Dining out on technology: 7 ways digitisation helps your restaurant

UK workplaces have been doing digital for years now, thanks to agile working – but can restaurants and hospitality businesses take some tips from the new technology toolbox?

We think so – and we’ve come up with our top restaurant software tips to help your business as we head for the rocky roads of 2019.

The reason digitisation can be applied to hospitality businesses is because it’s all about how technology can help people solve traditional problems in new ways.

It often involves organisations streamlining their operations and removing obstacles – and at the moment the UK is running well behind on embracing this potential: according to the McKinsey Global Institute’s Industry Digitization Index, the country has only reached 17% of its full digital potential.

What does that mean for your restaurant? It means digitisation can give you a competitive edge to keep you ahead of the others.

So let’s take a look at specific ways digitisation can help you – these are our top 7 restaurant software tips:

Self-service kiosks

Kiosks are a great solution for on-the-go customers, particularly millennial consumers who like liaising with a machine.

This queue-busting technology frees serving staff to carry out customer service; customer data shows it also encourages a larger average value of orders.

Hand-held technology

Forget relying on staff carrying potentially inaccurate paper chits to the kitchen. Handheld tableside ordering on devices ranging from tablets to smartphones means 100% accuracy and speeds service because go to the bar and kitchen immediately.

Kitchen video technology allows chefs to see the orders at a glance, without having to feed paper into kitchen printers.

Serving staff gets plenty of upselling opportunities, too, as the system gives them prompts and allows them to take drinks orders too – great for busy bars or outdoor terrace.

Digital signage

There’s no longer any need to give customers a paper menu – you can display menus in HD, and even create attractive motion video to bring them to life. Menu changes can be carried instantly with drag and drop capability.

Mobile payments

Today’s customers appreciate a speedy dining experience, and in the digital restaurant, they can use mobile payment systems to pay for their meal at tableside without having to get a server’s attention.

It’s been shown that restaurateurs with these solutions see on average an increase in profits of 17%.

Kitchen automation

Digitisation can reach right into your kitchen environment. With kitchen automation technology, the speed of order preparation can be greatly increased.

The best digital kitchen technology includes kitchen video, bump bars, and a graphical interface, cutting out errors, reducing wastage and sending food to the pass at top speed.

Reputation management

Many consumers spend their entire day plugged into social media, and a restaurant’s reputation can often hinge on a good or bad Trip Advisor review.

One food intelligence company announced this year that it’s developing software that will allow diners to give dish-by-dish customer feedback…

One of our best restaurant software tips is to choose a restaurant management system that includes a real-time reputation management solution. It alerts your managers to any adverse comments so they can respond rapidly to put issues right.

Business intelligence

You can now keep tabs on your business 24/7 thanks to online business intelligence tools, part of your restaurant management systems. It allows you to see real-time sales figures or make menu changes in your restaurant or even across a group in an instant.

We all know that today’s digital customer is time-poor and demanding – and is also spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a dining option.

The most savvy restaurateurs now realise they need to create not only amazing food but also world-class customer engagement if they want to attract diners and bring them back again.

Digitisation helps them provide the kind of sleek, personalised customer service that gives them a competitive edge in a crowded market – and that can’t hurt…

* Here’s another restaurant software tip: check out our video to see how digital transformation could work in your restaurant.

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