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As a busy restaurant owner, your days are filled to the brim with taking orders, brainstorming new menu items, and trying to keep your patrons full and happy. You may not have given much time or thought to the tools you need to drive your business.
While some establishments are still holding onto manual processes, the most successful ones are those that readily embrace digital technology, including restaurant software. These solutions have evolved and expanded over the year, and now they’re more innovative than ever before.
Today, we’re sharing the benefits restaurant-centric software provides and the impact its had on the industry as a whole.
Restaurant software allows managers to automate and simplify a variety of back-office tasks that used to take up a large portion of their costs, time, and brainpower. Now, you can find solutions that help you manage inventory, schedule employee shifts, and accommodate menu changes as they occur.
Relying on manual systems might work at first, but these processes leave much room for user error. A digital system virtually eliminates this risk and expands efficiency.
Some types of restaurant software, including digital point-of-sale (POS) solutions, allow managers to update their menus from anywhere, at any time. This means you can make the changes as soon as inspiration strikes, and your patrons will see them immediately.
Thinking about adding seasonal items? What about new, custom specials?
You don’t have to worry about the cost, time, and energy required to re-print your menus. When you implement tools such as digital menu boards for restaurants, you can create new listings and synchronize them to your various terminals and locations in seconds. This way, if your pricing, menu options, or images change, you can edit once and the updates will apply everywhere.
Anyone who works in the restaurant industry knows that balancing inventory is a critical part of keeping your establishment doors open. If you don’t have the ingredients you need, as soon as you need them, you have two options. You can either get creative and use what you have, or you’ll be required to temporarily close until you can replenish your stock.
At the same time, you don’t want to overbuy. Not only does this strain your finances, but it also makes it difficult to keep your food fresh. Software that allows you to track your inventory is the smartest way to make sure your full menu is always available.
Modern restaurant POS systems allow you to track everything you need to keep your kitchen fully stocked, including:
Most systems come equipped with user dashboards that allow you to quickly visualize and understand where your levels lie. This way, you can act proactively and place orders before you run out, avoiding disgruntled patrons and a mark against your reputation.
You could offer the freshest, most delicious food in the world, but unless you have a steady stream of people coming through your doors, your establishment could ultimately fail.
This is why many restaurant owners invest in loyalty and discount/coupon programs. Not only does it help drive profits, but prioritizing your customers is also an integral part of any business strategy. Loyalty programs reward frequent patrons while discount programs offer incentives to bring new visitors through the doors.Gone are the days when a simple punch card or key fob was enough to encourage business. Today, restaurants are delivering value primarily through digital means. Examples include:
The right software can make these deals easy to create and share with your community. As you do, you’ll establish your restaurant as both tech-savvy and generous. Research shows that 77% of people use coupons at restaurants, so this is one offer you know will be well-received!
For restaurants that operate solely as drive-ins, managing reservation requests isn’t an issue. However, it can be a challenging point for dine-in establishments. You want to honor requests as they come in, but it can be difficult to keep track of everything, especially during peak times.
Some POS systems allow you to create a map that depicts the physical layout of your restaurant floor. You can also use them to set up online reservations, so your hosts can keep up with new additions, changes, and deletions in real time. Then, they can use the map to see where table openings are available and facilitate patrons in a quicker, more efficient manner.
When a patron is finished eating and hands you their card to pay, they may do so with concern. Studies show that 56% of consumers want to know how restaurants use their data, and only 37% say they trust food service brands to keep their information safe and secure.
If you’re still processing payments using old, outdated technology, you could put them at risk without even knowing it. Those systems may not have the latest protections installed, and are naturally more vulnerable to cyberattacks than newer models. If you’re only going to invest in restaurant software for one reason, patron data security should be it.
There are glamorous parts of the restaurant world, but accounting isn’t usually considered one of them. Yet, this is an essential part of owning any type of small business. Thankfully, there are integrated software platforms that take the guesswork and manual labor out of the equation.
These tools allow you to pull financial data from all aspects of your business, offering a range of accounting benefits. If you’re not using them, you’re spending too much time crunching numbers and too little time focusing on your business. Robust accounting platforms can be a lifesaver — especially during the stressful tax season!
Running a successful restaurant is stressful enough. Why make it more complicated when there are automated solutions that can simplify, organize, and streamline your most value-adding functions?
The role of restaurant software has changed over the years. Once reserved for the industry elite, it’s now more accessible and affordable than ever before. As you research different options for your establishment, keep your needs, budget, and patrons top of mind.
Then, deploy your solution with confidence and get ready to welcome new faces through your doors. It won’t take long for your tech-friendly approach to be the star of the show, alongside your delectable entrees!