December 7, 2022
Devn Ratz

Operational Efficiency for Restaurants: How to Overcome Large-Scale Obstacles

Operational efficiency, an ideal among restaurant decision-makers, aims to make an impact through the least amount of effort, time, and stock (or resources) possible. While quality service and recipe standards must be maintained, businesses must often take a close look at expenses, using everything from inventory costing software to labor optimization

But, you’ll need many key performance indicators (KPIs) to intelligently augment and optimize restaurant operations toward higher standards. The work of gathering that decision-driving data simply for the online ordering segment, like customer order cycles, is typically enough to frustrate the ecosystem. 

This is true when their baseline systems, like popular POS hardware and software, don’t offer themselves up for free data manipulation, Open APIs, or exportable entries. As a result, restaurants typically wonder where stock is wasted, when revenue breaks even, how staff is performing, or if their technology is serving the greatest possible good. 

That’s why this resource points operational efficiency toward what’s most practical. At Revolution Ordering, where we’re ecstatic about restaurant BI tools, we aspire to streamline efficiency with seamless software integration and outstanding off-premise enablement

Come with us as we dive into critical definitions and next steps for executives (and their staff) to support restaurant brands wanting to take that next step. 

Key Takeaway: Holistic restaurant software ecosystems improve data intelligence, enrich experiences of analysis, and provide a solid foundation for revenue growth.
Demo how Revolution Ordering can help optimize restaurant operational efficiency through business intelligence tools for online ordering.

What is Operational Efficiency for Restaurants?

Though a sophisticated process in practice, the general idea is simple in theory. We think every restaurant basically aims to balance the ratio of its restaurant “inputs” (like those overhead costs, wages, and ingredient prices) against business “outputs” (such as sales, order averages, and revenue itself).

When we’re more specific, things tend to get a little more interesting, however. Operational efficiency for enterprise restaurants takes the demand to an entirely new level of sophistication. When prioritizing operational efficiency with online ordering, as an example, you’ll need recourse to millions of discrete data points—sometimes daily.

Tech Factors in Operational Efficiency

If you want to make a noteworthy impact on revenue, quarter to quarter and year to year, that means accepting the assistance of new tech solutions which are, hopefully, engineered to be nimble, flexible, intelligent, and customizable for large-scale concerns. 

Restaurant chains, for instance, will also be affected by regional differences across territories and tax codes. It’s vital then that any technology offer multi-location restaurant support alongside simple interfaces that are seamless for staff and customized for executive analysis.

Beyond this, service suspension and stock shortages must be considered by all, especially the tech wizards designing restaurant-specific platforms. Enabling tools—like Command Center One—should bring the ability to immediately take locations and individual dishes offline for specific needs. 

You can’t predict extreme weather, government restrictions (like the pandemic), or high-demand inventory. Though, you should be permitted to respond to them with simple speed. Without it, operational efficiency hangs delicately between chance and hope.

Key Metrics for Enterprise Operational Efficiency

The most important KPIs to collect as you optimize a scaling restaurant—or already leading brand—are about the same. For global oversight, you’ll want to include:

With these alone, executives can proceed with evaluating critical areas for reinforcement, enhancement, and total recall. Restaurants then clearly see the meaning behind measures of typical operations like sales volume, annual profit, resource spending, and service standards.

When these KPIs are highly developed and supported by current technology, decision-makers are empowered to make choices of concrete impact for restaurant revenue without neglecting the customer experiences that feed coffers. 

Beyond it, everyone involved in the brand can bolster efficiency, profitability, food quality, and the life-blood of service satisfaction and order fulfillment.

Operational Efficiency and BI Blocks for Large-Scale Chains

Restaurant operations, and therefore its efficiency, suffers alongside food waste, stock shortages, service outages, and spoiled ingredients. The need to generate enough revenue to break even can be a challenge when these sinking causes are basically unknown—or vaguely described.

Avoid Transactional Costs

This is the case for many POS systems, like Square, Clover, and Toast, but also for added software service partners that bring per-transaction expenses—atop ingredient prices, staff hours, and so on.

Overall, restaurant chains want, at base, to predict these costs with POS partners. But, it’s often easier to achieve with integrated tools that offer a flat contractual rate—rather than long, costly service switches to those that promise such precious restaurant intelligence.

Cut Food Waste

Then, while training staff to be effective restaurant stewards remains critical, so does including food inventory software

Most chains suffer an unfortunately high rate of turnover for both employees and shelf-life for ingredients. Luckily, each can be better grounded and supported through better customization of existing systems.

Surpass Inflexible Systems

While transaction fees, labor expenses, and food costs rise, one of the best options for improving efficiency turns out not to breaking what works and building upon what does. 

In other words, the simple option of software integration can be a direct path out of these vicious cycles of a shrinking supply (of talented labor, on one side) and expanding expenses (of transaction fees, on the other).

We want you to learn how to solve the problem of these business intelligence blocks for large-scale restaurants. That’s the primary reason we’ve developed global and granular views of your existing restaurant data as we also enhance, prioritize, and perfect online ordering platforms.

Find a guide to operational efficiency through a playbook for data intelligence, specifically for large-scale restaurants.

Frequently Asked Questions for Operational Efficiency

Does restaurant technology improve efficiency?

Most hospitality technologies promise to streamline restaurant operations, but (because of bugs, incompatibility, unknown errors, and closed environments) it often does not. 

Only by choosing the right technology partner to free your restaurant intelligence from its POS keepers, will you be closer to the real story behind restaurant metrics. Custom technologies, built with these concerns in mind, will mean clearer KPIs, more insight, and added control. That’s the road to operational efficiency, in essence.

What software adds more operational efficiency?

The best technology solutions to build up a lean and efficient restaurant empire are primarily POS systems with integrated online ordering, but this should also push and pull from kitchen displays, and staff optimization applications.

When these tools come can also optimize digital payment processing, boost online orders, and bring in higher returns and engagement through loyalty programs—the reason to engage them is much clearer. 

Which technology streamlines efficiency and operations?

In the restaurant industry, there’s plentiful survey and market data to support the idea that tech enhances operational efficiency across the board. The best of them include machine learning and data intelligence to make quick work of menu management, staff development, and trend analysis—to mention the start.

When you support existing systems through technology integrations, the outcome is digital transformation, enhanced experiences, and revenue protection. Each adds its unique flavor to an enhanced new recipe for profit-making: margins increase, costs reduce, and spend advances.

Empower productivity and profitabilit for restaurants through free resources designed to enhance enterprise operational efficiency.