The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports 133 billion pounds of food got wasted from stores and restaurants in 2010 alone.
To be fair, running a restaurant is a complicated business. Keeping on top of streamlining operations, reducing waste and replenishing ingredients is a big order.
Ways Restaurant Technology Saves Money
Here are 5 ways technology is saving restaurants money on back of house operations.
Automated Inventory Management
Restaurants are all about food and food is all about ingredients. SimpleOrder CEO Guy Evan Ezra told Small Business Trends how automating the inventory makes a difference.
“Every time someone makes a sale through a point of sale system, it gets broken down by ingredients,” he said. “The inventory gets reduced based on what was sold and an alert is provided.”
Purchase Order Management
From there, a purchase order is created and sent to the right supplier.
The results are less waste as ingredients are measured and tracked more efficiently. There’s also a small business cost savings since there’s no need for an employee to manually check these levels.
Increased Menu Efficiency
A digital mobile or desktop solution also allows restaurants to tweak their menus and make them more cost efficient. In the past these calculations were done with a pen and paper or more recently an excel sheet. The goal was to compare what a dish costs versus what you charged for it.
Ezra describes how SimpleOrder works here. The product is a good example of technology innovation in the industry.
“SimpleOrder has all your suppliers on board and all the products that you are purchasing. This food costing becomes much easier.”
The other advantage to technology in back of house restaurant operations lies in the fact the prices of the menu ingredients are updated continually. This way, calculations are never outdated. If you see the price of olives is making a certain menu item unprofitable, you can substitute something else in or buy ones from a different supplier quickly.
Monitoring Ingredient Portions
Digitizing this aspect of a restaurant allows the owners to make sure ingredients are being portioned out properly. For example, the amount of grated cheese is often clearly laid out in a recipe for chefs to follow. However under the pressures of a small working kitchen, the measurement isn’t always followed to the letter.
“A digital system allows you to identify these inaccuracies and make sure your margins are where they should be,” Ezra says. In other words, you can take more accurate aim at your food cost benchmarks.
If your diner wastes a lot of food, you’re working against your own bottom line and the health of the whole planet. With the right digital technology, everything that goes into the restaurant can be checked against what goes out.
Not only does save money on waste, it can even identify theft too.
Keeping on Top of Changing Tastes
Technology saves restaurants money by controlling both margins and costs in real time. What’s just as, if not more important, are the latest innovations allow you to stay on top of today’s changing tastes.
By using the real time analytics available, every small business from the diner to the white glove restaurant can change items quickly.
Chef Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Restaurant / Food Service Business
Technology is truly a blessing. People can now do more because of it. This is in line with people’s fast paced lifestyles.
Competition between restaurants has never been tighter which is why I can see restaurant owners looking to whatever tools are useful in maximizing profit. Having a good product is essential (along with good service), but you need to keep on top of the day-to-day management of the restaurant. That’s where things like inventory and meal costs can creep up on you if you’re not careful.