How New Technologies are Changing the Restaurant Industry
For years, running a restaurant was relatively simple. We say relatively because any business has complexities to navigate, but serving delicious food for eat-in, take out or delivery was manageable. You designed a menu, ensured you had enough produced to cook the food, made sure there was staff available to cook, serve and deliver. Then, you made people happy by ensuring they had full bellies. Yet recent times have seen some disruption to the industry. But changing technology doesn’t mean you need to fall behind. Let’s explore this change and how you can stay afloat.
Have a Solid Point of Sale System
Any decent restaurant needs a solid point of sale system (POS). Simply put, this is software and hardware that enables your customers to pay for their meal. You can use it when people dine-in, take out or to process delivery orders. The software is a computer program that holds your line items or meals, that staff can punch in. So if someone orders a main, a drink and a side, your front of house staff enters this and it computes the total cost. The hardware is the console that holds the software, and sometimes POS setups come with other hardware integration. For example, wait staff can take orders on a tablet which sends the order to the central software for processing and payment. Some systems even send the order straight to the kitchen so your chefs can begin cooking.
A recent disruption to the hospitality industry was the advent of delivery apps, like Menulog and Uber Eats. These companies are unique in that while they own no physical brick and mortar eateries, they still allow customers to order from your store. Some of them employ third party food couriers, while others allow you to use your own delivery drivers.
The way they work is fairly simple, although they are underpinned by some slick technology. A customer views your menu via the application (on their phone or tablet, or sometimes computer) and then orders what they want. The application company takes a cut, usually 10% or so, of the total value of the order. You receive the order, cook it, then hand it over to your own driver or to the third-party courier. They then deliver this hot, fresh meal to the customer.
Restaurant owners views are mixed on this new technology. Some bemoan the percentage cut that the companies take, while others are happy with the increase in business as a result of a broader customer base.
Search Engine Optimisation
Abbreviated to SEO, search engine optimisation is ensuring that your website is ranked well on search engines. Google is the best engine, but there are others like Bing and DuckDuckGo. Good SEO ensures that when a potential customer types in “Thai near me”, your Thai restaurant appears at the top of the list. If you have the know-how, you can boost your search engine ranking yourself. If you don’t have the skill or the time, it is worth reaching out to a digital marketing agency for assistance here.
A Culinary Conclusion
Technology is changing the way restaurants operate, but this isn’t necessarily bad. A solid point of sale system is a great way to streamline the ordering and billing process. Delivery app companies like Menulog and Uber Eats can help you reach a broader customer base, for a cut of the profit though, so caveat emptor. Finally, brilliant SEO practices can help your website rank higher on Google and other search engines.