While many businesses have been quick to embrace new technology, the restaurant industry has been much slower to adopt and integrate it into their business. The National Restaurant Association recently reported that 25% of restaurants surveyed planned to spend more money and time on technology while four out of five of those same participants also claimed that they understood how technology can bring improvements to their business by increasing sales and improving productivity.
So why is it that many employees at bars and restaurants are still spending hours after their shift ends manually tracking inventory needs? Why are people still walking door to door with their paper resumes in search of jobs? How can we fill this gap between adoption and implementation?
Here are six new technologies that can save your restaurant time, money, and lots of headaches. Bonus: they’re all free or minimal investments so you can stress less and save more.
Cost: Reach out for pricing quote
Revel Systems is an iPad POS solution for single and multi business locations. For restaurants and bars, there’s a full suite of features to improve business processes including caller ID, table timers, split bills, delivery management, and table layouts. There’s also also a built-in loyalty program integration so you can give your customers reason to keep coming back.
Cost: $29/month (20 employees)
Managers spend hours putting together schedules only to have employees trading shifts, staff not showing up, or managers needing last-minute help. Instead of spending time managing shift trades and calling employees to cover or come in, When I Work lets you schedule and communicate with employees directly through a mobile application so you can save time and stress less. You can easily see who’s available on which days, assign individuals to certain shifts — and when you hit “schedule” the team will get a push notification of their new schedule. Better yet, employees can easily go into the application and switch shifts on their own so managers don’t have to play phone tag. #NotIt
Cost: $20 base fee + $2/employee (per pay period)
Time is money and money is time. Save hours (and dollars) by managing your payroll process through Wagepoint, an automated payroll software that’s compliant with state and federal regulations. You can invite your employees to access their pay stubs, process hourly and salaried payroll quickly, and it even offers direct deposit. Now you can spend more time managing, mentoring, and training employees and let Wagepoint worry about payroll, taxes, and the rest.
Cost: Reach out for pricing quote
Do you hate spending time organizing invoices and analyzing costs? Plate IQ knows the struggle, and they’re here to help. Plate IQ is a complete accounts payable solution with real-time food costing. You simply take a picture of your invoices or send it as a PDF, and they will digitize all of your invoices and automatically map them to your GL codes. You just have to review and pay the invoices. Plus, you’ll get alerts on price increases and how it’s impacting your spending so you can better manage your business.
Cost: Starts at $49/month
Do you hate it when customers come in asking for a certain beer or menu item that’s out of stock or no longer available? It’s not fun for the server or the guest. With TapHunter, you can update beer, wine, spirit, and cocktail menus all in one place. They’ll automatically update your social media, print menu, website, and digital displays at once in real time so you don’t have to waste time explaining what is and isn’t available. It’s time to leave the ladder and chalk behind and cut down the time spent on your beverage program.
Cost: Starts at $9.99/month
BlueCart is an easy-to-use inventory management solution that lets you keep track of inventory from your phone, tablet, or laptop. You can also place mobile orders instantly when you’re running low on something. Need to get in touch with your supplier? With their app, you can manage supplier relations and messaging as well as track exact order quantities. Take the guesswork out of managing inventory and use BlueCart’s management and analytics features to improve current processes and increase efficiency.
Cody Barbo is the Founder + CEO of Industry, a professional network and hiring solution for the restaurant and service industry. Businesses can post jobs and create a business profile by adding photos and videos to showcase company culture and attract the best applicants. Users can highlight their skills and experience, apply to jobs, network, and follow businesses for updates on events or new job openings.