POS entry at restaurant front desk

Leveraging technology helps operators reduce costs and improve efficiencies in today’s current industry climate. Many QSR and Franchise operators utilize various types of technology to streamline and automate data so they can grow their businesses by de-fragmenting systems. Reduced manual processes combined with greater accuracy and visibility into the business allows operators to make better business decisions, ultimately increasing profitability. A large area of opportunity for technology remains within operational labor. Continue reading to learn how technology can help improve efficiencies within labor management.

Why technology and automated data is necessary for managing labor costs

Labor is one of the highest costs of running a restaurant, typically about 30% of an operator’s overall operating cost. Finding new ways to leverage technology opens up opportunities to stretch the labor dollar beyond its traditional scope. Through tech and automation, operators can build more efficient schedules and view productivity/performance in more meaningful capacities. These capabilities speed up the data transformation into actionable insights, which saves the time and effort of compiling information that operators would otherwise assemble manually. A scheduling tool enables operators to view existing versus previous year’s or last week’s sales, indicating how much staff to schedule out, or even which parts of the day to more heavily schedule staff. Building schedules based on trued data points saves management teams additional labor hours. 

Automated data also assists with better pay cycles. Using technology to simplify the transition from biweekly payroll cycles into a weekly cycle can decrease total operational labor costs. If operators only pay attention to numbers from the payroll report every two weeks, it’s a missed opportunity that they need to manage weekly. Weekly payroll forces management teams to pay tighter attention to their time clock detail report, so they don’t have to question potential overtime hours, especially with a continuously rising minimum wage. TIP: Operators need to look at stores’ clock-in and clock-outs every day. Having this type of employee scheduling software such as ZoomShift will help managers save time and aid in making the process far less painful. Having accurate data that enables operators to make quick decisions on a scheduled/no scheduled-versus-actual basis can substantially impact an operation’s actual labor cost.

Restaurant employees preparing dining room for service

Key areas to research when reviewing outsourced technology and software services

Successful Franchisees have been outsourcing more within their home office personnel setting, whether within accounting or payroll software, completely outsourcing the bookkeeping team, or partially outsourcing. On the flip side, many Franchisees have successful team members in place and don’t want or need to outsource that function. However, they still need additional technical measures to scale appropriately.

As restaurant groups are looking to acquire more locations, additional brands, or new franchise models, scalability is where technology helps to keep a finger on a business’s financial pulse. Whatever position a Franchisee finds themselves in, it’s critical to have reliable information on outsourced providers in the following areas to make the best decision for their franchise and their team:

  • Structure
  • Strategy
  • Cost
  • On-boarding Process
  • On-going Management

Why software solutions must be integrated and automated

When restaurants have multiple technology stacks and various data sources, they’re unsure where the areas of opportunity lie, making it challenging to drive educated decisions. Having a provider that can consolidate and manage data sources helps reduce IT costs, management time, decrease human error on data transmission, and truly streamline reporting – ultimately making operators more proactive! In addition, integrated and automated processes cut down on manual internal processes, ensuring timely and accurate financial reporting. Operators who view real-time data can better manage their cash flow and improve the precision of their budgets and operational targets. Knowing top-line revenue and understanding all the expenses that fall below gives operators the understanding of where they need to focus their activities on remaining sustainable and poised for growth.