2021 is witnessing a brave new world for the restaurant business – one that, according to McKinsey, will thrive by putting a priority on:
- Updating operating procedures
- Enticing customers back into restaurant dining rooms
- Adjusting menus to reflect shifts in customer habits and preferences, and
- Enhancing delivery capabilities.
However, 2021 is also a time when restaurants are having to do more with less: less contact and more space, often fewer employees on the payroll but more emphasis on providing a superlative customer experience. Savvy restauranteurs are meeting these disparate needs through the latest advances in technology.
Safety and Compliance
McKinsey notes that updating standard operating procedures must not only provide a safe working environment but also reassure potentially anxious customers by making the latest hygiene and safety protocols highly visible throughout the facility.
The first crucial step toward this noticeably safe and clean environment is to replace all paper checklists and administrative forms with a mobile, digital solution. Taking all your kitchen checklists, line checks, sanitation forms, and more online makes a world of difference by
- Allowing your employees to complete customizable, standardized checklists through an app on their smart device. They need just a few moments and a few swipes and taps, adding photos or videos to the record as easily as taking a selfie. As soon as they hit send, the information is saved, time stamped, geotagged, and immediately made available throughout your network.
- Allowing your managers to use the same quick process to relay priorities and other important information between shifts and to perform quality checks on any topic at any location. By simply requesting a photo or video, managers can confirm any task is being completed correctly.
- Integrating with thermometers and other “smart” kitchen monitors to send real-time alerts for any readings outside of set parameters.
- Vastly speeding up the audit and correction process. Managers are quickly informed of any improper readings, malfunctioning equipment, and incorrectly completed checklists. When action plans are needed, they can be quickly created and assigned to relevant employees, complete with automatic reminders. Real-time mobile and email notifications keep all appropriate parties aware of the status and ensure the plans are resolved in the time specified.
All of these activities help ensure that your restaurant’s guidelines and procedures for health, safety, food preparation, and more are closely followed by every employee on every shift until they become regular, routine work habits.
Helping Your Employees
McKinsey also notes the necessity of restaurants adjusting their operational processes to improve labor efficiency and to align with ongoing shifts in customer behavior. A mobile, digital solution makes it easier to bring back furloughed staff in the most efficient manner. Since these apps can house all of your employee training and job duties, it’s easy to update procedures and roll them out immediately; you can also assign only the most relevant modules to each position so that no employee spends time on any aspect of training they won’t need. Because it already includes this information as well as their work performance, digital solutions make it quick and easy to complete employee evaluations.
Restaurants are also facing scheduling challenges as guests change how they interact with the facility. Take-out and drive-through options have become very popular and have different scheduling needs and procedures from dine-in options. Look for restaurant tech that offers real-time data to simplify identifying trends at any location, even any shift, as well as overall trends for the whole organization. So if the Tuesday night taco special is a big take-out hit for one location, but another location gets slammed right at closing time on the weekends, you can quickly identify the trend and make operational adjustments for each location.
The job of a solution like this is not to replace your employees; it’s to make their jobs easier. Once training is simple and convenient, and administrative tasks have been made so quick and easy as to be almost like a video game, your employees’ job satisfaction and engagement increase.
Nailing the Customer Experience
All of these changes in customer behavior and restaurant operations do beg a question: How does your restaurant make your guests feel welcome and appreciated when they might not even step inside? The answer is by providing a high-quality and safe product through great customer service and clean, safe facilities. Having a real-time mobile solution like MeazureUp reduces the time your employees have to spend on administrative tasks and helps ensure your staff is never outmanned, which means they can focus on providing the safest and most seamless customer experience possible. MeazureUp can also host all your branding guidelines, training and checklists, so your employees are fully aware of what your restaurant’s customer experience is expected to be and what their role in it is.
The real-time, actionable data insights available in MeazureUp’s dashboard also make it easy to see how your branding is being implemented and how your organization is performing. Best practices can be quickly identified and imported from your highest-rated locations to underperforming locations. On the flip side, your whole team is prepared to identify and take action on any issues that arise before they become serious. This paves the way for all your locations to develop and maintain the high-quality, consistent customer experience that develops repeat business.
Making a World of Difference
As today’s restaurant profit margins can be razor-thin, you can’t afford not to be on top of any issues with safety, efficiency, noncompliance or customer experience at any time. MeazureUp’s real-time capabilities can ensure the right actions are being taken on time, every time, by every employee – and you can confirm exactly what they’ve done in real time. In addition, you gain unprecedented visibility into the environment inside every location and across your entire organization – and that’s how MeazureUp really can make a world of difference to the success of your business.