By: Ashish Dev Kapur*
Ashish Kapur is the Founder of award winning restaurants like The Wine Company, Dimsumbros. & Yo! China. He has been awarded various accolades for his finest like: Business Week – “Asia’s Best Young Entrepreneurs”, ‘Best F&B Retailer- Images Golden Spoon Award’; ‘Federation of Hotels & Restaurant Association of India – Young Restaurant Entrepreneur of the Year’ ‘India Today – Young Achiever’, ‘CNBC – Young Turks’, etc.
Technology is definitely changing the face of the restaurant industry. It is being used effectively to deliver better customer service. The major areas in which it’s being used are reservations, inventory management, digital menus, online ordering and accounting. We already see the Customers signing credit card bills with their fingers on touchscreens and using apps to order at fast-food restaurants.
Innovation in food service technology offers differentiation and cost leadership in strategic terms. We can see faster and better preparation methods, improved temperature control and heating, energy and labour savings, less waste, better sanitation, faster service and flexibility. All these set the examples of Innovation in Food Service Technology. We also see the fast-food restaurants and ‘grab-and-go’ establishments to benefit from reduced staffing with these machines.
There are two solutions that we have recently implemented to improve our daily operations:
Table reservation system: in most restaurants, reservations are still being managed either manually or by old, irrelevant systems. This often results in a poor customer experience. We recently moved to a cloud based solution that has helped us map the restaurant seating plan on a tablet and allow the hostesses to easily assign tables. It provides real-time status of each table from assignment to order placement to billing and helps the team to accordingly handle the customer queue. The solution also helps us with metrics, data, and analytics about our guests. Quick access to accurate historical guest data has made it easier to tailor service to known preferences.
Rhizome: Another solution that has helped us is rhizome. It is helpful in recipes management, sales based menu engineering, stock movement analysis, optimum stock ratio management, and cost of materials analysis among others. We use their reports to formulate the right strategy towards business profitability.
At present, the innovation in technology favours the equipment design and layout, packaging and service techniques. Overall we have seen that technology improves productivity, profits and provides a competitive edge.