During the past decade a technology revolution has taken place in the restaurant industry. What once was viewed as equipment and systems that made economic sense for only large, multi-unit restaurants, are now common place even among smaller, one-restaurant independents.
Technology has had and will continue to have a profound impact on the industry. On a practical level, high tech applications have already helped operators improve ordering functions, ticket times, table turns, inventory control, kitchen organization and accuracy, bookkeeping tasks and the capture and the timely reporting of operational information. Just to name a few.
In the not too distant future, it may be possible for even the smallest operators to do their bidding, ordering and product procurement electronically, over the Internet. Once the product is received, checked-in and compared to the order, inventory levels will be adjusted, product prices brought current and up-to-the-minute recipe and ideal food costs available, to operators with no human intervention.
Some independent operators are using technology to gain a competitive advantage in their marketplace. Wireless headsets and table management systems improve table utilization and customer database systems allow some to better identify and take care of their best customers and enable service personnel to become familiar with their guests’ preferences and buying habits on the spot.
The reality is, no matter what your size, these days, it’s extremely difficult to compete, without utilizing technology to some degree.
Although some owners, operators and managers have embraced technology and applied it with zeal, most are too busy or just aren’t inclined to become a part-time tech junkie. Our objective in this section, is to provide helpful, commonsense, non-technical information on the application of technology in typical, independent restaurant environments. The goal is to help you keep abreast of what’s going on in this area and help you make better, more informed technology decisions that will have a positive effect on your customers, people and bottom-line.
Using Tableside and Tabletop Technology to Boost Service and Sales
For many independent operators, the knee-jerk response to the idea of adopting table technology ordering and payment systems into their concept is "that's fine for the quick-service and casual chains, but not in my place -- we're here to serve the guest." These restaurant technology developers and consultants, however, believe that tableside and tabletop technology has a place in independent and full-service concepts, and gives waitstaff more time to serve and drive sales -- with caveats.
The Case for Creating a Mobile App for Your Restaurant
The question for every independent in the digital age is can you afford not to take advantage of changes in how people find and review where they want to dine out. You have to ask yourself how your restaurant might build sales on the back of this well-established shift.
How to Select the Right POS System in 10 Easy Steps
With a myriad of choices facing you when selecting a point-of-sale system, you might wonder where to start. We'll help you navigate this sea of technology, including asking the right questions and analyzing your business's requirements when it comes time to purchase or upgrade your system.
WEBCAST: Introducing the Checklist Generator
The Checklist Generator is a web tool enabling restaurant operators to create and store checklists of all types in the RestaurantOwner.com cloud. Join us on this webcast to learn how the Checklist Generator can help you better manage your business.
Selecting a Music System for Your Restaurant
Food and music go hand in hand in a number of concepts. If you're getting ready to plunk down serious money for a sound system and/or music subscription service, this article explores some of your options. It also discusses the legal issues related to music licensing
Using the POS to Manage the Kitchen
POS are best known for keeping track of guest checks, sales , and sending orders to the kitchen. Savvy kitchen managers and chefs have learned to use the reporting features to track product usage and create specials that sell
How to Use Gift Cards to Boost Sales & Cash Flow
Gift card can boost your cash flow and increase guest loyalty. But not all gift cards are created equal. Before you jump on the gift card band wagon make sure you have all the facts to get the best gift card program for your restaurant.
Capturing and Promoting Your Business Via Video
As the digital era takes over, businesses are finding they can leverage their online "platforms" or brands even further with video. With a little conceptualizing, planning, resourcefulness and due diligence, it is more than possible to create your own video.
Running Your Operation by Remote Control
Getting information from our restaurants is usually not as easy as performing a Google search. Although many POS companies offer a process for owners to access their data, there are noteworthy disparities in the manner in which it is accomplished.
The Pros and Cons of Using Electronic Menus
The list of potential benefits for tableside menu tablets is lengthy. First and foremost among these: goodbye to the limitations and cost of the printed menu. Printed menus have long been the key sales tool for table-service restaurants, yet the size, design and content is oftentimes hampered by budget and space constraints. This article explores whether tableside tablets are right for your concept.
Online Restaurant Staff Training by Waitrainer
For years, RO.com has provided industry-specific training manuals to thousands of independent restaurant operators, saving them countless hours of researching, organizing and writing their own training manuals from scratch. Now we'd like to introduce our new Online Restaurant Staff Training System for your entire restaurant staff. We now offer our entire resource library of training manuals, job descriptions, employee handbook and policies manual, steps of service and alcohol management program in an online training format your employees can access 24/7
Ice: The Hard, Cold Facts for Startup Restaurateurs
Behind those stainless steel panels and bins are a variety of technology, feature and functions. You need to understand your restaurant's needs, in terms of ice production, storage capacity, maintenance, and what to do if your ice machine goes on strike.