5 Ways to Separate Top Restaurant Tech from Terrible Restaurant Tech
Don’t invest money in restaurant technology that will hurt your business
Restaurant Tech: A Blessing or a Curse?
Honestly, answering this question is a little tricky because there are so many options out there when it comes to restaurant tech. With technology playing an ever-increasing role in how restaurants can improve efficiency and boost profits, more and more companies are trying to offer technology that they claim will help your restaurant business thrive. If you don’t know what to look for, many of these companies and their products can seem amazing! However, with a little investigative work and knowing what to scrutinize, you can make sure you don’t make a restaurant tech purchase that you end up regretting.
Let’s take a look at 5 things you MUST consider when deciding if the restaurant tech you’re interested in is top-quality or trash quality.
1. Ease of Use
Restaurant tech can promise a wealth of features and ways to improve how you run your business, but if you’re lost in a sea of complicated menus and unfathomable buttons, chances are, you’re not going to be able to use any of those promised features with any sort of efficacy. Make sure that the company you’re looking at offers a free trial for their technology so that you can have a play around with the system and see how it works. Businesses that do not offer restaurant tech with a free trial may be trying to hide a clunky user experience or an undercooked user experience.
2. Does it Align with Your Restaurant’s Needs?
It’s all fine and dandy to buy new restaurant tech and be sold by the promises of tech companies, but you should also look at whether the product you’re thinking of purchasing aligns with what your company needs to grow. For example, if your company needs better communication between the front of house and kitchen, it would make much more sense to purchase a cloud-based POS system and a Kitchen Display System module so that any orders taken by wait staff are immediately fired to the kitchen.
In this instance, if you were to purchase restaurant technology that focuses on customer relationship management, you simply wouldn’t be solving the problem at hand. Make sure to take the time to identify the weaknesses of your restaurant business and find restaurant tech that directly addresses these weaknesses.
3. Is it Scalable?
Restaurant tech is all about flexibility and giving you as many options as possible. One thing that all restauranteurs must consider when investing in restaurant tech is whether that tech, which is designed to help you grow, can keep up as your business expands and becomes an enterprise. For example, when you open for the first time, you may have a single store and two or three members of staff. The restaurant tech you purchase may be super capable at this scale.
However, when you start expanding and increase the number of staff you have and maybe even open up more locations at home or abroad, will your restaurant tech be able to handle that level of growth? The worst thing is to realize amazing growth and then be crippled by the very system that aided you in the first place.
4. Are there Regular Updates?
One of the best things about restaurant tech is that you don’t get a stagant product (if you choose wisely). Since so much technology comes in the form of digital apps and software, over-the-air updates can literally add new features, fix bugs and improve the user experience in a matter of seconds. If the restaurant tech you’re purchasing has a strong track record of pushing new updates and offering free features, you know that you are likely making a sound investment since you will keep seeing value added to your initial purchase price.
You will also be able to feel secure that with new updates come new features. This means that unlike older tech, like legacy POS systems, your restaurant tech won’t become obsolete and can add industry-necessary features so your business always stays relevant and at the forefront of tech.
5. What are the Hardware Requirements?
The restaurant tech you’re eyeing might look stellar, but if you need a clunks on-site server, a team of technical staff and loads of separate hardware, your investment may not be so value-based after all. Instead, try to search for restaurant tech options that have minimal constraints and hardware requirements to run. Cloud tech, for example, can be run on most tablets and even mobile devices, bringing you unparalleled hardware convenience.
In addition, if you have specific printers or payment options, make sure your new restaurant tech can integrate with this type of hardware so you don’t have the hassle of figuring out unreliable workarounds to get everything working.
The Right TECHtics for Success
Taking the above five points into consideration when looking for restaurant tech will help you make the right decision for your business. Don’t be oversold by promises that won’t end up helping you, and make sure that you have the right tools and knowledge to make an informed and intelligent purchase decision. Often, once you select and commit to restaurant tech, it can be an exercise in frustration to shift systems, so take your time and choose wisely!