At this point in the calendar, you’re thinking ahead to 2018 and what changes can be implemented in the year ahead to increase efficiency, optimize operations and stimulate even greater revenue.
Is Your Workflow in the Way?
One of the main culprits that creates inefficiencies is a cumbersome workflow. Running a restaurant can be a breakneck affair, which means that a well-thought-out workflow can sometimes fall by the wayside.
To optimize operations, take some time to consider any pain points in your existing workflow and processes. Many inefficiencies start with hiring. How do you train new staff? Is everyone clear on policies and procedures? Your workflow starts from the top and trickles down so don’t overlook how important it is to create a workflow that helps — and not hinders — your employees.
Upgrade from Manual to Digital
Consumers today expect digital experiences in every facet of their lives — and their dining experience with you is no exception. Although manual order taking and processing have worked for a long time, digital technologies and processes are paving the way for a much more efficient future. Optimize operations in your restaurant by equipping staff with devices such as tablets or other user-friendly handhelds that can both accelerate the process of placing a customer’s order as well as decrease the rate of errors due to a waiter’s illegible scrawl.
What’s more, with digitally enabled tableside ordering, your restaurant further optimizes operations by accelerating order execution time via orders automatically routed to the kitchen for immediate preparation.
A Close Look at Labor
Labor, staffing and scheduling are among the most inefficient aspects of operating a restaurant, and typically one of the biggest cost centers. You can hemorrhage money here in several ways, such as:
- Early clock-ins: When employees clock in early or “buddy punch,” you’ll wind up paying more for that shift than you were planning.
- Overstaffing: You will spend too much on labor when you have too many workers on hand who aren’t 100 percent productive during the shift.
- Getting caught short-handed: You’ll likely miss out on sales if customers have to endure lengthy delays in seating or risk negative reviews if service is slow.
That’s why it’s important to overhaul your approach to labor in order to fully optimize operations in your restaurant — and this is where technology can be your savior. There are software programs and platforms on the market that can automate your labor scheduling to right-size your costs, which can increase your cash flow to more profitable areas of the business. For example, smart point of sale (POS) software with integrated labor management modules give you detailed reporting which enables you to identify negative patterns and areas of opportunity.
Even better, an integrated POS platform allows for a centralized solution to many aspects of your operations and can:
- Boost efficiency by creating a step-by-step ordering process to guide waitstaff
- Increase profits by accurately charging for add-on items
- Improve productivity by automatically transferring a bar tab to a table or combining or creating separate checks when requested
Relying on “this is how we’ve always done it” is no longer sufficient for restaurant operators that want to lead in their industry. By optimizing operations, you can open up new revenue sources, better align labor supply and demand, and future-proof your business for the changes ahead.