Restaurants Count on Cloud for Improved Operations and Customer Experience
3 Min Read By Dirk Izzo
Going digital – increasingly a top choice among restaurant management.
Today’s restaurants are expected to deliver an Amazon-like experience: know customers’ preferences and dining habits and deliver food, whether tableside or to their front doors, without delay. As such, it’s crucial for restaurants to find ways to increase efficiency and improve the dining experience.
Enter the cloud, which helps restaurant operators deliver services and make informed business decisions based on up-to-date data, right here, right now.
Cloud-based restaurant management software solutions enable food service operators to access everything from personnel to payments to back-of-house operations and incorporate loyalty programs from any channel the customer uses in real-time. With the right platform, the cloud integrates back-end and front-end systems, giving you visibility to all your data, whether from physical or digital channels, in one place. This enables you to provide the modern eCommerce/omnichannel customer experience today’s consumers crave.
If you still aren’t convinced of the benefits cloud provides, here are six ways its adoption enables restaurants to drive new business models, improve overall operational efficiency and create memorable, customized experiences for diners.
- Easily integrate various systems – Through APIs, multiple systems can share data and provide insights across multiple locations and POS systems quicker than ever. This allows restaurant operators to know, for instance, what’s selling faster than hot cakes or which dishes are performing poorly. Same thing with locations – which ones are turning a profit or are draining the budget?
- Gain informative data-based insights – By accessing a single source of data from anywhere and any device, restaurants gain invaluable insights about their customers, employees, inventory – you name it – particularly when artificial intelligence (AI) is layered in.
For example, the cloud-AI combo provides information about a particular diner’s preferences, enabling you to suggest items based on historical information or offer customized coupons. It also allows you to see you’re about to sell out of a popular dish so you can quickly change up the menu. It helps improve order accuracy, provides a glimpse at the restaurant floor and enables you to see wait times so you can make decisions accordingl
- Improve inventory management – With cloud, valuable time and resources managing inventory manually becomes a thing of the past since you can access what ingredients, for instance, are available on site, what items are about to expire and what food items are going to waste.
Say you’re overseeing 500 locations nationwide. You can log into the cloud, find out whether hamburgers drive higher sales than chicken sandwiches or know if kale salads outdo spinach salads. These insights empower you to better estimate what inventory you need to order more or less of, so you have enough of what’s needed and less of food that goes to waste.
- Reduce total cost of ownership – Choosing a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model saves money. By subscribing to a SaaS solution, restaurants avoid the time and cost of acquiring and maintaining the overhead of server farms and software licenses and installation. It allows you to scale up when business is booming, and you need more resources or scale down during slower times.
- Better data security – Storing data on the cloud is more secure than storing on an internal server or personal computers. Think about it – if your onsite servers were taken down by a fire or natural disaster, your data could be lost for good. If the system crashes, the cloud automatically backs data up so regardless of what happens, you can access data through reliable cloud management software.
- Superior customer experience – Cloud computing enables you to do things like launch your own branded application to better engage with your customers. During the pandemic in particular, this allowed restaurants to do things like offer pickup and delivery services, touchless menus through QR codes and updated customer loyalty programs. Further, the cloud enables you to better understand customer preferences by incorporating loyalty program information, regardless of channel used, so you can send personalized offers their way.
Time to Get Your Head in the Cloud
Bottom line? Cloud-based restaurant management software is changing the way restaurant operators conduct business. Whether you have five locations or 1,000, you can easily access data to help drive actionable insights that include knowing what dishes patrons enjoy most or improving how much or little inventory should be kept on site in a given timeframe.
It provides better data security, improves inventory management and enables a better customer experience, among other things, since moving data to the cloud enables reports, alerts and audits that ensure PCI compliance. And in an industry with so many changes and so much competition, reliable cloud-based management software can help your brand improve overall operations – and likely more tables so you can turn a higher profit to boot.