5 Best Management Tools That Help Your Restaurant Business

July 15, 2015
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Your restaurant is an increasingly difficult business to manage due to ever growing competition, decreased margins, and rising costs.  Effectively controlling these variables through modern tools can help your business grow in the direction that you want it to.  Simply making good food and providing a positive atmosphere is no longer good enough to continually attract enough customers.  You need to evolve to use the most effective tools for your business.

Your restaurant is an increasingly difficult business to manage due to ever growing competition, decreased margins, and rising costs.  Effectively controlling these variables through modern tools can help your business grow in the direction that you want it to.  Simply making good food and providing a positive atmosphere is no longer good enough to continually attract enough customers.  You need to evolve to use the most effective tools for your business.

In any industry, there are always the old ways of doing things and those who want to keep doing them because that is what has worked in the past.  Those things may continue to work for a time, but eventually they are no longer going to be able to compete with those who took up the new tools.  These new tools in the restaurant industry are still solving the same problems except that they are vastly more efficient, easier to use and often times cheaper.

 

 

In any business, particularly a restaurant, the bottom line is profit.  Of course you want to provide exceptional food and experiences, but you can only do that if it leads to profit.  The five prioritized tools to help you manage your restaurant are as follows.  Use them to their highest potential and your restaurant is bound to succeed.

Obtaining Customers

A primary goal of any restaurant is gaining more customers.  Simply put, you will always benefit with more customers.  A cost effective way of doing that is by using Yelpwhich is now combined with SeatMe. Yelp is a way to let customers search and find your restaurant, read reviews, see photos, and make reservations.  Yelp is one of the most used restaurant and business finding applications out there.  You should not only have a page on Yelp, butalso make sure that it is stellar.  You can also get metrics on how many people are viewing your restaurant and how the numbers are growing.  The second part of Yelp, SeatMe, is a table management application that can keep track of where guests are seated and which tables are open to efficiently allocate staff along with creating an even distribution throughout your restaurant.

Pricing:Free Setup, Free Website Listing, $99/month for a monthly subscription to use all of its’ features.

Prioritizing the Customer

The customer is always number one regardless of what industry you’re in.  This means that they are still a priority, even if you are not yet serving them.  No one likes waiting in line and especially when they don’t know how much longer it will be.  The wait list management application – Waitlist Me, can help treat every guest like they’re a regular.  Guests are input into the system which sends them a link to your restaurants Waitlist Me page where they can see how much longer of a wait it is and who is ahead of them.  When their table is ready a text or call notifies them.  This application can also keep track of return customers and easily note guest preferences or other details that will truly impress the customer and keep them coming back.  The application also has a table management component that can keep tables organized as well help to better assign staff.  Waitlist Me will help improve your overall customer experience so they can enjoy your food and keep coming back.

Pricing: Free up to 100 parties/month. $19.99 for unlimited.

Seamless Transactions

A smooth and positive customer experience doesn’t end with Waitlist Me.  A POS (Point of Sale) system that can handle orders quickly and accurately will ensure that your customers aren’t waiting any longer than they have to for food, service, or the bill.  SambaPOS is a versatile system that can be customized to your restaurant’s menu and needs.  It is quick and easy to operate and gives you an in depth look at what you are selling, what you are making from that, and what is losing you money.  An up-to-date POS system is critical to getting the most out of your restaurant.  Without it, you and your employees are wasting time doing what could be done far quicker, easier, and also with valuable metrics being derived from it.

Pricing: Free

Smart Supply

One of the ways that you are going to make the most money is to have the amount of food you order from your suppliers, all be consumed by your guests.  This is where supply meets demand.  This will never happen but the closer you get to it the more profitable you can be.  Having the business management tool, Count-n-Control will allow you to quickly and accurately follow your entire inventory through its life-cycle.  Its online interface allows for multiple users and file importing.  Count-n-Control also gives you the ability of sales analysis and comparing actual and projected costs among many other interesting features. 

Pricing: Free for 30 days, then $15/month for 1 location.

Efficient Workforce Engagement

Your employees are who defines your business and making sure you manage and allocate them the best will help your business prosper.  Time Forge you to manage schedules and labor costs efficiently and easily.  It allows your employees to view their schedules online as well as swapping shifts.  You can also manage their time off and availability to ensure you always have the staff numbers that you need to have your restaurant in peak functionality.   

Pricing: Free for 1 location up to 25 employees.

All of these tools have been done without in the past but as you can see they will make tasks easier, quicker, and more efficient which will result in your business being more effectively run and in turn more profitable.  Getting more customers to your business is essential.  Customers are why your business exits; take care of them and give them the most beneficial dining experience you can give.  You are always going to have to manage your food inventory as well as your employees.  Use tools to make those tasks easier and more effective.  When you start to have an efficient business, it is going to be harder and harder to increase your margins.  These tools will help you find those gains and if you are not yet super-efficient, these tools can drastically help your business grow and prosper in the right direction.