The restaurant business is a tough gruelling arena with cut throat competition. This is why restaurant owners are swift to grab onto any competitive edge that they can in order to serve their customers better and in the process swell their bottom line.
This is where technology can step in and often remove some of the most common bottlenecks that affect the overall efficiency of a restaurant’s kitchen and backend. And that’s just the start, with automation taking over the front end of an eatery, the restaurant stands to gain a lot of money in saved human resources such as waiting staff.
So how can you as a restaurant owner integrate technology into your place without sacrificing on customer satisfaction and interaction? Read on, to find out!
1. Digital Point of Sale Systems
Cash registers have been associated with restaurants for decades but with changing times, the first place that might need a fresh coat of paint is the front of the restaurant. A digital point of sale system has several advantages over a traditional over the counter cash register system the first and foremost among them being ease to use. Miscalculations due to human error is something that leaves customers agitated and dissatisfied yet when manning a busy point of sale system, especially during rush hour; errors are bound to happen. Digital point of sale systems help circumnavigate that problem entirely and also add an extra layer of security for both the restaurant manager as well as the customer. As an added bonus an advanced Point of Sale system can immediately recognise and apply coupons and discounts for regular patrons which leads to higher satisfaction rates and increased sales.
2. Pole Displays
Now as much as a digital POS is helpful for the cashier and the manager who is running the front of the kitchen, it is incomplete without a pole display. An integral part of any modern cash register, the pole display lets the customer view in realtime what they’re ordering and how much their bill is gonna be for the entire meal. This leads to faster and more effective problem resolution and almost eliminates the problem of wrong ordering as the customer can correct any mistake as the order is being punched into the system.
3. Guest Management System
However, if you are looking to eliminate table wait staff completely, and thus provide customers with a more hands on approach, then utilising a restaurant waitlist app might be your best bet. Apps like these work in two primary ways. They make sure that the restaurant gets the best exposure possible by having tables available for reservation on multiple online platforms while minimising customer disappointment by updating the number of free tables at the eatery in real time.
Internally, the reservation system can help you plan ahead for the day by giving you an estimation of the number of expected guests and at the same time if you are someone who uses customer facing tablets for food orders, then the automated system can integrate with the back end of the kitchen display system to prioritize orders based on food complexity and approximate wait times!
4. Kitchen Display Systems
And finally this leads us to the end of the production line…the kitchen itself! This is where the magic happens and in most restaurants this is where the most chaos occurs as well. With boiling water, sizzling oils and open flames around, equipment here must be tough sturdy and most importantly, they must be flashy enough to grab the attention of the chefs. Tiny paper slips fail miserably on all those three counts and that is where modern technology steps in with the new Kitchen Display system.
Not only does a KDS help in streamlining your food production process, it also reduces the time delay in food production as the chefs are alerted of a new order as soon as it gets punched in at the POS. Another important yet overlooked aspect of the KDS is that it often includes inventory management which means that you shall never run out of ingredients for a crowd favourite dish.
With these technical enhancements in place, a restaurant is well set to edge out their competitors on a day to day basis simply by being more customer friendly as well as efficient. And at the end of the day in the words of restaurant mogul Danny Meyer
“A great restaurant is one that just makes you feel like you’re not sure whether you went out or you came home and confuses you. If it can do both of those things at the same time, you’re hooked.”
And that’s exactly why you need these new tech gadgets in your very own restaurant!