We’ve seen the rise and rise of the super-demanding diner in recent years, grazing to the latest food trends and making a meal of their ethics.
For restaurants competing to win their business, it’s a constant battle to keep up with the latest ideas and innovative offerings.
For example, disruptive Deliveroo have recently announced that they plan to let restaurants on their platform offer dish-by-dish calorie information.
Big groups including Jamie’s Italian, Yo! Sushi and Pho are among those snapping up the opportunity.
It’s tough to keep up with the trends: clean eating, Veganuary, ethical eating, casual dining; but crucial if you want to succeed. And that’s why the restaurant industry has a strong trend of its own – deploying restaurant management systems.
Restaurant EPOS software is proving to be invaluable in the never-ending battle between the hospitality industry and its demons: rising costs, poor efficiency and waste.
Restaurant management systems put power in your hands in a very real way – your serving staff use handheld devices or tablets to take orders and payments right at the tableside.
Restaurant managers and owners, meanwhile, get to enjoy an end-to-end view of operations in real-time, online via their mobile or laptop.
Restaurant management systems also capture useful information about your guests and their preferences. They record which dishes are selling well and also help you identify what’s trending. Cauliflower steak, anyone?
It means that restaurant companies ranging from single outlets to multiples now rely on restaurant POS software to streamline their operations and keep costs to a minimum.
So what features does your restaurant management system need?
We’ve come up with the 9 key questions you really should ask your technology provider.
- Is this a dedicated restaurant management system?
Some EPOS systems are designed for retail, but restaurants require more functions than they can provide. You should ensure your system is specifically designed to meet restaurant requirements.
- Does the system provide course management?
Demanding guests naturally want the best in customer service, so you need a flexible system so your servers can split courses to assist the kitchen. You should also be able to make amendments easily – substituting a starter as a main course, for instance.
Your serving staff are busy, and they need a simple interface to make this happen. Your restaurant management system should integrate with your kitchen technology, so the right information is delivered instantly to printers or screens at each station.
- Can this system really go places for guests?
Your staff will want to send from their handheld devices to different destinations – orders to the kitchen, for example, for orders, and payments to the in-restaurant printer.
- Can it help chef design popular dishes that protect diners’ health?
Allergen control is a high priority for any restaurant, and we’ve already seen the tragic consequences of badly-identified allergens in food.
In recognition of this, the Aloha restaurant management system has recently joined forces with KitchenCUT technology, which that tracks potential allergens throughout menus and dishes. It helps chefs keep costs under control, too. .
The system improves stock control by highlighting top-selling dishes, which helps when making procurement decisions and also reduces food waste.
- Can it keep my menu under control?
If you offer breakfast, lunch and dinner at your restaurant, it’s easy to end up with an unwieldy menu for staff to deal with on the handheld device.
Advanced restaurant management technology solves the problem. It lets you customise screen layouts according to job codes, and enable or disable menus by terminal or area, the time or the day.
- What about diners on the go?
Diners sometimes shift tables, and you need your staff to be able to reallocate their order easily. Make sure your restaurant management system has flexible table maps where staff can allocate orders to specific tables.
The system should also allow them to transfer the ticket, and merge tables or split them up. Aloha’s Guest Manager, for example, suggests the best table taking into account wait time and profitability. It’s smart – it won’t suggest three people are seated on a four top if it’s next to another that could create an eight.
- Is it good at managing customers’ bills?
With your restaurant management system, you should be able to split bills easily. That can be particularly useful if you run a casual dining outlet that often seats large parties. This facility It speeds up table turn and creates a swift and satisfying guest experience.
- Does the system boost diner loyalty?
Your system will capture diner data, which is important – if you are aware of their preferences you can dream up targeted email marketing campaigns that will bring them back again and again.
- Will customers be inconvenienced by staff training?
No – with a good, intuitive system staff can be taking orders within a couple of hours, giving guests enhanced service.
What else should you consider?
With all its functionality and powerful operational benefits, a restaurant management system is an important investment.
Fortunately, rental schemes are available with an easy monthly payment that make ROI quick; hosted systems mean there’s no need to buy costly hardware.
Take your time in making your decision. Selecting restaurant management software is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make for your restaurant – and for your diners, too.
- What benefits does restaurant EPOS bring? See this.
- Want to see how digital dining works for you and your customers all day?