The restaurant industry is more competitive than ever—and consumers are more discerning than they used to be. Some 74% of consumers say that speed of service is important in creating value at a restaurant; the same percentage says so about order accuracy, according to Technomic’s 2017 Value & Pricing report. And 79% of consumers say that value is important is important when making a decision on where to dine, the same report finds.
For these reasons and more, restaurants must maintain an edge in the way they provide for and respond to their customers’ needs, which is why back of house (BOH) automation is critical to the business today. Here are four distinct benefits of it.
1. Improve kitchen operational efficiency and the guest experience.
Kitchen display systems (KDS), which replace paper tickets and kitchen printers, display orders for preparation and track how long it takes for menu items to be prepared. A KDS send digital tickets to various stations and can prioritize orders, so line cooks understand how much of a particular item to make and when. These systems also can manage store recipes and hold key kitchen data. This type of technology can enhance kitchen communication, speed of service and meal quality as well as simplify the kitchen workflow and reduce errors.
2. Keep foods costs under control.
Back of house systems can help restaurants know what they have in stock and track and monitor inventory to know if food and equipment has been used, lost or even stolen. Automatic alerts can notify restaurants when they need more of a particular item, and waste tracking systems offer a digital solution to track waste and see where changes can be made. As part of a food-waste audit, it’s key to know what consumers are ordering and not eating and how much traffic a restaurant is experiencing at any given time. This provides information for ordering on a regular basis and at key times throughout the year.
3. Prevent a food-safety crisis.
Traditionally in kitchens, expiration labels have been written by hand. But all too often these labels are illegible or inaccurate, resulting in miscalculated or misread use-by dates. Fortunately, fully automated systems now can replace manual labelling processes. This allows for labels to be printed on demand, replacing routine labeling tasks and saving on label inventory and many hours a week in labor. Such a tool can also be used for managing menu templates and linking food preparation to inventory, labor and food cost management.
4. Boost employee engagement.
Staff friendliness is important to patrons. In fact, 62% of consumers say that staff friendliness is important in creating value, Technomic’s 2017 Value & Pricing report finds. Back of house automation, which can help the kitchen run more smoothly and produce higher-quality food, can result in less stress for employees and, therefore, a more relaxed and personable staff. When staff is happy, the whole operation runs more smoothly. Not only does it become a better place to work, but it may lead to a better place to dine. The question becomes: How can your restaurant afford not to incorporate back of house automation?
TransAct Technologies is a global leader in market-specific technology solutions. From Restaurant Solutions to Casinos, and Banking to Oil & Gas, our solutions are custom designed from the ground up. Growing and publicly traded for more than 20 years, (NASDAQ: TACT) we still act like the best of start-ups. We are nimble. We don’t ask the customer to conform to our solution. We conform the solution to the customer’s needs. We think outside of the box. We pride ourselves on service and support. And we are easy to do business with.