The American restaurant industry witnessed a slowdown amid the pandemic like all other markets. Fortunately, it made a quick recovery, with cloud kitchens and food delivery services taking over. Things are booming again, with many restaurant owners adopting a growth mindset for 2023 and beyond.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the food service industry’s sales are expected to cross a staggering $997 billion in 2023. At the same time, 47% of operators expect competition to get stiffer than last year. Rising rents and food costs are other challenges plaguing the industry. Beyond the basics, restaurant owners often struggle with operational issues that may affect quality and ambiance.
As a restaurant owner, you will know the challenges of managing a dynamic business. Thankfully, technology can come to your rescue as it can streamline operations and drive efficiency. You may have some qualms about investing in innovation while running a food service business. But they can serve more benefits than you imagine.
Here are a few operational challenges technology can help restaurants overcome:
Streamlining Order Management
Your restaurant may receive a few dozen to hundreds of orders daily, depending on its size and capacity. With the online food delivery market’s revenue reaching $ 185 billion in 2022, most establishments have adopted this segment for good. A steep increase in orders translates into complexities in order management, with delays and missed orders being major concerns.
Restaurant management software can address the issue by handling orders more efficiently, improving overall service speed, and reducing errors. It also scales with the growing number of orders over time. Overall, it leads to a great customer experience for on-premises patrons and online customers.
CheddrSuite notes that an advanced restaurant management solution can help you stay ahead of the competition. Your employees feel less stressed when a tool does all the heavy lifting. They can focus more on the quality of food and experience instead of managing order volumes.
A mobile Point of Sale (POS) solution can simplify communication by automating orders. You can look for a restaurant management system with built-in logbooks and scheduling tools to track preparation time and manage the timely delivery of orders with a good hospitality app. Better staff communication also improves employee productivity and reduces frustration.
Driving Efficiency in Kitchen Operations
Most of the action in a restaurant happens in the kitchen. Your staff prepares orders, keeps inventory, and tries new recipes here. Efficiency in kitchen operations leads to excellence in customer experiences and enhances the reputation of the restaurant. However, kitchen operations can get complicated as your team needs to prepare dishes on time, ensure good hygiene, and minimize wastage.
Technology can cover all these aspects and drive efficiency in kitchen operations. A Kitchen Display System is a good instance. It offers a clear view of orders, facilitates customer communication, and reduces the scope of errors. Chefs can use it to track ingredients, organize menus, and generate food costs. The software also sends real-time alerts regarding inventory shortages.
Like any business, restaurants need good communication between their teams to perform optimally. Misunderstandings and confusion between the kitchen and front-of-the-house (FOH) operations can cause chaos on a busy day. The same may happen if you cater to online orders, leading to delays and problems.
A mobile Point of Sale (POS) solution can simplify communication by automating orders. You can look for a restaurant management system with built-in logbooks and scheduling tools to track preparation time and manage the timely delivery of orders. Better staff communication also improves employee productivity and reduces frustration.
Enhancing Front-End Operations
Customer experience is the mainstay of restaurant success, and it boils down to how you make them feel. It matters even more for diners because the experience goes beyond food taste and quality for them. Managing the front-end operations better can help you deliver a top-notch experience to your patrons. Here are some ways you can leverage technology to enhance them:
- Digital menu boards display your menu items attractively and quickly
- Self-ordering kiosks let customers order food and mention dietary preferences without waiters
- The staff can check the order history of customers to personalize suggestions and upsell items
- Contactless payments ease the billing process and prevent waiting times
Overall, these factors can get your restaurant ahead on the experience front, leading to a strong reputation. That’s a big deal, considering 37% of Americans rely on word-of-mouth recommendations while choosing a restaurant.
Technology is a game-changer for the food service industry as it does more than streamline operations. It can give your business a competitive edge and reputational advantage. These are the factors that strengthen the foundation of your business.
Not surprisingly, 75% of restaurant operators intend to adopt innovation in 2023. You may have the best food and services, but technology is one thing that can set your eatery apart. Adopting these solutions is the best decision for business growth.