To succeed in the face of staff shortages and other challenges, foodservice operators could use a helping hand.
New technologies are at your service.
"There are countless ways automation can support daily operations in an ever-changing foodservice industry," says Mary McVoy, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, California.
Using technology is essential. Luckily, it's easier than ever.
"Use technology to grow your business."Karim Refaey, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, Idaho
Upgrade Your System
"POS is definitely a must-have," says Jim Hargrove, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant. "If your POS is 10 years old or more it's time for a new, upgraded model." All-in-One POS options from TouchBistro, for example, can streamline everything from inventory and menu management to online ordering and reservations.
"Too often POS systems are used strictly for timekeeping and order-ringing."Tim Maness, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, Colorado
Coordinate Your Efforts
"Online scheduling is becoming more prevalent and affordable," Hargrove says. "It's more than just a tool to create schedules and control labor spending. It's also a great way to attract and keep today's workers who don't want to do something if it can't be done on their phone."
"Choose a scheduling tool that can interface with your POS system and read sales trends so you can schedule the budget and forecast sales," adds Ryan Elmore, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant, New Mexico.
Keep Track of Provisions
"Accounting-service technology for the restaurant business is a great and increasingly affordable approach to inventory management," says Elmore. The economic benefit is clear. "Taking a weekly or even monthly inventory can lower labor costs, COGS and controllables by at least 2%."
A smart first step is using Shamrock Foods' free application, MenuWizard, for tracking recipes, ideal costs and inventory. Access it through the My Shamrock portal, or ask your Shamrock Foods Sales Representative for a tutorial.
"Automation can help operators seize opportunities to build customer loyalty, improve efficiencies and increase profitability."Jeff Pivin, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Resources Manager
Strike A Balance
"Online ordering just has to be there," says Bo Bryant, Shamrock Foods Restaurant Consultant. "Customers who thought they never would have adopted online ordering now would never give it up."
AI can also enhance efficiencies but be sure to continue to provide the customer-facing interaction and hospitality that foster guest loyalty.
"It's critical to have that human touch," Bryant says, noting that AI phone-answering is most useful as backup when overflow capacity is an issue.
A better way to find new employees
Online applications and online-applicant tracking put operators in control of attracting and hiring staff.
Post online applications on your website and social-media platforms, as well as search engines. It's the most effective and economical way to connect with talent.
"There's a higher engagement rate when prospects apply online directly versus through third-party websites," Bryant says. "And there's a higher ratio of interview show-ups."
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