Implementing the Right Tools, Processes, And Systems in your Restaurant
We’ve all seen the hospitality industry adopt technology over the last few years in response to the staffing crisis, and it’s no secret that the industry will continue to advance and embrace its use of technologies in the coming years. The National Restaurant Association reported that over 40% of restaurant operators added technology to their operations during the pandemic to accommodate online ordering, contactless and digital payments, and more. As the restaurant industry shifts toward digitalization, operators notice increased efficiency, reduced labor costs, and increased abilities to meet new customer expectations.
To help you understand how to find the right restaurant systems for your establishment, we hosted a webinar with Ryan Gromfin, aka The Restaurant Boss. Ryan is an industry consultant who provides solutions and strategies for restaurant operators worldwide! During this webinar, you’ll learn how to put the right systems in place, exceed customer and employee expectations, add automation to your operations, and more!
Fill out the form below to access the recording of the webinar with Ryan!
Digitalization provides operators with solutions to overcome these challenges and ultimately drive their businesses to success! But, the question becomes, “How do I find the tools, systems, and processes that are right for my establishment?” The market is crowded with new tools and technologies in this newfound technological age, and it’s key to understand your business’ and customers’ needs. Below, we’ll dive into how to find and implement restaurant systems to reduce chaos and increase profits in your business!
Putting the Right Systems in Place
The Staffing Crisis
In 2021, 47 million workers quit their jobs to find jobs with better working conditions, higher salaries, and improved company culture. Many are coining this recent labor shortage as “The Great Resignation.” However, this is not something we have not dealt with as a society. All industries have faced staffing shortages, but now more than ever, potential employees have more options.
With more options than ever before, many have easier access to make money quickly. People have started to drive for Uber, DoorDash, and Amazon as a way to find fast employment and start making money immediately. As an operator in the hospitality industry, you must do a better job attracting the employees who want to work because these staffing challenges will not change if we wait for them to get better.
“You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management. That’s the contract.”
– Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks
So, how do you overcome this and find those employees who want to work and attract them to your business?
You must do two things.
- Develop your hiring, managing, and training procedures to increase the quality of your team.
- Find solutions to use less labor, like automation.
If you develop your hiring and training procedures and use automation to increase efficiency, you will have a higher-quality team, reduced labor costs, and a more productive operation.
Exceeding Guests’ Expectations
The Staffing Crisis
Not only did COVID-19 result in a shortage of staff, but it also shifted guests’ expectations in a way that operators didn’t see coming. Thanks to the pandemic, guests demanded online ordering and curbside pickup. However, the pandemic isn’t the only thing that has resulted in these shifted expectations. Cellphones have allowed consumers to experience the world of food right from their screens. Now, customers see food from around the world and wonder why your restaurant’s food doesn’t look like that.
The Restaurant Boss says, “Your guests’ and team members’ expectations are higher than they have ever been. As an operator, you cannot just MEET these expectations and expect to survive. You have to EXCEED expectations. If you do not exceed your guests’ expectations, you will never impress anyone, and you’ll lose out on repeat customers.”
So how can you exceed your guests’ expectations?
- Know the expectation – You can’t exceed the expectation if you don’t know what it is.
- Do 1% more – You only have to do 1% more to exceed the expectation.
Here are just a few things you can do as an operator to learn and understand your guests’ expectations:
- Watch Food Network or any other Food TV shows
- Subscribe to Food Magazines
- Eat at other restaurants
- Follow the trends in all industries (not just hospitality!)
- Talk to your guests
Talk to Your Guests
Talking to your guests is a critical part of understanding their needs, learning how to exceed those needs, and creating an experience that they will never forget. Communication is key, so let’s dive into some of The Restaurant Boss’ favorite questions to ask your guests!
“If you weren’t eating at our restaurant tonight, where would you have gone?”
- By asking that question, you’ll start to learn who your competition is. Then you’ll learn what other restaurants fall in the same category as your restaurant and then you can look at their prices, menu items, service, etc.
If you ask a better question, you’ll get a better answer!
“How is everything?”
- The common answer to this question is: “Fine.” or “Great!”
“Is that beer exceeding your expectations?”, “Did your meal exceed your expectations?”
- By asking this question, you’ll get better answers from your customers to learn what their wants and needs are.
If you are afraid to ask your customers these questions, you are afraid of the answers. Ensure that no guest leaves your establishment unhappy. You cannot fix a problem if you do not know the problem exists. While it might be hard to hear guest feedback, shift your mentality and think about how a complaint is a gift. It will make you more successful as a business in the long run!
New Staff Expectations
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the annual average employee turnover rate across all industries is 12-15%. But in some hospitality businesses, this number is a whopping 150%. Having a high turnover rate reduces your ability to meet customer demands, and it takes more profits from your pocket as you have to spend more time hiring and training new employees.
As we mentioned earlier, there are more jobs on the market than ever before, so you need to ask yourself these questions to evaluate if there are changes that you need to make to your management.
- “Would you work for you?”
- “Would you do the work that you expect from your employees at the pay you offer?”
If you blame your team members for quitting in a short period of time, you aren’t looking at your management correctly. You need to offer your employees a paved path to success to ensure your employees feel safe working in your environment. The first step is learning what your team members are looking to get out of their role at your restaurant.
- Understand what your employee’s goals are and help them fulfill those goals.
- What can you do to help your employees meet their financial goals? How can you build the bridge for your employees to meet their goals?
If your staff members continue to leave, look at why they leave. Are they controllable factors that you can change to reduce your turnover rate and increase employee satisfaction? Consider conducting exit interviews to ask employees for feedback. That way, you can make changes to things that are controllable and improve the experience for your future employees.
The Perfect Management System
Creating the perfect management system can seem like a daunting task, but when you put the right processes, systems, and tools in place, you will build a fireproof business. You can say goodbye to the days of receiving frantic phone calls from employees who don’t know what to do.
When you put the right processes and procedures in place, you become a fire preventer instead of a firefighter. To do that, you must manage systems and develop people. Creating procedures to properly and efficiently train your employees will allow you to work on your business instead of in your business.
How to Take Efficiency to the Next Level
Restaurants need technology, and as an operator, you need to understand it and learn how it works. Software and automated systems will help lower your labor costs, increase productivity and operational efficiency, and create a better experience for guests. If you can automate repetitive tasks that don’t require real labor, wouldn’t you? This will free up your staff to focus their efforts elsewhere and provide better service to your guests!
Here are some automated solutions you could implement depending on your business needs to reduce labor:
- Sushi machine
- Pizza machine
- Automated fry stations
- Food lockers
- Self-ordering kiosks
- Delivery robots
- Self-pour beverage technology
Self-Pour Beverage Technology
Self-pour beverage walls allow operators to simplify their operations, understand what’s happening with their products, reduce beverage waste, and more.
Another one of our PourMyBeer family members, CraftWorx Taproom, located in Gainesville, VA, is taking advantage of the benefits of self-pour and its efficiency! CraftWorx is home to a 60-tap self-pour beverage wall. After careful evaluation, they decided to integrate their PourMyBeer system with Toast POS. With the Toast and PourMyBeer integration, patrons can check-in in under 10 seconds, providing a smooth process for customers and staff. Not only do customers get in quickly and pour their drinks with no wait, but staff can check in more customers.
In this case study, you will learn the keys to success to help your establishment operate efficiently and maximize beverage sales while only needing a few staff members.
Fill out the form below read the Case Study!
Is Adding Automation Right for You?
If you are looking to add automated solutions to your operations, but do not know where to start, ask yourself, “Will the automation help you serve better food and beverages, with better service for a better price?”
If the answer to that question is yes, then the automated solution is worth the investment. However, you must consider who your target guest is to understand what automation will work for you and what ones will not.
Know who your guest is, what they want, and what their expectations are.
With guests’ expectations changing and leaning more towards technology and efficiency, we expect to see many restaurants and bars continuing the shift toward technology in the future, so adding automation to your establishment could be just what you need to simplify operations and exceed guest expectations!