Restaurant owners are, by nature, creative. They dream of beautiful, inspired food and creative ambiance. The problem is that those who forget about practical things, like record keeping, taxes, and point-of-sales systems are doomed. It is these less romantic items are what keeps a restaurant in business.
This is where technology becomes important to a restaurant. It is technology that keeps track of what you are selling the most of, food cost versus pricing, food safety, inventory, taxes, total sales and tips. Restaurant software systems keep track of all of these things, you will be living in a paperwork nightmare. Your accountant will hate you. Your general manager will be living in the dark. Your employees will be frustrated.
Beyond going high-tech, you as an owner need to get a software system that meets your needs. Here is how you determine what your needs are before you even open the doors:
1. Make a list of all the ongoing lists you are going to be using regularly. That includes par and inventory lists, employee policies, data bases for customer contact information and email lists. You also need things like temperature sign-off control sheets and check sheets for opening your restaurant during the day and closing at night. You are going to need a software system to handle all of that.
2. Figure out approximately how much in sales you expect to do monthly. Divide the sales into how much you anticipate to be in cash and how much in credit cards. The price of merchant services often depends on your volume. Higher volume customers may get discounted pricing, so you need to know which category you may fall into.
3. Determine how many items you will be offering and their pricing. You don’t need an exact menu at this point but you do need to know about how much you plan to get per sale. This helps in determining what point-of-sale system is best for you. This also helps you in your marketing research before you actually set up your restaurant.
4. Research your options for technology. Typically, most suggest to get a package from one company like restaurant POS software from Partech in order to provide compatibility and consistency. Ask for how software will handle various aspects of your restaurant from call-in orders, to third-party delivery, to drive-through and sit down. You also want a company to help you with onboarding. You want tech that is versatile enough to handle all of this.
5. Consider a software system that tracks your sales. This can be incredibly beneficial to you understand your business’ trends. A really good system will tell you what you are selling the most of and help you decide what should come off the menu. That will save you money in the long-run and keep you from trying to guess what your customers like.
Understanding how to use technology in your restaurant can be time consuming up front but it will save you both time and money later. That will make running your restaurant less stressful and help you become successful.