Many decades ago, the restaurant sector used to operate with very minimal technology. In the past, all duties were done by hand, meaning staff had to solely rely on their brain power to store information. However, in 2022, consumers are embracing technology in every aspect of their life. The hospitality trade in particular is quickly becoming just as tech-enabled, meaning there are all different tools and software restaurant owners can use to simplify and improve their day-to-day operations.
To streamline your decision making, here are some of the most important technologies to look into and use to run your restaurant business.
Table of Contents
Restaurant Customer Relationship Management System
Customer relationship management (CRM) is the centralized hub that all your other restaurant industry rivals plug into. CRM is a guest engagement tool that allows you to track customer data. This may include order history, dietary preferences, and contact information. The best CRM systems on the market can help you collect over 100 data points on each of your patrons. A CRM analyzes this data to build guest profiles that inform your marketing and service efforts, helping you to create a personalized experience for customers, and build deeper guest loyalty to your restaurant brand.
Point of Sale Systems
A point of sale (POS) is the home for your restaurant’s sales transactions. Look at it like a digital cash register than can do far more than just process an order. Your point of sale is where you input orders, monitor inventory, process payments, and view sales reports. Nadapayments goes into detail on what a small business POS system is and how it can benefit your restaurant business. If you’re a company that only needs a credit card reader, their surcharge program may be the perfect solution for your needs. Make sure to look at the different POS systems available. This is because not all of them have features suited for restauranteurs.
When it comes to booking tables for guests dining at your restaurant, reservation software makes it a whole load easier. The clue is in the name! This tool helps you manage such reservations. When your reservation platform combines with your CRM, reservation requests and notes are linked automatically to the guest’s profile in your CRM. This means you can easily tailor to your guest’s needs and help ensure they leave your premises with a smile on their face. What’s more, reservation software can send out automated reminders via email or SMS, which will make sure diners are notified and there’s a lesser chance of a no-show.
Table Management Systems
Table management systems help you find the optimal table for each guest that either walks in or has a reservation with your restaurant. By having a complete overview of your floorplan, this tool helps staff stay on the same page so they know who is seated where, which tables are free, and which guests are paying will soon be leaving. A table management system is normally located at the host stand of a restaurant on a tablet or iPad. This allows the host to manage seating arrangements accordingly and keep everyone happy as they arrive and leave.
Waitlist Management Solutions
If there is one annoyance you’ll be faced with from diners, it’s waiting for a table. Thanks to waitlist management software, this helps you manage walk-ins and let customers add themselves to a virtual waitlist. Guests can check their waitlist time online before they arrive at your restaurant. They have the option to join the list from anywhere by heading to your website, visiting your social media pages, scanning a QR code on-site, or simply calling up. When you have this software in place, you won’t have to deal with angry customers!
Unless you’ve taken the old school approach and only accept cash at your premises, then chances are you’ll need to use payment processors to take card and mobile payments quickly. Look for a card reader that enables you to accept the latest payment technologies. When you factor in that allegedly 97% of Americans own a smartphone, you need to adapt to the times and have the right software at your restaurant to deal with mobile payments. If your restaurant has online ordering for pickup and delivery, ensure your payment processer allows you to take online payments via the net.
Direct Online Ordering Platforms
Takeout and delivery grow in popularity year on year. In fact, their popularity will likely stick around throughout our entire lifetime. After all, these methods are quick, convenient, and hassle-free. To simplify your processes, look into using a direct online ordering platform. This allows customers to place off-premises orders from the comfort of their own home. Make sure your staff are managing them correctly to avoid making mistakes. The most reputable online ordering solutions come with integrated payments. This means your restaurant can collect card payments seamlessly for orders placed. If you opt for a third-party online ordering platform, you won’t have to worry about paying hefty commission fees.
Contactless Order and Pay Systems
Since the start of the decade, contactless orders and transactions have become commonplace in society. While contactless is more prevalent in Europe, North America is slowly catching up. One of the greatest benefits of contactless order and pay technology is that it speeds up table turns. This is because servers do not have to go to and from guests’ tables and the POS to settle the check. What’s more, with a digital menu, you can maximize revenue through item add-ons and upsells. Contactless payments are fast and efficient, convenient, and reduce the risk of long queues during busy times. They’re also COVID-safe and hygienic solutions for making payments.
If you run your own restaurant business or franchise, it’s important to get with the times, learn about the technologies available and use them to your advantage. From CRM systems to contactless transactions, using the latest tools and software can elevate how you do things and most importantly, bring in more business and revenue.