- More than 4 in 10 operators are planning to ramp up investments in equipment or technology as restaurants re-evaluate their tech stacks post-pandemic
- Online ordering and delivery are here to stay, prompting restaurants to reevaluate how it works for their guests and their bottom line
- Labor conversation pivots to focus on the employee experience and intersection of team and tech
- Consumers are still hungry for hospitality, but their expectations have evolved in favor of experiences, variety in offerings, pricing, and technology
SAN FRANCISCO — February 28, 2023 — SpotOn, the top-rated software and payments partner for restaurants, is providing restaurants with actionable next steps based on the National Restaurant Association’s annual State of the Restaurant Industry Report. As the Report’s presenting sponsor, SpotOn has outlined opportunities for restaurant operators to cut costs, carve out new revenue streams, and increase guest loyalty.
“At SpotOn, we make it our business to deeply understand the challenges facing restaurants and small businesses," said Kevin Bryla, Chief Marketing Officer of SpotOn. “We’ve partnered with the National Restaurant Association to provide this essential annual report, so we can help the industry move from insight into action. We’re committed to helping owners and operators understand and adapt to the current climate and position their business for success.”
Boost profits and cut costs
Despite rising inflation, the State of the Restaurant Industry report shows that consumers still view restaurants as essential to their lives. However, cost pressures on both the industry and the consumer mean that restaurant operators must find ways to boost revenue while keeping prices manageable for guests and trimming the fat where they can.
Tools that drive revenue will be crucial to restaurant profitability in a year where 90% of operators say inflation poses a big challenge for their restaurants. There are opportunities to boost profit margin incrementally, point-by-point, in nearly every aspect of operations; pricing strategies and customer engagement tools are a great start.
- Explore different pricing strategies to appeal to a broader audience, including the 79% of adults who have a more favorable reaction to variable pricing.
- Add new revenue streams with experiences that go beyond everyday dining to draw customers in at slower times or offer exclusive experiences at a premium.
- Invest in a digital rewards program to build repeat business with the majority of consumers who say they'd be inclined to participate in loyalty and rewards programs in restaurants they frequent.
Most operators are looking to menu prices and offerings to cut costs resulting in smaller menus. Restaurants should keep a close eye on daily sales and product mix reports and regularly audit their menus to reduce waste and keep food costs in check. Inventory management integrations for SpotOn’s point-of-sale, like MarginEdge and Craftable, can help operators offset sustained inflationary pressures by providing access to real-time data and the ability to manage costs, eliminate waste, zero in on COGS, and keep up with fluctuating prices.
Similarly, with 89% of operators citing labor costs as a concern, a comprehensive labor management tool like SpotOn Teamwork can help optimize schedules.
Create a better employee experience
As labor challenges persist, operators recognize that the old ways of managing staff won’t work with this new workforce. By improving how they manage teams, operators can maximize their workforce, optimize operational efficiency, decrease labor costs, and improve employee retention. SpotOn Teamwork gives restaurants the tools to create data-driven scheduling to avoid overtime, stay compliant with labor regulations, and make the most of the team they have. It also empowers employees with transparency and the ability to manage their schedules, trade shifts, submit availability, and request PTO straight from their phones.
Technology that drives efficiency can also make work more enjoyable for employees and save on labor for operators. According to the State of the Restaurant Industry report, 62% percent of restaurant operators report that they don't have enough employees to support customer demands. SpotOn predicts operators who incorporate labor-saving technology like handheld point-of-sale devices, QR dine-in ordering, and KDS to serve more customers with fewer resources while maintaining order accuracy, quality, and speed.
Double down on online ordering & delivery
Once considered a pandemic trend, it’s now clear that takeout and delivery are here to stay. The Association found that more than half of consumers say takeout and delivery are essential to their lives and that a majority of limited-service, as well as casual, family, and fine dining operators, plan to continue offering delivery for the foreseeable future.
For restaurants that stacked up costly third-party ordering apps during the pandemic, 2023 is the year to streamline and cut costly commissions by pivoting to direct online ordering. Not only will operators cater to the 55% of delivery customers the State of the Restaurant Industry report found would prefer to order direct, but they’ll make the whole process easier for their team with features like consolidated menus across online platforms and order pacing to control volume.
Appeal to guests with tech-enhanced experiences
Restaurant "experiences" that go beyond the menu, including wine tasting and chef’s tasting menus, are a growing trend, especially among Millennial and Gen Z consumers. The State of the Restaurant Industry report shows that 67% of consumers say they would rather spend money on an experience, such as a restaurant or other activity, than purchase an item from a store. Meanwhile, it also found that 69% of adults say they like having the option to sit outside on a patio, deck, or sidewalk.
With SpotOn Reserve, restaurants can allow guests to choose specific sections or seating. And with the new SpotOn Reserve Experiences feature, operators can more easily diversify revenue streams with unique events and experiences—all within a singular platform that manages reservations, waitlists, and experiences. Restaurants currently using SpotOn Reserve have seen a 75% reduction in no-shows, which cost restaurants time and money.
Find technology that works the way you work
According to the Association, operators are more likely to describe their restaurant's technology as "lagging" rather than "leading." However, it also found that more than 4 in 10 operators plan to ramp up investments in equipment or technology to increase productivity in both the front and back of the house. That's welcome news for consumers who expect technology to enhance their dining experience.
As operators look for solutions, finding a true technology partner is essential. From a lightning-fast, cloud-based point-of-sale to labor management tools, SpotOn's robust hardware and software solutions are built for restaurateurs by restaurateurs with input from industry leaders like Michael Mina and Matthew Kenney. Complemented by 24/7/365 support from Restaurant Success Managers that know restaurants, SpotOn technology is built to drive restaurant efficiency, boost profit, and improve the employee experience.
All data cited above comes from The National Restaurant Association’s 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report.
SpotOn is one of the fastest-growing software and payment companies with comprehensive, cloud-based technology for businesses of all types and sizes. Known for its rapid innovation and personalized support, SpotOn offers an end-to-end software and payment platform to streamline operations, improve the customer experience, and increase profit. From seamless and efficient point-of-sale systems to integrated management solutions built for the fast-growing enterprise, SpotOn builds technology that "works the way you work" and backs it up with a 24/7 team of experts who make sure it always does—with fairness, flexibility, and a personal touch. SpotOn has 2,000 employees, including one of the strongest product and technology teams in the combined software & payments industry. For more information, visit www.spoton.com.
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