A Quick Win And A Leg Up For Competitive Restaurants
Posted by Jim Kanir
on Thursday, October 27th, 2016
I saw what seemed to be a provocative headline in Business Insider: "3 Reasons Why Chain Restaurants are Struggling". It was an article by Kate Taylor who said America is losing its appetite for chain restaurants and cited data from a Restaurant Performance Index from the National Restaurant Association. Kate offered three causes for a decline:
Uncertainty about the current presidential election
There are too many restaurants
Grocery prices are too low.
The election will be over soon, so that left me with her other two factors to consider.
My first instinct when I hear there are "too many restaurants" is to think about competition. The level of stores and patrons will eventually come to equilibrium, but those that survive and thrive will be those that work smarter. And the idea of "grocery prices are too low' means you're competing again; this time with the consumer option of eating at home instead of dining out.
It might not be surprising that I immediately thought of how PeachWorks could be a powerful ally in restaurant competition, but even I didn't fully understand the extent of impact that automating back-office operations provides until I thought about it a bit.
Let me start with something I'm sure most restaurateurs think of when they hear "automation" - cost control. It's self-evident that taking the guesswork out of managing inventory, food waste, and staff scheduling results in invaluable cost savings, especially when compared with a 20-year old staffer and a spreadsheet. More money to the bottom line is a good thing regardless of economic conditions. But in super-competitive environments where only the strong survive, cost efficiency can take on a whole different role.
The economic argument was a no-brainer. But the big difference-makers in competition might just be food quality and dining experience consistency. Let's dig a bit deeper. We all have our favorite restaurants, whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Yes, we might try somewhere new occasionally as an experiment or change of pace, but we know what we like and we know what to expect. Loyal, repeat customers might be a restaurant's best friend. It's so much better to keep good customers than to have to replace them. The last thing we want is to disappoint them and risk losing them to a competitor. No restaurant manager wants to hear, "For some reason, my chicken wasn't as good as the last time", or "Are you doing something different with your fries?"
A restaurant's best attributes for attracting and keeping customers are efficiency and consistency. And not coincidentally, we've used those two traits as descriptors of the benefits of PeachWorks for some time. Our suite of cloud apps strengthens almost every facet of back-office operations. Stay competitive. Automate with PeachWorks!