How retailers can use the momentum of new front-of-house technology initiatives to create a safer and more efficient back-of-house.
As restaurants across the country have reopened, new business practices have been established to keep employees and guests safe. Retailers have quickly risen to the challenges of operating under new restrictions by communicating safety practices, keeping up to date on local and state ordinances, and adjusting menus for to-go friendly items in recent months. Further, advancements in safety and technology have swept across the industry.
Last month, we talked to several of our chain retailers about new processes they have put in place to find their new normal. For example, Ted’s Montana Grill conveyed the emphasis on communication, both internally with their employees and externally, using brand pages and social media to let their customers know that they have increased safety measures and are ready to welcome them back. Bloomin’ Brands, another client, shared the restaurant’s strategy for socially distant seating, using the digital table management system to prevent hosts from seating certain areas. Additionally, First Watch explained that while all their locations were closed for a time, the chain implemented touch-free POS systems for their guests, ensuring there would be no need to exchange payment with servers.
All of these front-of-house and guest service measures, plus the many more we are seeing across the country, are vital for everyone’s safety – but how do these initiatives translate to the back-of-house? Are you using the momentum of change across operations to create things like safer back-door delivery procedures and invoice management? Today, technologies exist that assist with these efforts, not just for food and supplies, but for alcohol, ensuring your alcohol management process is as safe and efficient as possible.
While there are many transformations occurring across the industry, here are just a few of the operational changes you can make in your alcohol business that will enhance the safety of your workers and customers and improve the way you do business.
Create a safer delivery process for you and your distributor partners
Today, social-distancing initiatives are increasing in importance and reducing physical contact between people has never been more crucial – why should the way you pay for alcohol be any different? It’s time to adopt safer, touch-free procedures by using an automatic, electronic alcohol invoice payment method. This eliminates the need to write a paper check or keep extra cash in the safe or deposit box and keeps teams safe from unnecessary human contact. By reducing the amount of cash stored on the premises and the number of employees needing access to the back office, you increase the security for your business and minimize risks to staff, guests, and distributor partners.
Utilizing an electronic payment method for alcohol also speeds up the delivery process because drivers no longer need to wait to collect payment. For example, clients who use Fintech Payments for alcohol invoices shorten the time drivers spend at their location by an average of 15 minutes per delivery. Reducing delivery time consequently minimizes the contact risks for staff and gets drivers back on the road quicker, freeing up valuable parking spots that can now be filled by customers. At a time when customers have almost endless options for quick, safe service, an easy-to-access parking lot could be the difference between choosing your location or your competitors.
Digitalize and automate back-office processes
Paper is, unfortunately, a major vehicle for spreading germs, which is why so many businesses are working to eliminate it from day-to-day operations. When alcohol invoices are paid electronically, you can avoid taking a paper invoice from the driver and instead rely on digital copies. This process is not only safer, but it simplifies record keeping and makes your business more organized. Many payment providers, like Fintech, provide access to an online portal where you can view invoices broken down by line item and see clearly which products are on each invoice without ever having to dig through paper. Now, all your invoices are stored digitally and in complete detail in one place, and there’s no longer any need to keep track of paper copies or worry about how many times they have been touched and passed around.
If you’re already using automatic, electronic payments for alcohol deliveries and receiving invoice copies digitally, why not bring that same automation to your back-office system? By integrating alcohol invoice data directly into your accounting system, you save time and eliminate costly errors related to manual entry. You no longer need to manually key in alcohol invoices or worry about how many people are spending time in close proximity to the office where social distancing may be difficult. Viewing alcohol payments along with other vendor invoices already in the accounting system provides a 360-degree view of your business, so you can track alcohol invoices, food costs, and paper products all in a single system.
These are just a few ways automation and technology can help protect your business, but no matter how you proceed, safety across the front and back-of-house of your restaurant are key to finding success in the new industry landscape. For over 30 years, Fintech has been helping retailers like you pay all their alcohol invoices electronically, while also speeding up the delivery process and delivering data integration for simplified alcohol management. Today, one in every four retailers are turning to Fintech to improve operational efficiency and increase safety across their entire business. To learn how your business can do the same, contact us today.