Digital Tools That Save You Time as a Restaurant Manager
Operating as a restaurant manager has its own set of unique challenges, but keeping tasks organized is often the most significant challenge managers face on a daily basis. With so many aspects of restaurant management to be responsible for, arming yourself with a robust digital toolbox will prove to be advantageous.
If you’re unsure of where to begin or what tools could be most helpful, we’ve listed four solutions that can help combat some of the most common issues restaurant managers face. In the restaurant industry, every second counts, so on top of keeping your business operations running smoothly, these digital tools will help save you time as well.
1. Online reservation system
With the restaurant scene’s never-ending hustle and bustle, keeping track of your daily reservations and the number of expected guests can easily feel overwhelming without a proper system in place. Especially during busy times, when a restaurant employee answers the phone to take down reservations, that information can easily be lost or forgotten, resulting in a scenario where you have an unhappy guest arriving at your restaurant.
Fortunately, with the right reservation management system, your customer’s reservations and data are all kept in one place, making it easy to understand who is coming into your restaurant, and what you need to do to show them an exceptional experience. Most importantly, with an online reservation management system, customers are able to make reservations digitally, saving operators precious time during what’s likely a busy workday. This enables more robust data capture that can be used to tailor on- and off-premise experiences — helping boost loyalty in the long run.
Having a digital tool for reservation management allows you to record guest preferences, such as allergies and special occasions, making it easy for you to fully tailor their experience. Not only does this save you time as a restaurant manager, but it allows you to customize the experience for each of your guests, keeping them coming back time and time again.
2. Inventory management software
Staying on top of inventory can be a full-time job all on its own, especially if you don’t have regular communication with your kitchen staff. On a busy night with lots of guests to serve, running out of ingredients is a sure-fire way to create a disruptive and dissatisfying customer experience. No guest wants to hear that they cannot order their favorite dish simply because the kitchen has run out of certain ingredients due to mismanaged inventory.
To improve the way you keep track of the ingredients in your kitchen, try an inventory management software. This digital tool will alert you when an item is low in stock, preventing any issues related to running out of essential ingredients. More importantly, this software can help you better analyze your inventory’s cost and predict spending for future orders.
3. Employee Onboarding Software
Finding and keeping the best employees for your business is difficult. When trying to fill employee roles and keep your restaurant well-staffed, you may be pressed for time when it comes to onboarding new employees. As a busy restaurant manager, you may be tempted to speed through the onboarding process. However, you must remember that customer service is your top priority. It is well worth the time spent to train your employees for the position thoroughly.
Finding a way to make onboarding and job training consistent for each employee is crucial for your overall customer service experience. If it is solely up to you as the manager to train your employees, you may forget a few things along the way. If you put training in the hands of other employees, each person may teach your new employees a different process or way of doing something, creating inconsistencies in the new hire training process.
The best solution to this challenge is to utilize a restaurant training platform that will put your employees through standardized training, creating a unified workforce that offers excellent customer service to your guests.
4. Online banking tool
Whether you’re purchasing last-minute essentials for the day of business ahead, paying your food and beverage suppliers, or managing your employee’s payroll, having a digital tool to help you keep track of expenses will be a major improvement to your business’ money management system.
Something as simple as an online financial banking service can help you easily view checking account balances and purchases made. This way, if you use your personal bank card for last-minute business purchases, you can keep track of expenses more efficiently and accurately for reimbursement.
Additionally, having a digital tool to keep deposits and spending records all in one place makes it easier to compile a spending report, request reimbursement, and analyze food and supply costs throughout the day, week, or month. While you may not be making large purchases between regular inventory updates, it is still helpful to keep track of the small expenditures that all add up at the end of the day.
It’s no easy job being a restaurant manager responsible for a restaurant’s continued success and stability. Luckily, there are a wealth of tools available to help make your job a little bit easier, and above all, save time. Whether you need to manage reservations, update inventory, or onboard new employees, or keep track of your daily expenses, digital tools have you covered.