If you’re like most restauranteurs, you probably like the idea of technology in your kitchen, but worry about the complications it could potentially create.
“Restaurant operators and consumers generally agree on the benefits of technology use in restaurants, but they’re also in agreement that while new technology is useful, it can complicate the restaurant experience,” said Annika Stensson, Director of Research Communications for the National Restaurant Association, in discussing recent research from the organization.
In practice, technology should slip seamlessly into your restaurant operations.
Imagine the owner is talking to a district manager. “Everything’s going so well,” the owner tells her. “How are you doing it?”
Before she can answer, the district manager’s phone buzzes. Immediately she sees that an overdue checklist wasn’t completed. Someone forgot. She texts the store manager to get it done.
And that’s the answer: that’s how she gets it done. Once the technological pieces are put in place, the information she needs to know to take appropriate action just flows, frictionless.
In this case, she was notified of an incomplete checklist. It might have been a temperature warning. We had another customer get such an alert, which in turn gave him ample time to head to the store and realize the walk-in cooler’s door had fallen open. He was able to save all inventory because he got to it so quickly. He didn’t have to do anything to realize action was needed; the alert just came to his device.
Meanwhile, all of this data can be uploaded into a secure cloud with no human action required. That way, after his conversation with the manager, the owner can go back to his office and get an instant report customized for any specific issue. So, if the district manager got an alert that a checklist wasn’t completed, the owner can check for himself if that store has a history of issues. He can even drill down to specific employees to identify the source of a problem. All he needs to do is log in and see the information.
Technology doesn't need to be complicated or complex. It can be very simple and straightforward. In fact, it should be, if it’s going to be successful for the operation.