As restaurants continue to face pandemic-induced challenges like online ordering, delivery, demand, or supply chain stability, they are one of the fastest evolved industries. They have become more agile, resilient as they are continuously transforming to serve the ever-demanding consumers.
Customer experience, understanding them to serve them better and staying ahead of the curve has always been the need for the hospitality industry. Service expectations of guests, health and hygiene consciousness of guests, their taste buds, and personalization of food have also been a basic need for restaurants.
Empowering restaurant staff with the right tools is required to simplify the way they run their operations for improved productivity, reduced skill, labour costs, and delightful experiences to their customers. While convenience and speed are the drivers, here are the five ways restaurants can innovate to gain a competitive edge.
1. Bring diners back with contactless table-side ordering
While restaurants have started to prepare themselves for the future of dining, contactless or QR code dining helps get the diners back. With a Dynamic QR code-based digital menu, diners can quickly scan the menu from their mobile, order, and pay contactless. It is a safer and easier option over the menu cards, minimizes the contact with restaurant staff, and helps in instant communication resulting in faster table turnaround times. Digital menu improves the customer experience as the menu is dynamic based on availability. They can entice them with visual images of the food while there is no need to download any app for ordering.
2. The power of in-house delivery
Restaurants see an increase in orders with third-party deliveries, but there has always been a struggle to know, understand their customers. Delivery apps charge between 15-20% commission on every order, thus marking a dent in their profits. With in-house delivery, restaurants get better control, faster & efficient deliveries, and enjoy better profit margins. Mistakes, delayed delivery, order cancellations, and miscommunications cost dearly as they not only lose the customers but reduce their brand value. With in-house delivery, restaurants can avoid such costly mistakes, get better control, enjoy faster & efficient deliveries, and enjoy better profit margins!
3. Automated inventory, production planning for a consistent quality experience
The food business involves procuring the right quantity of ingredients and optimally using them so that the cost of producing them is minimal, avoiding any wastage to increase profits. Automated inventory brings in a lot more control on the stock as it is easier to track food costs for reduced waste/pilferage. With Cloud ERP/POS, it is easier to track inventory in real-time, plan, and optimize. Production planning helps estimate the ingredients/inventory that is required for preparing the food. It helps to arrive at the exact cost of the item (that includes the cost of ingredients, electricity, labour, packing, and more).
4. Smart collaborative platform
Omni-channel has always been the game for restaurants. With the rise of cloud kitchens, curbside pick-up, contactless-ordering, and contact-less delivery, restaurants need to consolidate with an integrated restaurant ERP for efficient working. While restaurants will continue to integrate with different market-aggregators, loyalty providers, e-commerce, mobile-ordering, digital wallets, the ERP provides this collaborative platform with a one-single consolidated view of orders, inventory, pricing, promotion, and more!
5. Menu-engineering to stay
Gone are the days when restaurants tracked their stock, recipes in excel sheets and docs. It was time-consuming, error-prone, not accurate, and harder to scale. Analyzing data is imperative for restaurants to sustain and grow. The pandemic has stressed the need for menu engineering where it is easy for restaurateurs to look at their data and design the menu. They can analyze poor-performing items on the menu and eliminate them, thus reducing wastage and food costs. Analyzing each menu item’s popularity and profitability can help them design a profitable menu.
While the pandemic has accelerated the push, technology will continue to play a crucial part in future-proof restaurants. It empowers restaurateurs with tools for accurate decision-making, is easy to integrate and grow, streamlines operational efficiency, and most importantly enhances the customer experience.
Also, check out our blog on Restaurant Customer Behaviour after COVID to understand the impact of the pandemic on the local restaurants business.