Bars, restaurants and other food and beverage hospitality merchants are facing a labor shortage crisis. As these businesses bounce back from the COVID-19 induced economic downturn, staffing shortages are driving businesses to find new solutions to keep pace. Many are turning to simple yet cutting-edge technologies that are helping them bolster the efficiency of their operations and reduce the need to hire additional front of house staff.
Here are 3 strategies you can use to reduce pressure on your wait-staff, streamline your front of house operations and achieve optimal profitability.
1. Implement Mobile Staff Ordering and Payments
Trips to the POS station to input orders, print checks and process payments are time consuming and limit the number of concurrent guests wait staff can support. Giving your staff the ability to take orders, retrieve checks and process payments on a mobile device, eliminates most trips to a POS workstation. By implementing mobile staff ordering and payments, you can quickly make your wait staff more productive, allowing them to handle a significantly larger number of concurrent guests than before. This technology also gives staff the ability to digitally engage guests through the option of text messaging them a link to their check or digital receipt.
2. Empower Customers with a Digital Order and Payment Platform
In today’s digital world, nearly every customer has a smart phone, and many customers are accustomed to using their phone to make purchases. Adding QR code ordering technology gives your customers the ability to order and pay on-demand, without the need for wait staff assistance. With QR ordering technology, a customer can scan a QR code at the table or even in the parking lot, order and pay, without having to stand in line or wait for a server.
Every customer has a kiosk in their pocket (their smart phone), QR ordering technology allows them to use it to place orders with you. Implementing QR ordering provides another way to do business with your guests while reducing reliance on wait staff. For fine dining venues where QR ordering may be less appropriate, implementing mobile checkout technology is a great way to boost staff productivity by allowing guests to retrieve their check on their mobile device, add gratuity and pay.
3. Use Discount Codes to Incentivize Guests to Place Orders Digitally
A food and beverage establishment’s margins are directly impacted by their labor cost. When guests use digital platforms to place orders directly with you, the margins on those orders are considerably higher because there is less labor involved to service them. By advertising a discount code that can only be used with your direct digital ordering platform, you encourage guests to do business with you in the most efficient manner. Giving back just some of the increased margin you realize when guests place orders digitally, ultimately results in a huge boost to your operational efficiency and helps you to achieve optimal profitability.
BONUS: Leverage Digital Receipts to Boost Repeat Business
The holy grail for nearly all food and beverage establishments is generating repeat business. For this reason, venues go to great lengths to advertise specials, put together events and promote their business to their existing customers in a variety of ways. By implementing one or more of the three strategies listed above, you’ll gain the ability to advertise specials, promote events and encourage repeat business by leveraging the digital marketing possibilities that are inherently tied to digital receipts. With digital receipts, when your customer leaves your establishment, you’ll know that they have a digital link back to your business waiting for them on their smartphone.
Making your staff more efficient while giving your customers the option to order and pay through their own mobile device, makes you less reliant on wait staff to operate your front of house. With less reliance on wait-staff, you can be more selective on who you employ, ensuring they are top performers. These members of your team will benefit from the ability to handle more concurrent guests, which will increase their earnings from gratuities. Meanwhile, your business will be empowered to digitally connect with your guests in highly effective and profitable ways.
PayLink® provides businesses with a powerful mobile commerce platform that helps food and beverage establishments and other businesses increase sales, decrease expenses and improve customer experiences.
Our highly qualified team is eager to help you implement the strategies outlined above.