If we learned one thing from 2020, it’s that agility in planning matters for alcohol businesses. By this time last year, the best intentions had fallen by the wayside, and most in the industry were left to react and adapt to events in real time. Now, with vaccines gaining accessibility and acceptance, lockdown restrictions lifting, and consumers returning to “normal” life, restaurants are building plans centered around the potential for a hopeful yet still unknown future. More than ever before, adopting efficient practices and processes, especially in tight margin segments of business, like alcohol, is a key to successful recovery and resurgence for 2021.
Efficient: (noun) achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.
For alcohol businesses, maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense is the ultimate goal. Without efficient processes, businesses from bars to hotels can get lost in the weeds and lose time that should otherwise be spent with their guests. Thankfully, automation can step in and alleviate inefficiencies, opening the door for higher profits.
Think back on a really busy day. Like, busy, busy. The window is full of orders that need to be expedited, one or more bartenders called out of their shifts, there’s a stack of yesterday’s invoices that need to be entered into your accounting system, and now, there’s a delivery driver at the back door waiting for payment for your beer order. Instead of chatting with your regular at the bar or helping your runners deliver food to hungry guests, you must stop, gather payment from the safe in the office, and get the driver, and his delivery truck, on their way. It’s overwhelming and certainly not efficient. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Automating the simple but necessary day-to-day tasks can help you reclaim the precious time needed to serve your guests.
To start, consider utilizing an electronic payment service, like Fintech, to automate your alcohol invoice payments. By doing so, you bring a whole new level of efficiency to your delivery process and eliminate cash, checks, money orders, and escrow accounts. Because invoices are automatically paid, your team can simply sign for a delivery and get back to business. That’s it. Even term invoices are paid on their due dates, ensuring you maintain your ability to sell alcohol. Adding in simple, affordable technology in this instance falls in line with the goal to develop efficient practices, requiring very little effort for a monumental shift in productivity in your alcohol business.
Another key benefit of creating a more efficient payment process comes after the delivery by automatically integrating invoices into your back-office system. Do you know just how many line items you manually enter each week? Are you 100% confident in the numbers you’ve keyed in? Are you worried at all about typos? Manual entry is inherently inefficient and inaccurate. But with electronic payments, for example, invoices are submitted for payment digitally by the distributor, then uploaded directly to your accounting system, so you can conveniently view pricing and product details without ever entering a single line item. With one improvement in efficiency, you naturally gain another, one that significantly impacts the way you run your alcohol business.
In alcohol management, hours each month are dedicated to analyzing spend and calculating total profits. Restaurant operators across the country build spreadsheet after spreadsheet to investigate pricing discrepancies and costly ordering habits like splitting cases. It’s likely that on your computer at this very moment, there’s an Excel dedicated to pricing or products that you use to set menu prices or order products. But at what point are you spending more time building out the spreadsheet than actually navigating the results in a way that positively impacts your business? Through automated payments, you often also gain access to personalized analytics that key into opportunities to save money and manage your product portfolio and menu prices more intelligently. With Fintech, retailers access reports that, at a single glance, highlight ways to save money and operate more efficiently.
Now go back to the scenario we described earlier – but remove the nuisances associated with accepting delivery, entering invoices, and building reports to understand spend. Simplifying and creating these efficiencies gives you back time to spend helping your staff where necessary or serving your guests – areas where your effort makes a much greater impact on the business. On great days where business runs smoothly, efficiencies can only make your existing processes better. But, on the far more realistic busy days, they help you excel.
Interested in learning more about improving efficiencies and building a better alcohol business with Fintech? Contact us today to start your free, no-obligation 30-day trial of Fintech’s automated, electronic alcohol invoice payment and data solution.