Restaurant technology has advanced exponentially in the past decade, and owners and managers have expansive options for introducing innovative tools that improve processes for everyone involved. Here are some of the most important technologies in use today, and how they help facilitate restaurant service and create engaging experiences for guests.
The traditional, analog way of handling reservations and keeping track of waiting lists has no place in 2019. Now, there is a multitude of tools that restaurants can use to seamlessly manage reservations, call-ahead seating placement, and waiting times.
Some options can even optimize seating arrangements for a more efficient restaurant flow, and track guest preferences across multiple visits. Additionally, many digital waitlist management tools now all guests to check in directly via text message and receive instant notifications concerning their table status. After all, why hand out a pager to each guest who is waiting for a table when everyone now carries a cellphone that does the same thing?
Anyone who has run a restaurant knows that inventory management is consistently one of the most difficult tasks to get right, and typical attempts at optimization are small steps forward at best. That has all changed with modern digital inventory management technology, which increases the visibility of one of your business’ most crucial assets, syncs changes across devices in real-time through the cloud, and gives managers and chefs the flexibility to submit inventory counts from anywhere.
Inventory management software can even be integrated into your restaurant POS and tied to recipe data to determine the optimal amounts of items the restaurant should have based on demand. With these advanced tools, you can manage your inventory more effectively than ever, cut down on for waste and food cost, and provide your guests with a consistent experience.
Self-service ordering and checkout technology is a dominant trend in the restaurant industry right now, and it’s not going away anytime soon. The data shows that many guests think self-service options improve the customer experience, and many restaurants that regularly use the technology have found increased ticket sales from customers who use kiosks, tablets, and other options. They also give restaurants new avenues for cross-selling and upselling, which can ultimately improve the guest experience by introducing them to new items that complement their meal.
Great service is one of the foundations of a successful restaurant business, and you can’t consistently deliver great service unless you are able to schedule your employees effectively. New software can analyze your sales trends and staffing patterns to create optimized timetables. Managers can easily create schedules and share them with all employees through mobile devices, and factors such as shift swaps, PTO requests, and availability can be updated quickly and reflected instantly.
Restaurant technology is constantly in flux, but these four examples are poised to significantly impact restaurants and guests for decades to come. With the help of a few simple, intuitive tools, restaurants now have unprecedented ability to engage guests in unique ways and optimize their own operational structures simultaneously.