It is true that a lot of business owners when starting their business want to know how to improve it in order to get more clients as well as increase their sales, but they have to consider that to do that they should have a good administration and bases to keep scaling.
A restaurant is not an exception, as you should have a good administration and total control over it, and one thing that can help you with that is automation.
Maybe you are thinking that automation is exclusive for big businesses, but it is not true! even for small businesses automation could be much easier than you might imagine and it will bring you a lot of benefits.
For example, you, if you automate your restaurant, as a business owner, will have more free time and you will be able to increase profits at the same time.
There are 5 key areas that you should be willing to improve regarding automation.
- The area of production costs.
- The operational area or food processing.
- Your administrative processes.
- Customer service.
- Your communication.
How to start automating your business?
Automate your restaurant in order to have control of the activities that are happening in your restaurant by using technology, software and applications. This will allow you to program and systematize all of those activities.
There are many free tools available for you to automate some basic tasks like send emails and have good customer service. For tasks that are more complex, you should think about a small investment.
On the other hand, you can develop your own methods and processes with your team and document everything so everyone knows how you will operate from now on.
Let’s see how you can apply this to each of the 5 key areas we mentioned before.
The area of production costs
There are two factors that you have to take into account when it comes to production costs. The cost of your raw material and the processes of food preparation.
In this case, you can rely on digital tools and implement a system that will allow you to make agreements with your suppliers like stable and preferential prices in order to control the raw material costs.
On the other hand, for processes of food preparation, you can also use technological tools that will allow you to place orders and keep a record of the payments and stock of raw material. In this way, it will be easier for you to track your budget and make projections to make future decisions.
The operational area or food processing
Automate your restaurant in the operational area. It will be enough for you to train your employees on the preparation of the dishes in order to have a standard process.
For example, all of your recipes should have exact measurements of the ingredients, the time that it will take to cook and if you could, also set a standard process of how the dish should look when served.
You should also have a standard process for food waste and how you will handle it to take advantage of it.
Your administrative processes
An administrative process could be any of the following:
- Input purchases
- Working hours of your employees
- Reception of diners
- Reservation and orders
Keep in mind that the recruitment process is really important for your business so you should standardize the way in which you do this process if you have a human resources area and administrator or if you outsource every time you want to hire new employees.
Either way, you should ensure to standardize this activity including the hiring process and the training. You have to make sure that the job description includes age, training and skills requirements as well as responsibilities.
For the training plan, it should include induction and training for each specific tasks that the job requires. It is also recommended to carry out periodic instruction for the employees to strengthen their skills
For the working hours of the employees, you can get a web application so everything can be standardized when it comes to their check-in, breaks and check-out hours.
First of all, you have to think about how you want your restaurant to be perceived and the experience you want your customers to have.
To carry out a good customers service you have to set the communication standard and inform this to your employees.
These standards should include communication to customers in real life and in social media.
This includes the estimated time that a customer would wait for the food, how to take an order, how to greet the customer when he or she arrives at the restaurant, the response time in social media and how to handle when there exists a complaint.
Automate your restaurant by standardized communication. This doesn’t mean that your employees should act like robots, we are referring to communication in social media as you have plenty of tools that will make communication with customers and potential customers more efficient.
For example, for your emails, you can automate them with specific platforms like Mailchimp and SendinBlue according to your needs. Also, for your website, you can schedule articles and video publication to keep nurturing your website.
Developing a good Digital Marketing plan is advisable to automate your digital communication and you could do it with an expert if you don’t understand much of what Digital Marketing is and how it works.
Remember that each and every one of these ways of automating the different areas of your restaurant will help you increase the productivity of your employees, the prestige of your restaurant, save money and have more time.
For those reasons, it is a good idea to consider it and if possible, apply it.