This is still a time of upheaval in the restaurant industry, but it’s also a time of opportunity. The National Restaurant Association has estimated that the industry will reach $1.2 trillion in sales by 2030. Restaurants that want to be part of that growth will need effective organization and management, an excellent and diversified customer experience, and the ability to scale with agility as conditions change.
Considering the aforementioned upheaval, what does scaling your restaurant business mean right now? The term “economies of scale” refers to organizing your business to standardize processes in order to cut costs while still increasing production. Done correctly and thoughtfully, implementing these economies of scale will also improve your value to customers through competitive prices, consistent service and better quality food – which all help to develop customer loyalty.
In the past, restauranteurs have often thought of scaling in terms of opening new locations. However, this is not the year to pursue expansion without consideration; you need to decide what sort of growth would be most beneficial for your business. One good thing the pandemic brought the restaurant industry was a variety of options for growth that would once have been considered impractical or even fanciful. Should you expand delivery or takeout services? Add catering or retail options? Open for breakfast? Change up the menu? Open a ghost kitchen? Try a pop-up with the business down the street?
Whatever your plan, remember that what you can’t plan on is a long grace period from your customers while your operational team irons out the kinks. Any mistakes that lead to a reduced customer experience must be avoided. That means having all new procedures in place, your staff hired and trained, and everything running smoothly before you roll out any expansion.
This is where the latest restaurant industry technology comes in. When it comes to scale, unified also means centralized – and centralized means you can easily make additions to your existing operational structure because you’re not reinventing the wheel to do so.
Defining “Unified” Technology
Restaurants have not traditionally prioritized technological advancements, but that’s changed in the past year as restaurants have rushed to become technology-enabled in order to stay in business. The very minimum today is a flexible POS system. Other popular tools include QR codes, online ordering and delivery apps, self-service kiosks, air purification technology – you’ve seen it all.
The overall goal, of course, is to “bake in” the flexibility to quickly adapt to the changing marketplace and to customers’ evolving expectations. Unified technology helps provide this flexibility by integrating all these disparate elements and helping them work together to increase efficiency, which in turn will improve the customer experience.
So what specifically can a unified approach do for your restaurant business?
- Enable clearer communication
- Support better inventory management
- Streamline operations for maximum transparency and efficiency
- Improve order accuracy and speed of service
- Develop a central repository for all your operational data
There’s one other important benefit to note: Unified technology can also make all your training materials, instructional sheets, best practices, how-to videos, etc., available in one digital location that’s easy for your employees to access. At a time when employee development and retention has never been more highly prioritized, a unified training and checklist system can keep your employees informed of every step they should take and how to do it. If they have questions, the centralized system brings their manager or trainer within easy digital reach. No one is ever left out of the loop or made to feel isolated. This is a level of support that can really improve employee job satisfaction and retention rates. And not only does employee retention support your operational bottom line, it also leads to better job performance across the board and strong, consistent customer experiences.
More About Unified Data
Let’s backtrack to elaborate on centralized operational data. It’s 2021 and there’s absolutely no reason your operations should continue to include any paper-based components. Paper checklists, for instance, have proven to be largely ineffective; they don’t really provide any information, they’re easy to fill out incorrectly or incompletely, and highly labor-intensive – if not impossible – to transform into useable operational data that can help your organization make timely business decisions.
However, a unified operational tech solution like MeazureUp eliminates all that documentary paper (as well as any paper-based training practices) and replaces it with a digital, mobile app customized for the needs and specific procedures of your business. Employees quickly and easily complete all their training and all their daily checklists online through their smartphones; they can even add dictation, photos and videos. Their actions are automatically tagged with employee information, date and time, and physical location, which increases accountability and transparency. As any action is completed, it’s immediately uploaded and visible on the app’s central dashboard, where your managers and trainers can easily keep abreast of what’s going on in any location, no matter their location.
Your operational team gains unprecedented access and visibility into actionable data in real time. Not only can deficiencies be quickly recognized and addressed through action plan templates and automatic reminders; MeazureUp’s robust analytics and reporting features allow you to look at the data instantly compiled from across your organization and build initiatives based on objective, complete information.
No more stacks of paper and disregarded clipboards in every manager’s office. No more hours devoted to spreadsheets and filing. One operational solution, customized, standardized and centralized. Everyone informed and ready to take the right action at the right time throughout your organization. Actionable data at your fingertips at any time and with little effort. Isn’t that what exactly you need to scale your business?
Unify and Scale with MeazureUp
When it comes to the future of restaurants, success will come most easily to those with agile, efficient practices and well-trained, cohesive teams. Unifying your operational procedures, training modules, and audit practices through MeazureUp will make any expansion plans go much more smoothly and efficiently. And using the same solution throughout your organization develops a consistent customer experience that encourages repeat business. For more information about MeazureUp’s scalable features, contact us today!