Restaurant management technology has come a long way. For a long time, restaurant management was done manually, leading to inaccuracy and imperfection. However, in the era of technology, restaurant managers are increasingly automating the restaurant management process to achieve efficiency.
How Restaurants Are Using Technology to Automate Operations and Deliver Enhanced Customer Experience
When we talk about technology, there are various tools and features that help restaurant managers simplify daily tasks, such as billing, order taking, inventory management, CRM, etc. However, there is a need of a comprehensive restaurant management solution that provides all these features in one, and allows integration with various third-party applications. Point of Sale software has evolved to become a powerful restaurant management solution that provides end-to-end solution.
1. Online Ordering
Food tech revolution has completely changed the way restaurant employees accept delivery or take-away orders. Instead of the traditional method where customers called up or visited a restaurant to place a takeaway order, they can now do so online through a mobile app. According to a report by Deloitte, 40% of consumers prefer to order food online. Online aggregators such as Foodpanda, Zomato, and Swiggy enable online food ordering from restaurants. Now customers can simply search for their favourite restaurants at these platforms, select items from the menu, and place the food order with just a few clicks.
However, these online ordering platforms charge convenience and delivery charges, increasing the final bill amount substantially. Consequently, the trend has evolved for ordering food online directly through the website and mobile apps of individual restaurants.
2. Tablet Ordering
Tablet ordering essentially allows customers to place their food orders easily. Customers can view available food items through a digital menu and select those dishes which they want to order. Food orders are directly pushed into the POS, thus reducing the manual effort in taking orders. The tablet ordering feature not only increases customer delight, but also simplifies the process of food ordering.
While ordering through a Tablet, customers can mention their special requirements in the comments section. Their comments will reflect in the Kitchen Order Ticket (KOT) that is sent to the kitchen staff. Thus, the kitchen staff can ensure that the food is prepared as per customer expectations.
3. Integrated CRM & Marketing
Customer relationship management tricks have evolved from simply storing customer data and running generic loyalty programs to collecting, analyzing, and engaging with customers based on analytic reports. Now, restaurants can run specific loyalty programs, offers and discounts based on the customer data. For example, if some of your loyal customers haven’t dined at your restaurant for a long time, you can offer them special discounts that they can redeem during their next visit. You can automate the process of scheduling these campaigns through the Automated Marketing Module that allows you to send custom SMS and emails to customers.
A cloud-based CRM also allows central accessibility of customer data across multiple outlets. Thus, based on the performance of a particular discount campaign in a region, restaurant owners can tweak the offer.
4. Customer Feedback Management
The traditional way of seeking customer feedback has been through paper-based feedback forms. However, with the advent of technology, restaurant managers are now using digital feedback forms to collect customer feedback and data. Integrated with the POS, the Feedback App generates specific questions based on the items ordered by customers. This data, along with customer details, can be synced automatically into the CRM. There is no need of manually entering customer feedback into the CRM. Also, feedback apps can send instant notification to a restaurant owner as soon as someone gives a poor review. This will help the restaurant owner in taking immediate action to pacify disgruntled customers.
5. Personalized Customer Experience
Restaurant owners are now becoming more focused towards understanding customer preferences. They are relying on technology to deliver enhanced guest experience by collecting and analyzing data.
Customer details, such as contact details and ordering history can be collected, which in turn can be analyzed and used to provide a personalized customer experience. For example, based on a customer’s ordering history and food preferences, a restaurant employee can suggest specific items on the menu. Any preferences or special comments made by guests can be noted in the CRM. While taking the food order, waiters can view all guest-related details and ensure that customer needs are fulfilled.
6. Real-time Reporting & Analytics
Restaurant owners can now view the entire sales & inventory report right on their mobile phone through a restaurant management software. The software gives details, such as the total number of bills generated at any point of the day, discounts offered, total sales, total inventory consumption and more. Consequently, a restaurant management software eliminates the possibility of any rigged data and internal theft.
7. Complete Control of Multiple Restaurants
One of the major challenges of running a restaurant is tracking the number of guest visits, staff performance, inventory status, etc. on a day-to-day basis. This becomes even more tedious when you are running a chain of restaurants. Fortunately, a restaurant chain management system lets restaurateurs keep a complete track of activities across all their outlets. Restaurant owners can view the sales report of each outlet, manage stock consumption, and control operations across multiple outlets with ease.
The system also allows restaurant owners to set ‘User Roles & Permission’ that can be designated to staff members.