From the cash register to the kitchen, technology is an integral part of how restaurants operate. Innovators are constantly coming up with new digital solutions to make running a restaurant easier, faster, and more profitable. These are 7 technologies that has turned once imagined solutions into foodservice necessities, and entirely transformed the restaurant business.
1. Bluetooth temperature sensors
It’s no secret that HACCP (food safety) checklists are a pain. That’s why many restaurants have started utilizing Bluetooth temperature monitoring systems to ensure their food and equipment are up to par. Using handheld probes and fixed sensors, restaurants can manually or automatically measure the temperatures of their key assets in as little as four seconds. Managers can program customized limits for each food and equipment and be alerted if any temperatures are beyond their acceptable threshold. These Bluetooth sensors can also wirelessly record temperature readings in a HACCP log so that employees do not have to. This prevents staff from falsifying daily reports and simply eliminates paper logs altogether. Wireless temperature systems ultimately take a proactive approach to food safety, helping restaurants to avoid product loss and most importantly protect customer safety.
2. Optimized schedule makers/scheduling software
Restaurateurs know all too well how difficult scheduling can be. Luckily, there is now software to help them get the job done. In just seconds, managers can generate and distribute a digital weekly schedule to all employees. Shift times and positions are optimized according to historical staffing patterns and forecasted sales levels to avoid over- or under-staffing. These schedules also account for employee availability, time off requests, and shift swaps– all which are done directly through the app.
3. Kiosks/tabletop tablets
At these kiosks, customers are able to browse the menu, create customized orders, and pay for their meal entirely on their own. This, along with suggestions for upsells and cross-sells, encourages diners to order more. Having kiosks to handle the transactions allows employees to focus their efforts on back-of-house operations and customer service, rather than having their efforts divided.
4. Digital inventory tracking
Many restaurants are switching over to an electronic inventory system as it provides them better visibility of their main assets. Through a mobile device, restaurant employees are able to directly submit and view inventory counts for greater efficiency and accuracy. Managers can also set up customized counting schedules for each product in inventory.
5. Automated purchasing tool
Linked directly to your inventory system, this digital tool helps managers stay on top of stock by alerting them to low product levels. This technology suggests intelligent purchasing recommendations based on vendor product lead times, forecasted sales quantities, and custom par levels.
6. Digital table/reservation manager
This software does everything from booking reservations directly with customers to suggesting optimal seating arrangements based on time and party size. Restaurants can also give customers accurate wait time estimates and notify them via text when a table is ready for a more pleasurable waiting experience.
7. Virtual reality onboarding
VR and HR come together to create the newest trend for employee management: Virtual reality onboarding. Using a headset and customized software, new hires can engage in a truly unique experience, without the risks and cost of a normal training session. They can take a 360-degree tour of the facility, watch other employees in action, and test their skills in simulation games.
Over the years, technology has become the key ingredient for success in the modern food service industry. Simply having good food is not enough to keep a restaurant in business as it is the newest innovations that give restaurants the much-needed edge over the competition. Although these technologies come at a cost, the results that restaurants see in their business is well worth the investment.