Restaurants’ Guide to Spring Cleaning
Restaurants have had a tough and confusing year. With the COVID-19 pandemic changing how we approach business, spring cleaning in 2021 involves a deep cleanse with industrial-grade cleaners to get back in shape before the customers roll in. Mass vaccinations and loosening restrictions mean that your sit-down service is going to experience an uptick of interest as the days warm.
In addition to cleaning, you need to take stock of your technology too. Anything that doesn’t actively improve your business has to go to make room for your healthy, fresh start after COVID.
1. Take inventory of what you’ve got
If you haven’t upgraded your technology in a long time, the devices you have may be out of date. A Point of Sale system, for example, now has the capability to manage your inventory, track sales data, generate automatic reports and so much more. If yours doesn’t do much except take cash, you’re not reaching your full potential.
Point of Sale terminals are a good place to start because you’ll need those analytical features to make informed decisions. Tracking profits before and after implementing a new device or restaurant system tells you if your changes had the intended effect. Your technology should work together to create better customer experiences and make your servers’ jobs easier.
2. Find out what’s trending
Technology comes in and out of style just like any other trend. However you can invest in adaptable hardware that will grow with your business, so “trending” doesn’t have to mean temporary or expendable. Some devices that have gotten very popular recently include:
Tablets that support tableside ordering so tickets go straight to the kitchen, and wait times get reduced across the board.
Kitchen Display Screens that show the queue to all the cooks for greater accuracy and faster turnaround.
QR Codes that supplement mobile ordering by letting guests order and pay from their smartphones. This is more convenient for them, increases your average ticket size and makes social distance easy.
Off-premise channels to order delivery and takeout, both of which have gotten extremely popular since the pandemic began.
eatOS even works in offline mode so you don’t have to stop service when your network is down. Instead, operate like normal and we’ll sync all information as soon as you’re back online. With COVID-19, you might be out of practice and unprepared for the influx of customers that will return with sit-down service. eatOS makes sure that the flow of business doesn’t stop for any reason.
3. Change the interior
If you’re stuck in 2019, attract guests by reinvigorating your business. It can be as simple as rearranging the floor plan to accommodate capacity restrictions or as complex as changing over to a seasonal menu. As the weather clears, consider expanding outside (or reopening a pre-existing patio or garden) to prepare for capacities going back to normal. It’s also a good time to break out the Plexiglas barriers that got you through the summer; put them between customer touchpoints as well as the tables themselves. This added protection will help put guests at ease.
As you reinvent the floor plan for socially distant seating, it’s also a good time to put down arrows or signs that direct customers the right way to ensure everyone’s safety while optimizing your space. Smart Point of Sales help find the most effective seating plan. They’re also good with menu engineering to optimize sales with every purchase.
Attract the organic crowd with seasonal vegetables and local ingredients or change up your drinks menu to celebrate oncoming summer. Whatever changes you make, advertise on social media to let guests know what’s coming this spring.
Photo courtesy of eatOS
Spring Cleaning: Now and the Future
Customers want to support your restaurant through trying times. Flexibility and boldness have gotten the hospitality industry through a very difficult year, and those same qualities will continue to play a role in food service moving forward.