8 Must-Have Technology for Restaurants
Technology is ubiquitous across all industries. Businesses of all sizes and even those catering to a niche market have made a switch by either putting their business online through social media or on the web with the help of a website.
Naturally, we know that there are many merits of technology in running a successful business. One of the obvious ones is the fast-paced agility that comes with using technology.
Similarly, it is not a surprise that restaurants have begun to use technology to better their business and ensure smooth orders, takeaways, and even table bookings. In addition, they make the restaurant manager’s job a lot easier. Technology has also helped customers provide better reviews.
If you're someone new to the restaurant business, but want to know the recent restaurant technology trends, this article is great for you. Here are eight must-have technologies that your restaurant should have:
1. Inventory Management Software
One of the most difficult tasks a restaurant manager has to tackle is managing the restaurant's inventory every day. Since it requires meticulous details and tracking of materials, it may become difficult after a certain point. One way restaurants deal with this is through investing in an inventory management system. There are many softwares available such as MarketMan or Revel Systems; these two being the more popular ones. You can either choose to track inventory in real-time or through open and close stock each day.
2. Kitchen Display Screen (KDS)
All of us know restaurants are busy places. But if you're someone who has witnessed behind the scenes of a delicious order, then you know the kitchen is one chaotic place. A Kitchen Display Screen is a better way to sort orders. It is often displayed on kitchen walls so that the kitchen staff can keep track of all orders. Moreover, it is electronically updated as the orders come in. In short, it is a good visual that helps kitchen staff and wait staff to ensure correct order and quantity as compared to manual order noting.
3. Ordering Through Ipad
One great feature of an Ipad is that it's handy to use. This means that customers come in and order through an Ipad while sitting at their table. The Ipad is directly connected to the kitchen KDS or whatever order-taking system is in place at the particular restaurant. One benefit of this is that it cuts down restaurant costs significantly. No wait staff needs to be hired for order-taking purposes, nor is there any chance of messing up an order. Thus, Ipad ordering ensures quick and correct order-taking services, making the customer's restaurant experience pleasant.
4. Table Management System
One of the jobs of a restaurant manager is to come up with a proper table and seating plan each day or sometimes in a week. This changes with the number of customers who reserve tables and those who walk in. It requires efficient planning and attention to detail. One way managers can be helped by installing restaurant technology such as table management software. A table management software allows managers to handle and plan seating and waitlists through the in-built tools within the software. An example of popular table management software is Eat.
5. Online Ordering
There is considerable growth in ordering food at home in recent years. This may be due to the changing eating habits or just because of the easiness of this facility. Whatever the reason, restaurants should have an online order feature available. It can be done through an app, website, or even a local food delivery app such as Deliveroo or Doordash.
6. Point-of-sale (POS) System
POS is a technology that has completely changed how businesses work. It can be described as a transaction point between a customer and a business. There are various types of POS software restaurants can use to better their transaction system, making it error-free. One example of a POS system that restaurants use isToast. To decide which POS system works for your restaurants, you will need to match its compatibility with your restaurant's hardware and the budget you are willing to spend on this restaurant technology.
7. Marketing Technology
It would be unfair to discount marketing as a form of technology when writing about restaurant technology trends. It is perhaps one of the most vital technologies to have shaped how restaurant business is conducted. There are two types of marketing technologies restaurants can employ:
- 1Email Marketing
Email marketing is a wonderful way for restaurants to keep in touch with their customers and keep them up to date with discounts, new menus, and event timings. There are many email marketing softwares available online, each with its own features. Examples of such softwares include MailChimp and Remarkable Buzz.
- 2Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing entails anything that relates to digital media and its platforms. Restaurants need to have an online presence on all famous and widely-used platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. They can hire marketing agencies to come up with a marketing plan that allows better sales and reach.
8. Restaurant Reservation Softwares
A restaurant reservation system can be considered a subset of table management software. However, the difference between the two is that a restaurant reservation software has more features than just managing and reserving tables. It includes storing customer data, and even previous order details, along with table reservation and cancellation.
The benefits of these restaurant technologies are multifold, as stated in each example. At the same time, it may be difficult to switch to some of these technologies, especially if you've been in the restaurant industry for some time. It may be because old working methods are sometimes easier to work with as they become the norm.
As the world evolves, this industry is also picking up pace by introducing many novelties. Hence, all new and old restaurants should actively make an effort to get their hands on these must-haves to increase their restaurant business.