Wherever You Are: How to Manage Your Restaurants Remotely
Restaurant management involves so much more than making and serving food. There’s all the prep-work, the cleanup, hiring, scheduling, marketing and a whole host of other duties that occur after you’ve locked the doors. Oh, not to mention the exponential tasks of managing multiple restaurant sites.
As a practical restaurant manager, you likely know the value of technology to your operation. These devices help simplify your processes, allowing you to “work smarter, not harder.” Moreover, through restaurant analytics and reporting, you break down your restaurant’s service, segment by segment.
Using data, your devices can generate reports on how long it’s taking your chefs to prepare items, how long guests are waiting, and much more. By analyzing these reports, you can identify problem-areas or chokepoints in your flow and make adjustments.
Data paints a vivid portrait of your restaurant that you can use! Moreover, though, robust restaurant technology allows you to be in multiple places at once. By accessing these reports remotely, you can effectively maintain operations from anywhere. Here’s our quick and easy guide on using data to manage your restaurant remotely.
A Data-Powered Restaurant
The first step in creating restaurants you can manage remotely is by ensuring they’re data-powered. Look for front and back-of-house technology which allows access to data, and that provides reports on the processes most relevant to you (we’ll get to that in a bit).
For best results, seek restaurant devices that can work with another, like a kitchen display system that integrates to your guest management device or POS (if you have them). These integrations help connect the different sections of your restaurant(s), providing an active high-level view for you to analyze and adjust. It also means you can track the processes of your entire restaurant, from the kitchen to the guest floor.
An Enterprise Portal
To manage your restaurants remotely, you need a way to log in from offsite. Seek restaurant technology which provides enterprise or portal software. With a portal login, you only need a computer and an internet connection to access your restaurant data and reporting. When managing multiple sites, you could access all of these reports in one sitting, allowing you to cross-analyze and compare, all without having to leave your home.
In today’s world, any software that’s worth its salt will provide a mobile app variation of their service. It’s no different for restaurant technology. A mobile insights app offers the same benefits of an enterprise or portal software, with the features available directly on your phone. These apps make you even more mobile, putting all that data power in your pocket on a device you’re already carrying with you everywhere. Seek a well-designed app that’s intuitive and easy to digest
It’s one thing to collect data and get it offsite. To gain the best active restaurant insights though, you’ll probably want data that’s close to real-time as possible. Most restaurant reporting features will indicate the level of real-time data you can get. For example, some reports will update every 15 minutes, whereas some will only update every hour. Some will even let you customize these increments.
Analytics is often a two-pronged approach: measuring historical data, as well as the active data in your restaurant. Make sure you can access both of these.
Remote Restaurant Management Data You Can Use
With data and technology on your side, you’re ready to manage your restaurant remotely. What should you look for in these reports? This list isn’t a comprehensive breakdown but provides some “must-haves” in restaurant data analytics.
These metrics show how long it takes, in a given moment, for a party of a given size, to be seated at a table. Not only does this help to demonstrate your own guest management abilities, but also gives a window into your guests’ satisfaction. Longer wait times means flustered guests. If you see these times increasing, try to remedy.
In order to plan for the future, it helps to know your average turnaround metrics. How many parties do you typically serve within a designated period?
Average Party Size
On average, how big (or small) are your parties in a given period? These figures can fluctuate, especially in coordination with peak times and rush hours.
Average Guest Counts
On average, how many guests do you have in your restaurant at a given time? It’s a more global variation of the metric above, but just as important. This metric gives you a clear vision of your bandwidth, from the front to the back.
How well you’re utilizing your seating economy at any given time. Though you won’t likely hit it, your goal is always to be as close to 100% as possible.
Each time a cook bumps an item from one phase of its order to the next, a KDS writes a report of when the order started, how long it took to cook, and how long it took to get the order from the kitchen out to the customer. If you see speed-of-service times inflating at various times, or on individual dishes, you can make staffing adjustments.
Cook Time Variance
This shows the average time it usually takes an item to cook, and the actual time your chefs take to cook it now. You can use these metrics as an appendage measurement to your speed-of-service, as well as an indication of where you might need to (for example) open a new grill.
How long, after being cooked, does your food sit in the window? You can set thresholds in your technology (example: 2 minutes). If you see these high window times popping up often, you will likely see an adverse reaction in customer satisfaction and food quality ratings.
Ready to Manage your Restaurants Remotely?
Data is one of the most potent, actionable resources you can use to improve your restaurant, whether by efficiency, revenue or customer satisfaction. Utilizing that data with a mobile app or software allows you to harness this same power, from offsite.
There’s so much that goes into managing your restaurants remotely. Learn more about how you can gain active mobile insights, for all your sites, through a mobile app!
About the Author
Dylan Chadwick is a Content Marketing Specialist at QSR Automations. He graduated from Brigham Young University with an English degree and journalism focus and loves to write about technology. When left to his own devices, he enjoys loud music, adorable dogs and documentaries about the aforementioned.