Sometimes the amount of restaurant software available can feel overwhelming. With so many different systems and applications to choose from, it’s hard to tell which ones are truly worth your while. From staff scheduling, to POS software, to online ordering and waitlist apps, we’ve highlighted some of the reports these technologies offer that can help you make important business decisions.
Staff Scheduling Software
Every restaurateur knows, scheduling staff is no easy task – so why not lean on robust staff scheduling software like 7Shifts to help relieve some of your scheduling stresses? With the help of a scheduling tool, you can get real time visibility into where your scheduling spend is going. For example, if it feels like your staff is constantly outnumbering your guests, a higher than planned labor cost would confirm this. On the flip side, if your staff seem to be struggling to serve customer demand a lower than necessary labor cost would confirm this. With these two learnings from a smart scheduling tool, you could adjust your scheduling processes accordingly, bringing your labor costs more in line with your sales predications – your staff and stress levels will thank you.
A smart POS system, like TouchBistro, will come equipped with more than enough reports and analytics to help take your business to the next level. For example, a detailed sales item report gives restaurant owners insight into which menu items are selling well, and which ones are not. This kind of insight is incredibly actionable; if you’re a fine dining restaurant looking to introduce a new menu, test a couple items month by month and see how they perform. Or if you’re an upscale bar short on beer taps, you could use the insights from this report to swap out your poor-selling beers for a better-seller, making better use out of your limited taps.
Online Ordering App
While online ordering software gives your customers full access to your restaurant’s offerings, it also provides you with their personal contact information, which you can leverage to make more informed business decisions. Reports in your online ordering software will allow you to zero in on the areas where you’re most popular. For example, if a large majority of patrons in one apartment building are regular online-orderers at your restaurant, you could run a direct mail marketing campaign to target that building specifically. These geo-specific insights could also be a godsend if you’re planning a mobile restaurant initiative; you have a predetermined area you know your food truck would be a hit at.
It’s all well and good when you provide customers with the ability to book reservations at your restaurant with the click of a button, but this convenience means nothing if you’re not seating them right at their specified time. With the help of reports, like a quoted vs. actual seat time report, you’re able to tell if you’re constantly seating patrons late for their reservations. With this insight, you could implement a few fixes. For example, extending the overall window in between reservations to try and avoid the issue all together. Or, if a group is waiting to be seated for their reservation, why not encourage your hosts to seat them at the bar in the meantime, and offer to transfer their tab to their table once their table is ready.
While it feels like there’s no limit to the number of software systems and apps vying for your time and money, it’s crucial you do some digging to find out which technology will prove to be a flawless business tool. What will separate the good restaurant software from the great are those that can provide you with the insights you need in order to make key business decisions.