Restaurant ‘home truths’ that could make you squirm

Amid the economic crisis, some restaurants are uncovering awkward ‘home truths’ within their operations — but it’s leading them to reset their businesses and emerge stronger.

Right now, it feels like the 11th hour for many bars and restaurants. There’s no time to be frivolous, showy or experimental. That moment has long gone.

Instead, any changes that operators introduce must be proven beyond measure and capable of delivering tangible results. Not next year, but immediately.

This mindset is essential if you’re thinking about restaurant tech.

Technology has transformed other sectors — and it can do the same for hospitality. But you need systems that will be completely honest with you. And that means telling you home truths, even if they make you feel uncomfortable at first.

Here are three things that you’ll want to know immediately:

#1: Where’s money being wasted inside our business? 

Traditional, manual processes are infamous for creating and concealing waste. But next-gen restaurant tech will account for every item, spoonful and penny, end to end across your operation, virtually in real-time. There are no fuzzy edges.

It can be uncomfortable to see how much waste has been tolerated during better times. You may also discover that one venue is massively under-performing compared to others and identify the reasons for this. Or identify rogue suppliers tweaking agreed prices that impact the bottom line.

This kind of clarity is the best way to see how to rebuild your margin — from ordering products and scheduling shifts, to recipe cards, batch production, portion sizes and overall performance. Then you can act and fix things.

#2: How do we make our routine processes self-driving?

It’s possible to protect your profitability further by streamlining and automating up to 80% of routine tasks — including the ones that staff often loathe, like creating inventory counts, prep plans, etc. Today, there are smarter, faster ways of doing things.

Crucially, every fragment of data across your business must feed into a unified system, so there’s one version of the truth that instantly informs and influences every other process.

What your technology mustn’t do is simply replicate your previous manual processes beneath the cheap veneer of a mobile app or POS. Instead, real-time data capture of events must happen everywhere —  front-of-house through to back-of-house — so your business operates as one entity with no cracks. This is essential for processes to become increasingly self-driving. 

#3: How can we react faster to change as a business?

With the right tech, you’ll discover things you didn’t know before, thanks to trustworthy data.  Some facts will confirm the hunches you had already, while others will astound you. You’ll see trends and patterns that need urgent attention. These may impact anything and everything from the hours you open, to staffing levels, and items that should be removed or added to your menu. One dish may be costing you, another may be your big earner.

Next-gen tech will also let you try out ‘what if’ scenarios. You’ll be able to anticipate the impact on your bottom line of every supplier negotiation, product launches and special offers. As changes are rolled out, you’ll see results instantly and be able to fine tune your decision-making on the fly.  And your financial forecasts will tally with actual revenue.

No-holds-barred honesty is the best policy

If restaurant tech doesn’t give you these kinds of answers, then walk away. The app you’re looking at might be about as useful as a time-wasting mobile game.

Finding the right answers to difficult questions is essential if you want to emerge from the current crisis as a better business. That’s the experience of numerous iiko customers today.

Discover more by downloading our whitepaper on Next-gen restaurant technology.