When you run a restaurant, ways to save money are often hidden in plain sight. For one thing, when’s the last time you took stock of how much you have invested in equipment, including your technology? By upgrading your equipment and technology you can improve your working processes. And more efficient processes means you can save time, serve more customers and deliver higher-quality food and service.
As you manage your small restaurant, equipment costs must be compared to the value they deliver. Your staff can only perform well when they have quality equipment. But just how much should you spend to keep staff well-equipped while maintaining cost-efficiency? Here’s an overview of what good equipment and technology cost, and of the benefits they can deliver.
Small Restaurant Equipment Costs Shouldn’t Break the Bank.
If you’re just starting a restaurant you’ll really want to pay attention to how much you invest in equipment. But even established restaurants that have already purchased the bulk of their equipment and technology can benefit from taking inventory and finding possible upgrades or cost-savings.
The major assets whose costs you should evaluate include:
- Refrigerators and freezers
- Ranges and cooking line items
- Fire suppression unit system and fire extinguishers
- Cooking Utensils
When surveyed, restaurant owners said their total startup costs ranged from $175,500 to $750,500. Deduct construction costs from that, which range from $70,000 to $472,500, and you should have between $105,500 to $278,000 left to spend on everything else— including equipment and technology.
You’ll have to save as much money as you can on technology, as kitchen and bar equipment soak up $115,655 on average. That doesn’t leave you with much leeway. So if your kitchen is already well-equipped, re-evaluating the technology you use to run your restaurant is the next step you should take when looking for ways to save money.
Cutting Costs Goes Beyond the Kitchen
Having good equipment gives your staff the tools they need to do their jobs well. But what about the processes they follow while working? How well your team members communicate with each other and their level of coordination in completing orders can be greatly improved using the right technology. That’s why you should include an IT budget when planning out small restaurant equipment costs, as it enhances how your team works together.
The technology you use should have the following capabilities:
- Online reservations
- Mobile app or online ordering
- Gift cards
- Email marketing
- Online/self appointment booking
- Cash drawer and order management
- Customer, employee and inventory management
- Reporting capabilities
- Support for a variety of mobile devices and OSs
The technology you invest in will require much of the following hardware:
- Payment devices
- iPad stands
- Receipt printers
- Kitchen printers
- Mobile barcode scanners
- Cash drawers and terminals
The best way to get all of these features and the hardware you need is to upgrade to a cutting-edge POS system. These solutions enable your entire staff— from the front to the back of the house— to work together more efficiently as an informed, coordinated team. From the moment a customer walks in, a POS system makes it easy to seat them, take their order, send it to the kitchen and collect payment. Touch screens, simplified displays and kitchen printers speed the process of placing orders and eliminate confusion on the line. And a POS system automatically calculates tips, checks and coupons. This saves your waitstaff time and a lot of frustration.
A robust POS system is all the technology you need. Not only does it make service easier, it includes reporting and analytic features that give you deeper insights into your business’s vitality. You can access the system anytime, anywhere; even if you’re just checking in from home.
The best POS systems are cloud-based, meaning you’ll never lose your data. They automatically sync up all devices and access the web, enabling communication and information sharing in real-time. And, the best POS solution providers not only offer 24×7 email and phone support, but they offer flat monthly pricing. This makes the solution reliable while controlling costs.
How to Get the Most Value from Your IT Budget
A modern restaurant can’t be run using outdated or analog processes. That’s why the technology you use is just as important as any stove or oven; it enables you to provide the level of convenience and accuracy customers demand. From mobile app orders to online reservations, you can get all the capabilities you need using a comprehensive POS system. By improving order accuracy and speed you can serve more customers. That means less waste or incorrect orders, and higher profits.
Small restaurant equipment costs leave little room in your budget for POS, management or reporting solutions. So get all of those capabilities within a single solution, and make your IT budget go farther.
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