Cost Cutting Ideas for Restaurants: Increase Restaurant Efficiency & Reduce Costs With These New Technologies

Cost Cutting Ideas for Restaurants: Increase Restaurant Efficiency & Reduce Costs With These New Technologies
Ana Cvetkovic

By Ana Cvetkovic

Now is the time when your restaurant can experiment with and implement new technologies to help reduce costs, improve margins, and stay safe during COVID-19. When you optimize restaurant efficiency, your business will be able to cope during troubling times, and thrive during good times.

Fortunately, tech can help boost operational efficiency in restaurants. We’re sharing five tools that you should consider adding to your restaurant’s tech stack to reduce restaurant costs. They include:

5 Tools to Use to Increase Operational Efficiency in Restaurants

Did you know that 48% of restaurants use three or more tech vendors? If you’re one of the one in four restaurateurs who only uses a POS system, you may want to consider expanding your tech stack.

Here are five other restaurant software and hardware solutions your business can adopt to optimize restaurant efficiency and cut costs.

Make sure that the products you choose integrate with your POS for maximum impact!

Read more: StoreKit's Guide to Restaurant Software

1. How to cut labor costs in a restaurant 101: Use a labor management tool

Did you know that restaurants spend about 30% of their revenue on wages, overtime, payroll taxes, and employee health care? In fact, labor is one of the biggest costs for restaurants.  

With features like automated scheduling, time tracking, and analytics reporting, labor management software can help your restaurant reduce its labor costs.


Restaurant labor management tools take the guesswork out of scheduling. They help you lower labor spending by arming you with data that you can use to schedule your staff with a high degree of accuracy. This means that you’ll never have too many staff members working a slow shift, or too few staff working a busy one.

With automated, predictive scheduling, you don’t even have to be involved in the scheduling process. Think of what you could do with several more free hours each week.

Another way that labor management software increases restaurant efficiency and productivity is by facilitating communication between staff. Equipped with a mobile app, staff can review announcements, reach out to managers, and manage tasks wherever they are.


7shifts is an all-in-one restaurant labor management tool that includes predictive scheduling through its POS integrations, time clocking through 7punches, and task management through 7tasks.

2. Decrease restaurant costs with order management software

A tremendous 92% of restaurant sales currently take place off-premise. Because of COVID-19 restrictions on on-premise dining, customers are turning to takeout and delivery like never before.

Technology is changing the way that customers order from restaurants on- and off-premise. Innovations in online ordering platforms and on-premise mobile ordering improve operational efficiency in restaurants.


Online ordering platforms that integrate with your POS can send orders from your website to your kitchen. This functionality reduces the time that staff have to spend processing orders over the phone.

For on-premise dining experiences, contactless ordering solutions can speed up table turnover and free servers up from the monotonous task of taking orders so that they can focus on giving guests a memorable hospitality experience.

Most importantly, restaurants own these platforms so they don’t have to give away guest data or 30% of their profits to third-party tools.


3. Cost cutting ideas for restaurants: Take advantage of inventory management software

According to TouchBistro’s State of Full Service Restaurants report, 40% of restaurants struggle with inventory management. Fortunately, inventory management software makes it easier to order the right amount of food and reduce restaurant costs related to waste.


Inventory management software uses data about demand at your restaurant to help you order the right amount of inventory. You can stop spending money on food that will never get used. You can also stop running out of inventory and having to run to the grocery store to buy ingredients at retail price.


4. Use guest engagement software to boost guest loyalty and operational efficiency in restaurants

Guest engagement platforms serve as CRMs (customer relationship management platforms) for the restaurant industry and help you keep track of your interactions with guests. They can also do much more.


Guest engagement platforms are also reservations tools, so they’re well equipped to help you accept and manage bookings from dine-in guests.

Through the information that you gain from reservations, you can create guest profiles and save guest preferences, like dietary restrictions or favorite dishes. Your servers can use this information to serve guests personalized hospitality experiences.

These platforms can also help you grow sales by boosting guest loyalty. Most guest engagement platforms have integrated marketing tools that help you send guests customized offers to keep them coming back. According to the Harvard Business Review, growing customer loyalty by just 5% can increase restaurant sales by up to 95%.


5. Promote restaurant efficiency with contactless payments

We’ve come a long way since cash payments. Contactless, mobile payment technology makes it possible for restaurants to accept payments with just a tap or swipe, from anywhere.


Contactless payment solutions boost restaurant efficiency by speeding up table turnover. When a server has to bring a check to the table, wait for the guest to put a card down, pick up the card and run it to the POS, and then bring it back to guests, it can take nine minutes to close a tab.

With a mobile, contactless payment processor, servers can bring the card reader to guests and close out the tab in one tap or swipe.


Bonus cost-cutting ideas for restaurants: Over 10 years, the average restaurant spends more than $120,000 in credit card processing fees. Cut restaurant costs and improve your margins by shopping around for the best credit card processing rates possible.

With integrations, the sum of the whole is greater than its parts

The POS is the heart of the tech stack for restaurant efficiency. As you consider which software

to add to your restaurant’s toolkit to make it more efficient, make sure that it integrates with your POS. When your labor management or order management tools integrate with your POS, you unlock capabilities that make the solutions more powerful together than they are on their own.

Want to know how to cut labor costs in a restaurant? Check out 7shifts’ integrations.

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Ana Cvetkovic
Ana Cvetkovic

Ana Cvetkovic is a freelance writer. She is also the CEO of BLOOM Digital Marketing, a creative marketing agency that helps the hospitality and tourism industries reach millennials online.