In the age of COVID, restaurant technology is bridging the gap between food businesses and safety-conscious consumers.
Without the right digital tools in place, you will struggle to keep up with customer expectations.
This post will look at five areas of your business that could benefit from adding or upgrading your digital tools.
How restaurant technology is transforming the industry
Over the last few decades, the number of new technologies available to food businesses has grown exponentially.
The worldwide pandemic has only accelerated the digital transformation as safety-conscious consumers demand ultimate convenience and multiple ways of connecting digitally.
Choosing the right technology for your restaurant
The key to choosing the right technology for your business is to ensure that you don’t just jump on the latest trends or feel obligated to have a tool for every aspect of your business.
Think about your customers’ long-term expectations and how you can both grow your business and insulate it from unexpected shocks.
Food safety and product loss
In 2019, the World Health Organisation stated that over 200 diseases are spread through food contamination.
Not only that, but every one in ten people become ill after eating contaminated food.
Despite this, food safety solutions were among the least adopted technologies before the pandemic. That is likely to change as consumers prioritise safety and city officials enact stricter regulations.
Bluetooth and wireless
Many food business owners are starting to look at temperature sensors. These systems automatically measure the temperature of your equipment and food.
24/7 food and equipment monitors have many benefits. First and foremost, they improve food safety and prevent product loss. Sensors will provide your team with real-time alerts if there are any fluctuations in temperature or equipment failure. This ensures you can address the situation before it harms your customers or your bottom line.
Finally, sensors can save you time and effort by automatically recording your temperature checks in your HACCP logbook: no more data entry errors or missed safety checks.
Cloud-based point of sales systems
Over the last few years, a steady stream of businesses have started using Cloud Point Of Sale (POS) systems. Yet this time last year, many would have considered it more of a “nice to have” than a necessity.
Today, cloud-based POS systems are proving to be a crucial tool when responding to new safety regulations and consumer expectations.
These POS systems are also equipped to deal with some of the unique COVID challenges. Take social distancing, for example. As recommendations are continually updated, cloud POS systems allow you to customise your in-house ordering processes.
Cloud POS also allows you to manage your menu, making instant updates based on customer patterns and available inventory.
Last but not least, you get access to customer data. With this, you can make better planning, staffing and sales decisions.
The pandemic has prompted more consumers to order from restaurants online. One study found that 55% of respondents were now using mobile apps to order food, having never done so before.
And with 40% stating that they won’t be going back to the old way, online ordering systems like Uber Eats are only set to increase popularity. At this point, it’s important to note that it is not very profitable to partner with these organisations.
For this reason, smaller food businesses are following franchises by creating their own online ordering systems.
Of course, when it comes to reservations, customers can book directly on Instagram and Facebook. You can even add reservation widgets across your social media channels, allowing customers to order food right from your feed.
Inventory tracking and purchasing
Managing supply and demand is a lot easier said than done, at least when you are using the classic paper and pen method. You can save yourself the headache by automating inventory tracking and purchasing.
You can install tracking and purchasing systems on their own or link them together for greater efficiency.
Tracking your inventory in this way ensures you always have a complete view of your main stock. Through a mobile app, you can submit and track specific inventory counts and customise your counting schedules.
You can also link purchases directly to your inventory tracking system. This will ensure that the tool alerts you when inventory is low and reminds you to make the necessary purchases. Or you could set up an automatic system that purchases stock when it goes below a predetermined threshold.
Scheduling staff can be a major headache at the best of times. Luckily, there are plenty of digital management options that won’t break the bank. These systems will quickly allow you to create and distribute a weekly digital schedule for all staff.
The system gives real-time updates and utilises historical data to avoid instances of understaffing or overstaffing.
The technology is even capable of monitoring sales and staffing budgets to reduce overheads.
Five years ago, we asked ourselves a simple question: Why is it so hard to run a compliant business.
Despite the digital transformation and continued adoption of restaurant technology, digital compliance solutions were sorely lacking.
Time and again, business owners were missing compliance deadlines due to a lack of clarity and resources. This, was in turn, impacting local regulators’ ability to identify high-risk areas and proactively address the situation.
Since then, we have made it our mission to help businesses protect their communities by simplifying compliance.
With SwiftQuote, you can review and book trusted service providers in your area. Once you book a service through the SwiftQuote App, we will upload your compliance documents to your city regulator for you.