There’s a restaurant in New York’s West Village that spent December presenting its diners with virtual reality headsets. Removed from their surroundings, and unable to see what they were eating, guests at the James Beard House experiment were instead immersed in a digital environment of Alice in Wonderland-style fantasy for the duration of their meal. While it’s important to develop restaurant business using technology, you probably don’t have to go that far.
If you’ve ever seen someone flailing their limbs and spinning their head without context while wearing a VR headset you’ll get an idea of the sight that must have greeted the wait staff on those holiday evenings.
This experiment was a glimpse into a possible digital future where technology is used to transform the dining experience. But it rests on the fringes of that future. The real, practical technologies you can use to develop your restaurant business are already available, and they’re far less likely to knock bottles of wine off your tables.
Technology That Enhances the Dining Experience
You don’t have to go to the virtual lengths of the James Beard House’s Aerobanquets RMX installation to enhance your guests’ dining experience through technology.
The digital advantages of today instead hinge on the same practical convergence concepts that helped smartphones take over the world. They offer all-in-one simplicity that brings together the business, service, and dining aspects of running a restaurant into a single point of control.
The goal is to help you develop your restaurant business in a simple-to-mange, simple-to-execute format that enhances the dining experience.
You don’t need to drop your customers into a new reality, you just need to make an authentic experience more accessible and enjoyable.
An All-Powerful Point of Sale
The hub of the new digital restaurant experience is the humble point of sale. Whereas once it was just the site of the final transaction, now it can become the heart of your entire restaurant. Modern POS equipment is how to develop a restaurant business through technology.
That’s because it isn’t really a single device anymore. Cloud computing, which makes entire computer networks accessible through the internet, lets you conduct business from whichever device is at hand at any given time, be it your phone, laptop, desktop, front-of-house POS, or back-of-house service points.
This network gives you a single point of access to everything you need to run your restaurant:
- Split, resend, and repeat orders
- Employee management
- Table layout
- Menu management
- Payments and tips
Importantly, it also lets you better understand your customers and your business by providing rich analytics and real-time service trends. You can follow patterns in peak and off-peak covers, common menu adjustments, average spend by season, and even the habits of individual guests.
This all-in-one solution can give you a greater understanding of what is going on in your restaurant, and therefore greater control over how it grows.
Technology to Develop Restaurant Business
Modernizing through technology makes your restaurant more efficient. This is true both during service and in the hours you spend preparing for your guests. Going digital should free you up to concentrate on the customer experience, with every eventuality easily accessible through your POS network.
Restaurant Technology During Service
A digital POS system gives every member of your service team the power to cater to customer needs with ease. Table management, bookings, and last-minute adjustments can all be made from a central source that is then shared through a network of devices that link the entire service team.
You can split bills, run tabs, activate customer loyalty discounts, issue refunds, and track orders from a touch-screen interface that can be mastered within minutes. These efficiencies let your and your mangers keep a watch over the kitchen, bar, and floor from a central location, letting you conserve your energies for when they’re needed.
You can even capture new revenue by linking your POS system to online ordering. Guests can order and even pay online before arriving, with the full menu and built-in customizations available from their personal devices.
Restaurant Technology Before Service
Restaurant tech now includes the ability to track your customers’ preferences. With a digital inventory management system attached to your POS device, you can accurately follow the most popular items on your menu – over the course of a week, a month, or an entire season.
This information can guide your purchasing and menu decisions, as well as the efforts of your staff and kitchen. It lets you focus the entire business on the features that attract and retain your guests.
You can also organize your staff using your central system. Detailed online rosters make it easy to plan out your service requirements weeks in advance, and you can give your staff the responsibility to access the system themselves and manage their own shift negotiations – while you watch over the whole process from your own personal devices.
The technology currently available to develop your restaurant business lets you be the type of leader your business needs. You can cast your eye across the entire organization or focus your attention on specific elements that need your attention here and now.
Develop Restaurant Business Through Technology the Smart Way
While the VR dining experience mentioned above will certainly gain some headlines, it is the practical technologies that help you run your business day-to-day that really help you develop your restaurant.
Technology is only as important as the function it serves. A centralized point of sale system that provides insight into and commands over every aspect of your business is a great way to expand your potential – an alternate reality that distances every guest from their fellow diners are probably unnecessary at the minute.
As a tech-savvy partner talech can guide you through what works and what is just unnecessary glitz in today’s restaurant management tools. Our POS technology is designed to make your life easier, your business more efficient, and your guests happier. When you sign up for a free demo we’ll show you exactly how digital platforms can help you develop your business.
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