Today’s hospitality trends matter more than ever before as operators reinvent their operations to seize opportunities of the transformed market.
The hottest topics are easy to identify: labour and supply chain pressure, for example, and extra-demanding customers with altered requirements.
Operators who think on their feet and respond fast will continue to grow and prosper, so we talked to some top NFS customers and identified the top 5 behaviours trending in successful restaurants this year. They are:
- Building a brand that will stand
- Growing the right culture
- Streamlining workflows
- Seizing each guest experience moment
- Enriching and rewarding
Building a brand that will stand
Brand used to be what you added to your offering, an extra that was nice but not strictly necessary. Now it’s a lot more than that, according to Shamil Thakrar, co-founder of much-loved Indian restaurant group Dishoom.
They opened ten delivery kitchens in 2021 to help support their staff, customers and suppliers – and to Shamil, it’s a huge part of building a brand that stands up to scrutiny.
He said: “We reflected on the way we do things. There are two parts to this: one, we make promises to our customers, our people and our suppliers. This is our brand and reputation. And two, we fulfil those promises.
“That gap between promises and execution, and how well you manage it, is your culture. It’s not about KPIs; culture is what we do if nobody is looking. And if you do it well, that is when you have continued success.”
Growing the right culture
With recruitment a key issue, restaurateurs need to be sure they are providing staff with an attractive working environment that promotes wellbeing and enjoyment.
Marugame Udon Chief Executive Keith Bird recently opened his company’s first European restaurant 2021, in London, and he says building the right culture is essential. His company shipped in special equipment and an udon black belt master to train new managers for the outlet.
“It’s crucial to get the values and culture right – and to make sure we build a team that has a sense of fun and excitement that the customers can share,” he said.
“Good restaurant management software enables tableside ordering and payment, reducing the running around staff need to do and increasing the time they have to engage with customers,” he said.
“This boosts productivity and makes the job enjoyable, as well as improving customer service. The software helps managers match staffing to demand by identifying busy and slack times, and by producing useful forecasts.”
Digital software does not just control labour better; a good EPOS system for restaurants integrates with other technologies such as kitchen automation to streamline workflows and cut costs.
In chain restaurants, NFS Aloha POS solutions give managers an end-to-end view of sales and operations online in real time, removing the need to duplicate head office roles and driving synergies.
For example, ultra-cool Manchester-based Archies Burgers and Shakes deployed an Aloha EPOS system for restaurants in their nine restaurants. The group reports that the seamless integration with kitchen automation it provides has meant faster, even fresher food with reduced waste.
Seizing each guest experience moment
Every minute counts in the guest experience – even for quick service outlets. So it’s important that not a second goes by where the customer does not feel cosseted.
Digital technology has revolutionised every step of the guest journey, enabling online reservations and ordering, faster seating, quick and convenient payment and even making it easy to post social media reviews.
“Customers expect the kind of seamless digital experience and convenience that restaurant POS software provides,” said Luis De Souza.
“NFS client Suj Legha, the CEO and multi-franchise owner of Doner Shack, has deployed an Aloha EPOS system for restaurants in his branches from Leeds to Manchester. “It helps us make the most of every minute we interact with our customers,” he said.
Enriching and rewarding
Offering customers the chance to feel part of a community is a great way to encourage repeat business and get ahead of potential competitors. It does no harm to your brand, either, to be friendly towards guests.
An EPOS system for restaurants supports this by encouraging two-way conversations via social media, and also helps restaurants understand their guests’ requirements in a dynamic way by capturing data at each interaction.
It means you can design loyalty programmes that reflect a diner’s evolving interests, with targeted email offers that will hit home – for instance, Doner Shack send customers a greeting with a £5 off voucher on their birthday.
Luis De Souza said: “These five trending behaviours show that for hospitality businesses and their customers, 2022 looks highly personalised.
“Restaurants with good software support will forge closer links with guests than ever before, liaising with them regularly and understanding how their requirements evolve.
“An EPOS system for restaurants enables holistic labour management, creating a healthy workplace where staff want to work. Guests will feel the benefit as servers have time to offer advice and knowledge about the dishes.”
And while the effects of the past two years will continue to echo, he is convinced technology provides winning support.
“UK restaurant leaders have shown how incredibly resilient, resourceful and innovative they are,” he said. “Technology consolidates that effort – and it will provide the wind beneath their wings as the industry continues to push ahead.”
How can an EPOS system for restaurants help you?