One of the biggest challenges that restaurant owners everywhere face is being present at their restaurant all the time. This is especially true in case of large chain restaurants where the operations of multiple outlets need to be managed. Even if you have designated specific tasks to your restaurant staff, you still need to oversee the operations, and constantly measure and track the performance of your restaurant business. Thus arises the need of an end-to-end Restaurant Management System that not only lets your staff carry out the operations, but also provide real-time reports and detailed insights that you could only otherwise gain by being physically present at your restaurant.
8 Ways How A Restaurant Management System Can Help You Run Your Restaurant Better
In a situation when you are not always available in your restaurant to take care of the operations first hand, you might think of asking a trustworthy manager to play your part when you are away. However, even then, you still need to be invested in the details to identify the areas where you can cut down your costs and increase revenues.
Continue reading to find out how a restaurant management system will help you to run your restaurant remotely.
1. Bill Tracking
Even if you are not physically present in your restaurant you must always try and keep a keen eye on the number of bills generated at your restaurant, and the total value of your daily sales. This also helps you get deep insights about the busiest and the most profitable hour of the day. A restaurant management system helps you track the real-time data of your restaurant.
(i) Real-Time Billing Details
Keeping a track of the real-time billing details will ensure that you have a comprehensive information of all the sales incurred, the items that are sold more, the rush hours of the day, the rate at which the stock decreases and will help you to make arrangements accordingly. Through bill tracking, you can even find the items which are not doing good and you can apply your disaster management techniques to bolster those items. All these make bill tracking through a restaurant management system very pivotal.
(ii) Tracking the Discounts Offered
One of the smartest ways to attract customers is by providing discounts, offers and concessions. Keeping a track of bills will help you know about which offers and discounts are mostly availed by the customers and which are the ones that are not doing as per expectation.
Not only will bill tracking ensure that you have detailed reports of the number of bills generated, this will also ensure that you have a keen eye that would reduce the risk of theft and pilferage in the billing process that some sinister employees take refuge to. You can also create user Roles and Permissions in the Point of Sale software that allows you to assign the staff who can only apply the discount while billing.
Hence, you should incorporate a restaurant management system that will provide you with the total number of discounts offered and the value of discounts.
2. Inventory & Stock Tracking
Monitoring the stock and inventory in your restaurant is excessively important. Using an Inventory Management integrated restaurant management system will help you not only keep a track of the stock available at your outlets, it will also help you to track the stock available at the beginning and the end of the day. This helps you in tracking the Variance between the actual physical stock consumption and the ideal stock consumption based on the numbers of orders placed and total sales.
(i) Daily and Monthly Stock Consumption
Keeping a track of the consumption rate on a daily basis will help you to know about the stock available across all your outlets. In addition to this, there is a monthly inventory report that goes to the owner. This report states that last month ‘this’ was the amount of the purchased food and beverage separately, and ‘this’ is the amount left by the end of the month. From here you will be able to understand where the cost is going up and what you need to cut down on. For example, for liquor having anything above 12 lakhs in stock from the previous month is a very bad investment and that’s how the inventory detailed reports will help the owners to understand if there are any misappropriations happening in the inventory section and what actions must be taken to control the disruptions. In addition to this, you can reduce your restaurants’ food cost by keeping a track of your inventory on a daily and a weekly basis.
(ii) Reminders and Alerts
The restaurant management system also helps you to set alerts to remind you whenever the item’s stock reaches the re-order level, or when the perishable items reach its expiration date. This will ensure that your restaurant never runs out of stock. It is a big turnoff for most customers who while ordering a particular menu item has to hear that, that menu item is not available. Since customer service must be one of the main focus points for you must always be in tune with the stock available through the restaurant management system. Thus, even if you aren’t physically present at your restaurant, you can still ensure that all Inventory items are in stock.
(iii) Placing Purchase Orders Remotely
Once you receive a particular stock requirement alert, you can immediately create Purchase Orders and send it to associated vendors. This also helps you track the orders. Thus, Restaurant Management System allows end-to-end management of stock and inventory.
(iv) Vendor Management
Not only can you place orders to your vendors directly, you can also create and manage the profile of multiple vendors of all your restaurant outlets centrally. You can add all the necessary details of the vendors such as their PAN Card details, ID proof TIN and the like. Your vendors can have their profile on the Vendor Management integrated software, where they can comment and reach you in times of need. Even if you are not present in your restaurant, you can be the medium between your restaurant staff and the vendor when required.
(v) Recipe Management
One of the best ways to maintain your stock is to have an entire recipe management feature on your restaurant management system, where how much raw materials are required for which menu item is clearly mentioned, this will reduce the chances of wastage to a great extent.
(vi) Variance Report
Your restaurant management system also provides you with a Variance Report. This report will give you a clear understanding of the difference between the ideal stock that should be consumed during a day and the actual stock that remains at the end of the day. For example, if your recipe management shows that for per pizza you would require 3 cubes of mozzarella cheese, and if in a day you have got 20 pizza orders then your total cheese consumption should be 60 cubes. However, if you find that the remaining stock at the end of the day for cheese amounts to anything more or less than 60 cubes, you would know that there either theft or wastage is happening in your restaurant kitchen.
3. Theft Control Mechanism
You can never be sure that all your employees will be honest, competent and diligent. In fact, restaurants lose up to 1 crore a year due to internal thefts. It is estimated that almost 70% of the restaurant staff steals because of easy opportunity & lack of theft detection. After all, restaurant owners cannot themselves sit at the Cashier’s desk all day. This is where an Anti-theft restaurant management system comes in handy.
Find the various ways internal thefts and pilferage happens at your restaurant and how to control them here.
4. Detailed Reporting of the Outlets
If you are running multiple restaurants, then it is not possible for you to keep a tab on all your outlets manually. Here comes the importance of your omnipresence across all outlets that can only be achieved through diligent Reporting and Analytics. You must have a detailed report of all these outlets through your POS reports. The various reports that you should be keeping a track of are-
(i) Sales Report
The system will provide you detailed sales report across all outlets. You can create custom reports that give you hourly, daily, monthly, and annual sales reports. You can also compare the performance of multiple outlets through easy to understand graphical charts and reports. If you have two outlets in close proximity, here if the difference between these two outlets in terms of sales are a lot, then it will be a direct hint that something is going wrong.
(ii) Total Footfall in the Restaurant
Through the restaurant management system, you will receive the total footfall across all your outlets. The POS reports give detailed insights into the number of tables occupied at your restaurant at any given point of the day. This will help you identify the peak hours of your restaurant and also manage the operations better.
(iii) Performance of Discount Coupons and Offers
When you are running multiple restaurants, it only makes sense that you run specific outlet level offers and discounts. The discounts and offers may not perform the same way across various outlets. Once, you compare the reports of these offers across the outlets you may understand that a different area requires different approaches and weave your strategies accordingly. Measurement of these campaigns becomes essential, and this is where detailed reporting helps. You can also do an A/B testing of these campaigns to see which Offer works best for a particular outlet.
5. Item Level Reporting
On multiple occasions, you as restaurant owners must be aware of which items in your restaurant works the best and which are the ones which does not do so much justice to the menu and your Food Costs. Use a restaurant management software that will provide you with a detailed report about every item on your menu.
A detailed item wise report will help you to understand the items that are being ordered and the ones that are not. An understanding about this, will not only provide you with the opportunity to increase the sales of the already profitable items, it can also provide you with the strategies on how to increase the sale of the less ordered items, such as clubbing the low-sales yet high-profit items with high sales low profit in Combo offers.
6. Employee Management
Not being in touch with your staff will give them a free leash, which will enable them to do as they like and this will not help your restaurant operations much. As a restaurant owner, one of the main things that you must ponder into is staff management. Incorporate a software that will help you to control your staff remotely.
A restaurant management system helps you keep a track of your staff. This includes the number of tables served, sales augmented by each staff and monitor the attendance of all the staffs through your restaurant management system. After keeping a track you can once in a while call for telephonic or skype meeting, where you can talk about the performance of each staff, appreciate some and give incentives for upselling items while you can give advice on improvement to others. This will not only cultivate a sense of belongingness since you’ll know them personally, it will also help you to keep a tight check on any lousy staff.
7. Customer Feedback Management
You might not always be physically present at your restaurant to ensure a personal touch in the entire customer experience. There will be certain times, when no matter how good you are, a customer may still be dissatisfied with your service. To avoid such instances, asking for customer feedback is strictly recommended. This is where the restaurant management system comes into play. It allows you to collect specific feedback from customers from a Customer Feedback App. Customers can give ratings and feedback about the particular item they ordered and ambience, service, etc. In case a customer gives a bad review, you get instant notification on your phone, thus giving you the chance to take immediate actions to pacify the customer. Being aware of the real-time customer experience will ensure that you always have the chance to mend the situation even if you are not present there physically.
8. Managing Miscellaneous Expenditure
While you are away your restaurant might incur some expenditure on an urgent basis like, the need for a new crockery, new tables and chairs, repairing electronics and the like. Hence your software must have a Petty Cash Expenditure Management that will show you the detailed reports of all the miscellaneous expenditures incurred so that you have a transparency as to where the money has gone.
A proper restaurant management system that is a point of sale software that will be your right hand in running the restaurant business remotely and will ensure you that nothing goes out of your mind and sight!