Streamlining front and back-of-house operations is essential for any restaurateur, but doing so should never come at the cost of a poor guest experience. Finding the right tools to optimize your restaurant operations can make your life easier AND help your staff provide better service to your valued customers.
Customers are the lifeblood of your restaurant. They choose to venture out of their kitchens to fork over their hard-earned cash—a yearly average of $3,008 per household—in exchange for your delicious food and excellent service. It makes sense that you, as a dedicated restaurateur, would want to streamline your restaurant operations to capitalize on the market of dedicated foodies and improve your profit margin. What doesn’t make sense is that streamlining your restaurant operations would come at the cost of a diminished guest experience.
Thankfully, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too. While some restaurant technology companies offer limited software packages that can’t address operations and guest experience simultaneously, others provide a robust selection of comprehensive tools that can be customized to meet your restaurant’s needs—without charging you for services you won’t find useful. If you are looking to cut back on waste, improve your team’s productivity, and provide consistently exceptional service to your loyal customers, consider the following steps:
1. Buy the Right Tools
Finding the right back-of-house software can help your restaurant operate smoothly and provide more effective headache relief than Ibuprofen. While there are a plethora of option out there, it’s always a good idea to start with big-picture stuff, like restaurant operations software.
Look for a tool that allows you to create customized tasks (recurring is always helpful), track maintenance requests, and improve staff communication. These options allow you to develop consistency in process and service that will reduce waste and make it easier for your staff to provide outstanding service time and time again. With the right tools, you can channel your passion for food into productive business practices that translate directly to success.
2. Invest in Your Employees
Streamlining your restaurant operations should improve your employees’ work lives. Finding management tools that reduce some of the day-to-day stresses of working in a restaurant will not only make your staff more productive, but it will show that you value them and the contribution they make to your business, thus driving employee retention.
Implementing consistent scheduling and task management practices can go a long way in cultivating a happy workplace environment, and happy employees will, in turn, provide a better guest experience to your customers—who will be so blown away by the service that they’ll become fierce advocates for your restaurant.
3. Listen to Your Customers
Your bottom line is directly dependent on your customer, so doing everything in your power to create a memorable guest experience is in your best interest. Understanding why your customers choose your restaurant out of countless others, what types of entrees they order, and what types of food they usually avoid is essential to identifying what aspects of your business are crushing it—and singling out the parts you need to improve.
Listening to your customers can be difficult, especially if you spend most of your time supervising back-of-house operations. Luckily, affordable software exists that can track guest behavior, giving you the ability to check the pulse of your restaurant from anywhere in the world.
4. Recognize Your Successes
Owning and operating a successful restaurant is hard. The market is saturated, finding talented and reliable staff is difficult, and keeping your bank account in the black can sometimes seem impossible.
In such a volatile environment, it can be easy to fall into a cycle of frustration and disappointment, but focusing on these emotions will only make it more difficult to succeed. That’s why recognizing your victories is so important—doing so can keep you grounded, boost your motivation, and put your strengths into perspective. Plus, investing in the right tools can help you take your restaurant from struggling to successful by simplifying your restaurant operations and improving your guest experience.
At the end of the day, you are the one in control of your restaurant. You are the one responsible for your guest experience, the one who spends countless hours of overtime brainstorming exciting new ways to entice and retain customers. This is your labor of love; restaurant operations and guest experience software exist to simply facilitate your progress and improve your odds of success. You can choose to brave the turbulent foodservice industry alone, but with so many affordable tools available, why would you want to?