Using technology to optimize business performance

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Operators have plenty of challenges to overcome to run a profitable business. Technology can be deployed in a number of ways to help support business goals and streamline processes. Here are a couple of tangible steps that restaurant operators can take today to help improve the bottom line.

1. Engineer the recipes and menu.

What this means: Recipe and menu engineering is the process of creating a collection of recipes to form a menu for a restaurant, while accounting for potential costs, waste, sales and profitability.

How it can help: Automating the menu and recipe creation process and moving it from spreadsheets to a menu engineering tool gives you the insight needed to price menusand plan portion sizes, margins, costs and purchasing strategy in advance. The right solution will assist in crafting menus and recipes that are highly popular with customers and make business sense. It will help:

  • Ensure menu profitability. Gaining an understanding of which items are best sellers and learning which items give the most profit helps operators gain total margin control. Operators will be able to examine menu performance and identify areas where savings and improvements can be made.
  • See the impact of changing ingredients. With the appropriate system, chefs will be able to see how different options will affect the cost to create dishes, and the margins that can be achievedallowing them to find inspired options that make commercial sense.
  • Give customers information at their fingertips. A solution with menu publishing improves the customer experience by providing information on calories, ingredients and allergens.


2. Integrate back-office systems.

What this means: With systems integration, the back-office automation resources are synced and can share data with each other. Data is sent directly from local operational systems to central financial systems without having to be input manually. This includes everything from register records to payroll information to invoices.

How it can help: Integrated back office systems streamline operations, remove error and deliver savings to the bottom-line. They provide a two-way interface between local and central departments, so reliable information is coded and shared correctly across departments and sites. IT, operations, finance, marketing and purchasing can collaborate and simplify processes and workflows. Managers, employees and the head office can connect and work towards the same goals with the same information.

System integration tips:

  • Examine current back office components. Plan a path to integration for connecting allsystems, easily maintaining data connections, creating automated workflow and reporting and communicating key findings across teams.
  • Make sure the solution can integrate with existing financial systems and POS. To truly save time and eliminate errors from manual data entry, ensure that potential new systems are capable of integration. It’s important that front of house systems and employee-facing tools seamlessly link to financial and back office solutions.
  • Select a solution tailored to the needs of a hospitality operator. Make sure the solution includes a number of different elements so that the business can grow with it. Operators should be able to add functionality as operations expand. Modules to look for include Purchase-to-Pay and Inventory, Workforce Management and Analytics.


Technology is a powerful tool in the pursuit of increased profitability. Recipe and menu engineering and systems integration are two powerful way to leverage its strength to optimize a restaurant’s operations.

Fourth has solutions that can help operators reimagine performance. Our recipe and menu engineering solution promotes creativity and cost control in the kitchen.

What’s more, our hospitality-specific platform meets the specific and exacting demands operators have, and supports full system integration. Contact us to learn more.

This post is sponsored by Fourth


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