Restaurant chain growth is an exciting, but challenging, time. The transition from small-business- to up-and-coming ops takes work and careful planning. Fortunately, a restaurant point of sale (POS) system can give you the tools you need to manage a growing business. With a flexible and scalable system in place when your business begins to grow you can more easily manage growing pains when they occur.
Efficiency in Every Location
As you grow, it may become obvious that operations in your flagship location aren’t as efficient as they could be. Small amounts of waste or loss will be magnified over multiple locations and multiple customer interactions. Expanding to new locations is a good time to refine processes to make them as efficient as possible. Evaluate your restaurant from a customer’s perspective, walking through the reservation process, the way guests are notified their tables are ready and how they are seated. Also evaluate the processes servers follow, the consistency in the service they provide, and timing throughout the dining experience. And don’t forget to assess the efficiency of the payment process and how well your servers are equipped to handle customer requests for varied forms of payment or split checks.
Use a restaurant point of sale system that is designed for efficiency, both in customer interactions and operations. Also make sure the POS system you choose for your restaurant facilitates communications between the front- and back-of-house such as kitchen display system (KDS) integration and kitchen order tickets (KOT).
You may not be ready just yet to offer franchises, but could you ensure consistency in any new location? Consistency is vital to brand image, and if you’ve found a formula for success in today’s market, protect it at all costs.
No matter which of your locations your customers choose, they should have the same delicious menu items they expect. As your business grows, maintaining control of recipes, ingredients, and food prep across multiple locations will require more agile management techniques. Your restaurant point of sale system is the solution to give you the access, visibility, and control you need.
Dining experiences should also be the same at every location for brand consistency. Ensure you develop a comprehensive training program that ensures all staff is ready to provide the customer experiences and complete tasks according to your high standards.
Controlling Spiraling Costs
With more locations will come more inventory and labor costs—but you also will have more clout. Manage inventory across all locations, using real-time data from your restaurant point of sale system to optimize orders and reduce waste. This data may also enable you to negotiate prices based on the greater volume you now need.
Your restaurant point of sale system will also enable you to manage labor across your chain—perhaps even sharing labor when needed between locations to cover shifts and minimize overtime. To keep a close watch on costs, rely on reporting from your POS system to give you the insights you need into sales, profits, and performance.
Vive La Difference!
It’s important as your business grows to have a well-defined statement of what makes your brand different, who your customers are, and why they enjoy dining at your restaurant. Is part of the unique brand experience you offer the perfect timing of service and courses? The personal attention your servers provide when taking orders or payments? Your loyalty program features? Accentuate what makes your business special now and as it expands to all future locations.