Do you ever feel like a human ping-pong ball?
From prepping the day’s produce to managing your server schedule, you barely have time to jump from one task before being pulled to another.
Even in the best of cases, running a restaurant is hard work and long hours.
But what if there was technology out there that could save you major time running your business?
Apps that let you have a little breathing room before the lunch and dinner rush… restaurant technology that brings in more money with less work on your part.
This technology is real, and the apps that will bring the most efficiency to your restaurant fall into 5 categories.
#1 Electronic Reservation Apps
The standard features of these types of apps let you do everything from reserving tables, to assigning seats, to remembering your preferences.
Some even let you recognize when repeat diners book a table so you can offer them a special deal or pay kudos to their patronage.
The best part is, it’s all managed electronically.
So you don’t have to keep tabs on an old-school reservation book or seating chart.
Besides being an all-around timesaver, these electronic reservation apps allow anyone searching your website to book a time to visit your restaurant.
This means seats that may have gone empty are filled, and you make more money.
Can you hear the cash register’s proverbial cha-ching?
#2 Tabletop Ordering Apps
Your best table has been seated.
They’re in deep conversation.
When there’s a break, you approach… but someone goes to use the restroom.
You retreat back to the kitchen and don’t end up taking the table’s order until 20 minutes after they’re seated.
This common situation illustrates just how tricky it can be to time taking orders.
But an on-table ordering solution such as Ziosk choreographs the process by allowing you to answer questions and deliver the meal, while letting customers handle the what and when of ordering their food.
Just enter your menu into the customized version of the on-table ordering app.
Hand new patrons a menu and a tablet device with the ordering software installed. When they’re ready, customers can place their table’s order, including information such as number of checks per table and additional condiment items they need.
The entire process saves your servers precious time.
And that allows them to focus on being available to guests. Ultimately it could lead to fewer front-of-house staff being able to handle more guests without sacrificing service.
#3 Tabletop Payment Apps
Making the entire customer experience a positive one while moving customers efficiently in and out of your restaurant is a delicate operation.
For example, what if your 8 o’clock reservation is here… but the customers at their table still haven’t paid their bill?
The server drops it off at the table at the end of the meal, and when customers are ready, they can view their electronic itemized bill.
Best part? They can pay for it right there by swiping a credit card.
There are several benefits to using this technology.
First, security is higher since the customer never has to hand over a card. Next, patrons tend to pay and leave their tables faster when they use the on-table payments.
Finally, you and your staff save valuable time running back and forth to POS stations to process payments.
#4 Online Ordering and Delivery Apps
Are you thinking about starting an online ordering and delivery service as an arm of your restaurant?
You can make a lot of extra money with this idea.
But you can also make a lot of extra work for yourself.
If you’re already working with an on-table ordering app or a POS system, check to see if you can also manage deliveries with it.
If not, there are a few apps that will allow you to organize all your data, connect it to your website, and alert you when people expect to pick up their deliveries.
#5 Inventory Apps
Monitoring food spend is often the key to a restaurant doing okay versus seeing exponential growth. But many owners, operators and managers will admit they don’t have much time to do it.
Enter restaurant apps for inventory.
These apps help you toss your spreadsheets and digitize your counting. They give you organization help, and save you time.
What’s even better is that the simple inventory solutions allow you to calculate a true Cost of Goods Sold…
And that lets you track your food spend.
Conclusion: Restaurant software can make a world of difference.
Independent restaurants have often been left in the dust when it comes to technology.
But, no more!
Have you seen the Orderly App lately?
It lets you skip the time-consuming inventory process.
Yet, it still gives you the numbers you need (AKA your COGS) to run a profitable restaurant.
You’ll get weekly flash reports, recommendations, and talking points to help save money with your suppliers.
And all you have to do?
Snap photos of your invoices and share your sales.