When we talk about improving your casual dining experiences, you must think about streamlining your billing, manage your kitchen better, work on your food safety guidelines, have an efficient reporting mechanism and so on. Handling all these operations at once may seem daunting without incorporating a casual dine POS for it.
The biggest challenge a restauranteur is expected to face is the management of an inventory and deal with the high staff attrition rate. Since the restaurant operation costs could go out of control quite easily, it is better if you have a contingency plan for the worst of situations. Therefore, it is always recommended to start by incorporating a restaurant management software for these issues from the very beginning.
As they rightly say, “Precaution is better than cure”, improving your restaurant operations also requires identification of issues even before they occur. Some restauranteurs focus on keeping a highly vibrant interior and not much on their staff training. Others focus on staff training and quality of service but forget about analyzing their performances on a daily basis.
Each of these little things needs to be improved at the roots of the restaurant operations to improve as a whole. This is why you could start by enriching your knowledge about each of the different aspects you need to work on, and how your casual dine POS could help you with it.
The Three Basic Steps To Improving Casual Dining Operations Through a Casual Dine POS
Handling a restaurant could be broadly divided into three broad categories, i.e. order taking and billing, management operations and analysis of reports. All the things that you need to focus on come under one of these three categories. Let’s read on to know more about each one.
i) Streamlining Order Taking and Billing Operations
The first and foremost thing that should be taken care of while operating your restaurant is when the customer gets seated in your restaurant and places his/her order. The first gesture received by the customers by your first-line staff creates a huge impact on customer retention, as well as the overall improvement of your brand name. After that, you need to minimize the table wait time to the least for complete customer satisfaction. A restaurant management software helps you with all these from the minute the order is taken in.
a) Order Taking:
The use of a restaurant management software enables you to give your customers the leverage of ordering through tablets, thereby reducing the chances of any delays. It is both convenient and attractive for the customers. The software also suggests some of the bestseller dishes and you could customize that on the basis of frequency of orders coming in.
b) Integration with Food Aggregators:
With the increased dependency of customer ordering through food aggregators, it is imperative that you include these food aggregators into your business model. An ideal casual dining POS should serve you with a platform to integrate these food aggregators, along with keeping a detailed report on the source for your maximum orders.
This information would help you further bifurcate which food aggregator platform works best for you. You can also run several promotional campaigns and discounts thereafter to increase your sales through these food aggregators.
It is always better for a restaurant if the billing and transactions are quicker. The usage of a casual dining POS at your restaurant makes it easier for you to handle transactions, billing, and discounts, all at one page. Using a casual dine POS also helps you change the prices of your dishes according to your customization.
ii) Streamlining Management Operations
The second step in managing a restaurant is to handle the core operations, including the kitchen, inventory and other processes. You need to ensure that each of the operations is fully optimized so that there are the least possible delays. Let’s look at each of the core operations individually and how a restaurant management software can help you streamline these operations.
a) Integrated CRM:
Customer engagement and retention should be one of your focus areas while running any kind of restaurant. There are many ways how you can retain your customers, one of which is using an integrated CRM. An ideal casual dining POS should be able to provide you with a platform to keep all your customer data with the minute specificities.
Since you have all your customer data including birth dates, location, preferred dishes and so on, you can now run loyalty campaigns around the same. This is to say that your loyal customers should be rewarded in some kind of incentive structure. It could be a discount or some kind of redeemable reward points for the customers to use when they visit the next time.
b) Menu Engineering:
Since food costing and menu engineering are generally treated as the most challenging management operations of a restaurant, it is recommended that you take extra care while handling the two. A restaurant management software streamlines your operations to a marginal level by predicting the food costs for you, as well as preparing an aesthetic menu for your customers.
Not just that, the data through a casual dine POS helps you to identify your bestseller dishes as well as the dishes that are not performing quite well. You can further use this information to keep your bestsellers on the front of your menu and replace the non-performing ones with something around the bestsellers.
c) Kitchen Display Management:
A way to look at how well a casual dining restaurant works is how well its kitchen works. The efficient running of the kitchen involves optimizing food preparation time and making sure that none of the orders are missed, especially during peak hours.
The incorporation of a restaurant management software helps you manage your kitchen better by displaying each order on a board in the kitchen. Along with that, the time to prepare each dish is mentioned along with the order.
d) Inventory Management:
A deep insight into the stock consumed and the expected consumption in the upcoming days makes a restaurant better prepared for all the adversities that may come along its way. Keeping such a huge database for all the raw materials with their pricing and other details is a challenging task in itself. However, restaurant management software eases your tasks by keeping a detailed database of your stock.
With the use of a casual dine POS, you are also able to analyze how much stock is needed for the next day, or how much stock is wasted. An ideal POS must be able to show you separate detailed reports including variance and your wastage.
iii) Streamlining Reporting And Analytics
The last step to run a restaurant efficiently is by constantly adhering reports and analyzing them along with. Having multiple reports at your hand makes your life easier as a restaurant owner or a manager by letting you know everything in detail. This is why it is always recommended that you look for a restaurant management software that prepares multiple reports for you.
a) Reporting Module:
An ideal casual dining POS would help you have hundreds of different reports including which dishes are performing better than others, or how well is the staff performing. These reports including daily sales, total footfall, number of discounts offered and so on help the restauranteurs to get a complete insight on how things are at their restaurant.
b) Waiter Performance Analysis:
One of the most important tasks to make better sales at your casual dining restaurant is by properly analyzing your first-line staff performance. Using an efficient casual dine POS helps you keep a record of your staff’s attendance, the number of tables covers and the kind of upselling/discounts they have offered.
Many restauranteurs believe that staff training and staff performance analysis are two sides to the coin of success for a restaurant. “I very much believe in the power of technology. I’m now able to track individual performance of my service staff, know which dish sells the most, know how many items I sell and so on,” adds Dinesh Arora, Managing Partner, Eastman Restaurants.
c) Real-Time Report Analysis:
We have already established how reporting and regular analysis helps a restaurant to operate better. What you can do to improve it, even more, is to have a real-time report analysis system in your restaurant management software. Having a real-time report of everything from the minute a customer places an order to the time they leave your restaurant helps you to identify the lag right then and there if any.
All in all, it is clearly quite a troublesome task to handle your casual dining operations without a POS. You must think of incorporating a casual dine POS at the very beginning of your restaurant business, to make the maximum profits.