Last year’s pandemic and “stay-at-home” mandates were especially hard on the restaurant industry. For months, restaurants of all sizes were forced to shut their doors to dining patrons, leaving many small business owners wondering how to keep their eateries up and running. With the potential for lost revenue becoming a major threat for the service industry, many startups took customer loyalty and mobile app functionality into account, leading to a wealth of new tools to make many restaurants thrive. Here, we will look at some of those technologies, as well as the top tools to help your restaurant grow.
Modern Software Solutions for Workflow
Regardless of your restaurant’s size or how long you’ve been established, profit numbers and financial accuracy is a crucial element of running your business. Luckily, new digital tools have become available for bookkeeping and account reconciliation. This is also true for mobile apps that are changing the way pickup and delivery options evolve.
With that in mind, all restaurant owners should consider integrating a top bank reconciliation software into their standard operating procedures. This invaluable tool can work alongside your house accountant, making the reconciliation process of comparing your business bank account with line items of profits, loss, and budgetary expenses. With little more than your financial paperwork and bank statements at hand, the automation functionality of reconciliation software can be a game-changer for keeping your cash flow records efficient and streamlined.
For front-of-the-house protocol, integrating an online ordering system is another one of the best ways you can guarantee solid customer service. By using a top restaurant online ordering software and an account with one or more popular online ordering platforms, you instantly can boost your success and bottom line. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, platforms such as Uber Eats, ChowNow, DoorDash, and GrubHub were equipped with mobile app features that had been popular enough to change the face of pickup and delivery service. However, as “stay-at-home” regulations became the new normal, online ordering helped save the restaurant industry. By making the restaurant’s full menu available online, users of the platform can place their order on a mobile device and track the time until curbside pickup is ready for their takeout, or delivery is on the way. For restaurant owners, this not only allows opportunities for new customers to discover their service, but also to provide discounts, premiums, and menu add-ons. Additionally, a restaurant can retain customer data and credit card information for future purchases, making customer loyalty even more personalized and streamlined. Even during the era of social distancing, you, as an entrepreneur, can engage lasting customer relationships with a target demographic.
Likewise, new POS systems have come along to digitally assist you with your restaurant’s point of sale and inventory. A POS software also comes with mobile device functionality, allowing the restaurant owner and manager on duty to keep track of sales analytics and delivery orders in real-time. With proper POS integration, any discrepancy with an inventory or pickup and delivery order can be taken into account. For bookkeeping, as well customer satisfaction, a POS system has quickly become an industry standard for real-time analytics.
Communication Outreach Solutions
When taking customer outreach into account, streamlining your delivery and takeout options is a crucial aspect of restaurant success. That being said, there is no better way to attract a new customer base than with social media and your online presence. But while a well-kept restaurant website is regarded as a prerequisite for any successful eatery, maintaining a Facebook page and Instagram profile can be just as important. If you’re working with an above-mentioned online ordering platform, your restaurant will already be mentioned on that vendor’s own website and social media accounts. However, taking control of your presence is a powerful tool. With it, you can make customers aware of promotions, discounts, and new menu items. Additionally, if you’re just now integrating an online ordering platform, your Facebook page and Instagram story can be used to attract online orders.
If you’re new to social media or are looking to revamp your existing profiles, consider using a free instagram post template to truly make your announcements and product updates really pop. New Instagram templates are always being made available and great media outreach platforms, such as Hootsuite, are able to consolidate all your social media updates into a simultaneous media blast.
Aside from your customer base, it’s always important to keep your restaurant’s team members in the loop for new technologies. An excellent way to onboard new employees is by integrating Objectives and Key Results Podcasts (OKR podcasts) into your training procedures. Through these online website podcasts, your can better communicates the goals and task necessities required for successful customer loyalty and engagement. Where once staff meetings were the traditional industry standard, OKR podcast options are the perfect solution for instilling the tenets of the hospitality industry during the era of social distancing.
Consolidating Customer and Staff Solutions
For small restaurants struggling to handle large numbers of patrons anxious to return to indoor dining, new mobile applications can manage seating and reservations. Plus, for those restaurant owners looking to increase their house numbers while still adhering to the mandates of social distancing, these platforms are the best way to efficiently coordinate foot traffic. Although there is a small monthly fee for licensing these platforms, reservation software can be a worthwhile investment for any restaurant owner. Additionally, table reservation software can be an important tool in guaranteeing your loyal customers’ most positive experience. As the ultimate item of convenience, these apps also allow your customers to book their visit from home via a mobile app.
As noted, some of the best practices existing for the modern restaurant industry today are perfect for consolidation. Integrating multiple new digital solutions coupled with traditional customer service is your best bet for always attracting a loyal clientele. While there can never be a substitute for offering your patrons first-class service and the highest-quality food, combining those practices with new technology can keep your restaurant thriving during even the most trying of times.