Managers checking their restaurant tech.

Restaurants are gearing up for the busy holiday season. In preparation, operators are looking for areas to make improvements, considering rising labor demand, costs, and competition. Managers can improve operations by implementing tech solutions that automate manual tasks and drive higher return on investment (ROI).

Operators may think they need a catch-all solution that tackles everything at once, but there are more cost-effective solutions that improve the customer experience and protect the bottom line. Fintech’s PaymentSource® targets restaurants’ beverage alcohol management by streamlining tasks to save both time and money that can be invested in other areas of the business.

1) Maintain Consistent Margins

There isn’t always room in the budget for investing in a high-tech solution, especially when margins are tight from rising costs. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) published a report earlier this year that projected $997B in sales for the foodservice industry, so while revenue is expected to increase, that means finding ways to keep pace with the demand. There is also an emphasis on finding products with the highest ROI to improve margins.

Fintech’s PaymentSource has detailed reporting features that help restaurants improve buying strategy and stay competitive. One example is the Cost Variance Report, which tracks fluctuations in product costs so restaurant operators can take action to protect margins. The Top Products Report determines fast-moving products to take advantage of quantity buys and ensure the right selection is stocked in line with consumer demand. For restaurants burdened by split case fees, the Split Case Report identifies money lost in the ordering process and pinpoints when to order or buy the case or the bottle.

These cost savings and margin-enhancing reporting tools will preserve more of the restaurant budget that can be invested elsewhere.

2) Save Time With Automation

Wasting time on manual tasks is an efficiency killer in the restaurant industry. Managers have to stop what they’re doing to handle payment for each alcohol delivery, then have to take more time to manually input line-item invoice details into the restaurant back-office or accounting system. Wouldn’t it be better to have technology in place that automates alcohol invoice payments with each distributor? Wouldn’t it be even better to have technology that also seamlessly integrates line-item invoice data without having to lift a finger?

Fintech helps restaurant operators with both. Alcohol invoice payments are paid in compliance with state regulatory terms for beer, wine, and spirits. There is also an electronic data interchange (EDI) component that integrates with over 200 back-office systems like Quickbooks, Restaurant365, Compeat, and more.

These automations allow operators to receive their delivery and get back to business with minimal interruptions.

3) Reliability

It is no secret that turnover is high in the restaurant industry. This turnover slows down operational efficiency and leaves managers scrambling to interview, hire, and train new employees. Employing technology solutions that automate tasks provides consistency in key areas. With reliable technology in place, there is one less area to worry about “no call/no shows,” employees calling out on busy shifts, and high turnover rates.

Reliability is a great trait in restaurant workplace culture, and Fintech has yet to miss an alcohol invoice payment, call in sick, or request a day off.

4) Enhance the Customer Experience

The restaurant industry is built around hospitality. The biggest driver of success is ensuring customers have a positive experience that keeps them coming back. Restaurant operators shouldn’t be bogged down with manual tasks that keep them in the back office, they should be out on the floor with customers and helping their staff.

While some may argue that more automation in restaurants limits human interaction, there are certainly some forms that foster more human interaction. With a system like Fintech running in the background, restaurant operators can put more time and energy into the customer experience versus dealing with time-consuming manual tasks.

Restaurants Should Use Technology to Their Advantage

With so many moving parts in successful restaurant management, a helping hand goes a long way. Restaurants can leverage technology solutions like Fintech to streamline their beverage alcohol program. Operators should take the little time left before getting into the full swing of the holiday season to identify solutions that protect and improve margins, build better purchasing strategies, and deliver better experiences to their customers.

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