3 Streamlining Processes to Cure Your Restaurant Back Office Headaches

By: Myranda Mondry

4 Minute Read

Mar 14, 2018

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When you opened your restaurant, you probably saw yourself greeting guests, whipping up delicious eats, and rallying your troops for the inevitable dinner rush. 

You probably didn’t imagine all the back office work you’d have to do.

Schedules have to be built. Timesheets have to be collected for payroll. Inventory has to be checked. These pesky processes are essential to your business, but man, they take up a lot of your precious time.

Unfortunately, when it comes to running a successful restaurant, you can’t have a packed dining room without a busy back office. Achieving success is all about striking a balance between your passion and the processes that keep it running smoothly. And technology is here to help.

So here are three ways you can use technology — like automated scheduling software, employee time tracking software, and inventory management software — to streamline and simplify your back-office processes and get back to doing what you do best: running your restaurant.

Learn how restaurant owners are using technology in the Restaurant Technology Report.

1. Online Scheduling Software

How does it help? Faster scheduling, eliminate no-shows, open up lines of communication with staff.

A recent survey of 500 US business owners and 1,000 US shift workers explores the challenges faced by employees and their employers. According to the results, employers are spending more time building the weekly schedule than they’d like to admit. 

Eight percent say they spend at least half a workday building the weekly staff schedule; others say they’ve spent as many as 12 hours on the task.

This is upsetting, but shouldn't be surprising – building the weekly shift schedule is nothing short of a balancing act. Employers have to keep each employee’s availability in mind while also preparing for unexpected rushes or absences. 

That’s a lot of mental juggling to do, but the truth is many business owners make scheduling harder than it has to be. 

  • Over half of employers surveyed say they use pen and paper to build the weekly schedule. 
  • Another 10 percent build their shifts using a spreadsheet. 
  • 9 percent either write the schedule out on an erasable whiteboard or don’t write it down at all, relying only on verbal communication. 

These business owners aren’t just wasting precious time on this complex task — they’re also losing money. Missed shifts cost employers an estimated $7,500 each year.

Solution

There areonline scheduling software solutions for this problem that are both cost-effective and time-saving . You can easily shave hours off your scheduling process and curb missed shifts with automated, cloud-based employee shift scheduling software.

Build the weekly schedule, share it instantly with your employees, and make changes as needed. The perks of tech like this lies in the accessibility for both you and your staff, taking the stress out of everything.

2. Automated Payroll Technology

How does it help? Quicker paychecks for staff, more accurate wage distribution for you.

Nearly 80 percent of small business owners admit they regularly have to make corrections before they can run payroll.

But that’s not surprising, given so many employees are tracking their hours using pen and paper and/or the honor system. This leaves business owners responsible for collecting, deciphering, and manually entering employee time data before running payroll.

restaurant back office solution

If this sounds anything like your time tracking and payroll process, you’re not just wasting time. You’re losing money.

Solution

Try using an automated time tracker for your payroll.

With automated time tracking, employees can clock in and out with just one click or tap. Time data is stored safely and securely in the cloud, so it’s always there and always accurate when you need it, while collecting and approving employee time cards is as easy as just one click.

3. Integrated Inventory Tracking

How does it help? More accurate menu engineering, more profitable menu.

Nearly half of small businesses either don’t track inventory at all or use a manual method (like a par inventory sheet) to keep track of food, suppliers, and prices. However, those inventory numbers change all the time, and keeping that handy spreadsheet up to date can be a full-time job. 

Unfortunately, without those numbers, you’d have no idea what to reorder or when. And with hungry people rioting over food shortages at various restaurants around the world, failing to reorder the ingredients for a popular dish could be a huge mistake.

Enter: automated inventory management software.

Solution

With real-time restaurant inventory at your fingertips, you have the power to make smarter business decisions using clean data to improve your bottom line. 

Theoretical vs. actual inventory depletion is one of the biggest variances that restaurant owners need to address. Automating inventory tracking takes the headaches out of back office management and makes the day a bit more tolerable. 

A Win-Win for Passion and Process

These processes run your business and your restaurant back office, but they don’t have to come between you and your passion. With a little help from innovative new technology, you can streamline back-office processes, turn your minutes into moments, and raise your bottom line.

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