Technology Without the Headaches: the New Way to Build Your Restaurant Tech Stack.
May 24, 2021
Restaurant technology; it should be making things simpler.
But for many operators, digital technology is currently bringing frustration, confusion and complexity to their operations.
Rushed adoption of various systems during the pandemic has resulted in a spaghetti junction of tech: multiple tablets, systems that don’t talk to each other, unclear responsibilities and issues left unresolved for months.
This means lost orders, staff time wasted, and errors that trickle down from ordering channels through to the kitchen and delivery – ultimately hindering the customer experience.
Operators are demanding more from their technology. At Vita Mojo, we’re hearing the same questions again and again:
‘Shouldn’t technology be helping me simplify my operations?’
‘When is hospitality tech going to catch up with other industries?’
‘My kitchen is in chaos. Isn’t there a simpler way?’
The fact is, managing a restaurant is a complex business. Digitisation and technology should serve to simplify things, but for many operators it’s making life more complicated.
Getting to the heart of restaurant complexity.
So what is the root cause of this complexity problem? In conversations with operators we’ve consistently uncovered the same issues: managing orders from so many different channels, and handling the technology needed to make that possible.
Today, most operators are juggling EPOS orders through one supplier and digital orders through another, as well as delivery orders from various third-party aggregators with multiple tablets and systems of their own.
Having to manage all these different systems quickly brings complexity into restaurant operations. Basic tasks become complicated; team members require additional training; and a lack of standardisation increases the risk of human error exponentially.
This complexity also serves to make your restaurant operations less robust, with essential processes often dependent on lightweight, manually-mapped integrations between systems.
Your kitchen systems are the last place you want this kind of instability as managing orders is mission-critical: without it a restaurant can’t function.
Multiple tech systems in your core operations also means shared responsibility for mission-critical systems. This can result in unclear lines of communication, making technical issues more complicated and time-consuming to resolve. We’ve heard stories of restaurant teams being passed between account managers, and facing a lack of accountability for even the simplest bugs and errors.
Does this sound familiar? We’re sure you’ll agree, there must be a better way.
A new way of improving your restaurant operations
So what can operators do? Our suggestion is quite simple – when designing your restaurant’s tech stack, prioritise simplicity in your operations. As far as possible, look to get a single system for managing and fulfilling all orders, and build the rest of your tech ecosystem from there.
Traditionally the POS has been seen as the heart of operations. For QSR and fast casual operators who are now taking the majority of orders through digital channels, this no longer makes as much sense. Instead, why not start with your digital ordering, and put the mission-critical systems in place first?
In order to maximise simplicity, look for a digital provider who can offer more than just the right ordering channels but all the core functionality for your restaurant’s operations. Look for a robust Kitchen Management System (KMS), live sales reporting, cross-channel fulfilment and menu management within the same system – a core operating system for your restaurant.
The power of one – benefits of a unified restaurant operating system
Imagine a world where all your restaurant’s orders can be managed from a single tablet. Where updating your menu, creating discounts or editing store opening times can be done in one place, at the press of a button. Where managing your day-to-day operations doesn’t require communicating with multiple technology providers, and where data reports are comprehensive, accessible and reliable.
To some, this world may sound like a fantasy, but get your restaurant’s core operations in a single system, and it needn’t be.
With a core restaurant operating system all ordering channels can be managed from a single screen, including those from delivery partners. The flow of live order data can rely on fewer, more robust integrations with a single point of contact for tech support.
Some manually-mapped integrations are still necessary but these can be shifted to non-mission-critical systems, such as stock management and accounting. The key difference being – if these integrations fail, your customers will never know.
In Vita Mojo’s Operating System (VMOS), our robust, two-way integrations with delivery aggregators enable menu changes made in our system to be pushed out across all ordering channels, further increasing operational simplicity.
Vita Mojo’s Operating System (VMOS): bringing simplicity to DF TACOS
During the pandemic, fast-casual Mexican group DF TACOS started working with a new digital ordering partner. The Order & Pay platform was good, the user experience was intuitive, but managing the system day-to-day relied heavily on an integration with their POS provider.
Whenever the DF team spotted an error in their digital ordering system, they knew it would be a headache to solve. Even simple requests would get passed from their POS provider to their digital ordering partner and back, with no-one willing to take responsibility – sometimes for months at a time.
If the DF team wanted to update their menu they would have to repeat the same update in two, sometimes three, systems.
Ultimately the flow of data between systems became so unreliable that they couldn’t trust the accuracy of their sales reporting.
So, DF TACOS decided to look for an alternative tech provider.
By adopting Vita Mojo’s Operating System (VMOS) including our POS solution, digital ordering and KMS, DF TACOS simplified their restaurant’s core operations into a single, unified system. They now have a single point of control for managing all orders in real time, as well as handling menu updates, discounts, refunds and reporting.
With our increasingly self-service menu and discounts management systems, the DF team has little need to contact us on a regular basis. But, if issues do arise, or they want to provide feedback or request a new feature, they know exactly who to contact. While they continue to build a wider ecosystem with other tech providers and integrations, DF TACOS can rest assured that the core of their operations is solid, stable and reliable.
Find out how VMOS transformed operations at YO! here.
How a unified operating system can bring simplicity to your restaurant
To summarise, these are the benefits operators can unlock by making a strong and simple operating system the first priority in their restaurant technology:
- Reduce training and onboarding costs for new team members
- Increase standardisation, reducing chances of human error and headaches for your team
- Reduce dependence on integrations and ensure all mission-critical integrations are robust
- Save money with fewer tech partnerships and integration fees
- Reduce time managing partner relationships
- Make it easier to resolve technical issues, with a single core partnership
- Enable cross-channel data reporting within a single system, ensuring compatible data structures and full data preservation
Curious how VMOS could simplify operations in your restaurant? Get in touch today!