The restaurant industry is expected to be worth approximately $798 billion in 2017. So what keeps these businesses growing? The right combination of restaurant technology, efficient staff and management can lay the groundwork for success.

Unfortunately, some restaurants are hindered by subtle challenges in the industry, particularly around technology. Technology is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to keep things like waitlist apps, inventory management systems, and POS systems up to date.

Restaurant owners with old technology may lack reporting capabilities. As a result, they don’t have insight into daily operations, and they miss out on valuable opportunities for growth.

Let’s take a look at 5 mistakes that could hinder your own restaurant growth and how you can resolve them:

 

1. Menu Options

Do you have enough items to cater to the palates of existing and potential customers? For example, if you know families will frequent your restaurant, you’ll want to ensure that you have children’s meals on the menu.

Understanding the needs of your diners is essential to creating a menu that meets their demands. Need tips on keeping your menu fresh and up to date? Here are a few resources to get you started:

 

2. Hours of Operation

Do you know when your target audience is looking for a meal? Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for feedback as you craft your hours of operation. A restaurant with inconsistent hours or a lack of service during peak hours can suffer.

Once you decide on the best hours for your restaurant to operate, make sure you widely publicize the information for your customers’ benefit.

 

3. Restaurant Design

In an inefficient floor plan, bar setups and table configurations slow down your servers and create an uncomfortable setting for your customers. With POS restaurant software, you can develop a digital floor map to ensure that everything is in the right place for each shift.

In addition, you can better manage your staff and make sure that customers are being served adequately in busy areas of your restaurant. Check out our recent post, “Design of the Times: 5 Design Tips for Modern Restaurants” for additional info.

 

4. Old Technology

Research tells us that four out of five customers feel restaurant technology improves convenience. Whether it’s a POS system or an online reservation platform, these solutions can make life easier for you and your customers. For example, reservation management software keeps track of bookings, and ensures all of your patrons are seated at their requested times. In the end, everyone is satisfied.

Utilizing old technology not only hinders growth; it also poses problems when your restaurant is running smoothly. For instance, inaccurate data in a system that can’t keep pace with updates leads to errors in all your data, from reservations to inventory. Old technology may also fail to keep customer information private and out of the hands of hackers.

 

5. Poor Greetings

How is your front of house staff greeting guests when they walk through the door? If the first thing they ask is “How many?” or “Do you want to sit in the dining room or the bar?” you might want to retrain your hosts.

In addition to improving salutations, you can make a better impression on guests by ensuring your hosts are displaying appropriate body language. About 93% of a person’s first impression is determined by non-verbal communication. Encourage your hosts to smile, make eye contact, and be attentive to your guests to promote customer loyalty.

Whether it’s a lack of menu options or old POS restaurant software, these issues can easily hinder your restaurant’s growth. Resolving them improves patron satisfaction – and your bottom line.

 

See  You at the Show!

CAKE’s team is excited to meet you in person at the NRA show! We’ll be front and center in booth 5607 in the North Hall of McCormick Place. Come check out our tech, along with the rest of Sysco’s technology display!

Sysco will be hosting a few special events this year, including:

National Restaurant News Power Lunch

Sponsored by Sysco

When: Sunday, May 21 11:30am – 1:30pm Luncheon

Where: W Hotel Chicago – Lakeshore Blvd, Chicago

Attendees:

  •         Current and Past NRN Power List
  •         NRN Next 20 Brands
  •         NRN Break-out Brands and Hot Concepts
  •         NRN Consumer Picks Top Performers
  •         RH 25 Multi-Concept Independent

Supersession: Defying the Curse

Sponsored by Sysco

When: Monday, May 22 at 11am

Where: Grand Ballroom, McCormick Place (S100)

What:
A lively discussion between Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and renowned sportscaster Mike Greenberg of ESPNs Mike and Mike in the morning as they discuss lessons in leadership and how a tenacious focus on developing the best organizational culture in professional baseball overcame a 108-year drought.

 

We hope to see you there!