It seems everything is going up.
News cycles are dominated by hikes in fuel and food prices, utilities, import charges and the general cost of living. Add in a staffing crisis and the pressures of running a hospitality business, and things are arguably more challenging than ever before. The natural temptation is to cut costs and raise prices. And while both of these options have their place, so too does investing in technology that can reduce your costs overall.
Here are eight ways technology can really help your numbers.
- Keeping a closer eye on stock control
With many ingredients and items facing double-digit price increases, it is vital to know precisely what you are spending. An effective stock management tool will allow you to monitor exactly what is going out of the business and help you adjust accordingly by either changing recipes or searching for new suppliers.
- What about waste?
Another major issue is losing cash through wastage. Of course, waste of some kind is inevitable, but by using a stocktaking solution that allows you to look at what is either not being ordered, what’s being wasted in the kitchen and what is coming back on the plate, you can monitor portion sizes and reduce over-ordering of ingredients. Keeping on top of waste not only helps the bottom line but also to achieve sustainability ambitions.
- Mistakes will be made…
You may have the best staff around, but human error will always be a factor in any busy hospitality business. This can be tracked using reporting functionality within your EPoS. Not only can you see what is and isn’t selling, it can also pinpoint where errors are being made on the till or with payment devices and highlight them to reduce the problem.
- Cash free payments
More and more businesses are going cash-free, and it’s easy to see why. Contactless payment devices are not only more efficient, but they also remove any risks associated with cash. The less cash you have in the business, the less there is that can go missing.
- Make them an offer they can’t refuse
Tech allows you to create, schedule and tweak promotions linked to what is working in the business and what stock you have available. This saves time and also potentially money in terms of hours worked. You can consider producing bounce-back offers on receipts and by collating data you can also create offers for customers on key occasions such as birthdays.
- Order and pay
It was on its way before, but the pandemic certainly changed the way customers feel about ordering and paying with technology. For many it became a preferred option, meaning they can order drinks or food without running the risk of losing their chosen spot or facing a queue at the bar. With recruitment and the cost of staffing an ongoing issue, this reduces the strain on your staff, and allows the staff you do have to achieve more, by getting customers to perform some of that role themselves.
- Money up front
Not only are customers happy to order themselves they are also becoming increasingly more comfortable with the concept of deposits. In research last year, 51% told us they would be happy to pay a deposit when booking a table in a restaurant or pub. . Taking deposits will reduce the dreaded no –shows, which have so many negative consequences including lost revenue and wasted stock, but also means more cash flowing into the business.
- Turning tables into profits
A digital table management tool, such as the one in Zonal’s suite of solutions, is more than just a way of knowing how many customers are coming to dine with you. You can also set the system so it knows the volumes you can cope with during given trading periods, taking the strain off your team. Having the ability to control those numbers and access to the data at your fingertips means you can reduce money spent on staff and give available tables to walk-ins. Again, having such an effective system could reduce labour hours and help your profits.