Are you a restauranteur wanting to upgrade your technology? If you’ve spent some time thinking about it, we’ll show you how.

The power of technology in restaurants can transform your business. In fact, 95% of restaurateurs saw an increase in their business efficiency because of it. If we can take anything from the lesson learned through COVID, is that you can’t “stick to what you know.” A prime example is businesses that got set up with online ordering. Pre-COVID restaurants may have been doing fine without it. But, now it’s the turning point allowing the business to survive.

That is why in this blog post, we’re going to give you different ways to improve your technology step by step. To begin, we want to refer to our Technology Audit questions from a previous post:

  1. Can your restaurant accept and manage online orders?
  2. Does your restaurant have iPad and mobile functionality?
  3. Does your restaurant have a curbside management solution?
  4. Does your restaurant have a customer communication tool?
  5. Does your restaurant have a seamless front-of-house to the back-of-house communication tool?
  6. Does your restaurant have an intuitive inventory management system?
  7. Does your restaurant have a virtual training software to get servers and staff up to speed?
  8. Are you able to measure data and have full visibility into all aspects of your operations?
  9. Does your restaurant have intuitive seating management and server tracking?
  10. Does your restaurant have an automated waitlist? 

First, we want to explain why technology is critical for backing these up. According to the Restaurant Industry 2030 Report, guests of the future will demand it. They note, “If you’re not doing business through a phone or tablet — whether it’s delivery, online ordering, or even your tableside POS — you could find your business struggling.”

Why is it important?

Technology is here to stay. That means you need to accept the integrations that today’s consumers want. These integrations applications support operations as a whole. With them, you can cut out the pain of manual:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Reports
  • Waitlists and Table Status
  • Employee Scheduling
  • Inventory Management
  • Physically Writing Orders & Giving a Copy to The Kitchen

Increase in Online Presence

Did you know that 90% of guests research a restaurant online before dining? If you’re not visible online, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. This consists of a website, social media channels, and review sites. The more your eatery is out there, the more opportunity to draw in guests.

As guests do come in, the first interaction they often have is with the host getting a table. Are you still using laminated sheets and markers? It’s time to say goodbye and say hello to applications for table management. A table management system, like Guest Manager, takes care of:

  1. Online Reservations
  2. Curbside Management
  3. Customer Communication
  4. Guests can “get in line” virtually
  5. Rearrange Floor Layout – accommodate for 6ft social distancing
  6. Intuitive Waitlist Management

This alone backs up why technology is essential. On top of that, new state regulations demand that restaurants have a system to track guests. Higher-than-usual curbside and delivery orders can also be supported by this.

Technology on the Floor

Once it’s time for the dining experience, table-side ordering is a must. It offers instant order entry so you can turn tables faster. According to MRM, studies have shown that iPads are more effective in driving upsells. With CAKE’s OrderPad, upselling questions and modifications are always displayed to boost sales. Technology is on the rise with all these features available right from an iPad. You could be struggling to meet your customers’ needs without this.  To avoid that, let’s begin to explain how to bring your technology up-to-date.

How to Improve Your Technology

In your transition period of updating technology, it’s important to start small. Identify what you need the most and then move forward from there. For example, if you already have a cloud-based POS system and no seating management, start there. It will expand your online presence and allow your guests to find you on reservation sites and much more.

Step by Step Guide for Guest Manager:

  1. Download the Guest Manager app from the Apple App Store compatible with iPad.
  2. Create an account for your restaurant
  3. Begin designing your floor layout on Floor Map Editor
  4. Start entering guests and begin managing your guests

Adding Self Service Reservations with Google

  1. Set Restaurant Name & Location
  2. Edit Reservation Hours & Availability (Pacing)
  3. Enable Google Reservations

Adding ‘Join Waitlist’ from Google

  1. Set Restaurant Name & Location
  2. Confirm Open Hours
  3. Enable Google Call Ahead

Here are some extra resources for improving your technology:

Once you’ve mastered your table management system, begin to use it to its fullest potential. This technology can be used for much more than just table management. It’s your customer communication tool and gives insight on guest profiles.

Loyalty Programs

In a post-COVID environment, loyalty programs should be emphasized to your guests. The first step is cutting out the punch cards and getting technology to back it up. Mobile applications for this have allowed restaurants to personalize rewards. This update will allow you to explore your customer’s behaviors and drive more sales.

POS System

The most important piece of technology is a cloud-based POS system. This is the key to optimizing your business. In a cloud-based system, you can build out your perfect solution with custom apps. It also opens you to open up the world of mobile dining.

Here are the basics steps for switching from a legacy to a cloud-based POS:

  1. Get started on moving/creating your menu
  2. Determine your installation plan (3rd party or self-installation)
  3. Check that you’re able to process credit cards with your payment processor, if not with CAKE
  4. Install Hardware
  5. Activate New POS
  6. Organize Training

Once you’re connected to the internet, you’re good to go. A cloud-based POS system will keep up with the speed you need.

To learn more, check out these 11 ways cloud-based POS systems can improve your restaurant.

Bring it all together

As you can see, technology is critical for this ever-evolving industry. It will help you optimize your operations more than you could ever know. Everybody is on the same page when you integrate it into your daily operations. Its features allow for FOH and BOH to communicate hassle-free.

Don’t fall into the struggle to keep up with your customers’ needs because of a lack of technology. Use the refinements above to make the most use of your technology solutions. They will help you unlock the powerful world of third-party apps to build your dream solution.

Technology is reinventing the restaurant experience. We offer the first of its kind POS system and Guest Manager integration. CAKE helps you bring everything together and makes it easy to run your business. Get set up with our POS system today to stay on top of it.  Right away you’ll know this system is what your restaurant deserves.