Why You Should Embrace New Restaurant Technology
We all have people in our lives who are the first to embrace the latest gadgets; we also all have people in our lives who do everything they can to resist them. If you’re a restaurateur who’s part of the latter group, you aren’t alone. According to NRA research, over 80 percent of restaurant operators believe that technology helps increase sales and makes them more productive, but only 12 percent consider their operations to be leading edge.
There are lots of concerns when it comes to implementing technology, from budgetary to rollout plans. But, new restaurant technology is necessary, and that’s because your customers are demanding that you keep up with current trends.
Keeping up with tech trends doesn’t mean you need to follow every single trend you get wind of. But, when you notice specific technology that’s making a big difference for other restaurants—especially those similar to yours—it’s time to do a little bit of research.
Guest Counts and Party Totals
Why invest in new restaurant technology? Because you can’t afford not to. More than ever, people are looking to mobile technology to find great restaurants around them. And, diners expect more from their experience, like self-ordering kiosks, online reservations and waitlists, and loyalty programs that reward them for their repeat business. If you’re not offering this technology, you’re missing out on some serious opportunities to drive more traffic to your establishment and connect with your diners.
When looking at front of house solutions that help you connect with diners, make sure they can do the following:
- Provide diners with an online reservation tool
- Help you manage waitlists
- Integrate with loyalty programs
- Provide analytics about your guests
In the restaurant business, inefficiencies equal opportunities. When your host spends all of their time manually managing wait lists, they don’t have as much time to connect with the diners that walk through your door. When your expo, or wheelman, is only trained in routing food properly, they don’t have the time to help in any other area.
Ultimately, tech is meant to add to your restaurant and allow you to do more. When you can free up positions by having software do the more menial tasks for you, those positions can either work on more important tasks or even be eliminated completely.
When implementing any new product or process, it’s important to develop your criteria for success. This way, you can measure progress, focus on the solution, and make any adjustments necessary to ensure you get the most ROI from your expenditure.
Server Performance and Seating Efficiency
What is your average ticket time? What’s your average party mix? How many parties walked away last Friday night because of a long wait time? What is your table turn time at lunch compared to supper?
If you don’t know, you’re not alone. Tracking metrics without the aid of technology is tedious and time-consuming. Whether it’s the aid of a kitchen automation solution or a guest management platform, technology gathers the implicit data you need to optimize your operation, and lets you view it immediately.
It’s what you do with those metrics that is most important. When you begin to identify the bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your operation, you can begin to work on them. Your guests are happier when your wait times are accurate, your food comes out at the right temperature, and your ticket times are reduced. Ultimately, this kind of technology results in repeat diners and makes your restaurant more successful.
Embracing New Restaurant Technology
Convinced yet? Change is inevitable, but you still have the final say in what goes into your restaurant. That’s why QSR has created a 2017 Restaurant Technology Guide, full of insights on what you can add to your restaurant to create a better guest experience and make your establishment more profitable.