Enjoy Efficiency and Savings Holiday Gifts | modern restaurant management

Imagine operating a multi-location catering organization known for elegant holiday dining and delicious catering. You are approaching your busiest season and more and more of your customers are planning gatherings and returning to their pre-pandemic spending levels.

Although you are delighted with the increase in business, your anxiety is also reaching a boiling point. You’re still only at 75% of your 2019 headcount, and even the salary increase isn’t attracting the people you need. You’re also hostage to other cost increases and supply chain delays, and you want to deliver the experiences your customers expect, now and into 2022.

In this difficult time, what’s at the top of your holiday gift list?

You wish :

  • Efficiency, so you can do more with fewer people and don’t need to cut operating hours
  • Save money to increase your bottom line

One way to achieve both of these goals is through the use of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), which has saved restaurant brands hundreds of millions of dollars over a period of years.

Much like with “smart homes,” these commercial solutions give restaurateurs more “eyes, ears, and hands” to automate and monitor what’s happening in each location, then be able to take quick action when processes go wrong or machines are turned on. on the verge of breaking.

The technology allows operators to establish direct digital connections with their equipment (eg freezers, food warmers, fryers, etc.). The data collected from these connections is a gold mine. By viewing data from a desktop, tablet or phone, operators can quickly spot patterns and errors and make adjustments accordingly. Additionally, the most advanced systems analyze and process data automatically, providing proactive notification of issues and exceptions so they don’t even need to log into the system.

Improve capacity

Let’s go back to your restaurant. Thanksgiving is approaching, and families are excited to enjoy the turkey and toppings they remember. With fewer staff, how can you ensure that food quality and service will live up to their expectations?

A multi-site brand let itself be “guided” by its ovens, whatever the season. They previously knew of kitchen backups as they could only fit a limited number of their most popular dishes in their ovens at a time…. Or so they thought. Careful analysis of data from digital oven controls revealed that kitchen staff were not loading equipment to full capacity. They changed their procedures and the throughput increased, as well as customer satisfaction.

Equipment maintenance

When it comes to equipment maintenance, procrastination is one of the biggest financial risks during this holiday.

Research from multi-site facility management association Connex has shown that it often costs three times as much to repair equipment after it has failed than to proactively maintain it when something goes wrong. . Hence the importance of monitoring equipment performance in real time and being alerted to these problems. As prices rise and supply chain delays continue, it’s especially important to stay on top of equipment issues now. Otherwise, the combination of fewer staff, reduced hours due to machines not working, high costs and lost opportunities will add up by themselves.

Data from connected equipment can reveal which food warmers, freezers, dishwashers, shakers, etc. no longer work as before. It may take them too long to heat up or cool down or the frost may build up too quickly. It could also lead to food safety issues, not to mention excessive energy consumption and costs.

Sometimes this data also reveals ways to modify processes that will extend the longevity of equipment. A major brand using stacked ovens noticed more wear on the top ovens than on the bottom ones. This turned out to be due to the kitchen staff trying to avoid bending over when loading them, so the downstairs oven was little used. Management was able to reprogram the ovens so that the top ones shut off during “off-peak” times when both were not needed.

Avoid unnecessary energy/water use and costs

As customers return to their favorite restaurants, it’s natural to want to make sure meals are as comfortable as possible. In warmer climates, as year-round people and snowbirds eat out in the run up to the holidays, management will want to make sure they’re cool enough.

Air conditioners, however, are particularly power-hungry. With new capabilities and smart controls, restaurants can pre-program their start/stop times so machines aren’t all running at once and also ensure all units are kept at the correct temperature at all times. of the day.

During holidays, staff may work additional shifts to meet increased demand. It can be easy for them to forget to turn off the heat, lights, or signs when they leave for the day, especially if their restaurants are understaffed. Automate this through the Internet of Things and the problem of wasted energy consumption and expense is once again solved.

More and more restaurants are getting stronger, but the sleigh ride is still long. Smart technologies are more than ornamental this holiday season; they represent the promise of more sustainable gains to come.

About Imogene T. Bishop

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