Technology continues to march forward, whether you’re paying attention to it or not. And, when it comes to business of any kind, you ignore this at your own peril.
Yes, there’s some value in the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But it’s also true that new technologies, like contactless payment and mobile menu browsing, can make for significant improvements in efficiency and quality of service and any number of other important factors that can improve your bottom line, and this is especially true in the restaurant game.
Let’s take a look, then at some of the most essential newer technologies that every restaurant should be using in order to keep up with (or surpass) the competition:
Cloud-based POS systems are generally leaner, meaner, more flexible, easier to maintain, and less expensive to set up and upgrade than their traditional counterparts.
Instead of expensive servers, lengthy installation and training for your staff, exorbitant software licensing fees, and more, most cloud-based systems can be run from an iPad or Android tablet. It’s true you’ll still need cash drawers, receipt printers, and card readers, but instead of needing proprietary parts tailored only for a specific hardware setup, you can often choose from a variety of cheaper, universal options made to work with any of a variety of cloud-based systems.
Software for these systems is also simpler and often significantly less expensive.
Whereas a traditional system requires software that powers all of its peripheral components as well as doing the work of processing the data in-house, cloud system software need only be complex enough to power the interface on your tablets of choice.
All processing is done in the cloud. This means you pay a monthly subscription fee instead of up-front hardware costs and software licensing fees, and software upgrades are downloaded automatically. Cloud-based systems are also much more easily (and economically) scalable as your business grows.
Screens, screens, screens
Touchscreens are everywhere these days. From the smartwatch on your wrist, to the phone in your customer’s pocket, they make getting things done faster and more intuitive, and that’s a very good thing when you’re trying to get through that lunch rush.
Mobile online ordering, menu browsing, and contactless payment systems can help speed up order processing for your wait staff, resulting in lower wait times for customers and quicker table turnaround for you.
Touch-screen POS terminals and self-serve kiosks were the up and coming tech prior to 2020, but with the sanitary requirements attendant on COVID-19, their utility is somewhat in the air for the moment. Solutions like OneDine’s, however, put your customers’ destinies in their own hands, allowing them to use their own mobile device to check in, order, and pay, all at the table and on their own schedule.
Add a kitchen display system (KDS) to keep things moving efficiently in the back of the house, and the overall efficiency of your operation, from check-in to payment, can be increased tremendously.
With the advent of COVID-19, this technology has gone from “great to have” to “indispensible” overnight. A restaurant simply can’t survive today without some means of providing online ordering and curbside pickup or delivery.
OneDine’s parking lot order and pay technology solution allows guests to order from your menu on their mobile device, drive to your location, and notify you when they arrive so food can be delivered to their car. They can also drive up and order right from your parking lot by scanning QR codes on installed signs. It’s convenient, easy to use, and ideal for the new normal of contactless service.
The list could go on, but the message is simple. You may or may not love technology, but you ignore it at your own risk. Keeping yourself up to date on the latest tech offerings is an essential part of remaining viable in a rapidly changing world.