Winter has officially arrived, and with it brings new challenges for restaurant owners. It was already challenging for restaurant owners to navigate the holiday season and the poor weather that comes with the subsequent months. Now they have to do it during a new pandemic that completely upends how the restaurant industry conducts itself. Many restaurant owners are scrambling to think of what to do with a new wave of increased restrictions and shutdowns.
Thankfully, restaurant technology has kept up, providing restaurant owners with a secret weapon that helps them face these unforeseen challenges.
Here are the top challenges restaurant owners will face, and how you can utilize restaurant technology to overcome them:
Plan for A Unique Holiday Season:
‘Tis the season for restaurant owners to get innovative—again. While you may have depended upon holiday parties and large gatherings for a large portion of your revenue, that’s no longer a realistic possibility. Increased restrictions can potentially lead to a loss in predictable revenue, so you’ll need to compensate by ramping up digital offerings wherever possible, including quick delivery.
In fact, you can count on delivery to be the primary channel that you use to keep customers coming back. It makes the most sense to prepare for this likelihood.
Take a look at your current operational workflows and ask the following questions:
- How can your team prepare for increased delivery needs in winter?
- Where can operations be streamlined for better efficiency?
- What are your weaknesses when it comes to providing the best service?
Once you’ve spent time analyzing your pain points, consider how you can utilize your technology to overcome them. Perhaps leveraging your online ordering solution can help you streamline your operations. Maybe a robust delivery solution can help you prepare for increased delivery needs. Consider your priorities to invest in better technology to help you accommodate these additional needs.
Solve Outdoor Dining Dilemmas with Unique Solutions
Outdoor dining has been a significant driver of revenue for restaurants over the summer, but winter brings about its own challenges. Some restaurants have met this by transforming their outdoor dining solutions, giving customers an authentic experience.
If your business location is where temperatures drop, but outdoor dining is still a solution you’d like to consider, outdoor dining bubbles can keep customers safely distanced and warm. These large plastic domes protect customers from the elements, while allowing for a safe distance between tables.
For restaurants in northern states where outdoor dining is not feasible in the winter months, delivery and takeout will have to suffice. With this in mind, restaurants must implement digital solutions that foster a seamless customer experience. Make sure you offer all types of off-premises options: online ordering, delivery, takeout, and curbside pickup.
By utilizing an integrated system that connects the front-of-house and back-of-house with delivery management, you can optimize your delivery operations and decrease unnecessary stress on employees. Restaurants that achieve the most success have one system that ties all areas of their business together, simplifying every area, from order to delivery, with ease.
Face It Till You Make It
This winter will be an intimidating time for restaurants, especially for those lacking experience with delivery in the past. If you haven’t jumped on the delivery trend, now would be the time to do so. You’ll need to plan for this in advance by hiring additional or seasonal staff to handle the expected increase in delivery orders. You’ll also need an effective way to manage your team, which is where delivery driver management technology comes into play. These solutions help keep delivery drivers productive, honest, and profitable.
Of course, simply offering delivery services won’t be enough to keep you competitive. Slow or inefficient delivery services could be more harmful to your business than helpful. You need to make sure to carry out your delivery services with precision.
To do so, you need to keep communication open between your restaurant and your customers and ensure your delivery time estimates are accurate. The more open your lines of communication are with your customers, the better.
Customer data plays a large role in this process. You want to ensure you own all of your data. Owning your data helps you boost customer loyalty and satisfaction, while increasing profits by helping you identify exactly what your customers are looking for so you can better deliver on those demands.
Armed with customer insights from your restaurant management system, you can offer special promos on customer favorites, enticing repeat orders, and making it easier for customers to order from your restaurant. Data like this can help you stay relevant and top-of-mind to your customer base, which allows you to build better relationships with your customers. Trends can fluctuate wildly with the seasons, so staying on top of this data will be instrumental to your restaurant’s success.
Winter Weather Can’t Compete with HungerRush
Staying profitable while dealing with so many different variables is a tall order—one that isn’t easily accomplished alone. It’s crucial to arm yourself with a comprehensive, integrated restaurant management system like HungerRush.
Our management system is equipped with robust delivery management functionality to help you stay on top of the rush of delivery orders. It also integrates seamlessly with all of your other restaurant technologies and platforms, providing you with better visibility into your restaurant, and offering greater control.
Between digital ordering, delivery management, and customer data support, your restaurant will be able to overcome the unique challenges you’ll face in the months ahead and stay profitable throughout the winter and beyond.
Request a demo with the experts at HungerRush today to learn more!