Implementing new restaurant technology can feel like navigating a minefield. This article outlines some common mistakes restaurateurs make when implementing new technology in their restaurant and offers potential solutions for each pitfall.
Just because technology is supposed to make your life easier doesn’t mean it always does. In fact, implementing new restaurant technology can feel like scaling an insurmountable cliff composed of mistakes, headaches, and frustration – a triple threat that can be intimidating to overcome. That’s why choosing intuitive restaurant technology backed by robust customer support is so essential; choosing the wrong software, system, or implementation tool can complicate restaurant operations and make your life a living hell—the exact opposite of what restaurant technology is supposed to do.
Below are some mistakes commonly made when implementing new restaurant technology.
Mistake #1: Not Involving Your Team
When implementing new restaurant technology, it can seem like you are doing your staff a favor by leaving them in the dark until the ‘grunt work’ is finished. You’ll be saving them the stress of dealing with a new system until it’s totally functional, right? Think again! Leaving your team in the dark is one of the worst ways to begin using a new restaurant technology. Your cooks, servers, managers, and hosts are each going to be affected by your decision, and they’ll each be working with your new software every day.
Bring your team in early! Put together an employee council with people from different roles and different locations to help evaluate how the software will work in their day-to-day routines. Once you have made a decision, have a meeting with your entire staff to clue them in. Make sure to make time for extensive training sessions so that each employee can get comfortable with the new software.
Mistake #2: Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
It’s like tearing off a Band-Aid: if you’re implementing new restaurant technology, you might as well make it two or three, right? Especially if you have multiple areas of your business that need attention, cleaning house seems like the easiest way to get it all done. This may be true in some cases, but it’s important to realize that updating your POS, employee management, and customer experience software simultaneously leaves a lot of room for potential error and diminished guest experience.
Focus on one area at a time. If your POS is a P.O.S., upgrade that system before making a move on a new scheduling app for your employees. Humans are not great multitaskers, so having the opportunity and concentration to implement one restaurant technology at a time is going to help you and your staff acclimate to new changes while still providing a great customer experience. Or hey, if you really don’t want to wait, invest in restaurant technology that does everything!
Mistake #3: Not Planning Ahead
Choosing to implement new restaurant technology is not a ‘fire-from-the-hip’ kind of decision. It’s going to affect most, if not all, aspects of your business and either drastically improve the working lives of yourself and your staff or severely handicap it. Just because restaurant technology is available doesn’t mean that it can immediately improve operations and profits. The first step to any successful implementation is to have some sort of a game plan. If it helps, think of it like a recipe—it’s much easier to make a delicious macaron if you’re following instructions, and although it’s much less pleasing to the palate, the same goes for implementing new restaurant technology.
The solution to this one is pretty straightforward: plan ahead! Do some research, analyze which parts of your restaurant could improve with the assistance of restaurant technology, and which areas you probably don’t want to touch. Having a plan when implementing restaurant technology is a surefire way to save your future self a massive headache.
Mistake #4: Buying the Wrong Software
So many restauranteurs end up purchasing restaurant technologies that don’t do everything they need, are underutilized, or just too expensive for the services offered. With so many options out there, it can be easy to buy into something that you don’t need or overlook a software that could drastically improve your restaurant operations, guest experience, or bookkeeping.
Do! Your! Research! The market is full of great restaurant technologies that do everything from tracking inventory to offering detailed sales and purchasing reports, the only thing you have to do is choose them! If choosing is overwhelming, find software that can do it all—inventory, purchasing, reporting and analytics, time and attendance, HR, operations, food safety, and cash management. It may sound like a golden goose, but once you find the right software, put in the time to involve your team, and plan your implementation in digestible pieces, restaurant technology can help you capitalize on success.