Updated: May 4
Whether you're into technology or not, every restaurant should have certain pieces of technology that'll help give your restaurant a better chance to survive and improve its bottom line. The programs that you have chosen are called your Restaurant's Technology Stack (aka Techstack)!
CASH REGISTER AKA POINT OF SALES SYSTEM
At the center of success for any restaurant is the cash register or more commonly known today as your POS which stands for Point of Sales. This is without a doubt, the most important piece of technology that you will invest in. The cost of a POS can range from less than $100 per month all the way up to a $60,000 buyout and there are literally hundreds of options.
When deciding on a POS, you can't be too cautious but this doesn't mean that you have to overpay. When it comes to selecting a POS we always advise that you go with a company that has a local presence or a national company that can respond in a crisis.
GOOGLE SHEETS OR SPREADSHEETS
We wouldn't necessarily include Google Sheets or Spreadsheets as members of a tech stack however there are many people would. Programs like Google Sheets and Excel have become default tools for the independent restaurant just getting off the ground. It's difficult to argue that this should be included in our list of restaurant technology simply because 99% of the work is placed on the end-user which makes it just a hair step above paper, a calculator and pen but regardless, they are on our list.
Google sheets and spreadsheets are used for numerous multiple task which includes inventory, scheduling, accounting, tracking sales and more.
The benefits of these platforms is that they're often free and a the restaurant can customize these programs to fit their management style.
This form of technology can fall into multiple categories but here are the most popular tools to consider apart of your stack.
Reservation platforms like OpenTable and Resy are software programs that assist with reservations and table management
Gift Cards and Loyalty Programs are great tools that can be used to interact with your customers and create repeat business.
Whether you're a large restaurant group with an accounting team, or this is your first location and you're doing the books yourself, having the right software can be a big help and key piece to your restaurant's success and tech stack.
There are a number of different software programs that are easy enough for the beginner but powerful enough for your CPA. The most common accounting software is Quickbooks but a more powerful restaurant dedicated program is Restaurant365. Other programs include Freshbooks, Zero and more.
Should you invest in an inventory program or simply do-it-yourself with Google Sheets or a spreadsheet? Since inventory can be as much as 40% of your total revenue, you should think about this one carefully. The advantage of investing in inventory software that is designed specifically for restaurants is simply automation, which can help save time and money.
There are a number of different software programs on the market and most POS systems will include an inventory platform however the majority of those systems are limited in their capacity to get really complicated when it's needed. Companies like Market Man and Skrible for Restaurants are able to typically connect to your existing POS, communicate through both email and phone and help identify problems faster and more efficiently.
Another major expense for restaurants is labor and once again, restaurants have the option to use Google Sheets or spreadsheets. But similar to inventory, labor is another large expenditure for restaurants therefore simply creating a schedule without looking at any other details can be costly.
There are also a number of different software programs on the market that can help you control your labor cost 7 Shifts.
This list is just scratching the surface. Today we have products like Zoom which has become an important part of our team communication, QR Codes codes that allow users to order and pay at the table, Mailchimp to stay in contact with our customers and more.
The restaurant industry has an average profit margin of 7.5% per 150K in annual revenue but in order to reach that goal, your restaurant will need all the help that it can get and that translates into a better techstack.