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Navigating the Holiday Season: Essential Technology Tools for Hospitality Operators

November 28, 2023

With the hoiday season upon us, hospitality operators face unique challenges in ensuring a seamless and delightful experience for their guests. Leveraging cutting-edge technology becomes paramount to streamline operations and enhance customer satisfaction. Here's a curated list of essential technology tools tailored to help hospitality operators navigate the festive season:

If you're still relying on outdated methods like jotting down reservations on a crumpled order pad, managing the myriad facets of a restaurant can indeed be challenging. Fortunately, recent technological advancements tailored for the hospitality and restaurant industry provide avenues for streamlining decision-making and operational efficiency.

Here's a comprehensive list of 15 pivotal restaurant industry technology solutions, along with top vendors in each category:

1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

Centralized Hub for Comprehensive Data

A robust CRM integrates reservation, online order, marketing, guest feedback, and POS data into a centralized hub. Notable solutions include SevenRooms, Eat App, and Tock.

2. Point of Sale (POS) System

Digital Home for Sales Transactions

Cloud-based POS systems like Toast, TouchBistro, and Lightspeed serve as digital hubs for sales transactions. Apart from order input and payment processing, these systems facilitate inventory tracking and provide detailed sales reports. Notably, handheld POS systems have emerged as a game-changer, allowing servers to deliver checks and close tabs in a single visit, thereby enhancing speed and table turnover.

3. Reservation Platform

Effortless Booking and Management

Choose between direct platforms like SevenRooms, OpenTable, and Resy, or third-party options. Direct reservation platforms eliminate per-booking fees, allowing customers to book directly via the restaurant's website. In contrast, third-party platforms come with consumer networks that drive reservations but limit access to guest data. Understanding the pros and cons of each type is essential for making an informed choice.

4. Table Management System

Optimizing Seating Layouts

SevenRooms, CAKE, and Eat App provide advanced table management systems that optimize seating arrangements based on algorithms that test thousands of seating combinations. This restaurant industry technology can integrate with your reservation, waitlist, POS, CRM, and marketing tools.

5. Waitlist Management Software

Efficient Walk-ins and Online Waitlisting

Solutions such as SevenRooms, Waitwhile, and NextME enable seamless management of walk-ins and online waitlists.

6. Payment Processor

Quick Processing of Card and Mobile Payments

Utilize Stripe, Square, or TouchBistro Payments for swift processing of various payment technologies. Compatibility with online ordering for delivery and pickup ensures a seamless payment experience for both in-person and online transactions.

7. Prepayment Solution

Streamlining Experiences and Special Events

Consider SevenRooms, Bentobox, or Tock for online pre-payment solutions to enhance booking processes and maximize revenue. Just be sure these solutions can sync to your restaurant CRM and guest profiles to provide a complete picture of every guest.

8. Online Ordering Platform

Facilitating Off-Premise Orders

Options like SevenRooms, Bentobox, and GloriaFood provide integrated online ordering solutions, with direct platforms offering branding advantages. The choice between direct and third-party options depends on factors like branding control and commission fees.

9. Kitchen Display System (KDS)

Digital Ticket System for Back of House (BOH)

TouchBistro, Toast, and Lightspeed offer KDS solutions to manage orders efficiently in the kitchen.

10. Restaurant Inventory Management System

Tracking Inventory to Avoid Waste

Employ Restaurant365, MarketMan, or Upserve to monitor inventory, simplify accounting, and control food costs.

11. Accounts Payable (AP) Automation Software

Automating Financial Tasks

Streamline accounting with solutions like Plate IQ, xtraCHEF, or Restaurant365 for efficient bill payments, invoice management, and insightful reporting.

12. Employee Scheduling Software

Historical Data and AI for Accurate Scheduling

7shifts, Restaurant365, and ZoomShift use data and AI to automate scheduling, minimizing understaffing and overspending while fostering a positive working environment for staff.

13. Restaurant Marketing Solution

Automated Marketing for Customer Retention

Enhance customer engagement with solutions like SevenRooms, Eateria, and Marketing 360 that automate emails, track campaign performance, collect feedback, and aggregate reviews.

14. Event Management Software

Efficient Hosting of Private and Ticketed Events

SevenRooms, Tripleseat, and Perfect Venue offer event management software with online ticket sales, booking management, and insights about event sales and attendance.

15. Self-Order Kiosks

Contactless Ordering for Fast and Simple Service

Stay ahead of the trend with self-order kiosks, ensuring fast and contactless service. These innovative systems allow guests to customize orders and offer upsell prompts.

16. Online Hospitality Compliance and Professional Development Training

Keep your staff up to date and in compliance with hospitality and professional development training with LIQUORexam's expansive catalog of state approved courses. In an industry where regulations and skills evolve rapidly, staying ahead is imperative. Our training program ensures that your staff is not only well-versed in compliance standards but also equipped with the latest professional development tools to provide exceptional service.

By integrating these technology tools, hospitality operators can navigate the challenges of the holiday season seamlessly, delivering exceptional experiences and creating lasting memories for their guests. Embrace the spirit of innovation to make this festive period not only joyful for your guests but also prosperous for your business.