As restaurant businesses become more digitized and connected, they are calling for a new kind of employee: one who is just as comfortable monitoring sensors and responding to alerts from a range of applications as they are chopping and cooking ingredients. Ensuring your staff is well-versed in these changes will only help your business, since your technology is helping you do everything from monitoring food safety, to collecting and continuously learning from the data you collect. Modern Restaurant Management reports that there is a growing role for skilled technicians to train, manage and repair this technology in restaurants. Do your training and management procedures adequately account for the tech changes your business has made? When you consider your job descriptions, training and feedback from staff, where are there opportunities to close knowledge gaps and ensure you’re reaping the greatest benefits from the technology at your disposal?
As escalating food and energy costs continue to drive inflation higher, restaurant operators are trying to run even more leanly than they have in the past two years. But as a recent Nation’s Restaurant News report mentions, you can use tech to minimize the impact of inflation on your operation. Emphasize the importance of ordering directly from you through your website or app versus third-party vendors – being able to accumulate and analyze guests’ data is critical to developing the menu items and promotions that will bring them back. Then try to put costly or tedious functions on autopilot. That means considering QR codes or self-order kiosks at the front of house to streamline ordering and payment while minimizing the labor required. In the back of house, consider tech tools that can make your food safety program more consistent – connected temperature sensors, digital checklists in place of paper processes, and the use of alerts to monitor cleaning and maintenance can all help you minimize waste and manage resources better at a time when they are especially tight.
Maintenance generally comprises between 2 and 6 percent of a facility’s budget – and those costs can climb if repairs are left waiting for so long that they become replacement costs. But like so many elements of restaurant operations right now, repairs can now be automated, enabling operators to more quickly address equipment and facilities repairs as they are needed. ResQ is one company that helps restaurants request a contractor from its network to help address problems related to HVAC, refrigeration, electrical, plumbing, pest control and other challenges, as well as pay for and document the service received, The Spoon reports. ResQ is currently available in just Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix, San Francisco and Chicago, but a recent $7.5 million seed investment could quickly add cities to that list.