Technology rapidly creates solutions for common problems, and it's important for the restaurant industry to stay on trend. Investing in energy-efficient smart equipment can enhance your kitchen's workflow, prevent downtime, and save you money. In addition, making a few simple switches in your kitchen's front-of-house can make positive, lasting impressions on your customers.
Improving Equipment in the Kitchen
It is smart to set aside extra money in your equipment budget to begin replacing outdated fryers and fridges with smart kitchen equipment. Smart kitchen equipment will not only make your kitchen feel more modern, but it can also save you time and prevent a kitchen mishap. When it is time for a commercial equipment upgrade, look for equipment with Wi-Fi connectivity and interactive touchscreens. These aren't just bells and whistles. Most manufacturers add these features to prevent downtime and costly repairs. They also make training new employees much easier.
One example of a smart kitchen appliance is a fryer with built-in hardware and wireless connectivity. This makes it possible for the user to access real-time data and quickly make remote software updates. By arming your kitchen staff with the right knowledge, you set them up for success and avoid mistakes like burning a batch of fries.
In a world where people spend countless hours on a smartphone every day, touchscreens are becoming the norm. This interface is extremely user-friendly and can allow your employees to quickly view error codes and walk through the proper troubleshooting steps. This could mean fewer phone calls made to the head chef or kitchen manager each time the oven stops working. The touch screen can also notify staff when the unit needs routine maintenance.
By investing in equipment that is easy to use, you can seamlessly train a new employee. Touch screens can give new employees step-by-step instructions with the tap of just a few buttons. Once the employee is familiar with the technology, they can work autonomously with less interruptions to the work-flow process.
Most new equipment is also energy efficient. This isn't only beneficial for the environment, but also for your wallet. By cutting down on utilities, you can allocate more of your budget to investing in additional new equipment. The latest commercial refrigerators function on reduced power and water consumption. Before making a purchase on a big-ticket item like a fridge, look for The U.S. ENERGY STAR stamp of approval.
One last piece of advice: many manufacturers these days allow you to customize equipment, so always ask whether that is an option before making a purchase.
Technological Enhancements for Front of House Operations
During a lunch rush, the front of house staff has quite a bit to keep up with. They are the face of the restaurant, so it's important to give them the tools they need to succeed. Purchasing a new point of sale system your operation can make a world of difference.
The latest POS platforms go far beyond just processing customer transactions. They enhance the entire transaction by quickly allowing staff to ring up the order and notify the kitchen.
Selecting a new POS system is a big decision. Before making a purchase, research which POS system will make the ordering and payment process run quickly and smoothly. Opting for a cloud-based POS that syncs with Android or iOS devices can allow servers to take tableside payments and orders with ease, eliminating the need for a cashier altogether.
Some software even allows customers to easily split checks, and they can conveniently email or text receipts to save on paper. This feature also allows staff to gather customer info, which is convenient when you want to notify patrons about specials or promotions.
Certain integrated platforms can also house other information like inventory, sales reporting, and employee performance, allowing foodservice operators to constantly evaluate ways to improve their business.
Even if a restaurant isn't a fast-casual model, it can still benefit greatly from improving its POS system. Some programs can automatically notify patrons when their table is ready by sending an automated text. This will save the host time during popular dining hours.
Ask your Fellers & SGC Foodservice Sales Representative for additional information and advice on choosing the best equipment that is right for you.