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The Restaurateur: Restaurant Management Blog

Tips, tricks and hacks for a more smoothly running restaurant

18 May

By

Tying it all together with Square

May 18, 2015 | By |

What does a good workday look like at your restaurant? Maybe it’s the dining area humming with activity, a well-stocked inventory and a staff that just seems to know what to sell and how to sell it to make and keep your customers happy.

It’s magic when things just all work together, isn’t it?

But you don’t have to rely on magic or even luck to make this kind of perfect day happen…you just need a little well-connected tech to tie everything together.

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That’s why we’re so excited to announce today that two of our newest restaurant management apps – POS Hub and Whisk – are now integrated with Square and its complete register service for quick-serve restaurants! Read our big announcement here for all the details.

This integration is just one more way PeachWorks customers can get really detailed insight into their business operations, keep everything running smoothly and – the ultimate goal – get more time back in their day: time that they could be using to make their businesses more efficient and successful, or to just enjoy their own lives.

Speaking of which…what would you do with a little extra time in your workday? If you’re at the National Restaurant Association Show, stop by Booth 6459 and tell us!

16 May

By

Smarter technology = smarter business decisions

May 16, 2015 | By |

It’s the middle of the lunch rush when you get a notification on your cell phone: Your patrons have already ordered so many antipasto salads that you’re starting to run low on this week’s count of fresh mozzarella. You contact your distributor to plan another delivery.

Mozzarella wrapped in proscuitto stacked high, uncooked

Meanwhile, another notification tells you that you still have a lot of prosciutto, and POS data shows it hasn’t been selling as well this week; you make your fig and prosciutto arugula salad this week’s special and notify your waitstaff to begin recommending it.

Two very common problems, both solved through smart insight…sound impossible? Not when you’ve got the right tech in place.

Today, we’re excited to announce that two of our newest restaurant management technology solutions – Whisk and POS Hub – are integrated with the market-leading Aloha and Micros POS systems. Click here to get the full details.

Through these connections, restaurateurs are able to get real-time data on what’s selling and what’s not – as well as what’s in stock and what’s running low. It’s the kind of insight that helps you make smart decisions for your restaurant and keep things running smoothly and profitably.

Sound good to you too? Contact us today to learn how to make smarter business decisions through smarter technology.

24 Apr

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7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a BOH Restaurant Software System

April 24, 2015 | By |

There is a lot of buzz around about how technology is changing the customer experience in the food service industry. Creative restaurant operators are meeting consumer demands to use their own devices for reservations, ordering, and payment. Lots of cool things are happening in the front-of-house.

What you don’t hear enough about are all the cool things happening in the back-of-house. Restaurant managers, corporate management, floor staff and kitchen staff all use their own devices too. Is anyone putting the latest technology to use in making their jobs easier, faster and more convenient?

Yes, they are. The time-sucking world of paper log books, excel spreadsheets and a bazillion phone calls is giving way to things like restaurant social networks, cooperative scheduling and seamlessly integrated apps for inventory, recipe management, POS analytics and supply chain management that can be accessed from any device, anywhere, anytime.

If your restaurant or restaurant group is ready to upgrade to a back-of-house system that makes the most of today’s next generation technology – what should you look for and what questions should you ask?

PeachWorks restaurant back of house operating system1.) Should you Buy or Build?

There has always been a debate about the merits of buying a software package and hoping it meets all of your needs or building something custom which can quickly become a challenge to maintain and scale. Most vendors try their best to build a one-size-fits-all solution, but in the restaurant industry, this is quite the challenge. There is a new model out there that allows you to do both. Some restaurant software vendors are creating a platform that allows you to buy and build. These vendors purposefully design an open platform and invite you to build onto and alongside what they have already created. Tesla is doing something like this for electric cars by sharing their patents to spur innovation. So too are these forward-looking software vendors. Don’t just ask your prospective vendors if they have an API. Ask them if they encourage and support an active community of custom development.

2.) Is the solution a truly unified system?

This is where the terms ‘seamless’ and ‘user experience’ come in. Ask any prospective vendor if all of your data and applications will have the same look and feel – and if they will all work together seamlessly. Sometimes when there is shift in technology you’ll find a provider exposed with a mix of old and new applications. Maybe they are transitioning or maybe they are the product of one or more mergers. That can have an impact on the interoperability of the different applications, modules or solutions. Ask your vendors if their applications all work the same way, work the same way on all devices, and if your data would be fully, completely and seamlessly integrated across all applications. Better yet, make sure you see a full demo of the actual software, not just PowerPoint slides.

3.) Is the system designed for web and mobile delivery?

Most vendors these days have a native mobile app. Unfortunately many mobile apps only provides a subset of the available features and new features can take a while to make it into the native mobile version. This is just the reality of the development cycle, so it is equally important that an application’s web version is built using responsive design. With responsive design the application automatically adjusts the user interface based on the screen size of the device you are using. Modern applications should function in a uniform manner across all the devices we all use daily. Ask your vendors to demonstrate how their applications display seamlessly on laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

4.) Just how flexible and future-proof is the system?

The problems you have today are not the problems you’ll face tomorrow and no doubt a vendor exists to solve a single pressing problem, but our needs grow over time. For example, today you may want an application to make your employee scheduling easier. Six months from now, you’ll want to connect it to your POS system, six months after that you’ll want it to connect to your reporting system, and so on and so on. Don’t just put out today’s fire. Take a broader view and look for connected solutions. Also, as business goals and objectives change, your software tools must have the inherent flexibility to change. If you change your process, can the vendor’s applications accommodate that change? Are you on a flexible platform that can grow with you – and adapt to the next marketing tool (Groupon, Instagram), the next mobile device (Apple Watch), and the next big consumer trend (…?)?

5.) Do you provide real-time analytics and business intelligence?

Operations, Finance, Marketing, and Franchise development teams have different data reporting needs, as do the individual locations/units. Does your vendor have an easy-to-use report builder? Can you add reports? Is it intuitive and easy to use? Can reports and data be exported, added to a dashboard, delivered to you every morning by email, and shared with internal colleagues and external partners? Often the tools for data analysis are only available to the executives in a company, but what if you could empower all the managers in your business and give them the ability to dive into their data? They might surprise you with new insights. Does the solution you are considering allow you that level of flexibility?

6.) Is it easy to learn, easy to use, easy to customize?

Is the software easy to use and easy to learn or are there long training classes and certifications? Consumers don’t need a manual on how to use Facebook, why should enterprise software be any different. Most busy restaurants don’t have time for that. And with the typical turnover at a restaurant, the less training needed, the better. What about customization? Can your corporate IT person or outside resource easily use an API or create custom applications using standard HTML and JavaScript or is deeper development knowledge needed? Was the platform built to manage all the complexity in order to make it easier for you? Are there videos and online tools to help you get you started?

7.) Is it easy to Leave?

Nothing is forever. There may come a day when you need to move to a different system. Maybe you’ve grown or have been purchased by a larger group. Ask your prospective vendors if your data – is your data. Will they help you transition? How will you get the data? Even before you leave, will you be able to access all of your data at any time or will they hold your data hostage?

Last but not least…

Ask for references. And call them. Ask them these questions too. There is nothing more enlightening than talking to someone who has walked in your shoes and realized the benefits of an upgrade to next generation technology – or learned from a bad choice.

In short, a good solution should:

  • Have a consistent look and feel throughout
  • Work the way you do • Be easy to learn and use
  • Be accessible everywhere and on any device
  • Be customizable
  • Connect everyone
  • Connect systems of all sorts – suppliers, payroll, accounting, etc.
  • Work hard so you don’t have to!

Download our handy Restaurant Operating System buyers guide by clicking here.

 

09 Apr

By

The 11 Pains of Restaurant Operation

April 9, 2015 | By |

How many ways do you hurt? I’m not talking about your back or that cut on your finger. I’m not even talking about how much your head hurts after you talked to that one employee. I’m talking about the pains of restaurant management. How many different pains can you name?

We’ve come up with our list of the top 11 pains of restaurant management. Do you have any to add?

1.) Chaos

Nothing drains more out of you or costs you as much money as chaos. It results in higher food cost, low morale and ultimately customers who are scared to return. Acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving it. What’s the cause and what steps are required to fix it?

>>Download: Chaos Costs You Money Flyer

2.) Not enough customers

It’s self-evident, that to be successful, you need customers. What can you do to get more people in the door? Marketing works but it takes time, and how do you know what things work and how to prioritize them?

>>Download: More Customers Flyer

3.) Bills are too high

Most restaurants begin with a plan that balances expenses, revenue and profit. The pain comes when things start to change and the balance gets disrupted. Rents go up, beef prices go crazy, and a flood in California turns lettuce into gold. It’s tough to maintain balance.

How to retain your star employees4.) High employee turnover

It’s simply a fact at many restaurants: the staff you have this month may not be the staff you have next month.

>>Download: 5 Things You Can Do Now to Improve Your Labor Situation

5.) Competition

Success breeds competition. If you’re successful, other savvy restaurateurs are going to try to ride your coattails. To stay on top though, you’ve got to be forever pushing to be better.

>>Download: Love Your Customers and Beat Your Competition

6.) Theft

It might be something like taking a longer break or something bigger like walking out the door with a case of meat, but to some degree, theft happens in most restaurants. You’ve got to have safeguards in place or your profit is getting away from you.

7.) Bad data

Of course we see customers coming to us all the time with this pain. It’s hard to manage your restaurant if you don’t know your food cost, labor cost and profit. It’s not something you should just guess at.

8.) Can’t find good people

There’s an adage that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. I think every manager has wondered at one point, where those 20% of workers are! Seriously though, wouldn’t it be great if you could only hire high-performers?

9.) Working too much

I’ve seen studies that show the average restaurant manager works 65 hours a week. That takes a giant bite out of your family time and makes recharging a challenge.

10.) Bad online reviews

You do all this work and make great food. You’ve got a beautiful place and hire good people and then some yahoo writes a bad review. It’s a fact of doing business in the 21st century. You need a plan for addressing the negative reviews and flooding the channel with positive ones.

11.) Lack of profit

How’s your bottom line? Are you doing everything right but still think you should be making more money? Lots of restaurateurs are in that boat!

The 11 pains of restaurant operation>>They say the first step in solving a problem is to identify it. Maybe this article did that for you. The thing to remember is that all of these are solvable — in fact, the links above will take you to some tips to do just that. Over the coming weeks, look for more articles here and more tips to help eliminate some of these pains.

>>We’ve created a fun little poster about the 11 Pains. Click here to download it!

 

25 Mar

By

From WhenToManage to PeachWorks

March 25, 2015 | By |

An open letter to customers, partners, and friends 

You may have heard that we recently changed our name from WhenToManage to PeachWorks. Names matter, so this change was not undertaken lightly. We were inspired. Inspired by all the innovations we see happening in the restaurant landscape – and all the innovations that are still to come. Innovations that are being shaped by next-gen technology.

Why did we change our name?  (A name change and a game change!)

Our goal over the past decade has always been to bring you the very best in restaurant software. We are incredibly excited about what we see as the next technology revolution in our new restaurant operating system, Peach. With new and more powerful cloud-based applications that work the way you do, Peach is changing the landscape of restaurant and food service management. Applications that become so seamless, so helpful, and so second nature that restaurant managers will wonder what to do with all the extra time they save – and why it wasn’t always this easy!

We chose this time to change our name – to better reflect this vision and our growth as a company. Creating a true restaurant operating system is the just the beginning of what’s next.

A few introductions …

markvideoOur new name also coincides with a few important organizational changes and new investments.  We welcome Mark Symonds to the team as our new CEO. Mark comes to us with some serious credentials in the software-as-a-service / cloud software arena. As chief product officer, Jeff Schacher, our founder, will focus his considerable expertise on expanding the Peach platform of tools and applications. New investments from Allos Ventures, Huron River Ventures, Arsenal Venture Partners, and Invest Detroit are supporting the scale up of sales, marketing, and product development activities. You can read more details here!

What will never change!

For our customer, partners and friends, our commitment to your success remains our single most important objective.  We thank you for trusting us with your business, and for your continued collaboration and support.

We look forward to showing you what’s new in cloud solutions for recipe and inventory management, POS analytics, and staff scheduling solutions for your restaurant, hospitality, specialty retail and food service operations.

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The fun of ‘name changing’… a quiz.

Just for fun, check out our quiz. Can you match these well known food-industry brands to their original names? You can download the Quiz by clicking here.

 

 

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