From the kitchen to the point of sale, technology has changed the way restaurants serve their customers over the years. New digital solutions are constantly being adapted to improve customer experience in restaurants. Technology is also making easier to enhance efficiency and cut on wastage. Here are a few technology changes that have shaken the restaurant industry.
Move from cash to cashless
For a long time, most restaurants only accepted cash. However, cash payments present many problems from security concerns to lack of adequate change. Nowadays, restaurants are increasingly going cashless. Cashless payments are faster, safer and more convenient. Credit cards, debit cards, and online payments are now acceptable in almost any restaurant today.
The digital inventory tracking system
One of the biggest headaches is effective inventory management at the restaurant. The traditional pen and paper method is inaccurate, tiresome and quite slow. Fortunately, there are electronic inventory systems in the market. With the use of software, the restaurant management can keep track of the usage of different items. The solution determines how much is sold by connecting to POS software to give a figure of what is left. The restaurant uses this data, to determine where there is wastage of materials.
Mobile point of sale systems
A while back all the restaurants had a cashier with a lone computer near the entrance to take in the payments. However, with the advent of mobile technology, restaurants have turned to mobile POS. The mobile POS is faster, more accurate, and flexible. They help the restaurants improve the customer service, track inventory, track sales and store critical customer sales data. Mobile POS systems have a similar interface to computer-based POS systems only that they are portable and more convenient. Therefore, managing change from PC based POS to mobile POS is easy.
Reservations have always been a problem for many restaurants and a major source of dissatisfaction for many of the customers. Customers are made to wait for long before their food is ready or before they get a table. The digital reservation manager simplifies the work for your restaurant. It allows the customers to book directly from the mobile phones and even suggests the optimal sitting arrangements depending on the number of people and available space.
You can also use the software to give a wait time estimate so that customers can know how long they are going to wait for their meal. When the food is ready and the table is set, they receive a text message. This dramatically improves the customer experience.
When a group has a meal at the restaurant, the chances are that the bill will be split amongst members of the group. This brings in another headache especially if they are not paying in cash. Bill-splitting software provides a solution here. It allows each member to pay the amount that he or she had planned before setting foot in the restaurant.
Automated purchase tool
In the hustle of serving customers, you may realize that the restaurant is low on an item when it is too late. This can eventually lead to loss of business. Thankfully, the automated purchasing tool is here to help. The software is connected to the inventory management software and alerts the manager when certain items have hit a critical low. The critical low is determined by daily consumption and the suppliers’ lead times. The tool also makes suggestions depending on the forecasted sales volumes.
All of these can be managed from a mobile device. It can verify invoices, approve suggested orders, and even compares the bid prices from different suppliers. With the software, you bid goodbye to last-minute purchase rushing.
Social media has had a profound effect on ways the restaurants market their offerings. Leading social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram along with review sites such as Yelp not only act as marketing tools but also points for collecting valuable customer feedback.
New technologies are coming in every other day and changing how restaurants reach and serve their customers. Digital solutions have increased efficiency, accuracy and brought more convenience in restaurant management. Modern technology has also lowered the cost of labor while enabling restaurants to offer excellent customer service.