Around this time last year, your spring-cleaning checklist probably included standard tasks like deep-cleaning your freezer and scrubbing down your appliances. But in less than a year, restaurant operations shifted drastically on a fundamental level. Now, your spring-cleaning checklist will have to place a heavier focus, not just on the equipment you use, but on your technology as well.
Some tidying up will certainly be helpful to make sure your business is growing with your customers’ expectations and needs. Spring 2021 can be a great chance to learn what’s helping your business grow, what’s holding it back, and what needs to be updated in your restaurant.
Dig into Your Digital Solution Data
You need to take inventory of all of your restaurant solutions. Each of these components plays an essential role in your business. They also provide you with a wealth of data. Don’t overlook the importance of this data, either. It can be leveraged to help you make smarter, more informed business decisions. With it, you’ll be able to identify bottlenecks within your operation, and have a better understanding of how to solve individual issues so you can achieve a more streamlined operation.
These are the solutions you’ll want to take a closer look at to make sure your restaurant tech aligns with your business goals:
Tablet POS has been gaining popularity quickly in both full-service and quick-service restaurant styles.
In the QSR sphere, multi-functional tablets help break up long lines in the drive-thru, helping to maximize throughput. They can be used car-side to input orders quicker, or in the lobby of your space as self-service kiosk solutions.
For full-service restaurants, tablets lend themselves easily to tableside ordering. This helps cut down on the time it takes for servers to turn tables and helps increase order accuracy. It’s important that tablet POS can accept EMV “tap” cards, as well as digital payment methods like Google Wallet or Apple Pay.
Digital Ordering Channels:
You miss out on a lot of business when you don’t provide your customers with easy, convenient ways to order from you. At the very least, you should offer a website that is compatible with PC and mobile. Even better if you offer a branded mobile app.
Alternately, a text-to-order solution may be ideal for your restaurant. This allows customers to send their orders via text without the need to download and install a separate app, which some users may not have the desire to do.
Regardless, it’s important that all of your ordering channels offer a variety of ways for customers to pay, and that they can all be integrated into your restaurant management system.
When it comes to in-house delivery services, customer data is especially important. This provides you with crucial insights that help you identify which of your customers are loyal, and which casual diners could potentially become regulars with a little promotional push.
Delivery management software also helps you manage your delivery fleet by tracking and managing drivers, providing you with access to trip details whenever your staff is on the road, tracking delivery routes in real time, and giving insight on order data for past, present, and future orders. Make sure that your solution is scalable, so it can grow with your business.
Refresh Your Restaurant Menu and Layout
Your spring-cleaning checklist doesn’t stop with your technology. You should also look at how your space is set up. During winter, it’s not uncommon for off-premises dining to be a popular choice for your patrons. But spring is coming soon, and you should begin preparing now for the influx of foot traffic.
Though Covid-19 vaccines are already being rolled out, you’ll still likely be subject to safety restrictions based on your state. This means that you may have to rethink your layout for 2021.
There are a few things you can implement to help with this:
- If you have the space, expand your outdoor patio seating to increase dining capacity.
- Make sure you have plexiglass screens in front of host stands, and if possible, in between individual booths.
- Consider directing traffic flow in a pattern that optimizes your space to allow for more room for guests and staff to move around safely.
It may also be worth it to take a look at your menu. It should work just as hard as you do. This is a prime opportunity to cut costs by slimming down your ingredients and stretching your inventory further.
First, review your sales and contrast them to your menu offerings. If you notice certain items have been lagging behind others, it may be time to eliminate them from your menu. Also eliminate anything that is too costly or labor-intensive. These items aren’t profitable enough to keep around.
Next, identify which items are your top sellers. Keep these year-round, but switch up your options with each season. This prevents your menu from becoming tired or dull and allows you to experiment with new offerings.
Optimize Your Restaurant Online and Offline with HungerRush
It’s been a year since the restaurant industry was turned on its head. You’ve had a lot of time to adjust to the changes, and that experience will help you plan ahead for the future.
By taking the time to evaluate your restaurant technology, you can better determine which solutions are helping you, and which are holding you back. Equipping your business with comprehensive, cutting-edge solutions is key to adapting to changes with the industry, and if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the state of the industry can change at a moment’s notice. Investing in flexible solutions can help you stay agile so you can keep up.
For more information on how you can better meet the demands of the future by updating your technology, or to see what solutions we offer, contact the experts at HungerRush to request a consultation.