Despite the steep rise in restaurant technology that restaurants have adopted in the past two years, a majority of restaurants still have a long way to go when it comes to reaping sufficient benefits from it. According to a survey of 300 independent and small chain restaurant operators in August by Technomic (on behalf of SpotOn), while 56 percent of independent restaurants use technology to manage certain aspects of their business, 81 percent still rely on legacy POS systems. These systems are often incompatible with add-on software that can help a restaurant get a tighter handle on critical functions like cost management and staffing. They are also the nervous system of a business, so if they aren’t offering the functionality they could, any added tools will be limited in the value they provide. Before investing in any new software or tools, ensure you’re building from a cloud-based POS system that can grow with you – and more readily adapt to new technology as it becomes available.
As the past couple of years have taught us, life can have some strange surprises in store. For restaurants, it has magnified the need to be able to pivot to a range of challenges. Technology is enabling that adaptation – to new streams of income, as well as new methods of managing service, labor, inventory and safety. Having a cloud-based system does well in adapting to and integrating with new tools, setting you up to manage what the future has in store. As you assess new systems and other tech tools that promise to enhance your operation, scrutinize them with an eye toward how readily they will be able to flex with your needs down the line.
The new technology coming to market holds lots of promise for streamlining orders, payments and data. But those capabilities are only as powerful as your weakest tech tools. If you’re still using elements of legacy systems from over 20 years ago, any benefits of new tech will be limited. Aiming for a cloud-based POS will help you adapt and upgrade more easily in the future, minimize any downtimes and boost your security – and you don’t necessarily have to start from scratch. According to Upserve, many third-party vendors have cloud-based apps that allow you to maintain your rewards and promotions planning from legacy systems.
As COVID-19 has forced many businesses to have their employees work from home, restaurant operators haven’t had that option – at least for front-of-house staff. But cloud-based technology systems have at least allowed restaurants to move their business data to a central location where managers can access it remotely and ensure they pay paychecks and invoices promptly and manage other back-office functions in real time to keep the business on track. Think of the transition to the cloud as not simply a convenience or safety measure during a temporary pandemic, but as a long-term strategy that will enable your business to be more agile going forward – enabling you to adapt more flexibly to new business models and sales and labor structures as your business evolves.