A month ago, I visited a restaurant and saw a robot wandering around the floor with some plates on it. It seemed a bit lost going in circles, like my floor cleaning robot: conga, that sometimes decides to take ownership of the trip and spontaneously go to another room.
My article is not about criticising robots in restaurants or congas in houses. I firmly believe that a robot programmed to assist humans and facilitate their lives is a win-win situation.
Reading an article* from the latest restaurant association show reflects that technology is on a spiral. It would be excellent news if that technology helped deliver sustainable growth, where restaurant owners fully understand the ROI.
Every industry has its own pace of growth. Despite the challenges that restaurants have lived with and continue to, food is vital, and restaurants should remain in business while we need to eat and stay socially active. But I think we might be complicating the process a bit.
For someone like me, there is nothing simpler than eating. It is a vital function, the same as sleeping. So, I enjoy the social aspect of going to a restaurant. But for other people, the food itself is a reason to celebrate.
Let's simplify things a bit more and take advantage of the current technology we are not using to the fullest. Because each day, we gain in distractions, and we seem to have less time on our hands, we should keep the restaurant experience or visit as seamless as possible for the customers and us working in restaurants.
Every operator I speak to demands simplicity in booking, collecting WiFi data, ordering the food, menus, payment and follow-up.
I have talked about decluttering technology in previous articles, so these are my two short pieces of advice for today:
1. Do you use your current technology to the fullest? Have you thoroughly investigated your POS and reservation ecosystem, so you don't pile up technology and confuse your staff and customers?
It is easy to get excited about buying new tools as they all provide benefits and promise growth. However, in the current environment, an operator should not have to deal with more than 3/4 of systems to do their job efficiently. This includes a POS, TMS and inventory management.
Request a meeting with your technology providers to explore more into what other functions you can get and how you can avoid buying into the latest tech that you do not need. If the "biggies" want to remain in business, they will soon have to build all the extras restaurants now demand.
2. Do you understand your market? Everything we do in business requires a comparison as it helps us evaluate how well we are doing things and what else we could do to improve. Every analysis requires some benchmarking. Buying new technology because the neighbour has it is not a justifiable way of spending the money. Instead, it is reasonable to understand how the market operates in revenue figures and KPIs and then decide what technology can improve my business.
You can get benchmarking data and revenue management tools if you join REMS hospitality.
Author: Carmen Mallo