You feel like you are doing everything possible to improve the bottom line, but it always feels as if the money is leaving just as fast as it is coming into the register. Your establishment is almost completely full during most peak times and holidays, and even your slow times keeps your staff on their toes. Revenue feels like it is good, but is it really as good as you think? When have you last checked to see if your menus reflected a realistic price? For that matter, when have you last conducted a vendor comparison to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible? If you start to address these, you can boost your restaurant business profit margin.
Controlling costs in the restaurant business is a never-ending saga for most restaurateurs. It is well known that costs put the biggest dent into the profit margins of restaurants, from cafes and QSRs to family or fine dining establishments. Increasing revenue, the obvious answer, is also a limiting answer. Increasing your customer flow requires marketing, time, and patience, all of which are contributing factors to driving costs higher.
Look at where expenses can be cut as well as places where revenue and efficiency can be improved. This means striking a balance between adjusting the way you currently do things and must include a long look at technical solutions. This involves looking at your current POS solution and making the determination of if it needs to be upgraded or replaced to gain the following profit margin boosting functions. Additionally, you want to promote higher levels of staff performance and introduce better ways for them to accomplish their primary task: serving the customer.
Learn How to Achieve Immediate Cost Savings
Labor has been well established as the de facto number one cost factor when it comes to your restaurant business profit margin, so it makes sense to start here when looking to make a dent in cost reduction. Aligning staff scheduling to peak dining times is a great place to start. This removes the likelihood that your wait staff and kitchen personnel are too many in number, although this may mean your silverware is a little less polished.
Scheduling can be done via a mobile app on many of the top POS solutions on the market today, making it easy for your employees to request days off or to easy switch shifts with a coworker, lessening the potential for last-minute call-ins. Electronic punch clocks increase the accuracy of your timekeeping, introducing cost savings by the lessening of errors when calculating hours worked. Transaction logs will show you which of your waitstaff is most tipped, giving you insights into who your top performers on the floor are. It also shows which servers need further training to increase performance. Plus, when these POS functions are integrated into an updated kitchen display system (KDS), the cost savings extend into the kitchen area as well, adding up to behind-the-scenes restaurant business profit margin increases.
A Customer-Facing Technology Refresh
Sometimes you need to spend money to make money. This often means tech upgrades, as evidenced by the 73% of restaurant customers stating that technology improves their overall experience. This can be as simple or complex as you’d like, as long as you’re making the investment.
A growing trend has been to mount tablets at tables and booths, which allows the customer to order as soon as they are seated and pay once they have finished. This not only enhances the dining experience for customers, but it greatly reduces the number of trips wait staff must make to the kitchen, deepening your labor savings. If placing a tablet at each table sounds costly to you, there is the option of equipping just the waitstaff with tablets. The easy-to-read displays reduce ordering errors, and the orders entered at the table go directly to the KDS or ticket printer in the kitchen. The reduction in trips to the kitchen or bar means labor cost savings while giving your diners an enhanced customer service experience. All of that can provide a big boost to your restaurant business profit margin.
Is it Time to Reboot the Menu and Restaurant Atmosphere?
One key piece of information that a modern POS software solution can provide centers around customer response to your menu. Stale menu items, figuratively speaking, can be a large drain of revenue. Stocking ingredients for items that are not selling equals throwing money into the garbage. It also uses storage space that could be allocated to your top sellers or newer, fresher, menu items. Tapping into ordering data can change the game for you as you discover where your customer’s tastes are trending.
Equipping yourself with this information allows you to create a rotation of menus that can change around holidays and seasons, or contain special, limited-time features. You may be thinking of the costs associated with the printing of paper menus. An updated POS solution can make paper menus a thing of the past, thanks to tablet-based mobile apps. Even if you are not sold on moving away from a printed menu, there are other options, such as printing general, holiday, and seasonal menus, or implementing the use of blackboards as a physical menu alternative.
Outside of tech, steps such as repainting the walls, reducing table or hostess stand clutter, and even basic lighting adjustments can do wonders for your dining environment. If you are printing new menus, maybe look into reducing offerings to not only save on inventory costs but also to clean up your menu’s appearance. Minor table details, such as updated cutlery and place settings, can further enhance the appeal of your restaurant and brings with it a slight boost in restaurant business profit margin.
Tech Will Help Improve Your Restaurant Business Profit Margin
Integrating a highly capable technical solution in the form of a POS solution has hit the point of being a requirement for small businesses and restaurants to achieve lasting gains to their profit margins. The information and data obtained and stored in a modern POS solution can readily be accessed and analyzed through concise reporting. This opens the window so you can take in a clear view of where you are spending the most money, and identify potential places for cost-cutting.
Taking full advantage of the POS functionalities available today requires intimate knowledge around today’s POS solutions. Not only does this assist in choosing the right product for your requirements, it determines how and where each function should integrate within your restaurant. Once correctly configured, your POS solution is a well-tuned machine that readily locates places within your operations that can be improved, increasing your restaurant business profit margin.
When you reach out to talech, you gain more than a POS solution provider. We take the time to learn your business inside and out so that the solution we recommend and implement for you represents exactly where you are and where you want to be down the road. You will feel confident in your efficiency gains, and will enjoy your increased profit margins. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and find out how we can revolutionize your business.