By Miguel Alarcon, Product Officer, Ordrslip
Restaurants have faced a number of crises and challenges over the past two years, most stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor shortages have heavily impacted the foodservice industry, and while larger establishments have offset this challenge by offering higher wages, smaller restaurants have struggled to meet current wage demands. On top of labor issues, rising food costs and supply shortages have also affected restaurants’ bottom lines. Combined with lower dining levels at the peaks of the Delta and Omicron waves in summer 2021 and winter 2022, many restaurants are facing hardships like never before.
Restaurants need to not only find a cost-effective way to address current industry issues, but also future-proof their business from another potential COVID variant or ongoing economic challenges. Luckily, many restaurants already use a powerful, adaptive technology with features that can accomplish this: the point-of-sale (POS) system. Because these systems touch so many aspects of the business from front- to back-of-house, a variety of features and integrations can be used to address staff retention, supply chain issues, and fluctuating dining levels.
Delivery Isn’t Going Anywhere: Maximize Profit and Efficiency with Third-Party Integrations
Customer behavior has changed since 2020. Most prominently, the pandemic has accelerated the use of delivery, with nearly 20 million more delivery app users expected by next year compared to 2019. Customers have become increasingly comfortable at home, and that isn’t expected to change. Alongside this trend, with the end of the pandemic uncertain, restaurants should prepare for lower dining levels and a higher demand for delivery in the case of future variants.
To meet the demand for delivery without adding extra tasks for staff, restaurants should adopt a POS system with third-party delivery integrations. Alongside major apps like DoorDash and Postmates, restaurants can also use integrations to build and own their own custom mobile delivery app — in fact, two out of three customers prefer to use a restaurant’s own app or website. There are several benefits that everyone can appreciate, including higher profit margins, less time spent by staff taking delivery orders, and the ability to implement loyalty rewards that keep customers coming back. Even if indoor dining soars this year, delivery is now a mainstay, and incorporating it into a restaurant’s POS system will make it as convenient and profitable as can be.
Affordable Benefits and Flexible Payroll Can Cure Staffing Woes
The Great Resignation has impacted workforce levels for nearly a year now, and restaurants are facing the worst brunt. Hundreds of thousands of foodservice jobs continue to go unfilled, and improvement since July has been slow-going. Restaurants have always tended to have low profit margins — and with two years of lower sales, many restaurants (especially small ones) are unable to offer higher wages to attract and retain workers.
Workers in The Great Resignation are, above all, looking for increased security — they want to feel safe and respected at work, and they want their job to offer them more financial freedom and stability. POS vendors have recognized that small businesses might need a hand with this, and offer features that can help restaurants be competitive in the job market and retain more employees. For example, Square offers benefits and payroll management, which can help restaurants affordably offer insurance and retirement benefits to employees. Additionally, many POS systems offer flexible payroll options, something employees may appreciate if they face an emergency and need their paycheck immediately.
Restaurants should use these features to their advantage. In this labor crunch, they simply can’t afford to risk spending thousands of dollars to train someone who leaves two weeks later for another job. Not only will this help create a better working environment, these financial incentives and benefits make employees feel valued and protected.
Prevent Costly Food Waste with Inventory Monitoring and Electronic Menus
In the past year, wholesale food costs have inflated to record levels, especially basic staples like beef, oils and eggs. Food shortages have impacted nearly all restaurants, and 75% have had to make menu changes to adapt to supply chain issues, according to the National Restaurant Association. In the face of increased inflation, restaurants must find ways to cut costs in the kitchen without sacrificing quality.
POS systems can automatically track ingredient usage and generate reports, which helps managers order ingredients in a timely fashion, prevent food waste, and ultimately relieve them of managing these processes manually. If data shows that key ingredients are over- or under-used in the kitchen, a quick retraining can ultimately save thousands of dollars otherwise lost on food waste. Additionally, ordering certain ingredients sooner can help beat supply chain issues and inflated costs. Finally, if certain menu items begin eating at profit or certain ingredients aren’t available, managers can make data-driven decisions to increase prices or modify/remove the dish.
For restaurants that do modify their menus, electronic menus can resolve the customer-facing side of these changes. The ability to quickly update menus both within the establishment and online helps customers make informed choices when they order, without having to be told that prices have changed or the item as described isn’t available. Together, these POS features streamline the ordering and preparation processes from the front- to back-of-house and keep customers happy.
2022 will continue to hold a lot of change for restaurants, whether labor and supply chain issues persist, or new, unexpected challenges emerge. Across the board, technology has proven to be an important tool for a restaurant’s resiliency through some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. By making investments into POS systems, restaurants can feel confident navigating future challenges, create a more efficient workflow for staff, enjoy increased profits — and above all, continue delivering the best experience possible to customers.
About Miguel Alarcon, Product Officer, Ordrslip: As Product Officer at Ordrslip, a Bitwise Industries company, Miguel Alarcon oversees the company’s strategic vision and aligns each team in meeting goals. Prior to joining Ordrslip, Miguel was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for over five years.
About Ordrslip: Ordrslip allows restaurants, concession stands and food trucks to operate custom smartphone apps, so they can meet the growing consumer demand for mobile ordering options. The subscription-based SaaS runs on iOS and Android smartphones, providing consumers access to their favorite restaurant’s menu from anywhere. Ordrslip gives restaurants the ability to reduce cost, grow ticket yields, improve order accuracy, better manage rushes, reach customers anywhere and increase revenue. Ordrslip supports all of the most popular POS solutions.