Prices in the foodservices industry showed an alarming 3.7% rise in February alone, according to recent figures – and further significant increases are likely to follow.

Labour costs are also expected to rise – so what can restaurants do to manage their operations better in these tricky times? Having the right technology to improve control of labour and stock is imperative. For restaurants, having the right technology in place can stimulate a step change in terms of control and customer service.

Modern labour management technology means restaurateurs can use historical data to fine tune their labour scheduling to meet actual need – and ensures they can mitigate against employee abuse. This can include common scams such as claiming overtime for unworked hours or clocking in for friends – the best technology tracks worked and non-worked hours right through to payroll and uses bio-metric check in/out to ensure that these abuses cannot happen.

A comprehensive stock control system makes it an effortless process to track sales and inventory as well as forecasting future sales, product mixes and guest counts. In addition, a stock control system streamlines the process of communicating with suppliers. Armed with accurate data, restaurant managers can easily spot any variances in stock levels and take the necessary corrective action.

With an added impetus to turn more tables to maximise revenue, technology is being increasingly used to speed food preparation and service. Kitchen automation software ensures that orders are always accurately delivered in a brisk manner so that guest satisfaction is increased.  In addition, the technology also ensures that dishes are prepared in a uniform manner.

It’s not going to make the tough times go away, of course. But the restaurateurs who will continue to thrive are those with this powerful combination of back office control and enhanced service at their fingertips.

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