Christmas is a challenging time of year for the hospitality industry – but also one of great opportunity. Customer numbers increase substantially, whether as a result of personal festive celebrations, office lunches or corporate entertainment. Menu changes need to be made to add festive dishes and offer diners something that they wouldn’t be able to enjoy at any other time of year. Many restaurants struggle to cope with the challenges presented by this huge increase in diner numbers, as well as the menu changes that are required. How can you use technology to help cope with your restaurant’s Christmas concerns this year?
Identify the key challenges for your business
Every restaurant is different but at this time of the year there tends to be one concern that stands out more than most: service. Given the increase in diners and the changes made to the menu to upgrade it in festive terms how do you ensure that everyone who walks through the door of the restaurant receives the same consistent level of service with respect to the quality and aesthetic of the plates that are put in front of them? Inconsistency can lead to a lot of issues, for example an office party Christmas lunch where one person has a single roast potato while everyone else has three can leave a sour taste in the mouth.
Using technology to tackle key festive concerns
An inventory management system integrated with Point of Sale is a great starting point for ensuring that you have a positive and productive festive season this year. There are a number of different benefits to using restaurant technology in this way, including being able to ensure that your business never runs out of the ingredients that it needs to produce a perfect plate every time, even if you have multiple restaurants. You can build specific recipes from these ingredients for this time of year, each one specific about the number of items on the plate, and the data will identify if one part of your business is using too much or too little of something and so creating an inconsistent product.
Using technology to keep profitability in mind
If you have integrated inventory management and Point of Sale systems set up you’ll also be able to see how your Christmas menu stacks up in terms of the numbers. Data can be used to generate reports that provide key insights, both into the theoretical profitability of the menu (Retail Cost – Recipe Cost), and profits at an actual level, (Retail Cost – (Recipe Cost – Waste – Voids – Discounts).
The other element of delivering great service tends to be your staff. Technology can help here too, enabling more accurate scheduling so that the business always has the team it needs to deliver a great experience and ensuring that key processes such as payroll are never held up, leading to a disgruntled workforce. Handheld ePOS systems can make staff more efficient and able to handle an increase in diner numbers.
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year – and can be an incredibly profitable one for restaurants too. With the right technology in place you can ensure that your business thrives this year and isn’t held back by festive challenges.