Running a restaurant is no easy feat, especially when fast-casual or quick-service restaurants are in every nook and cranny of the country. No wonder restaurateurs have a lot on their plate to deal with.
Besides letting their creative juices flow in the kitchen, they have to take care of branding, marketing, inventory management, team training, and other things. Taking care of all these aspects manually is a near-impossible task.
That’s where technology comes into the picture. In recent years, technological innovations have transformed the restaurant industry in a dramatic manner. Be it inventory management or making reservations from your home, every aspect has been taken over by technology.
One study reveals that the fast food market in the United States is projected to grow by 5.8%. It is also predicted that the fast food market, valued at $267.1 billion last year, will reach $410.1 by 2030. That’s a massive growth. Hence, there’s no reason not to embrace technological innovations in your daily operations.
On that note, here are a few technological innovations that can help you improve your restaurant’s efficiency and the bottom line:
#1 Digital Point of Sale Systems
Imagine how much time your waiters would have saved if they could close a bill with one visit to the table instead of four. Thanks to the point of sale (POS) systems, your staff can close the bills in one visit to your diners’ tables. Restaurants that have adopted digital POS systems have reported reduced order errors and improved customer satisfaction.
Digital point-of-sale systems are also portable, which means they allow for at-the-table ordering besides payment. As such, the restaurant staff is able to improve order speed and accuracy while turning tables more quickly.
Beyond operational improvements, portable POS systems allow owners and managers to improve operations by making data-supported decisions.
Burger King, KFC, and Starbucks are a few industry giants that streamlined their day-to-day operations by leveraging POS systems.
#2 Menu and Inventory Management Software
Bygone are the days when restaurants used the pen-and-paper method to track inventories, call food suppliers, or determine annual food waste using calculator-led cost. Today, restaurants are capitalizing on inventory management software to simplify and streamline these tasks.
That means you’ll be able to see where your restaurant stands in terms of sales or inventory from anywhere in the world. You can track food items in real-time by leveraging such restaurant management software integrated with an inventory management feature.
For instance, restaurant management software with POS and inventory management integration allows owners and managers to delete menu items when sold out, then re-order in time for the following week’s service.
CheddrSuite states that software with robust inventory management capabilities helps minimize stockouts, reduce waste, and optimize purchasing decisions. Ultimately, this saves a lot of money and time.
McDonald’s is among those few brands that have successfully handled their inventory worldwide using a combination of manual and automated inventory management software.
#3 Kitchen Display Screens
Let’s be honest, kitchens are the most messy place in restaurants, no matter the size. Therefore, printed tickets aren’t always the best option.
A few restaurants have started incorporating kitchen display systems (KDS) to keep things running smoothly, not just in the kitchen but throughout the restaurant.
More and more restaurant owners are turning to KDS, so why not join the bandwagon?
KDS is environmentally-friendly, unlike traditional ticket printers. Thus, you will likely reduce your carbon footprint by replacing the latter with the former.
Another benefit of switching to KDS is that you’ll save a small amount every month that otherwise would be spent on ticket paper. Oh, and it also prevents the all-too-common problem of tickets falling on the ground and getting smudged by grease.
#4 Digital Table or Reservation Manager
In a world where people are always on the go, nobody likes waiting in queues for their meals. Long wait times are a major source of unhappiness among restaurant patrons. But thanks to the digital table manager, you can keep both hosts and customers happy at your restaurant.
A digital table manager can do almost everything within minutes, be it suggesting optimal seating arrangements or booking reservations. Besides, it allows restaurants to give diners accurate wait time estimates while notifying them through text messages when their table is ready. This allows for a more pleasurable dining experience.
Oh, and did we mention that it equips waiters with customer data like birthdays, anniversaries, and favorite dishes of your customers? With all this information, you can surprise diners and make their event even more special.
Let Tech Adoption be Your Goal in 2023
Overall, the fast food industry is being transformed by technology in unimaginable ways. From digital reservations to at-the-table payment, technology is helping restaurateurs improve their efficiency, reach customers through innovative ways and focus on sustainability.
Embracing the latest technologies in your day-to-day operations will keep your restaurant on the cutting edge of the industry while improving your bottom line. All in all, technology is the secret ingredient for success in the modern fast-food industry.