Cloud Benefits: Why SaaS Should be on Every Restaurant’s Menu
Companies across every vertical and industry are undergoing a digital transformation. For many companies looking to experience cloud benefits, this means moving away from on-premise solutions.
A recent survey states that 79% of companies now run workloads in the cloud, and that number will only continue to increase. How do you know if a cloud-based solution is right for you?
For those in the restaurant industry, embracing a robust, cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution has specific, tangible benefits. Here are five cloud benefits that can drive results for your restaurant.
#1: Manage Your Costs
While there are many reasons to embrace a cloud-based solution, cost tops the list. Simply put, these solutions provide a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than an on-premise solution.
On-premise solutions aren’t a “one and done” investment after the initial purchase. Managing maintenance over time becomes costly and in some cases increasingly difficult when support is discontinued and or products are retired. Also, with an on-premise solution you need to pay for a professional to make server updates and maintain the system.
Conversely, cloud-based or Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions provide support and software updates virtually, at no additional cost. It’s worth noting that you’ll have the power to choose when to make updates on your schedule. If a new update is available and it’s not the right time, you can simply continue to use the current version.
#2: Manage Your Inventory
Whether you’re running a corner coffee shop or a chain of pizza places, inventory keeps your doors open.
Cloud-based solutions help you manage inventory levels in real time, right down to the ingredient, prep, and recipe levels. You’ll know what you need to restock well before you run out of an ingredient.
By maintaining an accurate view of your inventory you’ll never wonder if you need to order mozzarella soon. You’ll know that you have enough for 30 large pizzas, and when you’ll need to order more cheese quickly. As the cloud provides data in real-time, you can get ahead of inventory emergencies. You can set up alerts indicating when items are running low, and generate and send vendors inventory orders in an instant.
Similarly, you can use inventory excess notifications to identify when you have too much of an item set to expire. According to one report, the restaurant industry’s waste amounts to around $25 billion every year. Working to prevent food waste can cut a restaurant’s costs by 2 to 6%.
With this intelligence on your inventory, you’ll be able to make decisions regarding specials or promotions. Have twice the amount of mozzarella you need before it expires? Make double-cheese pizza a feature item until the inventory is properly balanced. With the right cloud-based solution you’ll be able to track that information and make timely decisions.
Keep in mind that another major benefit of cloud-based systems is the data collected over time. You can use your cloud-based solution to track month-over-month and year-over-year sales numbers to help streamline your inventory and ordering process. Then, these figures can also help you predict what you’ll need, avoiding shortages and wastage.
#3: Manage Your Employees
In the food service industry, the right balance of on-site employees is critical to customer satisfaction and efficient operations. But sometimes this is easier said than done, especially given that many restaurant operators are dealing with a shallow labor pool.
The National Restaurant Association recently acknowledged that competition for employees in the restaurant industry remains intense. Simply put, restaurants face staffing challenges. Given the tight market, it’s critical that employees are forecasted for properly, and scheduled appropriately.
A cloud-based solution provides a holistic view that enables you to manage employee schedules, hours worked and payroll. Plus, to keep employees looped in, you can email updated schedules directly to employees.
As with managing your inventory, a cloud-based solution helps you optimize scheduling and reduce overspending. It can help you track productivity and employee costs against sales revenue.
#4: Manage Your Insights
With a cloud-based solution there’s no more waiting until the doors are locked to figure out how the day went. Gone are the days of printing out a lengthy report and poring over your numbers.
With a cloud-based POS, you can access insights from any device to receive real-time data. This includes data on sales, employee performance, customer feedback, or inventory levels from wherever you might be. You’ll have the insights needed to dig into the details of hourly sales or which menu items were most profitable.
Whether you’re on or offsite, the cloud enables you to make smart, data-driven decisions. Plus, you have the information you need, when you need it.
#5: Manage Your Customer Relationships
In a recent Deloitte survey, 2,000 restaurant guests were asked what restaurants can do to win them over. Of those surveyed, 37% want a restaurant to remember them, their preferences and their needs. The same report recommends restaurants gather data on guests, turn the data into insights, and put those insights into action.
Utilizing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) within your cloud-based solution will help you build relationships, and loyal customers. As an example, you can deepen customer relationships by capturing emails during a transaction to include them in your marketing campaigns. Then you can send discount offers or promotions about upcoming specials to keep customers coming back.
One of the unexpected cloud benefits, is how these solutions can give you the insights needed to better understand your customers. With your CRM, you can create profiles and add details on each customer such as birthdays, food allergies or intolerances, photos and even loyalty program information. By using your CRM to remember a customer’s gluten allergy or favorite smoothie flavor moves your relationship from being transactional to one of trust.
SaaS Puts Cloud Benefits at Your Fingertips
If your business needs a digital transformation, it’s time to forego the spreadsheets and look to the cloud. With so many cloud benefits, make the move to help improve visibility into the business across multiple mission-critical areas from inventory to employees.
Looking for a new POS platform that offers the latest technology, is easy to learn, and provides a multitude of features to help you better manage your business? Visit our homepage to learn more about how Revel Systems can help.