How to Prepare For a Restaurant Technology Transition
Making a point of sale (POS) technology transition can be a great move for your restaurant, improving everything from operating efficiencies to guest engagement. However, this process shouldn’t be treated casually. Careful preparation is required, so follow these steps for best results and the greatest return on investment (ROI).
- Working backward, identify the questions you want your new POS system to answer. You may want to keep closer tabs on which menu items are your best sellers. Or maybe your focus is on determining which guests spend the most money at your restaurant or which servers have the shortest table turns. When you have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish, you’ll have a better idea of which POS system features you want your technology transition to provide.
- Determine your restaurant’s pain points. Where are your inefficiencies? Taking orders, transmitting orders to the kitchen, processing payments, or something else? Look for POS features that will help you overcome these challenges and help your operation run more smoothly. Also determine which features would be nice to have, but aren’t essential. Don’t forget to consult your staff when pinpointing your must-haves. When employees have a sense of ownership in a technology transition, the transition will be more successful.
- Select a solution and dealer. Create a list of the top solutions that would best solve your restaurant’s problems and meet its technology requirements. Leveraging resources like vendors’ websites, locate the names of other users and reviews of the types of experiences peer establishments have had with these solutions. Also use the same diligence when choosing a local dealer to partner with. Read reviews online and request references. Ask about the dealer’s experience assisting with the type of technology transition you’re planning. Find out how long each business has been selling and installing the solutions you’re considering. Also research details such as training, support, and future upgrades.
- Create a timeline. Devise a very detailed, well-thought-out timeline that outlines every step of your POS upgrade. Diligently plan around peak business times, ensuring that the deployment won’t interfere with other activities essential to your operation. For example, if you operate a restaurant that does most of its business at lunchtime, handle changes in the morning, when traffic is lighter.
- Let kitchen staff, servers, managers, and even your bank know all the details of your technology transition. Explain the solution, how it will be installed, and how it will work. Discuss training and support procedures.
- Be excited. Enthusiastically describe to your team how the tools and resources they’ll have at their disposal following a POS upgrade will make their jobs easier and allow them to work more efficiently. Discuss how processes like taking and ringing up orders will change for the better. Your enthusiasm can solidify employee buy-in and get your staff entirely on board with the technology rollout.
A technology transition can provide you with an upgrade that truly makes the difference between merely surviving in the restaurant business and flourishing in it. Approach the change in a strategic fashion to maximize the benefits.