Running a restaurant isn’t easy—plain and simple. With over one million restaurants in the US and nearly $825 billion in yearly projected sales, staying competitive is more important than ever. Even with a star chef and an innovative menu, standing out among the sea of other restaurants can be a constant challenge. While understanding your restaurant’s demographic and staying up to date with shifting industry trends helps, you may be missing out on easy ways to give your restaurant a leg up.
1. Take Care of Your Team
According to the National Restaurant Association’s Industry Report, staffing challenges are on the rise. Recruiting and retaining employees is a top concern and more than a third of restaurant operators say they have job openings that are difficult to fill—particularly in the back of the house.
While you can’t control how many people are looking for jobs, you can take care of the employees you have. Take time to properly train your employees and provide the necessary resources and supplies. One of the most frequent complaints restaurant industry employees have is that managers don’t care about them. Invest in software that helps your team stay connected, like communication and shift scheduling apps, to allow for more collaboration and informed staff. Good scheduling apps allow employees to securely log in to view posted schedules, request days off, set preferred shift times, update availability, and swap shifts with other employees. As a manager, you can quickly approve or reject shift requests, removing the complicated scheduling process that often frustrates restaurant employees.
Additionally, give your team a say in decisions, acknowledge the important part they play in your organization, and always be open to feedback—it will go a long way in employee retention.
2. Stay up to Date on Restaurant Technology
While 81 percent of restaurants use a POS or electronic register system, only 12 percent of restaurant operators consider their technology to be leading edge. The idea of upgrading to a new point-of-sale system can be daunting from an implementation and training perspective, but consider taking the plunge for an easy-to-use POS that will save you time and money in the long run. Look for point-of-sale options that are designed to evolve with you as you grow.
If you’re not ready to invest in a new POS, you can still consider adding new features to your existing system. It can be tough to stay up to speed on all the changing and emerging technology trends, but you don’t need to jump to adopt every new technology. There are multiple ways to enhance your current processes by adding a few simple features to your existing equipment.
One easy upgrade is adding new payment options to your current payment technology. Today’s consumers desire instant gratification and easy access to the things they want. Exceed your customers’ expectations by offering online or app ordering, reservations, mobile payment options, and delivery. When it comes to paying their bill, consumers want convenient and user-friendly options. With only 32 percent of restaurants offering mobile payments, implementing these features is a no-brainer.
3. Analyze Your Inventory for Smarter Purchasing Decisions
Even if it’s your least favorite task, taking inventory is crucial to the success of your restaurant. On average, food costs account for 28 to 35 percent of a restaurant’s total expenses. While it’s not the most exciting aspect of restaurant management, it’s the easiest area to limit waste, cut costs, and increase your profits by over 20 percent each year. Take your inventory counts a step further by adapting automated inventory management software to save time and increase profit margin.
By leveraging data from your restaurant POS system, inventory management software can help you streamline your menu planning, purchasing, and supply management. Some options offer food and beverage recipe planners, which will help you cut down on food waste, theft, spoilage, and over-production—not to mention, give you peace of mind.
Ready to give your restaurant the edge it deserves? We can help.