According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the voluntary quit rate is 25 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels. With today’s labor shortage and record-high resignations, restaurants cannot afford to lose workers, and technology should not be a bottleneck for workers to perform their job.
To maintain a healthy business and working environment, restaurant technology must enable ease and efficiency among employees and service staff as much as guests. When teams can utilize modern applications to run an efficient business and better understand and cater to patrons, then technology can become a valuable asset, not a hindrance.
Below are five ways that restaurant technology can impact business, and how to make it work for you, not against you:
1. Support a range of ordering scenarios and preferences
With emerging technology trends, guests can engage with restaurants and brands in an unprecedented variety of ways, whether sitting tableside at a restaurant, at a counter or drive-through, or poolside. Now, customers can even order remotely from their own devices. This is a look at modern growth and scale to accommodate consumers’ shifting values. As these values shift, an advanced restaurant point of sale should support multiple methods for guests to place orders.
Only offering one touchpoint for ordering can come across as antiquated to many travelers or patrons. It should also account for how that order is managed from placement to fulfillment. Offering modern point of sale concepts creates a better customer experience and caters to a guest’s personal preference.
2. Provide intuitive UX that guests and staff can use on the first try
Just as guests come with unique preferences, they can also come with differing levels of skill and comfortability with technology. Enabling guests and staff of all skill levels to have a positive first interaction with an interface should be the goal of a modern and advanced restaurant POS. An intuitive, clean, and easy-to-understand user interface is a key factor for success.
Restaurant technology should avoid friction and emphasize the sensibilities and expectations of a broad user base so taking the next step feels like a natural progression. The payoff of getting it right the first time and feeling successful after an interaction can benefit all parties involved. For guests, they gain a greater sense of welcome and orientation, more confidence in order accuracy, faster service, and easier order customization. Restaurant employees also benefit from fewer errors, faster order throughput, shorter training times, and increased overall empowerment contributing to less potential staff turnover.
3. Ensure the integrity of every transaction
The value of data increases as more data is made available. Unfortunately, as data’s value increases, so does the rate of cybercrime. In 2021, there was a 40 percent increase in cybercrime according to Check Point Research in the leisure and hospitality industry, with an average of 925 attacks per week across all industries. This growing threat means organizations must be diligent and proactive in securing business and guest data. Common weak points for restaurants are legacy POS systems, which are easy targets for attacks.
To protect themselves and their customers against data breaches, restaurants must adopt a POS with monitoring and support in the cloud. Adhering to the latest standards and technologies in place also supports greater security and protection of business and guest data. While new practices like replacing the magnetic stripe on EMV credit and debit cards with P2P encryption tokens and contactless mobile payments encrypt transactional data at the point of sale, this is only secure if to-date standards are in place for every point of sale. The point of sale becomes a bastion for security, integrity, and confidence for guest, location, and brand alike.
4. Leverage data for insight and strategy
Modern tools and digitalization have enabled a virtual explosion of data sources. Organizations now have more information available to identify best practices to maximize time and resources and measure where they’re succeeding and falling short. However, having access to more data is only the beginning. Businesses begin to gain strategic traction when they can leverage data to effectively identify relevant patterns. An organization’s ability to reach this level of insight is dependent on how well its environments and platforms can make its data and analytics repeatable across all locations simultaneously.
A few factors a POS can help measure include daypart data, location performance, employee performance, item performance, specials and promotions results, and average check size. Leaning into this technology and data and relying less on disconnected and manual processes can greatly improve business and empower employees.
5. Scale smoothly when new technology emerges
These new tools to track data and give guests more ordering options are just a few examples of how fast the industry can change. To stay competitive and shift with consumer demands, businesses should invest in technology and solid partnerships that support the business as new technologies and strategies change the landscape. As the central hub of both operations and strategy, restaurants’ POS solutions need to be adaptable enough to scale and integrate with whatever technology supports next-generation guest expectations and experiences.
Utilizing modern applications and scaling periodically enables businesses to better understand and cater to patrons. To have loyal customers and staff, the technology behind your business needs to enhance the experience, and not hinder the workflow or become a roadblock. With loyal customers, happy staff, and technology that provides crucial insights, restaurants will be better equipped for the ever-changing industry.