Savvy fast food restaurant owners never rest on their laurels — instead, they’re always looking for ways to improve their operations. Here are four fast food restaurant tips you can follow to make your establishment more attractive to customers, cultivate guest loyalty, and bolster your bottom line.
1. Improve the order-taking process
Employees must work at a higher speed and with fewer errors than ever before, or demanding customers will head straight to the competition. A point of sale (POS) system with an intelligent, intuitive user interface can help. The well-sequenced screens, clearly labeled icons, packaged commands, and suggestive selling reminders inherent in these systems guide employees through order-taking tasks, allowing them to take orders faster while decreasing the potential for order-entry errors.
You may also want to consider adding mobile or online ordering capabilities to your POS system. Many customers love the idea of ordering and paying ahead.
2. Hasten food preparation
Consumers go to fast food restaurants to get their food fast. The above-mentioned intelligent, intuitive POS interface is a step in the right direction, because the faster orders are taken, the more quickly kitchen prep staff can begin working on them. However, it’s not enough. The most efficient systems transmit orders directly to the kitchen as soon as they are entered. When orders appear on video displays in the kitchen, multiple employees can see each item that must be prepared. Employees in the line can get the order preparation going, while other crew members see where item replenishments are needed. This saves valuable order delivery time.
3. Keep close tabs on every aspect of your business
Typically, the most profitable businesses — including fast food restaurants — are those whose owners maintain tight control over them. This means regularly reviewing every aspect of the operation such as sales, labor, customer traffic, and inventory, preferably daily.
The easiest way to heed the “control your restaurant” suggestion on our roster of restaurant management tips is with a feature-rich POS system. Such a system lets you run daily or weekly reports that can tell you everything you need to know about your operation and where it may be experiencing problems. For example, an item-by-item breakdown of sales indicates which offerings on your menu are moving well and which ones you may need to promote more heavily or replace.
Continuing in this vein of restaurant management tips, reviewing customer counts and comparing customer traffic in the drive-through versus inside the restaurant shows when your restaurant is busiest and whether you may need to change staffing in either place. A review of inventory expenditures will show where you may be spending too much on ingredients and where you need to trim orders to reduce waste. Once you have a sales history, you can leverage the information to make more informed decisions regarding, for example, labor or new menu items.
4. Do everything you can to engage customers and earn their loyalty.
With so many fast food options out there, operators must go the extra mile to keep customers coming back to their restaurants. A customer loyalty program — preferably one that interfaces with your POS system to make it easy for customers to redeem offers — represents a step in the right direction. Engaging with customers on social media presence can also help build relationships with loyal customers. You may want to consider configuring your POS system so you can push promotional messages and offers to the mobile devices of customers who opt in to receive them.
Don’t ever stop looking for ways to improve your fast food restaurant’s operations. You are sure to find some ideas by following these restaurant tips and by looking at the functionality your POS system offers — then use them to make the most of your POS technology investment.