The platforms and solutions in this Podcast are the top five solutions that you should consider when starting or talking about starting a restaurant.
Restaurant Point of Sale Systems
The bedrock of technology and revenue that calculates taxes, sends food to kitchen and more. This is the main and basic point of automation in terms of what your technology footprint is. This should be a flexible platform that you can build onto, the heartbeat and lifeblood of your restaurant. If you are considering opening a restaurant, this should be the first step in your process.
Kitchen Automation & Management Systems
Usually containing features like sending tickets via video, recipe distribution and timing – this is the heart of your restaurant. Good technology in the kitchen can speed up prep time, reduce overhead and greatly improve the flow of your restaurant. These are typically done by companies like Logic Controls or QSR automation. Kitchen automation is essentially a digital ticketing system from the front of house to the back of the house. Other benefits can include food temperature monitoring, recipe distribution systems, prep systems (how much food to prepare for the day), monitoring of your temperatures in food trays and refrigeration units. These systems greatly reduce errors and increase order delivery time and consistency, and are a must-have for today’s restaurant managers.
Restaurant Inventory Management Systems
This plays into kitchen management somewhat, and can also play into your point of sale system. These systems can build on each other, but as a stand-alone system inventory management includes purchasing items, counting items and usage of items (raw ingredients for producing finished dishes). Given that your food cost is typically higher than any other cost in your restaurant, food is a valuable asset to the core of your restaurant. Knowing what you have in stock and on hand is wildly important for your restaurant to be successful. Many good inventory systems can also tell you what your cost of goods are, to help you calculate your margins with these raw goods. Using kitchen management data and inventory management data hand in hand can help identify unseen trouble like long cook times and expensive ingredients and give you the power to change your menu to accommodate.
Restaurant Labor Management Systems
Many things are changing in recent times with labor costs and requirements. This is the second largest expenditure within your restaurant behind food costs including onboarding, training, timesheet management. The minimum wage is going up around the nation, and it’s imperative to manage the timeclock. Without technology you have to handle several components such as managing a punch system, a scheduling system, a way to manage people on and off the clock, a way to send alerts to management staff when employees go over hours. Tying a labor management system back into your point of sale and kitchen management system really helps you identify peak hours and know how many employees you need at exactly which times.
How much more efficient can one server be if you arm them with a mobile tablet and allow them to complete their work much faster? If you plug your labor management data into your Point of Sale system you can really tap into that powerful data. One such labor management and analysis system is Hot Schedules. Download the guide to surviving the minimum wage increase for restaurants, get it here!
Restaurant Security Management Systems
The restaurant industry is a people business. There are good and bad people, and often times just having a security system in place encourages people to do the right thing. Newer technologies even allow you to see what’s going on in your restaurant right on your smart phone or tablet, keeping you connected and in charge at all times.
Security systems aren’t always about theft. When you consider slip and fall lawsuits and other major threats to your restaurant – it really is imperative to have a watchful eye on your restaurant.
To really ramp up this technology, some security platforms tie your data points to your point of sale system (cash registers), kitchen preparation software and inventory software so that you can fill in the gaps and manage your systems and protect your business from litigation, theft, timeclock forgery, employees giving away free food and more.
Restaurant Technology in your Hands
We hope you found this information helpful! There are so many other ways to bring technology into your restaurant but this is the core of what you need to hit the ground running.
Listen to more on the podcast here.