The speed at which the restaurant industry is evolving is hard to believe. Every time we think we’ve seen it all, we either see or taste something new – and then we simply can’t get enough of it. It’s not surprising that with new culinary creations, also comes new technology that is designed to complement the hospitality industry. If you’re looking to bring your kitchen and restaurant into the modern age, here are some recommended strategies.
Upgraded POS software
It can take training a new employee to realise just how inefficient your current POS software is. We get into rhythms and become used to doing things in a roundabout way to keep the precarious software happy and working like we need it to. Your point of sale is the instrument in which you can make revenue, and it must be upgraded so that it’s not holding back the team and potential sales. Modern POS software is compatible with mac, PC, or tablet via an internet browser or offline, giving you permission to step away from your previous clunky unit.
Depending on the nature of your business, you could be adding unlimited products to your system, and take customer payments at tables to avoid bottlenecks at the counter. You can even use the platform for employee management and loyalty programs, becoming a central tool that reduces the need to work in other programs and documents.
Making a restaurant reservation is a different experience to what it once was. Customers no longer need to endure holding and leaving voicemails, and restaurants don’t need to be consumed by the admin required of taking bookings every day. Online booking platforms mean that your business is open at every hour, offering a table for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some platforms can even send confirmation emails for you, so you have a greater understanding of your covers for that day.
If you have a small restaurant marketing budget, this could be another channel that gets your restaurant out there and in great company with high performing restaurants. When considering a booking platform provider (like Dimmi, OpenTable, etc), be mindful that most have a charge to the restaurant which can be anywhere from $1 per cover and higher. This may not be an option for all restaurant structures.
UberEats is the millennials answer to dining, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Previously, delivery food was only a fast food game, but now the diner can choose virtually any cuisine they wish – made to order. Still a relatively new concept, the long-term impact of UberEats on restaurants is not yet known. But for now? There is only upsides for your restaurant.
The UberEats app is entirely uniform in its design which showcases food only – without the fluff and chef bio. If your restaurant produces great food but doesn’t have knock-out frontage – it doesn’t matter. UberEats levels the playing field and diners almost have no insight into the location, size and reputation of the restaurant (unless they go hunting for answers) – only the outlet’s 1-5 star review.
The photography is even taken by UberEats so you aren’t competing with a stylist and greater photographer that the restaurant across the road hire. Commissions apply to orders made through UberEats, and these margins might not be worth it for some establishments. Crunch the numbers and see if you could be adding your flavours to the devices of new customers.
Australia looks very different to what it did 10, 5, or even 2 years ago. The desire for incredible dining experiences hasn’t gone away – but it has changed how we go about getting it and what that looks like. Have a discussion with your team about how they feel modern technology can benefit the business, and find out which competitors are doing it very well, and check it out for yourself.