As a multi-site restaurant owner or operator, you’re continually looking for ways to save time and money. Profit margins in the restaurant business are generally lower than in other consumer businesses, so they leave little room for error in operating your business. Running a restaurant group presents a unique set of challenges, so you need to find technology solutions that not only eliminate time-consuming tasks, but that are tailored to the distinct needs of restaurants.
Considering that technology continues to evolve and change the business environment for restaurant owners, you must seek solutions that provide accurate, readily available data to enable quick decision making. It is also important to ensure that the technology you select can help you manage all the aspects of your business.
If you’re selecting technology to position your restaurant group for success, it’s important to choose solutions that include the following technological advancements:
- Cloud-based Point-of Sale (POS) System
A cloud-based POS system is essential for connecting sales and labor data with multiple front- and back office technology solutions to give you and your team a real-time view of your restaurant group’s performance, while automating the various processes. For example, a cloud-based POS system that integrates with your scheduling application means no more waiting around while data is transferred from your POS to your scheduling software at the end of day. And, with a cloud-based POS system that’s integrated with payroll, the system aggregates all the labor data from your POS, so your accounting team can either export it or push it directly to your payroll processor.
- POS Integration with Accounting
When your POS system is integrated with your financial management tools, transferring and reporting sales data is a snap. Imagine all the time your accounting staff will save with the ability to import check-level and summary-level detail from your POS to your accounting system.
- Connection to Vendors
If you operate multiple restaurant locations, managing inventory and vendor costs for each store is a time-consuming and error-prone process. You can mitigate that pain with a restaurant management software system that connects to your food and beverage vendors and other suppliers. With fully automated vendor integration, you can easily budget for multiple locations simultaneously, automatically pulling data from food and recipe costs, inventory and more.
- AP Automation
An end goal of automation is to eliminate repetitive and tedious tasks. With AP automation, you can dramatically reduce your accounting staff’s time by cutting out manual invoice entry, as well as manual cutting, printing, stuffing and mailing checks. End-to-end AP automation allows you to capture and approve invoices and pay them through the system.
- Easy Data Access and Analytics
Siloed data often makes distributing critical information impossible because the data is housed in multiple systems and is often under the control of one department, isolated from the rest of the organization. Automation should (and can) bring all of your data into one place for easy access, distribution, review, analysis and actionable decision making by all stakeholders in a timely, real-time, daily basis.
- Mobile Access
To be an effective restaurant operator, you need access to your restaurant groups’ data and real-time performance from anywhere, whether you’re in house, at one of your multiple locations or somewhere in between. It’s important you select restaurant management software that allows you to access your data from your phone or tablet when you’re on the go, allowing your team to scan invoices, count stock and schedule staff anytime, anywhere.
- Bank Connection
By connecting to your financial institution through your restaurant accounting software, you can enjoy such benefits as automated bank reconciliation, automated tracking of daily deposits, quick and secure vendor payments, and automatic check signatures.
- Scaled for Growth
If your vision for the future is further expansion, you need a system that grows with you. Successful restaurant growth requires the ability to offload manual process to automated technologies. If your growth plan is aggressive, you should find software that allows you to scale efficiently and profitably, allowing you to run five restaurants using equal time and resources it takes to run one restaurant.
When looking for an upgrade to your existing restaurant accounting and operations software, ensure that the software provides powerful management features that communicate with all of the other systems you need, including accounting, reporting, vendors, inventory and more. Look for a platform that’s easy to use, works from anywhere and can be seamlessly automated with hundreds of the critical applications you need for your business.
If you’d like to learn more, read our blog post, Restaurant Technology: Insights for Growth.