As leading restaurant accountants, it is our job to scour the market for the latest and best technological products for our clients to use in their restaurants. We hear first-hand about their experiences with different products, so we are well-placed to help you pick what would be best suited to your business.
A brief summary of the recent technology trends in restaurants and how they may help your business:-
Apps such as Flypay and Velocity enable your customers to check, split and pay the bill at their table and have their receipt emailed to them. They don’t need to find a waiter to come over which saves them significant amounts of time and lets your staff take orders or deliver food. Furthermore being able to split the bill (either by item or percentage) eradicates what can be a real headache. This improved customer experience will make them more likely to recommend the restaurant which will in turn increase sales.
These apps can also be used as an alternative to setting up a bar tab. The biggest problem with tabs is people forgetting to pay at the end of the night and leaving their cards behind the bar. This resolves the issue as the customers’ card details will already be stored so payment can be taken regardless and the receipt emailed to them.
According to Barclaycard, consumer spending via contactless methods topped £7bn in 2015, with one in eight transactions now done this way. Transactions can be twice as fast as conventional cash, credit or debit card purchases, which saves time for the consumer and shortens queues. You can now even use your smartphone to make contactless payments, via Apple Pay or Android Pay. If your payment terminals are not yet compatible to accept contactless payments, it may well be worth upgrading to terminals that are.
A tablet-based POS means no more scribbling down an order and confusion in the kitchen, plus much more. Your staff can input orders directly into the system as they are taking them from customers, which gets sent straight away to the kitchen and head office. As accountants, we could remotely log in from miles away and see the transaction and this transparency and speed of getting data to us can radically improve the reports and advice we are able to give.
Most of the leading providers of POS systems now provide customisable apps and pay-by-mobile technology as part of the package. The advantage of this is it’s a one-stop-shop, and it minimises the hassle of dealing with multiple suppliers.
A lot of restaurants are choosing to have their own, customised app. Pay-by-mobile technology can be embedded in customised apps as an alternative to using a branded app. As well is paying, there are apps for managing the queue in your restaurant (such as Qudini) and for ordering head online, e.g. Orderswift. There are also apps for food delivery, ordering and sending gift cards, studying the nutritional aspects of customised choices, tracking loyalty reward points, and sometimes even playing games.
Be careful not to overwhelm the customer though, or use up valuable space on their smartphone. Pick the features that will really make a difference to sales, such as ordering and paying ahead which make or break a sale for a customer that’s in a rush.
If employee management is a problem in your restaurant, then biometric clocking in/ out may be the solution. There is a growing market of employee management systems that allows restaurants to implement fingerprint or face recognition technology for staff to clock in and out with. Many systems also feature scheduling tools, which can be linked to your payroll software to calculate exactly how much a proposed schedule will cost, and which take into account staff annual leave dates.
Lateness and absences can be minimised, if not fully eliminated and your staff can be paid more accurately, with a lot less administration time required by you.
Jeffreys Henry LLP – Specialist Restaurant Accountants
With clients including Michelin-starred restaurants, themed restaurant groups, individual bistros, gastro pubs and pop-ups, Jeffreys Henry is able to offer a full ‘Menu’ of accountancy, tax and advisory services with the added advantage of ‘Prix Fixé’. Learn more.