Many entrepreneurs understand how important it is to implement IT solutions for business on time, but few know what kind of software their businesses need. Due to this, the moment of making an important decision constantly gets delayed, and the business, meanwhile, is losing some of the profit.
It’s not that difficult to understand the entrepreneurs’ doubts. Nowadays, there is a great variety of apps for business, and their number is growing with each day. However, not all of them would really suit and help a particular company, not to mention that a list of best applications varies depending on a sphere. In this article, we are going to find out what applications are the most helpful for the restaurant business.
POS + resource planning systems
POS systems as such are not what can be called an innovation anymore: many restaurants have been using them for a number of years. Well, there are plenty of places in Western Europe that don’t even accept card payments and still manage to exist quite successfully :). But for dynamically developing dining establishments, POS is a must, especially since it can be merged with restaurant ERP systems into a single application.
According to Restaurant Dive, more and more restaurants are thinking about combining all the processes into one system. If we wrote this article a year or two ago, we would recommend implementing POS, analytics software, inventory management, etc. as separate solutions in the restaurant business. But now it’s much simpler and more efficient to develop an all-in-one system.
Ilya Matantsev, Business Analyst in Andersen:
“As the 21st century is the age of gadgets, the impact of technical development affects the restaurant business as well. The possibility to control the whole revenue with a mobile phone, in case your restaurant proceeds the activity with POS terminals and credit card processors, is available without any doubts. But the software that provides not only accounting of the revenue but also stocktaking of labor/kitchen expenses (as the main groups of costs in the restaurant business) and inventory management assures that you as a manager will be always aware of the restaurant financial situation. As a result, if all input information is filled and processed more or less automatically (as some actions still can’t be proceeded without human engagement), it reduces human mistakes and, as a consequence, expenses on audit and tax penalties.”
In-app loyalty program
A loyalty program organized through a mobile application is much more convenient for users, as they don’t need to carry extra cards with them, mess with stickers and coupons, etc. Besides, a qualitative loyalty program brings an element of gamification. For the same price, the client receives not only lunch, dessert, or a cup of coffee but also some fun and additional rewards. You can unite the app loyalty program with a discount card.
Anton Naidenko, Business Analyst in Andersen:
“The digital solutions that you can use in your business should be very clear to everyone who even far from using technologies. For example, what if it’s too difficult for a customer to use the app to post reviews or participate in a loyalty program? One of my favorite places did the following: when I became a frequent guest, I was offered to participate in a loyalty program according to which I would receive a discount every time I came to the restaurant. They asked me for some personal data to create my profile in their database, and a week later, they invited me to receive a plastic card with a QR code. The idea was that every time I paid, I gave my card and it was scanned giving me a discount. Depending on various factors, you could get a discount from 10% to 20%.”
Blockchain in the food Industry
In Anton’s opinion, building a system of interaction between cafes or restaurants and suppliers, which is based on blockchain, is one of the most promising IT solutions:
“This is definitely not the first thing that comes to our minds when we hear ‘blockchain’. But using blockchain technologies can help in business growth when customer loyalty is increasing. The idea behind that is to use a supply management system that will make every step of the process transparent. The customers will know everything about the food since its growth on the farm. They also will know the origin of their food: where it was cultivated, when it was transported, how long it was in a refrigerator, and so on. The approach is based on the data that will be open to everyone. According to that approach, there is no risk of receiving an unsafe meal. For restaurants, such applications can be a competitive advantage. The process of receiving data can be rather easy for the customers, for example, through a QR code.
And one more thing: the QR code can also help to avoid old approaches with a paper menu. Let’s provide our customers to scan QR code and all the detailed menu on their phone. That is pretty easy to create an application that will contain the maximum information about the dishes and even allow them to order something. The payment process can also be automated right from that application, which makes the work easier for customers and restaurant service. Another advantage is our century because you ain’t need to teach anyone how to use well-built applications.”
When choosing IT solutions for a restaurant, the easiest way is to start with the most necessary things. Choosing the integration of complex systems, a business owner, on one hand, increases the chances of competitive advantage, and on the other hand, risks spending resources on a solution that’s not effective enough. In this situation, both the entrepreneur’s personal experience and the knowledge of IT experts are crucial. Our Business Analysts are not only ready to help you choose the best software option from existing ones but also can offer a creative solution that has no analogs.