Keeping your operating costs under control for one site can be challenging. Once you scale your restaurant business across multiple sites then it can seem overwhelming.
Growing your business means more spend on stock and labour, more suppliers to manage and, ultimately, more costs to control.
While this may mean more complexity, having a robust restaurant management software solution in place ensures that you can keep everything under a tight rein.
Let’s briefly explore some of the costs you need to consider, which ones you can control and how technology can drive efficiencies and keep costs down.
What do you need to control?
Before you invest in technology you need to have a checklist of fixed and variable costs that you need to control.
Prime costs – labour and costs of goods sold typically account for 60% of operating costs. Keeping these costs below 60% should be a key objective.
Plate costs – the costs to serve a menu item.
Utility costs – water and electricity. While you may not be able to control them you can certainly minimise their usage.
Monthly marketing costs – your expenditure is determined by how solid a plan you have in place and how effective the channels are.
Rent – this is going to be very much static each month as any decision to increase or decrease it is in the hands of the landlord.
Internet and phone – again these will be fixed until you find a better deal.
Software technology costs – for example your accounting software or restaurant management software.
Technology to the rescue
Having a great restaurant management software system in place ensures that you immediately save on your labour costs by cutting back significantly on time spent on tedious admin.
Calculations on plate costs that would have previously taken hours in Excel, for example, can be done in seconds. Taking this one step further, you can update your group’s menus instantly with the press of a few buttons.
It goes even further than that. You no longer need to rely on manual inputs and calculations so you can purely concentrate on making proactive business decisions based on accurate data.
Here are some ways that a dedicated restaurant management software solution can keep operating costs down:
Stock control – you can easily track sales, inventory, purchases and other expenses. In addition, you can accurately predict your theoretical usage and food cost.
For your growing operation it streamlines communication with suppliers and provides accurate forecasting tools to predict future sales and product mixes.
Options such as automated ordering over email or using a direct link to supplier ensures that time and money is saved throughout the stock ordering process as any friction is removed.
Labour – with an enterprise-level restaurant management software solution you can monitor labour costs across all your sites. Keeping track of worked and non-worked hours is greatly simplified.
What’s more, you can align predictive sales data to determine the right amount of staffing you need at any one time.
Security features such as biometric login ensures that staff can’t game the system.
For group operators, you can also easily transfer staff between sites – a great feature for the optimal maximising of resources.
Automated rostering and integration to payroll systems creates even greater efficiencies.
Improved operational efficiencies – the integration of kitchen automation, online delivery platforms and the restaurant management software creates a seamless ordering, payment and preparation experience.
Further integrations, such as to digital signage and mobile payment platforms helps create a great digital experience for your guests while saving on printing costs and staff time spent on chasing payment.
Marketing – an enterprise level restaurant management solution gives you all the tools you need to manage marketing centrally.
You can create localised or national email campaigns at the touch of a button.
Advanced reporting will show you which channels are working, and which ones are not so you can make the right decisions quickly before you make a potentially risky investment.
Taking it one step further, you can also create compelling loyalty programmes which will drive down the costs of acquiring customers and deliver a greater customer lifetime value.
Real-time reporting – it’s no good having information that is either out of date or not actionable. You need a solution that gives up to date information ideally in the palm of your hand.
A solution like Aloha Pulse enables restaurateurs to see how their business is performing across all sites at any time of the day or night. The alerts feature warns them of any suspicious activity such as fraud so they can proactively take measures to nip it immediately in the bud.
Mobile-based reporting enables you to make fast decisions on the fly that will have immediate impact.
How restaurant management software transforms client businesses
Our Aloha solution has been key to the growth of many leading restaurant brands.
Read what BrewDog, Gaucho and Dishoom have to say:
“The Pulse App is an awesome tool that provides our managers and operations team with a competitive edge in terms of real-time information across our global estate of Craft Beer Bars that is critical to achieving our mission of making everyone as passionate about craft beer as we are.” James Brown, Retail Director, Brewdog
“Elements of the Aloha solution like Pulse for real-time management information on a mobile platform really help us to manage the business without having to be on to understand operational peformance.” Martin Williams, CEO, Rare Restaurants (M/Gaucho)
“Aloha is a proven, powerful standalone restaurant EPOS software solution that provides all the information to ensure the seamless running of our cafes. We particularly like the link to social media so we can see feedback from our loyal customers.” Brian Trollip, Head of Operations, Dishoom
Watch our digital transformation video to see how this could help you expand.
With an enterprise-level restaurant management software solution in place you can create efficiencies, enact change across the whole estate and get a real handle on your whole operation’s sales and inventory data in one convenient place.
Having visibility of all your variable costs in one place enables you to quickly and effectively make decisions that will have an immediate impact on your operating margin.
If you’d like to get a more detailed view of how our restaurant management and an idea of the fantastic return on investment our solutions can give you then book a demo today.