For most parts, restaurants have always been considered as more of a manual affair, and we concede. However, restaurant technology and automation has grown leaps and bounds and is now being used to aid the manual restaurant operations abundantly. Read about the 11 ways technology is automating the Restaurant Industry here. You can reduce labor costs, improve your table turnover time, increase customer engagement, and increase your overall restaurant revenues with the help of Restaurant Automation Systems.
How Restaurant Automation Systems Improve Operations
You can improve your restaurant operations and see a significant increase in your sales through these eight Restaurant Automation Systems.
1. Tablet Ordering
Tablet ordering allows your customers to order their food through a tablet. Your customers can choose what they want and place it directly into the POS. Tablet ordering reduces the time taken to place the order drastically as customers no longer have to wait for the waiter to take their order. This also eliminates any error in order taking, thus ensuring enhanced guest experience, and increases customer delight. You can also automate the billing process of your restaurant by generating instant bills as soon as the customer has finished dining.
2. Online Ordering
Online Food Ordering has completely taken over the restaurant and food business. Online ordering basically enables your customer to place their order from anywhere simply with the help of a web-enabled device. There are a number of Online Ordering platforms available through which you can accept Online Orders from customers. Choose a POS that automatically accepts all orders from the various Online Ordering channels, and processes their details. Read in detail how to increase the Online Orders of your restaurant.
3. Kitchen Display System (KDS)
Kitchen Display System is an integral part of the Restaurant Automation. All orders placed in the POS are automatically displayed on the KDS screen in the kitchen. Your waiters and servers no longer need to send the Kitchen Order Ticket (KOT) manually to the kitchen. The order number is displayed along with the order specifications. The Chef can also update the status of the order. This way, the waiter can easily check whether the order has been prepared, and serve it to the customers without any delay. Find out how Kitchen Display Systems Improve Efficiency and Reduce Costs in Restaurants
4. Menu Automation
Menu automation is one of the most tedious aspects of restaurant operations, especially in the case of multiple restaurant outlets. In the pre Cloud-Tech world, making a change in the menu across outlets was a behemoth task. One had to visit each restaurant, and manually update the menu in each POS terminal. With the advent of Cloud Technology, any change in the menu in the central POS is automatically updated across all outlets. Central Menu Management allows you to make specific changes in only certain outlets’ menu.
5. Inventory Management
For long, managing inventory has been considered a manual task. Taking inventory at the beginning and end of the day is essential, and should be done without fail. However, the manual task leaves a lot of scope for errors. Integrated with Recipe Management, Inventory Management Systems help you keep a track of the stock consumed in a day based on the orders placed in your restaurant. You can also set automatic reminders for re-ordering when the stock items are about to be exhausted, thus eliminating the need for manual checks.
6. Database Management
Most restaurants miss out on repeat business as they are not able to utilize their customer data. Online Ordering and asking for Customer Feedback are the most popular ways of building your customer database and are an integral part of restaurant automation systems. However, assembling this data at one place and using it in the right way becomes a challenging task. It is always recommended that you use a POS that is equipped with CRM and enables you to have the entire database at one place. The POS should be integrated with the Online Ordering system and Feedback Management, and automatically sync the customer data with the CRM.
You can use this valuable data to your benefit by sending your customers targeted emails and SMSs, which we have discussed below.
7. Marketing Automation
Restaurant Marketing is no longer just limited to distributing pamphlets and displaying signage and boards of the latest offer running in your restaurant. While promotional SMS and emails have made their way in, you can further use Marketing Automation to maximize their results. There are several Bulk SMS and emails service providers that allow you to send promotional messages to your customers. However, you can use smart technology to your benefit, and send targeted and customized messages to your customer database. Over time, a customer profile is created that gives you insights about their ordering habits and behaviour.
For example, a female in the age group of 20-35, who mostly orders Salads, would be more interested in knowing about the healthy combo offer running at your restaurant. Similarly, you can send promotional SMS and emails about the Happy Hours offer running at your bar to the people who mostly order liquor at your restaurant.
8. Automatic Report Generation
Reporting and analytics are the most important aspects of restaurant automation and management, as they let you track the performance of your restaurant and help improve the sales by providing relevant insights. Choose a POS that gives you the Daily Sales Report of your restaurant, along with details such as the total number of orders placed, bills generated, gross sales, etc. You can also go for complete automation, and view real-time reports on your mobile phones through Posist’s Cockpit App.
While most of the restaurants already use some or most of the automation methods, these would only generate the best results unless they are all in sync with each other and integrated with the POS. Thus, it is essential that you either choose a POS software that already provides all these restaurant automation systems, or is at least integrated with third-party applications.