Chefs and restaurant owners decide to start their businesses because of a love for food and a desire to bring that food to people’s mouths in their community. But when you start running a restaurant, the day-to-day management can leave owners with less time to focus on what they love — the food and the customers.
The success of your restaurant can be made or broken based on how well your kitchen runs. With the right technology, your kitchen staff can worry less about staying on track and focus more on producing quality food, leaving customers wanting to come back for more.
Here are the top five things to focus on when streamlining your kitchen operations to improve your restaurant efficiency and experience, helping you achieve your overall goal of making customers happy.
A Top-Tier Team
A restaurant’s staff is a team, which is important to remember when you’re assembling your restaurant crew or looking to add to your existing kitchen staff. The restaurant industry especially tends to rely on word of mouth when it comes to hiring, but aim to dig a little deeper when choosing whom to bring onto your staff. When hiring your team, don’t only focus on experience — pay attention to how adaptable and trainable your staff is, especially when adopting new technology and processes.
A quick-thinking and adaptable mindset is not only helpful for training, but it’s also helpful during a rush. Having team members who are quick to adapt can help rally the team and keep everyone on the same page. After all, customers can taste the difference between a happy kitchen staff and an unhappy one.
The restaurant industry is constantly changing and evolving, especially after what it’s endured the past year and with the ongoing pandemic. While some well-established restaurants may be hesitant to let go of the tools and processes they’ve been using since their inception, providing customers and employees with the best solutions should be a priority to stay competitive in a crowded industry.
Use a cutting-edge POS and payments system that frequently releases new features and updates old ones. Utilizing the most up-to-date technology streamlines your operations and gives more time back to your employees to focus on their jobs of serving your customers. After all, word of mouth and customer reviews are among the top ways restaurants attract new customers and improve loyalty among existing customers.
Increase Communication to Reduce Chaos
We’ve all heard it before, but communication really is key. A busy restaurant has to run like a well-oiled machine with all of the pieces working together and, more importantly, communicating. The most common communication breakdown can be between the front-of-house and back-of-house, which is something customers tend to pick up on. A restaurant management system with built-in communication tools reduces chaos and keeps all parts of the restaurant in the loop.
This communication doesn’t just apply to the people working in your restaurants; it also applies to the tools your restaurant uses. Just as the people working in the front of your restaurant should have seamless communication with your kitchen staff, your front-of-house tools should seamlessly integrate with your back-of-house technology.
A POS with omnichannel integrations brings together all your tools — from payroll and inventory to in-house and delivery app orders — in one place, giving you the complete picture of your operations at any given time.
Easy Takeout and Delivery Operations
At one time, takeout and delivery were just a tiny percentage of a restaurant’s orders, but today they can be the majority. Balancing in-house and takeout/delivery orders can be difficult for a kitchen to handle, which is where the right tools can be instrumental. Kitchen display systems show all your orders in one place, on one screen.
Customers are ordering in more ways than ever before. Between increased delivery orders, in-store pickups, and now the gradual return of indoor dining, kitchen staff members are getting overwhelmed by managing order flow. Kitchen display systems help to improve order efficiency, speed and, most importantly, reduce sunk costs due to remakes or refunds.
Clear Orders for Fewer Mistakes
Every kitchen wants to exceed customers’ expectations when it comes to their orders, and they definitely don’t want to see anything sent back to the kitchen. It’s normal to make mistakes here and there, but those mistakes can become fewer and further between with the right tools.
Digital tickets, managed through a kitchen display system that integrates with your POS, show all your orders on one screen, with detailed views, timers, and sound alerts, no matter the ticket volume.
Providing your kitchen crew with hands-off order management and all of the information that the kitchen display system provides gives them peace of mind to focus on their craft of creating the food that motivates customers to leave rave reviews and come back for more.