Health and safety guidelines vastly changed for restaurants across the nation in 2020. On top of that, the inevitable shift of consumer trends forced many brands to adjust their business models and determine where they could decrease costs while increasing efficiencies. Heavy technology investments that would back better business decisions for the new business environment became a critical element of survival. However, with the vast array of technology solutions available, many QSR and Franchise operators have scrambled to see the forest through the trees. Some have even had difficulty adjusting to the new technological normal and lack the understanding of how seemingly costly investments will ultimately save money and increase profits in the long run. Throughout this post, we will discover low-hanging where technology benefits an operator, provide examples of various available stacks, and discuss how hesitant operators can implement technology successfully.
Four ways technology can help increase restaurant profits
1. Streamlining Data: Many operators receive delayed financials because they’re still working with accountants who perform manual processes, and don’t have the technology to support weekly financials. Promptly obtaining real-time data is vital for an operator to correlate their business decisions with fiscal accountability. It enables them to turn meaningful key performance metrics into actionable operational initiatives to increase profits.
2. Automating Processes: Systems that can help automate operational processes help save time and eliminate the unavoidable fact of human error within manual data entry. In turn, this provides greater accuracy and visibility into the business. It’s imperative that a restaurant’s data automates from a single source of truth, typically the POS, and integrates with other technology. This helps create standardized financial performance metrics across multiple units, leading to better decision-making and increased profits.
3. Consolidating Information: Utilizing fragmented systems creates chaos and misinformation. The key to creating efficiencies and streamlining processes through technology is consolidating disparate systems into one unified platform.
Examples of various technology stacks within the restaurant industry
Because there are so many tech stacks available, many restaurant operators get overwhelmed and can’t separate their different functionalities. Here are some examples of automated, integrated restaurant technologies that will help operators remain proactive and nimble:
- Restaurant Accounting
- Restaurant Payroll
- Earned Wage Access
- Video Surveillance
- Payroll & Labor Compliance
- Hiring & Onboarding
- Marketing Solutions
How hesitant operators can implement technology successfully
Oftentimes, operators are concerned about the risk and uncertainty surrounding the overall impacts of implementing new technology. Because the cost associated is such a significant factor, naturally, they want to ensure a proper return on their investment. Common concerns include:
- Not having a technology background
- Unsure if they’ll be able to use the tech correctly or to its full potential
- Having a difficult time getting their teams to adopt the new technology
- Hesitant about the time and effort it takes to learn new technology
These concerns are valid; however, it’s easy to forget that many technology companies provide industry experts to ease the implementation. Data experts can help evaluate an operator’s current position and offer a better way to run their business through technology.
An operator’s best bet is to critically view a salesperson as an expert within their industry and then decide if that expertise aligns with their own business goals. Here are the top tips for integrating new tech successfully:
- Utilize support teams
- Involve management teams in the training of new technology
- Set clear expectations for the knowledge and use of the tech
- Learn how other operators are successfully utilizing the tech
- Ask the experts how to use a new piece of technology to its fullest capability
- Understand there are always learning curves and stick with it