It’s easy to be overwhelmed by new technology and shiny butterflies. COVID-19 restrictions have led to a massive take-up of new digital management and marketing
options over the past two years.

Change will not stop: make 2022 all about integration and getting more from the services you’ve invested in. Let’s look through the five pillars that support your business and see how to use the ‘tech stack’ more effectively.

Productive staff
There’s a great range of affordable rostering options and competition is growing — can your system provide predictive rostering based on sales figures? Is payroll integration easy?

Employee record management is another helpful feature that assists with recruitment and onboarding. Online staff training gets new hires up to speed and improves everyone’s ability. The best systems include information on critical areas including safety and alcohol service.

Menu and production
Spreadsheet costing is so 2019, and there are a host of options for online recipe and menu management, catering management, ordering supplies and safety monitoring.

If you’re using a delivery platform such as DoorDash or Uber Eats, are the orders feeding into the kitchen on the same screen or do you need separate displays? Integrations are available and essential with volume.

The paperless kitchen should be on the list for 2022. Chefs are embracing kitchen display systems which are already used by baristas. When supplies are ordered online, it should be easy to integrate orders with a menu management system and make stocktaking much more accurate. Expect the cost of automation and robotics to fall and become much more available.

Financial management
In the new world of digital efficiency, profit and cashflow tracking is more accurate and instantly available. It starts with POS and bookkeeping. Sales data should be categorised and easy to view, with all information flowing directly to your bookkeeping system.

An accounting chart of accounts that follows industry standards should be utilised to ensure cost percentages reflect reality and tax obligations are handled on time. EFTPOS payment systems are competitive, and standby credit is affordable.

With payroll, COGS, operating costs and sales figures flowing into centralised bookkeeping, there’s no reason not to have an accurate dashboard of profitability and forecasts on your phone whenever you need it.

Smart marketing
It’s connected with the final pillar (customers). There are so many ways to connect with new and existing patrons through tailored email, text messaging and social media based on data from online orders, POS transactions and messages.

Loyalty schemes are now much easier via apps that create solid relationships and reward positive behaviour. If your website provides essential information such as opening hours, location, social media handles and menus as well as tells the story behind your business, engagement will increase; plus Google and directory listings put you at the top of the list when people are searching.

Happy customers
Speed and trust are a priority for most people, with rapid replies, helpful information and positive reviews going a long way. With the prevalence of online services, is your phone system falling behind? Most customers find it easier to order through a platform, but some prefer to talk to a person, so it’s important to manage both equally.

A great customer experience comes from the combination of these pillars. What’s first on your improvement list for 2022?