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The Restaurant Tech Evolution
Foodservice businesses today are using information technology to improve their operations – front-of-restaurant automation like POS has been around for a while, but as the integration of technologies linking back of restaurant with adjacent technologies like marketing automation and inventory management are reducing labor costs, improving efficiency, and adding dollars to the bottom line.
Technology Trends in Foodservice
Tech adoption that shapes the restaurant industry and will continue to shape it in the future include long-established and upcoming technologies like long-established Point of sale (POS) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) software, marketing automation, and other well-established Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-based platforms and applications like accounting, human resources management, and similar.
Restaurant Tech is being widely adopted and is changing the way that restaurants operate and interact with customers, helping them to improve efficiency, optimize operations, and increase revenue.
Data Driven Decisions in Foodservice
The use of computer technology has fundamentally changed our industry in even the last couple of years.
As mentioned, Point of sale (POS) systems are ubiquitous. But other technologies integrated with POS systems are emerging to further enhance reporting and analytics on labor use, recipe profitability, invoice and distributor/supplier management, and inventory management.
The use of computer technology is evolving in the restaurant industry in several ways:
- Online ordering and delivery: Computer technology has made it easy for customers to order food online, via apps or websites. This has led to an increase in online ordering and delivery, which has changed the way that restaurants operate and increased convenience for customers.
- Point of sale (POS) systems: Computer technology has made it possible for restaurants to use POS systems that can track sales, inventory, and customer information. These systems can also generate reports on sales trends, inventory levels, and customer demographics, which helps restaurants to make data-driven decisions and improve operations.
- Kitchen automation: Computer technology has made it possible for restaurants to automate many kitchen processes, including food preparation, cooking, and plating. This can improve efficiency and consistency, reduce labor costs, and
- Marketing automation: Computer technology has made it possible for restaurants to use marketing automation tools to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and generate reports on the ROI of different marketing channels, which helps to optimize their marketing efforts and increase revenue.
This is a partial list, as the trend is the adoption of more information technology in the industry to create better insight and reporting into all aspects of the restaurant to understand more clearly all the elements of profit and loss.
What the Right Restaurant Technology Can Deliver
Restaurants use a variety of methods to keep track of profits and losses. Some of the most common methods include:
- Cost of goods sold (COGS) analysis: Restaurants track the cost of ingredients and other food and beverage items used to prepare menu items. COGS is then calculated by taking the cost of these items and dividing it by the number of menu items sold. This allows restaurants to determine the cost of each menu item and the profit margin for each item.
- Budgeting and forecasting: Restaurants use budgeting and forecasting to estimate future revenue and expenses. This allows them to plan for future expenses, such as staffing and inventory, and to make adjustments as needed to ensure profitability.
- Financial statement analysis: Restaurants use financial statements, such as income statements and balance sheets, to track revenue and expenses over time. This allows them to identify trends, such as changes in revenue or expenses, and to make adjustments as needed to improve profitability.
- Break-even analysis: Restaurants use break-even analysis to determine the point at which revenue equals expenses. This helps them to identify the minimum level of sales needed to cover expenses and achieve profitability.
- Benchmarking: Restaurants use benchmarking to compare their performance to that of similar restaurants in the industry. This allows them to identify areas where they are performing well and areas where they need to improve.
By using these methods, restaurants can keep track of their profit and loss, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their operations and improve profitability.
Why is inventory control in a restaurant important?
Inventory control in a restaurant is important for several reasons:
- Cost control: By keeping track of inventory levels and properly managing food and beverage items, restaurants can reduce waste and minimize the costs associated with overstocking or running out of items. This can help to improve profitability and increase revenue.
- Quality control: Proper inventory control allows restaurants to monitor the freshness and quality of food items, ensuring that only the freshest ingredients are used in dishes and minimizing the risk of food spoilage.
- Menu planning: Inventory control allows restaurants to plan their menus more effectively, by ensuring that they have the necessary ingredients on hand to prepare menu items and minimize the risk of running out of items.
- Food safety: Inventory control helps restaurants to keep track of food storage, preparation, and expiration dates, which is crucial to ensure compliance with food safety regulations and minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
- Staffing: Inventory control allows restaurants to manage staffing levels more effectively, by ensuring that they have enough staff on hand to prepare and serve menu items, and by managing labor costs.
Inventory control is crucial for restaurants to operate efficiently, maintain high-quality standards, and maximize profitability. By keeping track of inventory, food costs, and menu planning, the restaurants can make sure that they are purchasing the right amount of ingredients, at the right price, and at the right time, which helps to keep the cost low, improve efficiency, and increase customer satisfaction.