help you run your restaurant like clockwork.
Here’s a great list of POS system available in the UK to help you narrow down the best fit for your business.
2. Online-reservation systems
More than ever people want to book their tables online and providing a system that enables this is only going to make your guests happier.
Now depending on your restaurant size, it may just be worth listing your business on a platform like OpenTable where everything is taken care of and all you have to do is be prepared to serve your customers once they roll in through the doors.
But you can really step up that system by integrating an online reservation system with your POS system. Doing so will enable you to keep on top of your bookings and waitlist and give you a high-level view. This can help you figure out whether you can find a table for the family of four that walked in without reservations.
3. Stock tracking
Digitising your front of house operations and reservations is great. Obviously. But it’s also not enough to just leave it at that. Because if you’re not optimising the backend processes, there’s still going to be a lot manual and laborious work left for you to handle.
That’s where inventory tracking systems come in. Because a great inventory tracking system will enable you to forecast the supplies you need accurately, cutting costs in the processes while never running out of vital ingredients mid service.
An inventory system combined with a great POS and online reservation platform will supercharge your restaurant’s efficiency like never before.
While you can get a stand-alone system, it doesn’t make sense to splash out on one if unless you’re a pretty big operation. Instead use a platform like GoKart, not only can you track your inventories but also order what you need, when you need it with a few clicks on your phone.
4. Loyalty programmes
Online loyalty programmes aren’t new — but in an increasingly competitive industry, they’re becoming critical. They enable you to generate more value from your existing digital presence and reward your most devoted guests.
A great loyalty system will also be a gold-mine of data that can give you in-depth insights into your customers behaviour, enabling you to tailor your guests experience as well as marketing strategy.
Here’s a great breakdown of some of the best loyalty programme tools around.
More About GoKart
GoKart is an app that lets you order ingredients from trusted high-quality suppliers easily and quickly. And, oh yeah, it’s cheaper, too!
Our users save an average of 20% on their ingredients.