Never before has technology played such an important role in the running of a restaurant business.
Whether you operate a single site or several locations, from EPoS to kitchen management platforms, there is restaurant tech out there to enhance every aspect of your hospitality business.
In this article, we zero in on five essential restaurant aspects and the technologies that support them. The restaurant techologies listed in this post have proven to be timesavers for restaurant staff and improve a restaurants profitability.
1. Make booking a table easy with Resengo
The days when people turned to the Yellow Pages or a local advertising leaflet to look for a place to eat are long gone. These days, Google and other search engines are calling the shots.
A strong online presence allows customers to quickly find your website or the booking site your business is listed on. The ability to display positive feedback from customers plays in your favour. A good review builds trust with future customers.
Because – let’s be honest – you too are more inclined to book a table at a place where previous guests have been raving about.
Table bookings done right
Once customers have made their pick and landed on your website, they want the booking process to be as easy-peasy as possible.
Does your restaurant have an online reservation system? Great!
It allows your customers to quickly book their table whenever they please. Plus, in one go, you get all the important information you need for a flawless service:
- The time of arrival,
- The party and even their favourite table,
- The allergen requirements should there be any,
- The occasion (Yihaa, there is a birthday boy or girl in the group!)
These useful facts will help you to provide your customers with a personal, and above all, unforgettable restaurant experience.
Get in touch with your customers
When making an online reservation, give customers the option to subscribe to your newsletter. This way you can keep them informed about your latest menus, activities and promotions.
Great little extra: customers automatically receive a confirmation email with the reservation details, which they can change at any time.
Thanks to reminder emails, credit card guarantees and advance payments, you also minimise expensive no-shows.
By putting your restaurant in the online spotlight, the marketing of your business becomes easier and turnover increases.
2. Streamline online food orders thanks to Deliverect
When you position your restaurant online, it’s crucial to provide customers a convenient online ordering option.
These days, it is hard to imagine a restaurant industry without delivery and takeout. In some countries, already 60% of the dining experiences are off-premise.
It is safe to say that online food ordering is here to stay. It is a profitable sales channel that expands the reach and visibility of your restaurant business and boosts its sales.
Connect your third-party delivery apps
Before you start packing your meals and selling them online, think about streamlining the online food ordering first in order to maximise the potential of the channel, without compromising restaurant operations.
Connect your third-party delivery services, such as Uber Eats or Deliveroo, to your POS system. This will avoid common delivery pitfalls and the inefficient use of time and resources.
So how does it work?
When you automate the delivery order flow of your restaurant, all online orders are automatically transferred to your point-of-sale system.
Your floor staff no longer has to punch in delivery orders. That’s a huge time-saver.
Also, each order is automatically sent to the kitchen and printed there, which reduces the risk of human errors.
You can also connect your ‘click & collect’ shop or online ordering system with your POS. This means all the benefits mentioned above will also apply to your take-out operations.
What about ‘tablet hell’?
Restaurants working with multiple delivery partners have to juggle dozens of partner-specific tablets. Each has specific notification sounds and software.
When you use the right food delivery management software, all your online orders can be managed in a single platform. The best news: all these other devices can be shelved once and for all!
In a nutshell
By offering online food delivery and/or takeaway, you will add a valuable sales channel to your restaurant business. A channel that is getting more popular by the day.
Automating the online ordering process via Deliverect will help you efficiently manage this channel, and enjoy all the advantages of food delivery without having to deal with the operational issues.
3. Effortless personnel management with Strobbo
Good employees are worth their weight in gold, that’s for sure, but to allow your staff to excel, smooth planning is essential.
Because, more than any other industry the hospitality business depends on flexibility, both for your customers and your staff.
The technology to digitise and automate your personnel management allows for efficient planning without giving an inch on the flexibility front.
Save time and money with restaurant staffing technology
Integrate your technology for personnel management with your reservation system (like Resengo) and your staffing worries are over.
With a digital time registration module it’s easy to keep track of the number of hours worked per employee. Clumsy Excel spreadsheets are a thing of the past with a registration module on your cash register screen or tablet.
Starting up with a new employee? The Dimona declaration is automatically forwarded, no stress.
Automate your personnel administration
In addition, it is easy to link with your social secretariat for payroll processing or with your interim agency for the deployment of students.
When starting up a temp worker, the tool automatically sends an email to the temping agency to create the contracts (also possible via API).
Thanks to a link to your POS system, you can also get a quick overview of your profitability and productivity at the end of each day.
A smart staffing tool like Strobbo streamlines your workforce planning, which in turn will save you time and money.
4. Keeping food cost down & inventory lean with Apicbase
When the food orders are in, the back-of-house kicks into gear. And its impact on your bottom line is massive. The food cost alone takes up 28-32% of revenue with peaks up to 45%.
Kitchen management technology focuses on cost reduction rather than revenue optimisation—because when costs go down, margins go up.
The restaurant industry is, broadly speaking, a low-margin industry. So it makes a lot of sense to protect those margins with great care.
Let’s have another look at food cost. In this example, we’ll bring it down from 35% to 30%, a decrease of just 5%.
Indeed, gross profit goes up by more than 50%. The question then is: how to keep tabs on food cost?
Unlike revenue, costs are mostly invisible. They are lurking in the shadows of stockrooms and between the folds of cost calculation sheets. You have to track costs down actively.
Open the back-of-house-black-box
Everybody knows to follow the money. But with so much going on in the kitchen, it’s hard to keep track.
No matter how many spreadsheets you throw at it, the back of the house largely remains a black box. Revenue goes in on the one end and a dish comes out the other. What happens in between with your hard-earned cash usually remains no more than a calculated guess.
Unfortunately, to bring costs down, you can’t guess. You need to know where the money goes.
Without the proper tools, finding useful data is time-consuming, inaccurate and well, … downright dull.
And, like with any industry, the more locations you manage, the better the monitoring has to be to prevent potentially bigger losses.
Take restaurant inventory for example. Overstocking leads to waste and waste skyrockets your food cost.
What you want is to keep stock lean and mean.
To prevent overstocking, procurement needs to be just right. Order no more than you need, and only when you need it. To be able to do that, you need access to:
- Current sales data,
- A real-time inventory status,
- The number of portions sold, and
- Your recipes translate ‘portions sold’ into ‘ingredients used’.
Doing all of the above calculations three times a week obviously takes up a lot of valuable time for your F&B manager, executive chef, operations manager and in many cases, controller.
It’s no wonder that restaurant professionals often are happy enough with a calculated guess when it comes to their bill-of-materials and, in the end, their spendings – even if that means taking a 50% profit loss.
What you need to remember about back-of-house tech
Apicbase restaurant management software does all the food cost, recipe and inventory calculations – taking into account every possible variable – and the software generates a bill-of-materials with nuclear precision.
Thus avoiding out-of-stocks, overstocks and lost stocks.
Simply press ‘send’ and your suppliers receive an email with your orders directly from the software.
5. Reduce food waste with TooGoodToGo
Thanks to easy-to-use restaurant technologies, it is now possible to have a strong grip on supplies, make accurate forecasts and improve the financials.
⅓ of the food produced never reaches the plate
Yet, when demand and stock are unpredictable; food waste is likely the outcome. Even though no one likes to see their hard work and precious products end up in the bin.
Worldwide, a third of all the food produced never reaches our plates, which represents around 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Food waste not only has a huge environmental impact – wasting lands, resources and energy – it also has an important financial and social impact.
Actually, food waste is the third biggest global source of pollution. In Belgium, this represents around 345 kg wasted food per person per year.
Quite a number, right?
Difficulties of matching demand with production
Every day, chefs, caterers, bakers, butchers, and supermarkets owners face the difficulty of matching customer demand while limiting the amount of surplus food.
To reduce the amount of food wasted, several solutions are available: re-using surplus products into other recipes, distributing to local social organizations, or leveraging technology, using an app like Too Good To Go.
Sell surplus food through an app
Too Good To Go provides a super easy-to-use app which puts consumers in touch with your businesses so you can sell your surplus food and unsold products for a third of the initial price.
Consumers choose and buy surplus food from your business directly through the app. Next they pick up their goods at your place within the predefined time slot of your choice.
And that’s it!
The app is as simple and flexible as possible; making it easy for restaurant businesses to actively fight against food waste, and therefore contribute to a greener world, while generating extra revenue from products that otherwise would have been thrown out.
It’s a win-win-win solution: less resources wasted, less losses for businesses, and more great food for customers.
Restaurant technology: let’s wrap things up
The restaurant and food industry is rapidly digitising. For a sector that operates on thin margins, it makes good sense to protect those margins with all you’ve got.
Restaurant technology supports food professionals in securing and even boosting, the bottom line.
Software solutions are helping restauranteurs to reduce labour costs, food costs, food waste; improve service and make many operational tasks less time-consuming and more accurate.
See Apicbase in action
Ready to lower your food cost, keep inventory lean and make procurement more efficient?