Restaurant automation has been the talk for a few years now. It was popular before the pandemic, but even more so now. It has been a way for restaurants to overcome many challenges in uncertain times and a way to lighten the heavy load that comes with managing a restaurant. However, there are always some learning curves and growing pains to work out, so we thought we would cover some of the incredible benefits of automation and discuss ways to conquer some of the challenges that come with it.
Let’s begin with some of the benefits.
Automation is able to reduce inaccuracies and increase efficiency. This helps save money by less orders returned to the kitchen, the correct amount of ingredients used for each order and can predict problems in staffing, vendor ordering and inventory. As we talked about last week, labor scheduling software is beneficial by letting you know when someone is about to go over their allotted work hours, so you can address the situation before it becomes a problem.
Now, depending on what kind of automation your restaurant has will determine your reliability. When dealing with POS Systems, you will have a more streamlined process when it comes to taking orders. If your restaurant uses kiosks or mobile apps to take orders, you don’t have to rely on certain people showing up for work or someone taking an order wrong. Accounting and payroll can also be simplified and less stressful when you use automated systems to get the most accurate information.
Now let’s talk about the growing pains that can sometimes come with automation.
Lack of Connectivity
People crave being connected, and when you have robots doing a lot of the work, it can feel cold and impersonal. Be sure your restaurant is going the extra mile to make customers feel seen and valued. That can be as simple as greeting them when they walk in before they hit up a kiosk to order. If you have the staff available, be sure they are checking in with customers to see if they have everything they need. Wherever you can plug in a little human interaction, do it!
New technology can seem overwhelming. There is a lot of information and sometimes software has multiple functions to learn. Be sure you find something that is easy to navigate and solves more problems than it creates. Be sure that the software company you choose offers training to help you navigate this new way of doing business and are available to help you learn along the way. When you have support and clarification, the process seems less scary and more manageable.
Don’t be afraid to try something new just because it is different. The benefits outweigh the challenges and can mean a more productive and profitable restaurant!