Ways to use technology to improve your restaurant business

Own a restaurant or a chain of them? In either situation, efficiency is a big concern, as the food service industry often lags behind other sectors of the economy on this measure.

In this article, we’ll share several innovations that will help you run your kitchen and dining room in a more effective manner.

1) Instituting tablet-based PoS systems

When it comes to training staff, there are few pain points that are more acute then getting them to understand how the PoS system works.

Most software in existing legacy systems are not user-friendly in how they’re designed, making it difficult for new employees to learn how to use them.

Since they are so confusing, there is also a heightened probability they will make a mistake inputting customer orders.

However, there are iOS based POS systems out there that offer a user experience far superior to what prior offerings gave to restaurant employees and owners.

Boasting the usability that many leading tablet apps have, it is possible to get comfortable with these programs within a few hours, reducing wasted time and customer complaints stemming from messed up orders.

Additionally, these programs also offer the restaurant owner the ability to generate reports that track dish orders and to compare/contrast total sales day-to-day, month-to-month, and even year-to-year.

2) Installing kiosk ordering stations

Operate a fast-food franchise? If you are looking to improve the efficiency of the customer experience and reduce labor costs, kiosk ordering stations are available that can do the job of a cashier with minimal issues.

These units can be customized to a region’s currency, as they come with the ability to accept bills and coins of varying gauges/sizes. They can also accept credit cards and mobile payment options, depending on the company you are working with.

While you will have to do a fair amount of upfront work with the vendor to produce ordering screens that match what you have on your menu, the effort will be worth it once customer lines are shorter and you are able to count the money you are saving by employing fewer staff members.

3) Recycle used frying oil into biodiesel

Own a truck that can run on biodiesel? Stop disposing of frying oil once it has outlived its usefulness. Instead, turn it into a source of fuel for your ride by purchasing a biodiesel converter.

Don’t have diesel vehicles? Make fuel from your frying oil and re-sell it to consumers, as doing this can add another income stream to your business.

With only potassium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, methanol, water, and electricity necessary to make the process work, you will see a return on your investment in no time flat.

4) Ensure employee compliance using webcam monitoring

Most employees are hard-workers who just want to make an honest living. However, there are always a few bad apples who ruin it for everyone by failing to follow proper health protocol or by stealing from the till.

A well-managed webcam monitoring system can alleviate these concerns by pairing them with RFID badges which confirm whether employees have washed their hands and how long they spent performing this essential activity.

As far as loss prevention goes, the benefit that webcams provide is obvious, as owners are able to see who is at the till when the amount of cash put into the safe doesn’t match what the PoS system says the business made that day.

5) Set up a light signaling system in the kitchen

Sound signals are used throughout the fast food industry to maintain food quality, but they are absent from most dining establishments, as these crass tones take away from the customer experience.

Light signaling is a great way to indicate to kitchen staff that certain actions need to be taken without disturbing customers in the dining room.

By making use of LED lights that flash when the dishwasher is ready to be unloaded, or when food should be removed from an oven/deep fryer, kitchen staff can be more effective at their job without having to compromise on ambiance in your restaurant.