Virtually no restaurant operator goes through inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages unscathed. At no time in history has the restaurant industry experienced the perfect storm of factors currently happening. Now, the good news is that customers continue to demand fine dining, quick service meals, and everything in between. With that positive news, the question becomes what changes to make to remain profitable and whether the storm. To that end, ITech Digital shares some of the ways operators do just that.
The most obvious way to combat inflation and other costs is to lower your own costs. One way to do this is to purchase prepared food items. For example, many operators now buy chopped produce, frozen items, and prepared foods to reduce or eliminate the restaurant labor required. Another example is to review areas where you might be losing more money than you should, then implement solutions to reduce chargebacks and other losses. Still another example is to leverage your video surveillance system to do more than capture robberies and slips and falls. For example, connect it to your POS to quickly review scams and incident reporting. Or utilize it to perform business analytics and remote audits on operational processes, marketing efforts, and more without sending people to multiple stores to do them in person.
Increase Prices, Change Portion Sizes
Another way restaurant owners address rising costs is to pass those on to the consumer. This can be done through direct price increases, reducing portion sizes, or combining the two. When QSRs, casual dining, and fine dining all experience price increases from 7-11%, one of these reactions seems inevitable. In fact, many operators say they've already raised prices and will do so again in the upcoming year.
Another way restaurants address inflation and labor shortages is by automating processes and functions that were once done manually. For example, many restaurants have replaced hostesses with self-seating options or kiosks that allow people to order themselves.
Ghost kitchens and drive-thrus both present exciting automation opportunities that reduce costs and significantly increase profitability. There's so much to say about these that we're dedicating an entire blog to them in our next post (so sign up for our mailing list below and stay up-to-date).
Invest in E-Commerce
Leveraging e-commerce and online ordering is also a way for restaurant operators to address inflation and labor shortages. Delivery, takeout, and contactless ordering are all ways that restaurants can reduce their reliance on front-of-house staff while still getting food to customers quickly and efficiently.
While technology often requires an upfront investment, automating and investing in e-commerce can not only help restaurant operators weather the storm of inflation and labor shortages but also position them to increase profitability and efficiency in the future.
We'd Love To Hear From You
These are just some of the ways restaurant operators combat inflation and labor shortages. How are these issues impacting your restaurant, and what are you doing about them?
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