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Goodbye, POS: The Restaurant Management System (RMS) is the Future

When McDonalds became the first restaurant in the world to adopt the digital point of sale (POS) system in 1973, it was a game-changing moment. In the fifty years since, POS systems have evolved to encompass a wide array of features, used by almost every restaurant in the United States.

But the POS model has hit a brick wall it cannot overcome, and as the restaurant industry evolves to demand greater interoperability with other essential systems, it’s time we make the next leap in restaurant technology innovation.

We’re proud to enable restaurants to achieve a more profitable future with the next evolution of the POS: the Restaurant Management System, or RMS for short.

This represents a paradigm shift in how owners manage restaurants—from single-unit locations to large enterprise businesses—and it’s going to unlock countless new doors. We’ll get into the details, including… 

  • Why the POS system has met its natural end (we honor the life it lived!)
  • A new framework for data-driven restaurant management
  • 5 brand new opportunities that an RMS enables for restaurants

The grass really is greener, and we’re excited to share why.

It’s The End Of The Road For The Restaurant POS 

Think of your POS as a doorway between your business and customers. Customers walk through the door (make a transaction) to access your food. In this limited sense, the POS is an incredible tool for creating better customer experiences.

Over time, however, the POS system has become bloated with features and tools that are only loosely connected—and those loose connections come with notable limitations.

  • Reporting data in your POS is incomplete. Your POS primarily tracks sales that happen through that doorway. But what about online sales, third-party delivery, or bulk orders from catering customers? The ways customers buy are changing rapidly, and the POS doorway just isn’t designed to fit them all.
  • Marketing and loyalty opportunities are cut short. POS systems only communicate with customers that have walked through that doorway, and are often limited to single locations (a big yikes for multi-unit operators). Most restaurants use more than one tool to manage rewards, loyalty, and marketing—and those tools rarely play nice together, so you’re left with incomplete data in each system and inefficient growth.
  • Inventory tracking is inefficient. Some POS systems remove items from inventory when they’re sold via that doorway (which seems handy at first), but what about other ways you use food? Corporate catering, waste and spoilage, moving ingredients from one location to another—POS inventory systems can’t handle all this variation.

And we haven’t even touched on employee scheduling, human resources, payroll, delivery driver management, and other business workflows. You’ll have to find external tools to manage those systems, and most of them don’t integrate completely with POS software, leaving you with no way to see, learn from, and make decisions based on all your business data.

When the POS system is used as if it’s the center of gravity for your business, and all the other tools revolve around it, you’re left with disjointed functionality, messy data, and limited growth potential.

But when you have clean data that flows freely from one system to the next—without having to be funneled through the small POS system doorway—you’re able to see clearly, make connections, and implement improvements like never before.

We’re hosting a webinar that walks through real-world examples of how an RMS bypasses these data limitations to help you take command of your business in unprecedented ways. 👉 Sign up to join us right here.

The RMS Re-Imagines Information Flow In Your Business

The POS doorway analogy is well-understood, but we want to take it further. The point of sale may be an important door for customers who want to engage with your business, however it’s not the only door to your business.

Your restaurant is a palace of doors, with all kinds of information flowing in and out from them.

  • Online orders, handheld tablets, and third-party delivery platforms represent additional ordering doorways
  • Food and supplies enter your business through the inventory and purchasing doors
  • Employees come in through scheduling and HR
  • In-house delivery drivers have a door of their own
  • And your reporting and analytics need to see all those doors in one place

The Restaurant Management System removes the POS as the center of gravity and puts it where it belongs: a module within your greater business ecosystem.

It’s no longer behaving as the primary doorway of your business to the outside world, but a doorway among many.

So what then is the new center of gravity for your restaurant business?

All your business data in the cloud.

The RMS model creates a common language that all your business systems speak, then hosts all that data in the cloud so that every system is constantly giving and receiving new information.

Your sales, ingredients, customers, staff, finances—all of it together makes up the hub. The spokes are the tools that let you manage those various systems and workflows with seamless integration.

5 New Opportunities The RMS Model Enables

With a Restaurant Management System, all the spokes of your business have a way to communicate perfectly with each other. This means you can connect and gain insights from tools in whole new ways.

Here are a few examples.

  • Digital, delivery, and in-person orders all go to the same place. The dreaded “wall of tablets” from order sources is a nightmare for order accuracy and back-of-house efficiency. With an RMS, all your point-of-sale doorways lead to the same kitchen workflow, ensuring orders don’t get lost, your kitchen staff doesn’t have to juggle ten order sources, and sales reporting always shows you the full picture.
  • You can fully own the delivery experience (and stop giving away 30% of every order). Third-party delivery platforms charge hefty commissions, then rob you of customer data, so you’re left crossing your fingers that they order again. With an RMS that has a delivery driver module, you’re able to accept and fulfill your own delivery orders, then market to those customers later—you’re in complete control.
  • Customers get a personalized experience everywhere. Whether they’re ordering in-store, from a mobile app, or your website, customers can receive personalized experiences that increase spend and loyalty—all because those various doorways are connected to the hub and sharing customer data in real-time.
  • Optimize inventory and purchasing to reduce waste and increase margins. Food waste and over-purchasing are the silent killers of profit margins. With an RMS that connects inventory, purchasing, and all your points of sales, you can understand trends and predict demand with greater confidence.
  • All your business intelligence lives in one space. Once all your business data is funneled to the hub, it can be organized, viewed, and acted upon without roadblocks. No more separate spreadsheets for twelve locations, or comparing POS data, loyalty data, and online sales data from different sources. It’s all there, from single store reports to business-wide growth, ready to be accessed from anywhere.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

The power of the RMS is so wide-reaching that it’s impossible to cover all the ways it can transform your business in a single article.

That’s why we’re hosting a webinar that walks through real-world examples of how an RMS helps you integrate systems in new ways and take command of your business like never before. 
Want to see an RMS in action? 👉 Sign up to join us right here.

How to Drive More Revenue with Your Customers’ Ordering Data

How to Drive More Revenue with Your Customers’ Ordering Data

Customer Data is a Goldmine

Restaurant owners nationwide are brainstorming strategies on how to not only survive the pandemic, but create real, long-term relationships and income by increasing focus on customer data. Customer ordering data, specifically, is playing a critical role in how restaurant owners determine what strategies to implement and drive additional revenue. 

Data is incredibly valuable. It tells you exactly who your customers are, what they love, and what drives their behaviors. Using this data allows restaurant owners to maximize their offerings and drive repeat business. In the competitive restaurant industry, customers are becoming increasingly selective with their spending, and with their limited disposable income. Understanding and leveraging customer data should not be overlooked. 

Here’s where to start: 

Make More Sales by Adjusting Your Menu to Focus on What’s Hot Versus What’s Not

Remove Menu Items that Aren’t Popular

Customer order data allows you to gauge your menu items based on popularity, so you can see customer favorites as well as the ones that might be worth nixing. Use your sales data to trim down your menu to remove the meal options that customers aren’t choosing often, or ones with hard to source ingredients that don’t always get used up before they spoil. By focusing on what your customers really love to eat at your establishment, you can keep inventory costs low and profitability high. 

Maximize Items that are Most Popular

Wondering what’s hot at your restaurant? Dive into your data to find out. By finding out what your customers order the most, you can tailor your promotions to maximize sales. If your Taco Tuesday is bringing in crowds, consider adding a Tex-Mex Thursday to entice customers while using up leftover inventory. 

Or, if your homemade marinara sauce is a community favorite, bottle it up and offer it to-go for families who want to recreate their favorite meals, from your restaurant, at home. Adjust your menu by days of the week to optimize inventory and capitalize on what your customers are already craving. 

Increase Customer Spending by Determining When and How to Run Promotions 

When are Your Slow Times? 

While you may already have a feel for which days of the week and what times are slowest for your restaurant, it’s better to have the data to back it up. With this data, you can launch new promotions for those days and times, giving you new opportunities to increase sales. You can also use this information to adjust staffing levels as needed to decrease labor costs. 

Combined with menu data, this information can help you truly maximize your sales. So if, for instance, you see that Monday evenings are slower than the rest of the week, but your boneless wings appetizers are particularly popular with customers, you can offer a discount on wings with any meal purchase every Monday evening. This brings in revenue on days where you may have previously experienced slow business.  

What Drives Customer Response?

Have you been putting all your marketing eggs in one basket? Maybe you’ve been sending out mailer coupons or including coupons in customer orders. How many of those customers actually bring them in to redeem? 

On the surface, customer data can seem difficult to decipher, but when you take a closer look, it can be a virtual window into past efforts and how they’ve worked out, so you can better predict what you need to do in the future. 

By looking into your customer data, you can see which promotions you’ve run in the past, identify how many sales resulted from it, and use your findings to determine which promotions would be the most profitable. That way, you can eliminate outdated promotions that don’t offer up a significant ROI (like mailed coupons) and focus more on the ones that do (like mobile app promotions, for instance). This allows you to stretch your marketing budget further and see a greater return over time. 

Increase Ticket Size by Personalizing the Customer Experience 

Everyone’s familiar with standard loyalty promotional perks, like birthday coupons. Those are great and still valuable. But, you can take your customer experience so much further than just a special day once a year. All it takes is the right restaurant technology tools and customer data. 

If a customer regularly orders family meals and dinner kits, you’ll be much more likely to see them come back if you send them personalized promotions for a dine-in family special or a kids meal coupon than you would if you offered half-priced drinks for two. 

Likewise, you’d drive way more loyalty and profits by offering deals on at-home cocktail kits with online orders for customers that usually take you up on your dine-in cocktail specials. Data gives you the power to harness your customer’s order history and preferences so you can send customized promotions for things they actually like.  

Don’t Let Third-Party Services Own Your Customer Data

Many restaurants partner with third-party online ordering and delivery platforms to increase their operative capacity and expand their reach. While these services are great if you don’t have the in-house resources to offer them on your own, they often come with a caveat: they are in control over the customer data. 

By integrating all of your ordering channels into a restaurant management system (RMS), including third-party services, you can ensure that all of the customer data remains your own. This also gives you the benefit of consolidating it all into one place. 

HungerRush has a robust RMS that includes a digital ordering platform, a strong loyalty program coupled with group ordering, third party integrations, and driver logistics, not to mention a killer coupon and reward management system that delivers results. With it, returning customers can easily place orders and have the option to save their addresses, payments, and even vehicle type for a more streamlined experience. They also get instant and exclusive access to loyalty rewards and discounts. 

HungerRush automates the process of collecting data on all of your ordering platforms, both on- and off-premises, and makes all of this data easier to manage and understand so that you can gain critical insight without spending hours poring over spreadsheets. This gives you a 360-degree view of your customer data, allowing you to make more informed business decisions that drive additional revenue. 

For more information on the HungerRush Restaurant Management System, request a demo with us today

Unifying Operations with a Restaurant Management System

Unifying Operations with a Restaurant Management System

The financial and economic impact that COVID-19 has placed on restaurants cannot be overstated. Virtually every restaurant owner has been forced to adjust their operations in some way. Restaurants have slowly begun reopening, but with a heavy focus on off-premises options and limited in-house dining. 

It isn’t just restaurants that have been affected. Customers now desire drastically different things than they did before. In the current restaurant environment, it’s critical that independent restaurant operators adapt their strategies based on incoming information about altered customer behavior and expectations. 

These changes to restaurant strategies will need to be implemented throughout your restaurant, from front to back, curbside pickup to delivery.

As your restaurant evolves, owning your customer data should be top of mind. Restaurants collect so many types of data, from the operational front to back of the house, and across wide-variety of categories, and then some:

  • Customer data: customer contacts, loyalty program enrollment, dining frequency, customer preferences, average order amount
  • Kitchen data: menu items, recipe data, cook times, and average cook times, plate-to-table times, items that have been 86’d
  • Guest management information: reservations, wait times, turnaround times, peak traffic times, pickup and delivery times
  • Staff data: scheduling, hours worked, training completed, labor costs
  • Inventory management data: food tracking and management, average food waste

The Importance of Unified Restaurant Operations

Between front-of-house, back-of-house, and off-premises operations, your restaurant has many moving parts. Even though these components’ functions are different, they all must be working together in harmony towards the same goals:

Better performance and guest experiences

With seamless connected front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) integrations, guests have a great dining experience, and curbside and delivery orders are hot, fresh, and roll out with ease. All this data transparency helps operators and employees remain cool, calm, and collected during the most demanding shifts and dining hours.

Operators who use integrated restaurant management technology can say goodbye to frustrated employees and “Hello” to awesome guest experiences.

Streamlining operations for maximum efficiency

When you unify your operations, you also unify your data, which means you can begin putting initiatives in place to streamline your operations. Whether it’s online ordering, dine-in, or curbside pickup, all of your services need to be on the same page. The tools used for communicating among these different areas must be user-friendly and centralized.

Best-in-class technology can help to streamline communication between parties, especially for tasks like ordering. For example, orders should be sent directly from the source to the kitchen, and the kitchen should be directly in touch with the wait staff. Keeping everything connected and working together cohesively helps prevent delayed, missed, or incorrect orders. 

Streamlining your operations can also improve your inventory management. Having access to a broader set of inventory data helps ensure all products, ingredients, and necessary items are always in-stock, and can easily be removed from menus if anything should run out unexpectedly. 

Keeping data in one place 

Every action within your restaurant generates data. Your technology is continually collecting and tracking data from delivery, online ordering, dine-in, loyalty programs, payments, and transactions. This data is incredibly powerful if harnessed and used correctly, so it is vital that you own all of your data and that it is accurate. 

Capturing data is just the first step. Once you have that covered, operators must be able to analyze it effectively. Piecing together fragmented and elusive information is difficult and time-consuming. It’s critical that you can organize and access all that data in one place so that you can ensure accuracy and create more informed decisions. 

How a Restaurant Management System Can Help

Without solid plans in place to unify all aspects of your operations, you may have an even harder time adapting your restaurant to changes brought by COVID-19. Luckily, tools and technologies have been developed that can help. 

With multiple, disparate technology systems, restaurant owners won’t be getting the efficiency and ROI they’re looking for. Data will be disconnected, which means that operators won’t be able to spot correlations, causations, and opportunities for growth. 

An integrated restaurant management system (RMS) can help. This solution acts as a comprehensive command center that unifies your restaurant operation. Systems like this come with features that help you become and remain competitive, offer valuable insight, and help you master your overall operations. 

With an RMS, you can benefit from integrating online orderingdelivery and takeout (including no-contact delivery and curbside pickup), loyalty and rewards programs, reporting, and management capabilities throughout your restaurant.

There are many advantages to an unified restaurant management system, including: 

Strengthened communication 

You can effortlessly connect your front-of-house, back-of-house, and delivery operations for maximum communication. Better communication means a server can enter in a customer order from the back patio, and the kitchen staff can receive it instantly. 

Better inventory management

Achieve better visibility and control over your inventory by unifying your data. When a prep staff member realizes they’re out of mac ‘n’ cheese, they can 86 the item in the system and reflect the update everywhere instantly.

Improved order accuracy and speed of service

Integrated online ordering improves order accuracy and speed of delivery, both to the restaurateur and guest. A restaurant management system keeps track of order time, details, and fulfillment, so orders are never lost and errors are reduced. 

More strategic employee management

When systems are integrated, managers can access real-time reports that allow them to schedule the appropriate number of front-of-house and back-of-house employees for each shift, saving on labor costs.

Finding the Right System

Restaurants gain success when everyone is on the same page and everything is working together cohesively. To truly accomplish this, restaurant operators must unify their systems to share data, streamline communication, and optimize workflow from the front-of-house, to the back-of-house, to delivery and pickup. 

The first step is finding an expert provider of restaurant management systems like HungerRush. Our RMS systems are designed to help restaurant owners like you become more agile and efficient in overcoming your current industry challenges and achieving better restaurant success. For more information, request a demo with the experts at HungerRush today!

How Three Restaurants Thrived During Uncertain Times

How Three Restaurants Thrived During Uncertain Times

Just a few months ago, no restaurant owner could have imagined we’d be here, having been dealt a swift, heavy blow by COVID-19. Not only have operations been severely limited because of COVID-19 restrictions, but in some ways, they changed completely. 

At first, consumer behavior was wildly unpredictable and no one knew what was going to happen. Eventually, some patterns began emerging, which fortunate restaurant owners picked up on and quickly adjusted their strategies to match. Not only did these restaurants survive the worst of the pandemic, they were actually able to come out ahead and increase sales. 

We spoke with three different restaurants—Hometown Pizza, Giovanni’s, and JB Alberto’s—to see how they beat the odds and remained profitable even through unprecedented times like COVID-19.

Expanded Restaurant Delivery and Fulfillment Services

What they did:

Fresh Pizza HungerRush

When disaster struck, these restaurant owners were agile. Rather than focusing only on how to cut costs, they looked for opportunities to expand other services to meet the needs of their customers. 

“We increased our delivery area and hired more drivers to accommodate the growth in the delivery business,” said Rick Smith, owner of Hometown Pizza. 

Giovanni’s restaurants had a customer-focused strategy. They knew their customers wanted to feel safe, so they offered services though which they could address that need. 

“Our customers feel safer when they can remain in their vehicle,” said Brent Cordial, VP of Operations for Giovanni’s. “Curbside pick-up and drive-through services help them do that.”

Why it worked:

It’s no secret that off-premises dining is in high demand right now. In fact, according to a recent Datassential report, 92% of restaurant traffic is now off-premises. Even in the safest locations, many customers are still wary of dining in. These restaurant owners were quick to predict this, and optimized their delivery and pickup services to fulfill customers’ needs for safe alternatives—such as curbside pickup—to keep them coming back. 

Tips for success:

Many customers live outside of standard delivery zones, so like Hometown Pizza, consider increasing your delivery area to increase your customer base. If you’re a restaurant owner that does not currently use delivery, third-party services such as Doordash can get you started without the burden of managing your own in-house delivery team. Implementing safe options like no contact delivery lets customers know it’s safe doing business with you. Promote your delivery and curbside services to spread the word to your community. 

Lastly, optimize your delivery success by integrating a powerful restaurant management system that allows you to track orders and delivery drivers closely no matter how busy the rush.

Want to see HungerRush in action?

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Optimized Online Ordering

What they did:

Since customers have been stuck at home, online orders have been increasing. With 110 restaurants across six states, Giovanni’s seized an opportunity to deploy the HungerRush online ordering platform stores that were still using legacy systems.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the deployment as more stores are clamoring for online ordering capability,” said Brent Cordial. 

Hometown Pizza also took this opportunity to promote their loyalty program, stating that “the number of HungerRush loyalty program members has doubled since the beginning as more customers have adopted online ordering.”

Why it worked:

When dining in was no longer an option and grocery shelves were mostly empty, customers turned to online ordering to get their meals. Thanks to the convenience and ease of ordering online, this service is still in high demand for many customers, even now as restaurants are reopening their dining rooms and grocery store stocking levels are returning to normal. It provides a safe, easy option for consumers who may be wary of venturing out into public.

Tips for success:

Leverage a mobile app to enhance your online ordering experience, and integrate your loyalty program with your system. This can drive higher sales and encourage repeat orders. 

Take a look at your top sellers. You may want to offer a limited online ordering menu with just those items so that you can optimize your inventory and maximize profits.

Implemented New Safety Policies

What they did:

safety-first

Efforts to improve safety amid COVID-19 were widespread, and many restaurants amped up their standards to meet and exceed those set by local governments. 

“We stayed on top of ever-changing guidelines throughout our six-state footprint. Guidelines and protocols are different,” said Brent Cordial at Giovanni’s. Now all of our cleaning products are labeled to show the proper concentration, and we have cleaning schedules posted above the systems to state what products are to be used where. All stores have elected to keep buffets closed, some have limited dine-in now, but most are not even doing that. Almost every store is up in volume. They are providing food safely, so they don’t feel like there is a big push to change what is working.” 

JB Alberto’s restaurant focused heavily on increasing safety within their delivery operations, going as far as keeping their drivers from entering the store. 

“We rented a party tent near the back door to hold the drivers to keep them out of the restaurant. We also added a handwashing sink for them to use when coming and going,” stated owner Tony Troiano. 

Hometown Pizza experienced operational challenges when they were mandated to reduce their occupancy by half, but have managed to still find success, stating “our dining room is open at the 50% occupancy level, and still has been full every night.”

Why it worked:

For both consumers and restaurant employees, the top priority is safety. The proper measures must be taken in order to earn the trust of customers and staff. These restaurant owners went above and beyond to ensure everyone feels comfortable leaving their homes.

Tips for success:

Your greatest resource is your customers, so ask for their opinions if you’re able. Send out a customer survey to see what health measures are most important to them, and then implement those into your restaurant. 

Switch to disposable, single-use items like menus, dinnerware, and condiments to minimize cross-contamination. Bonus points if these are sustainably sourced. 

Promote your new safety regulations via signage, social media, and email marketing to let customers know that it’s safe to return and help them feel more confident about the safety measures you are taking.

Leveraged an Integrated Restaurant Management System

What they did:

It was easy to feel out of control with all the uncertainty, but instead of panicking, these restaurants remained level-headed and focused on what they could control. They utilized an integrated restaurant management system, which allowed them to stay informed of how the pandemic situation was affecting their business and view a comprehensive picture of their data. 

“Monitoring every day has stabilized now, but it was hectic for a while,” stated Giovanni’s. 

“At one time, we were using five third party providers,” said Tony at JB Alberto’s. “We’ve eliminated them all in favor of the HungerRush RMS.” An integrated system like HungerRush allowed JB Alberto’s to view all of their customer data across all channels so that they could gain accuracy and greater control. They could then make changes and have them reflected across all their systems, as well as better communicate with customers. 

“We were able to communicate with our customers very quickly as we adjusted store hours, provided them with special offers, and encouraged them to order online,” they added.

Why it worked:

The owners of Giovanni’s, JB Alberto’s, and Hometown Pizza found success by leveraging an integrated restaurant management system that allowed them to collect and manage all their data in one place. Before this, monitoring operations was difficult and there wasn’t much visibility or organization of data. With it, these restaurants were able to effectively communicate with their entire customer base to let them know what changes had been made and what they should expect moving forward. 

Restaurants that use a restaurant management system are able to view sales and employee data across all platforms and locations, helping them not only communicate better, but make more informed business decisions. This is crucial, as successful restaurants must constantly monitor and adapt their strategies as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Tips for success:

It’s critical that you have the data you need to make smarter business decisions. It’s also critical that these business decisions are aligned with CDC guidelines for how restaurants should operate.

A restaurant management system will be integral as the restaurant industry redefines itself. When choosing this technology, make sure you rely on industry experts that know and understand exactly what it’s like to be in your shoes. Look for technology providers like HungerRush that are committed to developing the tools that help you adapt to changing circumstances so that you can stay on top. From the front-of-house to back-of-house, delivery, loyalty, and more, HungerRush provides the tech you need to navigate COVID-19 and beyond. Interested in learning more? Talk to the experts at HungerRush and request a demo today! 

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How Restaurants Can Identify Savings Opportunities to Maximize Profits During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How Restaurants Can Identify Savings Opportunities to Maximize Profits During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many industries hard, particularly the socially-oriented ones such as restaurant dining. The urgent need for social distancing to avoid spreading the virus is driving people to stay home and causing mandatory closing of dine-in facilities in many areas. Restaurants are now analyzing their business to find ways to survive and thrive during this change in consumer behavior. With the sharp declines in dine-in sales, maintaining profitability is a real concern. Keeping costs down and optimized is crucial, and now is the time to consider your options. Here are some strategies for reducing your expenses during COVID-19.

Analyze Your Restaurant Costs

There are two types of costs for restaurants: fixed (unchanging), and variable. It’s worth the time to analyze where your money is going, and identify which costs are variable and can be adjusted to help maintain your profit margin. Top costs for restaurants include:

  • Labor: This category includes staff wages, tip distribution, health insurance, and sick leave. Restaurants are a high-turnover industry, so recruitment and training are also labor cost factors.
  • Inventory: As one of the biggest costs besides labor, inventory is where you should focus next. Food accounts for the majority of inventory costs, but there’s also operational supplies (tableware, napkins, straws, cleaning supplies, packaging for takeout and delivery, and more). 
  • Occupancy: The costs you pay to occupy your building space include your rent (or mortgage payment), insurance, maintenance (garbage pickup, landscaping, parking lot lighting, etc.), property taxes, security, and any safety regulation compliance costs. 
  • Utilities: This category covers power (gas and/or electric), water/sewer, phone, and internet/Wi-Fi connection to run your point of sale (POS) and back-office equipment.
  • Equipment: Everything from stoves, grills, dishwashers, and refrigerators/freezers to POS and kitchen display system (KDS) terminals and back-office computers falls into this category.

Request a demo and get ready for the rush.

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Identify Savings Opportunities for Variable Costs

Restaurant variable costs can be adjusted by making operational changes to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic circumstances.

  • Labor: It may be necessary to cut back on employee hours, at least temporarily. A beneficial option during this time might be to reallocate your staff as you shift your operational focus. With dine-in facilities shuttered, emphasizing online order fulfillment and delivery services can keep you going. Servers and hosts can help out with kitchen prep, become delivery drivers or assist with curbside pickup and distribution. Your POS should have labor scheduling and management features you can leverage to optimize your staff costs.
  • Inventory: Your first priority is to use up the food you have on hand to minimize waste and spoilage—especially with specialty items that have shorter shelf lives. You may also need to temporarily reduce your menu offerings and focus more tightly on your core menu. Identify a reduced selection of ingredients and plan meals based on those, creating a limited menu from these choices. To keep it interesting, restaurants can offer a “menu of the week” to rotate different meal options and promote through digital marketing avenues

You could also create meal deals based on the most popular items to offer families for quick “grab and go” service: spaghetti dinner for four, or a family burger bundle. Another option is to package the ingredients for a meal and let customers prepare the dish themselves at home with instructions you provide.

  • Utilities: Energy efficiency is key in keeping these costs down. Reducing your operating hours will help to lower these expenses, and you can conserve by not needing to run lights, air conditioning, etc. in dining space you aren’t using—just essential areas such as the kitchen and pickup/delivery areas. If you do adjust your operating hours, make sure that is reflected online wherever customers will be seeking information about your restaurant: Google maps and local search (or third-party partner) sites, social media channels, and on your website and mobile app. Customers need to know that you are still open, and when.
  • Equipment: Only using the equipment you need and cutting back on what is less necessary (dishwashers, for example, or laundry equipment for cloth napkins and tablecloths) will help trim the utility bills as well. You can also try strategies such as prepping and cooking meals in bulk to reduce equipment running time. This becomes easier with a scaled-back menu.

Stay Optimized with an Integrated Suite of Technology 

Technology is one cost that is vital to success during the COVID-19 crisis. Make sure you are leveraging a suite of restaurant tech that includes POS, KDS, online ordering and delivery management, website, and mobile app. The best tech choices will have features that can help you manage and streamline online orders and maintain communication and engagement with your customers. 

Keeping restaurant costs down is just part of the puzzle. Restaurants need to understand the big picture of COVID-19 and have a plan in place to not only reduce costs, but maximize profits. Download our free restaurant survival guide to learn how to protect revenue and profitability during these unexpected times.

HungerRush is a leading provider of restaurant technology designed by industry experts. For more information on how our integrated solutions can help your business survive and grow, request a demo today. 

Restaurant Survival Guide

Learn more about protecting revenue and profitability during unexpected times with HungerRush’s free restaurant survival guide ebook.

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Restaurant Sustainability: 3 Ways Your Pizzeria Can Go Green

Sustainability Sells

Sustainability—avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance—has acquired increasing attention since the modern environmental movement started in the 1970s. Sustainability isn’t just good for the Earth, it’s good for business: more than 90% of CEOs believe that sustainability is important to the success of their company—and restaurants are no exception. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry report, 3 out of 4 restaurant operators said that customers are more interested in environmentally-sustainable menu items than they were two years ago. 

Consumers today care about more than just the food; they want to support brands that align with their values. Pizza restaurants must keep up with these evolving consumer demands to keep their customers satisfied and coming back. Here’s how you can improve your sustainability and run a green restaurant.

1. Use Locally-Sourced Ingredients

Locally-sourced food is grown or produced within a short distance of where it is consumed. Customers are increasingly conscious of its desirability: 58% of millennials said that they were more likely to choose one restaurant over another based on its ability to provide food that has been sustainably grown, raised, and manufactured. 

Locally-sourced food has several benefits:

  • Fresher Ingredients

Locally-sourced food spends less time in transit from plant to plate. The quicker turnaround time means fewer preservatives are used. Customers want to feel that they are eating fresher and healthier, and especially that they are giving better quality food to their kids. Increasingly, customers are willing to pay more for this benefit. 

Going local also means less food waste. Since you can get ingredients quickly when you need them, you won’t have to overstock in fear that you won’t get another shipment in time. You reduce spoilage, and the customers enjoy freshness. 

  • Lower Costs

Shorter transit times mean reduced food transportation costs. This reduction not only saves you money, but also cuts down on fuel consumption and air pollution—creating a greener restaurant with a lower carbon footprint. 

  • Support Your Community

Supporting local farmers and suppliers shows that you value your community. Businesses and consumers in your neighborhood will notice, and this support can be huge for boosting brand loyalty. 

2. Leverage Technology to Eliminate Paper Usage

Another excellent way to boost sustainability is to take advantage of pizza restaurant technology that can help you to send less paper to the landfills. 

  • Kitchen Display System (KDS)

With a KDS, orders get sent electronically to the kitchen, eliminating the need for paper order slips. Not only does this system reduce your waste, but you also save on the cost of printing supplies, like paper, ink, printers, and maintenance. In addition to the paper reduction, a KDS can reduce order errors, which are a huge cause of food waste for restaurants.

  • Tablet Point of Sale (POS)

To maximize your efficiency and sustainability efforts, leverage a tablet POS to take customer orders right at the table. Like the KDS, tablets eliminate the need for paper order slips; instead, servers just enter the order right on the device, and it goes to the KDS automatically. 

  • Emailed Receipts 

In addition to order slips, restaurants generate more than 1.5 billion pounds of paper waste each year on paper receipts alone. Restaurants should look for a pizza POS system that allows the option for emailed receipts to further cut down on their paper waste. 

3. Improve Your Pizzeria Inventory Management System 

Besides reducing paper waste, you can also cut down on food waste through more effective inventory management. Again, your POS solution can be a great asset in this restaurant sustainability effort. 

  • Smarter Inventory Purchasing

If you’re constantly running out of ingredients or throwing away excess food that has expired, your inventory management may need a makeover. Today’s technology allows you to gain more insight into your inventory to find the patterns and trends you may not be noticing. 

Figuring out the ideal inventory purchasing amounts will save you money and greatly decrease your food waste. A POS system integrated with an inventory management software can accurately track your inventory in real time across all selling platforms and locations to help you make better predictions. 

  • Strategic Planning 

Even the smartest systems get it wrong at times because the restaurant industry can be unpredictable. If you find yourself with excess food, think strategically before tossing it out. 

For example, maybe you have extra mushrooms that are going to go bad in a week. Instead of throwing them out, promote your mushroom or veggie pizza as the pizza of the week, and add a free drink or small discount to encourage more orders. Using your POS, add this menu item to the top of your online ordering menu to get even more exposure and increase sales. By prioritizing food items that may expire soon, you’re maximizing your food costs and preventing waste. 

f you have multiple locations, different stores may have different levels of ingredients—one store needs to use up mushrooms, while another has excess bacon. A good POS will have the flexibility to promote different things at each location with easy menu customization.

Go Green and Save Green

Restaurant sustainability efforts will contribute to your overall pizzeria profitability. Not only can you save on costs by reducing food and paper waste and your dependence upon transportation and supplies, but you can also increase your sales by growing your brand loyalty with customers who share these same values and environmental concerns. 

Remember to advertise your sustainability activities so your customers are aware. They may even choose you on that basis, so use your website, mobile app, and social media to highlight the ways you’re working on becoming a greener restaurant. 

To learn about the pizzeria technology solutions that can help jumpstart your restaurant sustainability efforts and provide many other operational advantages, contact HungerRush—a leading provider of industry-specific innovations. Request a demo and see how our solutions will work for you. 

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4 Innovative Restaurant POS Reporting and Management Features All Pizzerias Need

4 Innovative Restaurant POS Reporting and Management Features All Pizzerias Need

Whether you own one store or a multi-unit chain, managing a pizzeria has its challenges. But a pizza point of sale (POS) system that includes these specific restaurant reporting and management features can help you coordinate sales, labor, menu, inventory and other information to make better decisions that will increase operational efficiencies across your entire business. Here are the tools you need:

Quick Access to Critical and Real-Time KPIs

As a busy pizzeria owner, you need to quickly access all of your business data, including inventory, sales, cost of goods sold, delivery driver performance, and labor costs. Your restaurant POS reporting and management tools should provide a variety of real-time reports on key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you analyze what’s working and what’s not. These should be accessible through a customizable dashboard and help management identify trends or anomalies in the performance of your business. Detailed business reporting will be able to identify your busiest times of day, week, month, or year to ensure optimal staffing. In addition, you should have the ability to access the data from a mobile app in order to make real-time decisions for streamlining operations, reducing waste, and increasing profitability.  

Big Picture Views and Small Details

Whether you run a large franchise, operate a couple of locations, or just have a single store, you need a bird’s-eye view of your pizzeria(s). Your restaurant POS reporting and management features should provide you with both the overall “big picture” of your pizzeria(s) and drill-down details for a particular location. You should be able to compare multiple locations to identify the most (or least) profitable store, or high performing employees. Then you can examine the details to determine where the problems are, or why one store is more successful than another. Equip yourself with the information you need to make changes that bring your lower performing locations in line with your better ones. Even if you have just one store, you can use the reports to determine improvements needed, such as dropping menu items that aren’t selling or adjusting your staff schedules to optimize labor costs.

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Centralized Menu Configuration and Management

To provide an exceptional customer experience, you must ensure a consistent menu/ordering experience across all locations and platforms. The management features of your restaurant POS system should include an easy menu configuration that allows you to update your menu in a central location and have the edits applied automatically across all locations. You should also have the ability to create multiple pricing options — for example, time/day pricing to offer “Happy Hours” items. 

Mobile App Access

Restaurant POS reporting and management tools should be accessible through a mobile app. Don’t stay tied to a desktop system to access and analyze your data.  Monitor business performance anywhere, anytime with a mobile app for your tablet or smartphone. Receive all the information you need in real time. Get the same detailed and comparative views of your locations as you would from your POS system, and make informed decisions on the go.

Getting the Most out of Your Restaurant Management Technology

Without concrete data or the capabilities to analyze it, you are essentially flying blind. Restaurant reporting takes the guesswork out of operating a pizzeria, while management tools help you effectively leverage this data to ensure success. These critical functions empower you to make informed decisions on your pizzeria. More informed decisions will lead to higher profits and more efficient processes, not to mention increased customer loyalty and satisfaction. In the hyper-competitive pizza industry, you need these tools to gain a competitive edge.

HungerRush offers comprehensive pizza POS solutions that include robust restaurant reporting and management tools, backed by our extensive industry knowledge and 24/7/365 US-based customer support. For more information on making these tools work for your pizzeria, New call-to-action .

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