The best run multi-unit restaurant companies all have one thing in common – mature processes supported by well-established policies, procedures, monitoring and measurement. They are knowledge-driven organizations, enabled with the technology to consistently expand and grow their business.
They do this by focusing on the latest trends and best practices, combining technology and process for success. These practices are divided into three core areas of the restaurant business eco-system. We define these areas as:
- In-store operations
- Above-store enterprise
- Customer marketing
The emergence of mobile technologies – big data, social media, and analytics – impact the entire eco-system and drive how food service companies can improve the customer experience, streamline operations, and enable growth.
Let’s take a brief look at each of these areas prior to digging further into each of their business and technology best practices.
This area covers the daily operations within the restaurant. Key areas include improving speed of service, optimizing labor and inventory, controlling cost, and maintaining quality. The operation of the store and how it is managed is the foundation of any restaurant company; having reliable systems and efficient processes are essential.
Technology enablers such as mobile applications and advances in the POS/BOS are addressed here. Combining the new technologies with processes to help operators can raise the bar from meeting business needs, to exceeding performance.
The corporate processes and systems are considered above-store activity. This area deals with management of the entire enterprise, including supply chain, financials, human resources, and real-estate. Business processes should be optimized and enabled with the proper systems in order to enable growth and expansion.
Key technologies trends include integration, analytics and cloud-based solutions. These technologies can improve efficiencies, and provide greater insight/knowledge for critical business decisions.\
With the proliferation of social media, loyalty programs, and mobile devices, the customer’s ability to interact with your brand has increased significantly. Applying the right mix of technology and processes can provide distinct advantages in understanding customer trends and increasing marketing impact.
These so-called disruptive technologies can integrate with solutions such as CRM (customer relationship management) allowing companies to engage with existing customers, and attract new ones.
In the next few weeks I’ll go into further detail regarding growth opportunities and challenges that come along with each core area. What technology solutions will compliment your goals? Will your restaurant’s performance improve significantly by further automating your daily processes? If you haven’t wondered what could be, then keep reading the next posts – it’ll be an eye-opener!