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By Katie McCann
Does the restaurant holiday rush have you feeling swamped? If it does, it may be time to invest in key restaurant tech that can help to lighten the load and streamline your operations.
The busy holiday season is a welcome time of the year: With more guests, comes more revenue and profits. But, the restaurant holiday rush isn’t without its problems.
You have to contend with a multitude of challenges. You have to make sure you have enough staff on shift to cope with an influx of guests. You also need to make sure every one of these guests is still getting VIP treatment, despite the craziness. Not to mention, managing all the takeout and delivery orders coming in.
And that’s only the half of it.
We don’t need to tell you it’s challenging to maintain your sanity during these periods – you already know that. What we can tell you is how to better cope in these times. The solution?
Investing in the right restaurant tech.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to handle restaurant holidays, including:
The right restaurant tech will assist in handling all the challenging scenarios associated with the holiday rush, as well as popular restaurant holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
It will also help you save time on all those general restaurant tasks you have to do regardless of the season, like analyzing reports and managing operations. The time-savings lighten your load and make running a restaurant during busy times just a little more manageable.
Read on to learn about six key restaurant technologies you can use to overcome the challenges of the restaurant holiday rush and ensure your operation runs like clockwork.
A POS system is your restaurant’s central transactional hub. Unlike traditional cash registers that simply record transactions and rely on staff taking orders via pen and paper, a modern POS like TouchBistro can do so much more, including:
A modern POS is particularly useful during peak periods like the holidays because it:
But, perhaps, the real strength of a modern POS sits in the data it provides you to handle the peak periods. You can have many different types of POS reports, including labor reports that can help you make better scheduling decisions and save money.
These labor reports will help you:
Switching your POS system doesn’t have to be a headache. Get the complete how-to.
During a busy service, taking orders is only half the battle. The other half is processing payments.
And that’s where an integrated payments solution comes in.
Integrated payments refers to credit card processing that’s tied directly to your POS system, so data can flow seamlessly from one platform to the other. For instance, TouchBistro Payments Powered by Chase is a three-in-one hardware, software, and support solution that connects payments directly with your TouchBistro POS.
By bringing these two systems together, it makes payment processing faster, easier, and a more seamless experience for everyone involved. Plus, you enjoy surprise-free pricing and expert support.
An integrated payments solution like TouchBistro Payments can help your restaurant year-round, but it’s especially helpful during the holiday rush because it:
Find out which fees are negotiable and how to get the best price.
Restaurant reservation software is a tool you use to digitally manage table bookings. With a system like TouchBistro Reservations, you can accept new bookings, store guest data, send automated text reminders to guests, and use reports and data to make informed decisions.
Tracking bookings, controlling your waitlist, and even managing diner preferences – these are just a few of the many tasks you need to handle with restaurant reservations.
It seems straightforward enough, right?
Well, if you’ve ever tried to manage reservations when you’re busy, you know how tricky it can be – especially if you rely on handwritten notes and spreadsheets. It becomes easy to mix up bookings, forget to remind guests about reservations, and even write down information wrong.
Software like TouchBistro Reservations helps you organize the chaos, ensure everyone gets a seat, and boost profits. Here’s how:
Learn how a restaurant reservations system can help your business thrive.
In addition to managing the major influx of diners during the holidays, you also need to prepare for an increase in takeout and delivery orders. According to a study conducted by Technomic, a whopping 47% of people said they planned to order their entire holiday meal from a restaurant, which means you need to have a plan in place for higher takeout volume.
One of the best ways to manage your takeout and delivery channels during the holidays is to implement a direct online ordering system. An in-house online ordering solution like TouchBistro Online Ordering allows customers to place orders for takeout directly from your restaurant’s website. Those orders then flow directly into your TouchBistro POS in real-time so you can keep track of everything coming in – something that’s significantly more difficult if you’re still taking call-in orders by phone.
Implementing an online ordering system ahead of the restaurant holiday rush has many benefits because it helps:
As mentioned above, the holidays are the perfect time to delight new customers and turn them into loyalty regulars. And the best way to do this is with a restaurant loyalty program.
A loyalty program like TouchBistro Loyalty is a system that helps you build customer loyalty by incentivizing your guests to dine with you repeatedly. Typically this is achieved by offering your loyalty program members exclusive promotions, discounts, or other special perks for visiting your restaurant.
During busy periods like Thanksgiving and Christmas, a loyalty program can help your restaurant:
Though the holiday rush is great for business, you want to keep diners coming in year-round, which is where gift cards – and some savvy restaurant holiday gift card promotions – come in.
In a restaurant, a gift card is a prepaid, stored-value card that can be used as an alternative to cash for future purchases. These gift cards can come in the form of physical cards that diners can carry in their wallets, or digital gift cards that are virtual and can be stored in a customer’s email or accessed via their phone. If you opt for a solution like TouchBistro Gift Cards, you can choose physical or digital gift cards for your restaurant.
Offering gift cards is a smart move during the holiday rush because this technology allows you to:
Running a restaurant during the busy season can be a nightmare as new challenges arise.
But it doesn’t have to be. You just need to implement the right technology and the restaurant holiday rush will be just as manageable as any other time of year. Even better, your restaurant will be equipped with everything needed for success in the year ahead.
Katie is a former Content Marketing Specialist at TouchBistro where she writes about food and restaurant experiences. She doesn’t shy away from the finer things in life, but no matter how much success she continues to acquire, she stays true to her roots and still considers imitation crab as gourmet. If she isn’t writing, you can find her on a patio with friends and a pitcher of white wine sangria.
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