Restaurants are changing how they run their business to adopt the ongoing changes that started during the pandemic, including supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and inflation. Restaurant owners need to minimize costs and maximize efficiency in order to achieve optimum profits.
Fortunately, modern technological advancements allow restaurants to leverage various means to reduce labor costs and maximize output. One of the best options in most areas is automation. Here are some ways automated systems can improve your restaurant business operations.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Use Automation to Improve Restaurant Operations
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How to Use Automation to Improve Restaurant Operations
1. Accounting software
Accounting is a critical aspect of any business, and restaurants are no exception. Bad bookkeeping will undoubtedly cause your restaurant to suffer cash flow problems or even land you into legal issues. Therefore, having an optimized accounting system and an efficient back office is essential for running a successful restaurant business.
Fortunately, accounting software is now available for many business owners, and it integrates into your system and tracks your numbers, including profits and expenditures. This makes your business more legally compliant and makes it easier to communicate with an on-trainer accountant. Read this finance automation guide to learn more about how accounting software can help your restaurant business.
2. Efficient reporting and analytics
Your decision-making process must be based on practical data. Having appropriate information at the right time helps you be flexible and respond to any issue promptly and allows you to strategize. Your aim should be to use the appropriate data to identify customer pain points and invest in the right areas of your business.
While your current menu could be perfect, your delivery system might ruin your guests’ experience. That’s why you should analyze your restaurant performance across all locations and platforms in real-time. A delivery automation platform helps you seamlessly analyze your restaurant performance from a centralized location and compare it with your competitors and industry averages. This will allow you to back up every strategic decision with applicable insights.
3. Improve reputation by monitoring feedback
Customers judge a restaurant by its five-star ratings and the testimonials left by clients on your website, social media, or third-party platforms. While you may have the best menu, delicious food in town, or the most alluring brand image, one negative review can significantly ruin your reputation.
Automation allows you to sort and sync all feedback for every order to give you a comprehensive overview and a merged ticketing system to help you easily manage your reputation. You can explore all the ratings and reviews to identify weaknesses and opportunities in your processes and improve in an intelligent way.
4. Automated delivery
Home delivery has significantly increased in recent years, especially due to third-party delivery services and ghost restaurants’ proliferation. Technological advances, such as drones, driverless cars, and other technologies, have revolutionized the food delivery industry.
With the COVID-19 ambiguity still around, people are more likely to continue ordering food online, and restaurant delivery services could be around for years to come. Automating your restaurant deliveries can make your services more accessible to customers, mainly if you operate primarily as a quick-service restaurant (QSR) with an outstanding delivery element.
5. Online payments
Online payment has made the lives of customers and service providers much easier, thanks to advanced restaurant technology. Digital payment ensures that your customers don’t have to rush to the nearby ATM to withdraw money or not order in the case of home food delivery.
Bill generation and payment through virtual wallets or mobile phones have also speeded up the payment processes, thus improving restaurant operations. Guests can settle their bills right from their phones as soon as they finish eating. Many online payment options, including Paytm and Phonepe, have emanated in the market, significantly enhancing the process.
6. Digital loyalty programs
The cost of getting new customers is considerably higher than retaining old ones. Loyal clients tend to spend more and are likely to refer their relatives and friends to your business. Providing loyalty programs is one of the best strategies to attract and retain customers.
Fortunately, unlike conventional card systems that used to accumulate points with each payment, restaurants can now offer loyalty programs that have a database of all clients. Once a customer places an order, the points are automatically added to their profile. You can provide loyalty programs based on customer ordering habits and history to keep them coming back for more.
7. Automated inventory management
Whether you are managing a single location or multiple restaurants, it’s impossible to manage your inventory without making a single error. You are likely to miscalculate certain resources’ availability when orders start getting in from various locations. This can inevitably lead to customer dissatisfaction.
Automating your inventory management is one of the best ways to avoid these pitfalls without breaking the pocket. You can leverage a cloud-based resource management system to automate your inventory management and get notified of what products are available for customers, when stock is running low, or what is in high demand. This will help you put in an order for the right resources and reduce your food costs.
8. Automated cooking process
The best chefs don’t just prepare delicious food, but they also create something that customers love. While the technology is still not fully-advanced to become mainstream, there are some brands that customize robotics in the kitchens. Automated robots are highly standardized, customizable, hygienic, and very efficient in their processes. It’s sensible for restaurants to utilize automated baking or cooking processes in their kitchens.
9. Video auditing tools
A security system is a core element for your restaurant’s continued operations. However, your restaurant is still vulnerable to security breaches or employee fraud, even with a strong CCTV system.
Video auditing subscriptions allow you to avoid all the inherent issues of old CCTV systems by using AI to detect and catalog images from your restaurant cameras. Essentially, video auditing software offers intelligence to your CCTVs. This helps you implement adept features such as monitoring inventory and flagging theft with your security system as it happens.
The restaurant is, by nature, one of the most competitive industries. Today, the competition battleground has expanded to include restaurant technology, probably since technology is naturally linked to good customer service. Automation technology can make your restaurant services the best in your niche by reducing costs, collecting high-quality customer data, and making your processes more efficient.