5 Ways Integrating Technology will Save Your Restaurant Money
Photo Courtesy eatOS
Successful restaurants do two things well, generate revenue and cut costs. Without both, restaurants will never reach their full potential.
Technology can vastly increase revenue for restaurants by enabling mobile and online ordering. During the pandemic, delivery and takeaway sales have increased more than 3,000% compared to last year. For most restaurants, digital orders are the only path to survival. But technology can also significantly cut down on both short-term and long-term costs.
Integrating technology like POS (point of sale) systems and KDS (kitchen display systems) cut down on inefficiencies, mistakes, and speeds up any kind of service.
Cutting costs and saving money is especially important during times like the pandemic where sales are slow. Cutting operation costs may be one of the best and only ways to sure up funds.
Here are 5 ways technology can cut costs and save money.
Escape Delivery-App Commissions
Third-party delivery platforms such as Uber Eats and DoorDash have become a lifeline for many restaurants that had no other way of reaching customers digitally. The appeal is easy to see, without having to hire someone to design, build, and maintain a complicated online ordering system any restaurant no matter how big or small can have access to a food delivery app and their vast network of delivery drivers and robust marketplace with thousands of hungry users.
Unfortunately, thats not where the story ends. Every major delivery platform from DoorDash to Grubhub charges outrageous commission fees. If your restaurant is an extremely popular establishment on par with national chains you can negotiate for lower commission rates but everyone else is stuck with commission rates that can be as high as 30% to 40% per order.
For restaurants that survive on extremely thin margins, losing 30% of revenue before it even gets to the cash register is practically a death sentence.
There are also many scenarios where third-party platforms will cancel orders without warning forcing restaurants to eat the cost of the prepared food.
Local governments have been forced to step in and put a cap on commission rates but Companies have not been following the new caps. Multiple reports indicate restaurants must follow a complicated procedure to even get the lowered commission fees and in many cases, delivery platforms will flat out ignore fee caps.
Many platforms offer unlimited personalized mobile and online ordering for a nominal monthly/yearly fee rather than a complicated commission structured deal. No commissions mean restaurants wont be punished for doing more business. Restaurants get all the benefits of connecting to customers faster, more conveniently and safer while keeping more revenue.
The best part is this technology is easily scalable. Big chains will no longer get preferential treatment over small community restaurants. Everyone gets the same feature-rich system at relatively low prices.
People make mistakes. There is no getting around the fact that misheard orders or missing tickets are common mistakes. Restaurants lose money when food must be remade or when a frustrated customer doesnt pay.
Robust POS systems and KDS cut down on human error.
POS systems make checkout faster and more accurate than ever with fully customizable digital menus. Orders are then sent straight to KDS to fire orders faster, resulting in less wasted time.
With everything being documented from checkout to food handoff, never be caught off guard again with missing tickets or incorrect orders. Staff and management can check everything, no chaos or confusion.
Years ago, it was fine to go with your gut but now restaurants need actionable analytics to make sure theyre not wasting time, energy and money on things that wont make money.
The more aspects of the restaurant are converted to digital systems the more data can be collected. In turn, data can be turned into analytics and insights on how to better run your restaurants. Maybe staff members are chronically late. Maybe that hot new menu item isnt performing as well as you thought. Maybe sales are in decline and you need a marketing push.
Data and Analytics can help make informed business decisions. The best systems can automatically send daily reports on product performance, labor data, menu analytics, and operational logistics.
Every restaurant still has tedious work that nobody wants to do. Paperwork and keeping track of staff can be a full-time job that restaurants just dont have time or money to deal with.
Robust analytics can tell you more than just what your bestselling menu item is. With the right technology, workforce management is as simple as inputting worker data and them walking through the door.
Restaurant technology services like eatOS can link workers phones to the restaurant letting them clock in and out just by using their phones.
Tedious and time-wasting efforts like payroll and scheduling can all be done faster and more accurately with a built-in system.
Built-in systems can even help automate marketing campaigns and loyalty programs. No more punching loyalty cards or customers fumbling for lost cards. Advanced POS systems can remember customers previous orders and give customers loyalty points all with just a few button presses.
Save time, save frustration and technology will save money.
Technology advances quickly. Less than a decade ago, mobile payments were just a fledgling technology but now especially during the pandemic, a huge portion of customers relies exclusively on contactless payments. Self-service kiosks were reserved for only the wealthiest and innovative national chains, now any restaurant can have access to the convenient technology.
By choosing a flexible and robust restaurant ecosystem now, restaurants can reap the rewards of todays innovative tech as well as any other tech that can come out in the future.
Were already seeing innovations on the horizon that can change the very nature of the restaurant experience. From contactless tableside ordering and payments to loyalty programs tied to facial recognition and even advanced sensors that make automation possible.
The initial investment in technology may seem daunting but the short term cost savings make up for the upfront cost and the long term savings is too high to pass up. To reach full potential any and every restaurant needs to invest in the future of the industry.
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