The Benefits of Automation in Restaurants
Automation in restaurants is a relatively new concept—usually invoking imagery of robot cooks in the kitchen with a futuristic food assembly line. However, automation is becoming more common and it looks a little different than some may think.
Companies are developing technology that can automate repetitive and labor-intensive daily tasks in restaurants, planning to lower operational costs, boost productivity, and create a better standard for customer service in the restaurant industry. With Covid and the rising labor shortage making the market unpredictable, owners have increasingly adopted technology to help navigate challenges and to facilitate meaningful human connections. Despite the benefits, many restaurateurs are still hesitant to begin implementing automation in their restaurants. Here are a few ways restaurant owners can bring this technology to their business without worrying about a sci-fi movie happening in their kitchen.
The Benefits of Automation in Restaurants
When considering the benefits of automation in restaurants, it’s easy to see why it’s becoming so popular. First, it can provide a better customer experience. Automated systems can execute tasks faster than people and with fewer mistakes, translating to more accurate orders, reduced wait times, and other positives for guests.
Since technology is targeting the more monotonous tasks, automation is also proving to boost employee morale. By removing boring repetitive work from staff’s duties, they are freed up to focus on high-value functions like attending to guests. Automated systems can also link together with POS, inventory management, accounting, and video footage—cutting down on mistakes, theft, and other problems that might affect reporting accuracy. Between an improved customer experience and more efficiency overall, restaurants can expect higher check sizes, more tables turned, and a boost to their bottom line.
Automated Marketing & Remarketing
For restaurant operators interested in automating tasks in their restaurant, it can be easier to start with aspects of running a restaurant that already involve a lot of technology.
Marketing is one area where automating can help restaurateurs save time and effort. They can schedule social media posts, target potential guests in their community with ads, or send follow-up messages to guests with promotions, all automatically. Automation can even remind guests to leave a review after they’ve dined with a restaurant, acting as promotion for the business and increasing visibility on search engines.
Automated Reservations & Waitlisting
Reservations are one of the simplest ways restaurants can improve their processes with automation. Think about it—the average host can spend hours each day taking phone calls, confirming reservations, and managing the reservation book.
There are already many apps that automate the reservation process by moving it online. Guests can see table availability in real-time, input any special requests or important information about their party, and confirm their reservation via automated messaging. Automation can also save your host stand from having to keep a pen and paper list of who needs to be seated next. Self-add waitlisting lets guests see how long the wait-time is, sign up without being on-premise, and receive an automatic message informing them of when their table is ready.
AI-Powered Phone Answering
Whether the phone lines are filled answering simple questions or restaurants are too short on staff to answer the phone, restaurant owners are losing sales everyday from missed phone calls. Automated phone answering solves this problem with an AI answering the phone to assist guests with inquiries and orders. From answering simple questions like “What are the restaurant’s hours?” to taking orders and inputting them into the POS, AI-powered answering can help owners capture previously lost revenue.
In addition to self-service ordering, self-checkout is becoming more common in restaurants. New technology allows guests to make contactless payments right from the table. They’re also able to see itemized receipts, split the bill, and even leave a tip; this makes the checkout process faster and less complicated.
And finally, automation is making its way into food delivery services. More and more restaurants are turning on mobile apps and online ordering platforms to sync guests’ online ordering with their POS systems—no more manually taking and managing online orders.
Popmenu: The First Step Toward Restaurant Automation
Restaurant automation might feel a bit daunting, but Popmenu is a great way to take the first step toward using it in your restaurant marketing and contactless ordering operations. Popmenu is an all-in-one solution for restaurants, bringing any modern technology they need under one platform. Learn more at get.popmenu.com