Is Your Restaurant Smart?
We all know our customers are tech savvy and expect to engaged with social media, in-restaurant apps, online ordering and even wireless payment options. Most restaurateurs feel the increase of customers’ use of photos of their food, the restaurant décor or ambiance and even servers and restaurant staff as a positive – providing free advertising. There are some down sides. After all, there is nothing truly free in the restaurant business. Over the past few years, the increase in social media usage has also increased the amount of time the average patron occupies a table. Unless businesses have expanded hours (also expanding labor cost), restaurant managers have seen a decrease in total patrons served.
With all the new smartphone technology and commonplace use of tablets as a means of ordering and paying bills, how else can technology affect the way restaurants operate? What are the new apps and systems in play that help restaurant managers and staff increase the efficiency of today’s dining establishments? Here are a handful of apps, software and systems you should consider for your dining establishment, bar or night club.
Canvas is an app that allows you to use your smartphone or tablet to track any of your restaurant inventory, supplies and even employee information like timesheets. You can batch QuickBooks invoices and all of the needed forms can download to any database. You can also export to a PDF or spreadsheet, making re-ordering of those supplies easy.
Seat more guests and effectively manage your front of house with NoWait. This app provides an interface on the host side that allows your hosting staff to quickly manage seating at each table, take reservations from prospective customers, manage wait lists and even keep analytical data on your customers. Whether your host staff is managing complicated multi-room views, table timers or bringing together multiple tables for a large party, this app will assist in that organization. Available for both iOS and Android devices, there are even options to customize sections for your restaurant’s layout. Manage server rotations and keep analytical stats on each server.
NRC Aloha Management
Truly a full solution, NRC Aloha Management’s system covers everything from POS technology to web-based back office suite of inventory and labor specific tools that will help you look and manage every aspect of your restaurant. The NRC Aloha Management system is both hardware and software that is customizable for your needs. Their solution also includes the needed training and is certainly considered enterprise, though there are solutions for every sized establishment.
Finding an app that allows your guests to quickly pay their tab with their smart device should be on every restaurant owner’s to do list. Accepting mobile payments without requiring additional hardware in order to function is a definitive plus for the tech savvy customer. TabbedOut offers an app that integrates with many POS software versions already. If you include their other app, Periscope, to the solution, you add a powerful option to re-connect with those customers. Address service issues, respond to positive reviews and engage customers with future offers and announcements directly to their smartphone.
This is certainly not a complete list. There are tons more apps for everything from loyalty programs to apps that help control alcohol inventory. What apps or software is new to your business this year? What additions do you have planned? Drop us some comments.