Though you may not have thought about it a lot, technology has had a huge impact on commercial food service in the last 20 years. Since the goal of every restaurant owner is success, these new innovations have been widely embraced. Everything from stock ordering to the order of a table is now entered primarily on a computer or handheld device. The result is less mistakes, faster service, and a super streamlined system for providing food service. So, how can this technology help your business?
In the not-so-old days of food service, all you would get to take an order is a pad of paper and something to write with. Did you know that you can now enter a customer’s order directly into a handheld device? This means that as soon as you hit send, you kitchen and bartender all know immediately what’s coming up. This can have a dramatic affect on your overall service times and can help to reduce mistakes caused from transferring written information into a computer station after you’ve taken the order.
One of the things I like best about technology is that it allows customers the ability to decide when they want to leave without having to get the bill. In many locations today, you can simply walk up front, tell the hostess where you were sitting and she can find your bill, print it, and collect payment. This process is one of my least favorite parts of eating out so I know that when a restaurant has this technology I am likely to return. It just makes it so much easier.
Another way in which technology has made this process simpler is by having a hand held payment device for credit or debit transactions. This means that I can ask for my bill early, have the hand held device brought to my table, make payment, then leave at my convenience. This isn’t as useful as having my bill stored and accessible by anyone, but it does alleviate the slow walk to the bar to use the credit machine.
Behind the Scenes
The last way in which technology can help improve the service that your business provides isn’t seen by the customer. I am talking about a stock tracking and ordering system. If you are an owner or a chef then you know that making up daily orders for food and supplies is a monumental task. You have to make counts, do projections or forecasts, and then prepare and place an order. Luckily, technology has taken much of the guess work from this process. A computer system can track stock levels, keep records of sales, and show past orders to help with every stage of this process. The result is that your time spent dealing with your stock is cut in half. This leaves a lot more time for researching new foods, trying them out, and working on improving the quality of the food you serve, not just getting it out there.