Authored by: Olivier Thierry (Chief Marketing Officer)
(Part 2 of 2)
To round out this series, we continue with four final factors that may limit your potential to increase profitability, scale and optimize efficiency. However, with the right solutions in place, you can easily overcome these challenges and, in turn, run your restaurant your way.
- Bottlenecks in Your Operation
When an order is placed, is there a clean line of communication between your waitstaff and the kitchen? Do order changes mess up the work and create chaos? How prepared is your restaurant for a sudden onslaught of customers? Is there a long line of people waiting to pay their bill? Do you have several waitstaff waiting to use the POS at the same time?
You need an automated system that is designed to maximize efficiency. It must be scalable and flexible enough to accommodate peak times but also scalable enough to facilitate growth so you can expand.
- Not Owning or Using Data
In today’s world, data is gold. The restaurant industry can collect customer data about what your guests have ordered in the past, how they prefer to order, how often they visit your restaurant, and many other preferences. But if you’re unable to access this data, you’re leaving money on the table.
You could be using collected data to target customers on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, or to suggest new menu options to try.
Note that if you’re using a third-party delivery service, chances are, these companies are not sharing customer data with you – so you’re missing opportunities.
With a system that collects and aggregates data, you have a direct line into customers. You also have a way to maintain top of mind awareness so you can remain competitive.
- Relying on Phone or In Person Orders
At one time, restaurants’ main source of income was either through guests visiting their location or taking orders over the phone. Times have obviously changed with the advent of the Internet and smartphones. People now expect to order food the way they order most other goods – digitally. If you’re not taking online orders, you are losing money to competitors who offer it. You can’t afford to rely strictly on traffic that passes by.
Having your restaurant solely depends on phone orders ties up staff, potentially creating bottlenecks and even mistakes. How hard or easy is it to customize your digital ordering? Have you successfully integrated curbside, takeout and delivery options into your ordering platform?
You need to allow your customers to reach you from multiple sources. Providing ordering convenience through online ordering online increases efficiency, control and helps avoid errors.
- Not Optimizing your Marketing Potential
How well do you really know your customers? Are you able to send them personalized, targeted messages or suggest menu items to add to their ticket so you can increase their purchase volume and encourage trial of new or additional menu options? If not, you’re missing out on sales opportunities. Are you still relying on paper coupons which are difficult to track and manage? Are you able to customize the offers to customers so you can reward loyal customers or attract new ones?
Timing is everything; are you able to send out offers at regular intervals to keep top of mind awareness? Is coupon redemption a nightmare for your staff? Can you redeem points or offers quickly without a hassle?
You need a system that you can use the data you collect. The system needs to be intuitive with AI and machine learning so you can target your customers effectively with timely offers. Your rewards program and coupon redemption should be automated, so administration isn’t a nightmare, and the customer experience is optimized.
Most of these issues can be resolved by automating your restaurant and its processes with a central 360 solution. By taking control of every area of your operations, from online ordering to loyalty, and from multi-unit reporting to delivery, you can avoid guessing or using your gut to run your business. You’ll be able to optimize efficiency, boost profitability, and grow.
To learn more about running your restaurant your way, visit hungerrush.com