When it comes to process changes in the restaurant industry, automation often gets a bad rap. Restaurateurs hear the word and think of assembly lines pumping out nondescript food offerings. That’s not what they want for their business. The industry, after all, benefits from a personal touch.
We couldn’t agree more.
A personal touch is invaluable in your business, but there are ways that automation can dramatically improve your processes and your bottom line. Remember, 95 percent of customers — surveyed by the National Restaurant Association — stated customer service played a part in where they decided to dine. The more you can automate certain menial processes, the more time you can free up to focus on providing service to your customers.
Here are a couple of ways automation can improve the efficiency of your restaurant.
- Scheduling support. Staff scheduling in a restaurant has a high level of complexity. The sheer number of business hours, part-time staff members and narrowed skill sets can make creating a weekly schedule a grueling task. Utilizing a staffing app, however, can greatly simplify this process by providing you a staff schedule template based on needs and availability. Staff can also use it as a reminder of when they work next and to request time off in the future.
- The right automated touch. The preparation of your menu is best left to your talented staff, but cleaning the restaurant and its components? That’s where automation can really shine. Take cleaning your fryers, for example, a simultaneously dangerous and dirty job. Automating this process with Restaurant Technologies’ Total Oil Management frees staff from this task. This protects them from potential injury and allows you to allot their time to other areas. The same can be said for wiping down the hood system at the end of the night. Automating this chore with AutoMist lets staff go home earlier and provides you peace of mind that your hoods will be perfectly clean each and every morning.
- Tablets and/or kiosks. Service with a smile is paramount in the restaurant industry, so free your staff up to provide more of it. Whether you employ tablet and kiosk solutions to process orders, pay bills or simply entertain children — parents will love you for that one — adding kiosks and tablets saves your service team time. Instead of wasting interactions taking notes and handing off bills, they are better able to check on customers and ensure the perfect guest experience.
Research your automation options
The options listed above are a few of the most popular in today's market, and new automation solutions are being invented all the time. How many will you bring into your restaurant? It's worth a look. Capitalizing on the inherent efficiencies of automated solutions frees up time to focus on the most important aspect of your business: the customer. And it's these interactions that will always require your own personal touch.
You can learn more about improving efficiencies in your restaurant by downloading our eBook today.