Key Questions to Ask Before Rolling Out New Restaurant Technology

Just about three out of four restaurant owners plan on using new business technology in the upcoming year. Taking a similar approach can ultimately improve your restaurant’s bottom line.

According to a recent report, 80 percent of diners agree restaurant technology enhances their guest experience. But before implementing the industry’s hottest innovations – such as tableside tablets or digital loyalty programs – it’s important to address a few key questions.

Have you consulted your restaurant staff?

When deciding which piece(s) of technology will benefit your restaurant the most, it’s a good idea to hear from a wide range of people, including your restaurant’s front- and back-of-house staff. Consider scheduling individual meetings that give you a chance to gauge what employees think about any upcoming changes.

You can also hold an all staff meeting or create an online survey that enables front- and back-of-house staff to share feedback. Regardless of which method works best for you, make sure your employees’ voices are heard early and often.

Will technology fit in your restaurant’s budget?

There’s a good chance restaurant technology – such as tableside tablets or online ordering – will end up paying for itself over time, especially when you consider all the new business it’s bound to bring to your restaurant. Still though, you’ll want to plan for any upfront costs associated with the technology implementation and rollout.

Spend some time going over your restaurant’s budget to see just how much you can afford to invest in restaurant technology. If it won’t fit in this year’s budget, create a savings strategy that will make restaurant technology a reality the following year.

When do you plan on rolling out the new technology?

After you’ve chosen a type of restaurant technology and figured out how to finance it, develop a timeline for implementation. From hosting training sessions for your front- and back-of-house staff to customizing the technology for your restaurant, there’s a lot to take care of before new technology is ready to go. Give yourself plenty of time to work out any kinks prior to rolling out your restaurant’s new technology.

How will you solicit feedback?

One of the best ways to improve the effectiveness of restaurant technology is by gathering feedback from diners and staff members. Not only does such feedback give you the opportunity to clean up any lingering issues, it also sheds light on the reasons behind the technology’s success.

Consider dishing out comment cards with each bill or receipt so that diners can offer their thoughts on any new restaurant technology. Also consider rewarding diners with a discount on their next meal in exchange for the completion of an online survey.

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