Cutting Costs and Boosting Productivity: The Benefits of Restaurant Technology Solutions

February 21, 2024by Bruce Dugan1

In a fast-paced industry like restaurants, the benefits of restaurant technology solutions begin with cutting costs and boosting productivity to stay competitive. The benefits of incorporating technology into your restaurant are endless – from streamlining operations to improving customer service and managing inventory to planning and implementing a restaurant marketing strategy. In this blog post, we’ll dive into our research of the best new technology solutions for restaurants, including new tools we discovered at the Restaurant and Lodging Show in Orlando (November 2023).

Introduction: The Role of Restaurant Technology Solutions

Overview

In today’s fast-paced and competitive restaurant industry, technology plays a crucial role in helping businesses cut costs, boost productivity, improve customer service, and meet compliance obligations. It should evaluated as part of your restaurant marketing strategy.

With online reservation systems and mobile ordering apps, customers can now easily make reservations or place orders without having to wait on hold or stand in long lines. This not only improves the overall dining experience for customers but also frees up staff members’ time to focus on other tasks.

Another significant advantage of using technology in restaurants is cost reduction. By implementing digital menus and self-ordering kiosks, businesses can save on printing costs while providing a more interactive menu experience for customers. Additionally, cloud-based software solutions eliminate the need for expensive hardware installations and maintenance fees.

Furthermore, technology has also allowed restaurants to gather valuable data about their customers’ preferences and behavior. Through loyalty programs and online reviews, businesses can gain insights into what dishes are popular among their customers or which areas they need improvement in. This information can then be used to tailor marketing strategies and improve overall customer satisfaction.

The use of technology has made it easier for restaurants to comply with health regulations, food safety standards, and other compliance issues such as ADA. Digital temperature monitoring systems ensure that food is stored at the proper temperature at all times, reducing food waste due to spoilage or contamination. Moreover, automated kitchen equipment helps maintain consistency in cooking temperatures and timing for each dish served.

Technology has undoubtedly played a significant role in transforming the restaurant industry. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into specific technology solutions that can benefit restaurants of all sizes and types.

Benefits of Implementing Restaurant Technology Solutions

Here are some of the key benefits that come with embracing technology solutions in your restaurant.

1. Increased Efficiency

One of the most significant benefits of technology solutions in restaurants is increased efficiency. With the use of automated systems such as point-of-sale (POS) systems, online ordering platforms, and inventory management software, once time-consuming tasks can now be completed quickly and accurately. This not only saves time for staff but also allows them to focus on other important aspects of running a successful restaurant.

2. Cost Savings

Implementing technology solutions can also lead to cost savings for restaurants. By automating certain processes and reducing manual labor, restaurants can cut down on labor costs significantly. Additionally, using inventory management software can help prevent food waste by efficiently tracking inventory levels and minimizing overstocking or understocking items. This translates into significant cost savings for your business.

3. Improved Customer Experience

In today’s digital age, customers expect a seamless experience from start to finish when dining out at a restaurant. Technology solutions like online reservation platforms and mobile ordering options make it easier for customers to interact with your business even before they step foot inside your establishment. And innovations allowing in-restaurant ordering from the table, and/or paying the bill — are now available in mobile apps (see below). Not only does this improve customer satisfaction but it also leads to repeat business.

4. Real-Time Data Insights

Another benefit of implementing technology solutions in restaurants is access to real-time data insights about your business operations. POS systems can provide detailed reports on sales trends, popular menu items, and customer preferences (such as peak sales times and response to promotions) which can help inform decision-making for future menu changes or promotional offers.

5 . Streamlined Communication

Communication is crucial in any restaurant setting – whether it’s between front-of-house staff or between kitchen staff and servers. Technology solutions such as kitchen display systems allow for streamlined communication between different departments, reducing errors and improving overall efficiency.

Implementing technology solutions in restaurants can bring numerous benefits such as increased efficiency, cost savings, improved customer experience, access to real-time data insights, and streamlined communication. By embracing these solutions, restaurants can stay ahead of the competition and continue to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry.

– Cost Savings

One of the biggest challenges facing restaurant owners and managers is finding ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality. With rising food and labor costs, it can be difficult to maintain a profitable business while also meeting customer demands. This is where technology solutions come in – they not only help boost productivity but also offer significant cost savings that can make a big impact on a restaurant’s bottom line.

Firstly, implementing technology solutions such as point-of-sale (POS) systems and inventory management software has become a standard operating procedure and adoption for any restaurant or bar. So let’s look at some new solutions recently introduced into the market.

QR code meniusIf you own a bar or restaurant that serves drinks on-tap, we discovered a sensor system that physically mounts to the existing or new draft system and integrates through API to the POS System. By monitoring each pour’s quantity and quality, BarTrack will provide detailed data and analytics on all of your draft beverages. You will drastically reduce waste, like foam, theft, and overpours. 

Highlights:
  • Offer pour-by-pour analysis on every oz moving through the draft lines through POS integration
  • Real-time temperature and pressure alerts to help identify when your draft system is out of balance
  • Automated variance reports that will categorize loss according to its exact causes. 10 to 15% increase in each keg’s efficiency and a FULL return on investment within 30 to 90 days
  • Hands-on consulting from industry professionals
  • This is NOT a turbine flow meter.

Another way technology solutions can save money is by automating tasks that would otherwise require additional staff or time. For example, tableside ordering tablets allow servers to take orders directly from customers’ tables instead of writing them down and then entering them into the POS system later on. Not only does this increase efficiency and improve accuracy, but it also frees up staff members to focus on other tasks such as providing better customer service. Now there are new platforms and mobile apps that further expand efficiency and customer satisfaction by allowing customers to communicate with the kitchen and POS directly.(Book a video call for more info or demo).

There is a new platform we discovered at the Orlando Restaurant and Lodging Show

It allows restaurant customers to communicate with the kitchen, not to replace servers, but to supplement them. Customers can order when the waitstaff is not available; staff can manage, payment via the app, and receipts printed by the restaurant.

It provides

  • Order from your restaurant tableFast-loading QR code menus are instantly responsive, intuitively organized, and 100% completely branded to your concept.
  • Not only can guests order food and drinks, but they can also call for service. Most guests can complete an order in under 3 minutes.
  • Remain in full control of your dining room with the essential controls provided right in the staff app. Manage critical aspects of the menu in real time by those who know; your front-of-house staff.
    • Critical to providing Augmented Full Service – is knowing which tables are NOT logging in to self-serve, so you can visit those specific tables and take their orders.
    • Restaurant staff ordr managementSell out of any item in 3 taps. All guests’ menus are updated in real-time, even if they are trying to check out. You can also set a quantity on hand and it will auto-sell out for you.
    • If your kitchen availability is variable, you can control when whole sections of the menu are live. Extend scheduled content or stop it early for that day.
    • Hands-free operation is critical to assisting your staff in busy times; it automatically prints orders placed by your customers without needing staff to interact with the tablet to moderate each order.
  • No setup fees, or long-term contracts. (Book a video call for more info or demo)

Pay your restaurant bill from your seatMoreover, technology solutions like online reservation systems can help restaurants optimize their seating arrangements by predicting busy times based on past data. This allows managers to adjust staffing levels accordingly, avoiding overstaffing during slow periods and understaffing during peak hours. By accurately forecasting demand and scheduling staff accordingly, restaurants can save money on labor costs without compromising service quality.

There are many technology tools when marketing for restaurants.

Promotional costs can be expensive, especially when third-party discount offer sites take large percentages of the offer, and many of the customers they attract redeem the offers but then never return. This can be for many reasons, one of which is that it is not geographically feasible to travel to your venue without a huge discount incentive. Moreover, most discount offer sites show your discount 24/7 for the length of the promotional term.

Dinevite is a new concept in restaurant promotion that helps restaurants fill empty seats during slow times and gives control back to the restaurant owner.

Fill empty seats

You can make public or one-on-one private offers — and turn them on or off minute-by-minute based on your crowd size. It allows customers to make VIP requests that only you and they can see. Best of all, the first 3 months are free to use, and you’re only charged a monthly subscription ($39) thereafter, For more information to read, watch a video, or request a demo, CLICK HERE. To watch video tutorials check out their YouTube channel.

Technology solutions offer numerous cost-saving benefits for restaurants. By reducing errors, automating tasks, optimizing staffing levels, and increasing sales opportunities, these solutions can greatly impact a restaurant’s financial success. By investing in the right technology solutions, restaurant owners and managers can cut costs while also boosting productivity and improving overall operations.

– Increased Efficiency and Productivity

The use of technology in restaurants has significantly increased over the years and with good reason. These solutions not only help in cutting costs but also play a vital role in boosting efficiency and productivity.

One major benefit of using technology solutions is automation. With the help of software programs such as point-of-sale (POS) systems, orders can be taken quickly and accurately without relying on handwritten notes or paper tickets. This reduces the chances of errors and delays, leading to faster service and happier customers.

Another area where technology proves to be beneficial is inventory management. Keeping track of stock levels manually can be a time-consuming task that leaves room for human error. However, with inventory management software, restaurant owners can easily monitor their stock levels, set automatic re-ordering triggers, and avoid wastage due to overstocking or spoilage.

Moreover, these solutions also offer real-time analytics that provides valuable insights into sales trends, popular menu items, peak hours, etc. This information can then be used by restaurant managers to make data-driven decisions regarding staffing schedules and menu offerings. By accurately understanding customer preferences and demands through analytics tools, restaurants can optimize their operations accordingly.

Technology also plays a significant role in improving communication within the restaurant team. Communication apps like Slack or WhatsApp allow all staff members to stay connected throughout the day without disrupting regular workflows. This helps in addressing issues quickly while avoiding confusion or miscommunication among team members.

Furthermore, technology solutions also streamline administrative tasks like scheduling shifts for employees or managing payroll. These tasks can be time-consuming and prone to errors when done manually, but with the help of software programs, they can be completed swiftly and accurately.

Incorporating technology solutions in restaurants not only helps in cutting costs but also leads to increased efficiency and productivity. By automating processes, providing real-time insights, improving communication, and streamlining administrative tasks, technology enables restaurant owners to focus on delivering quality food and service to their customers.

Marketing for restaurants includes many strategies and tactics. This includes, but is not limited to Content management, social Media promotion, and SEO (search engine optimization) at a minimum. You can use AI tools to automate a lot of the proceeds. Other tools such as Enclincher are great for scheduling and managing social media content sharing, and to create the content to post to your website use Copymatic AI content generator.

– Improved Customer Experience

With the rise of digitalization, restaurants are now leveraging technology solutions to enhance their operations and provide a better customer experience.

Powerlistings Online ordering, reservations, and synced directories — that offer online menus, hours, directions, and images synched across 77 directories from a single dashboard -, and POS (Point of Purchase Systems)  have become commonplace for restaurants that enhance the customer service experience. By digitizing activities, restaurant owners then have better customer behavior data to plan and adjust services accordingly.

The newer technology innovations include those mentioned before (Dinevite promotions, and on-tap management system) and the self-service kiosks (or table-side tablets or mobile apps) for placing orders, supplementing wait staff activities, auto-checkout and bill payments, and more. These options provide customers with more control over their dining experience by eliminating long wait times for servers or cashiers. It also allows them to customize their orders without any language barriers or miscommunications.

Additionally, some restaurants have implemented loyalty programs through mobile apps or QR codes that offer rewards for frequent visits or referrals. Along with promoting customer retention, these loyalty programs also gather valuable information about consumer behavior which helps in crafting personalized experiences for each diner.

ADA compliant ADA compliance increases customer An overlooked area of technology (by restaurant owners) is compliance with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) which mandates that if your restaurant (or bar) has a website that website is considered a “location”. As such, just as a restaurant has to make the physical venue accommodating for people with disabilities (for example, ramps to the entrance, or enlarged bathrooms to accommodate wheelchairs, etc) websites too have to accommodate the disabled. This includes the hearing and seeing impaired, those with ADHD, seizure-prone, and cognitive deterioration. Failure to adhere to ADA compliance opens venues up to lawsuits.  To mitigate legal exposure, I2WEBSERVICES offers an AI-driven widget that keeps your website in compliance 24/7 regardless of any updates or changes you make to the website. You can learn more about ADA compliance, and the features of the tool here on their site (you can see it in action by clicking the green disability icon)on the lower left side of the website).

It is also important to make sure that visitors to your website know your Terms Of Service and privacy policies. If you’re so inclined, you may want to also provide insights into Refunds, Rebates, and other policies.  Here is a simple tool that will generate the policies you want based on a short questionnaire.

Technology solutions have made it easier for restaurants to cater to special dietary restrictions or allergies as well. With advanced POS systems, servers can quickly access allergen information and make recommendations or adjustments to menu items for customers with specific dietary needs.

The implementation of technology solutions in restaurants has greatly enhanced the customer experience. From convenience to personalization and efficiency, these solutions have transformed the way restaurants operate and interact with their customers. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more innovations that will further improve the dining experience for customers.

Common Technology Solutions Used in Restaurants

When it comes to running a successful restaurant, technology solutions have become an essential tool for cutting costs and boosting productivity. With the advancement of technology, restaurants now have access to a variety of software and systems that can streamline operations, reduce labor costs, and improve overall efficiency. In this section, we will discuss some common technology solutions that are used in restaurants.

Restaurant server order taking technology1. Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems:
A point-of-sale system is software that allows restaurants to process transactions, manage inventory, track sales data, and analyze customer behavior. These systems eliminate the need for manual cash registers and paper-based order-taking systems. POS systems not only save time but also reduce human errors in order processing. Additionally, they provide real-time reporting on sales data which helps in making informed decisions about menu items and pricing.

2. Online Ordering Systems:
In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect convenience when it comes to ordering food from their favorite restaurants. Online ordering systems allow customers to place orders directly through the restaurant’s website or mobile app without having to physically visit the establishment or call for delivery. This not only saves time but also improves accuracy in order-taking and reduces labor costs by eliminating the need for phone operators.

3. Inventory Management Software:
Managing inventory is crucial for any restaurant as it directly impacts cost management and profitability. Inventory management software helps in tracking ingredients used in dishes, monitoring stock levels, setting reorder points, and generating purchase orders when necessary. With this technology solution, restaurants can avoid overstocking or understocking of ingredients which can lead to food waste or loss of revenue.

4. Employee Scheduling Software:
Creating schedules for employees can be a tedious task for managers especially during busy periods when staff needs may vary day-to-day. Employee scheduling software automates this process by considering factors such as availability, skill set requirements for different roles within the restaurant as well as labor cost optimization based on expected business demand. This leads to better management of labor costs, improved employee satisfaction, and ensures that the restaurant is adequately staffed.

5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems:
Building customer loyalty is essential for any restaurant’s success. CRM systems help in managing customer data, tracking their behavior, and create targeted marketing campaigns to retain existing customers while attracting new ones. By understanding their customers’ preferences and spending patterns, restaurants can tailor their offerings and promotions resulting in increased sales and revenue.

6. Promotion and Marketing Tools:
There are many promotion and marketing tools.  Marketing for restaurants consists of telling a compelling story, everything else (that people attribute to marketing) are the assets and strategies of how to tell the story — through the website, social media, and newsletters. ads, and SEO — and how to track the metrics. All of these components and elements should be including in your restaurant marketing strategy. You can find do-it-yourself-tools  HERE, Dinevite, or contact our marketing agency to explore other marketing options.

These are just some of the common technology solutions used in restaurants that have proven to be effective in cutting costs and boosting productivity. By adopting these technologies, restaurants can streamline operations, reduce manual workloads for employees, improve efficiency, and ultimately drive profitability.

– Simplifying Menu and Ingredient Management

One of the biggest challenges in the restaurant industry is managing menus and ingredients effectively. With constantly changing customer preferences and availability of ingredients, it can be overwhelming for restaurants to keep track of their menu offerings and ingredient inventory. This is where technology solutions come into play, simplifying the menu and ingredient management for restaurants.

Firstly, technology solutions offer a centralized platform for menu and ingredient management. In traditional systems, different departments such as the kitchen, front-of-house staff, and management may have separate records of menus and ingredients. This can lead to confusion and errors in communication. However, with a centralized system, everyone has access to the same up-to-date information, ensuring consistency across all aspects of menu and ingredient management.

There are three primary places where you will load your menu items:

  1. POS (Point of Purchase System) contains your menu items.
  2. Any online delivery platform (i.e. Doordash, Uber Eats, GrubHub, etc).
  3. Powerlistings Directories

Moreover, these systems also allow for easy customization of menus based on customer feedback and market trends. With just a few clicks, restaurants can update their menus to reflect seasonal changes or introduce new items. This eliminates the need for printing new menus every time there is a change, saving both time and money.

In terms of ingredient management, technology solutions offer real-time tracking capabilities. Restaurant managers can easily monitor inventory levels and receive notifications when certain ingredients are running low. This not only helps in avoiding last-minute trips to the grocery store but also prevents wastage by allowing for more accurate ordering based on demand.

Another benefit is cost savings through improved inventory control. By having an accurate record of the ingredients used in each dish, restaurants can identify which items are selling well and which ones are costing them more than they should. This allows them to make informed decisions about adjusting portion sizes or substituting expensive ingredients with more cost-effective alternatives.

Conclusions

The restaurant industry has gone through accelerated evolution throughout the past two decades. Desktop computing software was replaced with Cloud Computing with the rise of the Internet. Next came SaaS (software as a service) subscription services, and most recently the rise of AI (artificial intelligence). AI can be used for many things, including content generation. Here are 5 ways AI is transforming the future.

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