An efficient restaurant is a profitable restaurant. That statement may seem plain and simple but achieving efficiency can be a complicated process—from investing in new tech to making changes to your processes that will have an impact on workflow. Fast casual and quick serve restaurants face increasing competition in today’s market. If you aren’t open to the changes necessary to improving restaurant efficiency, then you could be missing out on business opportunities.
The idea of long lines might sound like a good thing—lots of people want to order your food, right? However, long lines can quickly turn into missed business. Consider the scenario where your drive thru line has wrapped around the building and is spilling into the parking lot. A busy mom on her way home from work and is looking for a quick place to grab dinner for her family before carting them off to soccer practice. When she sees those long lines, what will she likely do? Keep driving.
Not to mention how long lines affect current customers that did chose to stay and wait. No matter how excellent the food is, a long line and a potential poor experience might leave customers with a bad taste in their mouth, which they’ll remember the next time they decide to hit your fast casual or QSR.
So how do you go about improving restaurant efficiency in the drive thru lane? Consider implementing tablets. Staff can then take orders at the car windows, instead of guests needing to reach the window to place an order. Additionally, mobile POS can help line-bust inside the store as well. Using the same concept, guests can place an order with staff as they stand in line instead of waiting until they get to the register.
Another option for improving restaurant efficiency is to implement self-service ordering. Kiosks empower guests to place the order themselves. Again, this reduces backed-up lines and wait times; and since this solution doesn’t require additional labor, your restaurant will benefit from reduced costs while improving the customer experience—a true win-win. Additionally, self-service kiosks allow guests to take their time customizing their order just the way they want it.
If it hasn’t become clear by now, technology is your friend. Improving your automation is the fastest and most cost-effective way to impact your bottom line. Adopting a point of sale system that streamlines day-to-day operations simplifies your operations from start to finish.
Inventory technology built into your POS can decrease food waste and provide better visibility into your expenses. It can also help you predict future inventory requirements—like how much you may need to increase inventory around holidays, for example.
This technology also enables you to help automate scheduling. You can seamlessly integrate historical business data, past scheduling patterns, and external factors like weather to determine how much staff will be required on any given day. Having the optimal amount of staff on hand ensures that you can successfully service your customers needs without having associates just standing around.
In addition, implement a kitchen display system that integrates with your point of sale system to streamline front and back-of-house operations. Staff will be able to quickly and easily see orders, for fewer mistakes and faster prep time, improving restaurant efficiency.
Another avenue for technological efficiencies is to implement mobile ordering. This will grow restaurant revenue that you may have “missed out” on when potential customers are searching for a restaurant with online ordering capabilities.
With mobile ordering, you’ll also be able to reach the elusive millennials—79% of which have ordered takeout via a website or app. Plus, online ordering can be integrated directly into your point of sale, so you can capitalize on those efficiencies.
Fast casual restaurants and QSRs are seeking out innovative technology for improving restaurant efficiencies. Whether it’s line busting, automating, or creating new revenue streams, technology has the solutions that you need to be more effective at serving your customers while improving your bottom line. As a restaurant owner, you can understand the need for implementing these solutions; however, taking the leap to install them can be daunting. Leave the implementation of technology to the pros. Bematech’s skilled staff can make recommendations for technology that will have the biggest ROI and provide the support you need to get it implemented and keep it up and running.