How to Use Restaurant Tech to Boost Margins and Increase Profits
In partnership with Numerator, Upserve is highlighting the ways restaurants can drive more customers through smarter advertising, and leverage technology to increase profits.
A love of food and community propels many in the direction of opening a restaurant.
They can execute creativity and innovation in the form of cocktails and entrees, and provide a space that brings friends and family together.
On the flip side, however, restaurants face razor-thin margins that keep owners hustling for years before they’re able to settle into more relaxed operations, if ever.
While no technology can replace sweat equity, it can help lend a hand, acting as a hard-working partner for the many restaurateurs who attempt to make it on their own. According to restaurant solution Upserve, the right technology can increase margins and sales to the tune of 30 percent more revenue, 8 percent thicker margins, and some 50 hours of labor saved each month.
Invest in a Smart POS System
Gone are the days when traditional legacy restaurant POS systems reigned supreme. These old machines that run on their own internal systems are quickly being replaced by cloud-based restaurant POS systems, and for good reason. Cloud-based technology means these POS systems can quickly and easily increase sales by providing data on everything from menu performance to inventory, so there’s always insight into profitability.
Get Onboard with Online Ordering
Apps like DoorDash and Seamless have brought delivery options to restaurants that don’t have the infrastructure to manage delivery on their own, opening up a wealth of possibilities to serve loyal regulars and first-timers alike in the comfort of their own homes.
However, adding multiple systems can get tricky. Restaurants who opt out of using third-party apps that integrate with their POS system face confusion and orders going unfulfilled due to technical glitches and user error. And the more time and energy that has to be spent troubleshooting online ordering, the less restaurants will see of the profits, especially if in-house service starts to suffer as a result. Having a POS system integration can reduce these risks while also increasing sales.
Choose EMV Compliance
While switching over from the magnetic stripe method of credit card payments might seem like a hassle, the benefits are likely worth it for any restaurant as they will no longer be responsible for fraudulent charges that slip through the system.
Another reason for restaurants to become EMV compliant: Europay, Mastercard, and Visa—which have spearheaded the adaptation of the technology—plan to shift liability to the businesses running fraudulent cards if they don’t adopt EMV compliance by the time that the ever-changing deadline hits.
Use a Reservation App
Customers now expect to be able to make a reservation for dinner at their favorite spot, and most of the time they look to do so online. By using restaurant reservation apps like OpenTable, customers are happy and restaurant scheduling runs smoothly.
Run a Loyalty Program
“Unlike traditional punch cards, online loyalty programs…provide great marking insight through the latest restaurant technologies. You can track customer behavior that may influence your marketing strategy, like how often your customers visit and why,” notes BuzzTime Small Business.
Online loyalty programs remove the hassle of a guest remembering to use their card, and staff having to manually track and manage the purchases and distribution of awards. With online programs, the system tracks the data on its own, meaning customers are more likely to up their visits to take advantage of the perks, all of which means more money in the bank.
Embrace Social Media
Creating and maintaining social media profiles on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can not only sound like yet another task on a restaurant owner’s never-ending list, but it can be intimidating to those without marketing experience.
But harnessing the power of social media can mean smarter, more targeted advertising that reaches who you want, when you want. When businesses have social media profiles, they’re given access to statistics like how engaged followers are with each post. This means, it’s possible to decipher whether they’re more interested in more happy hour specials or extending Sunday brunch hours. No action on the post about a five-course tasting menu? Maybe it’s not a fit for this audience. Plus, with apps like If This, Then That, it’s possible to post on just one platform and let the app push it out to other platforms automatically, greatly minimizing the manual effort so restaurateurs can get back to what matters most—running their business.