Over the years, restaurants have been trying every ways to maximize customers’ satisfaction while reducing operating cost. According to a POS Software Trend Report 2015 done by Hospitality Technology, there are some areas restaurants are working on. The first two areas have been further elaborated below.
- Enabling new payment options
The use of ApplePay and other e wallets will become increasingly common payment methods for customers. It helps push up table turnover rate by facilitating the payment process, also cutting down of employee errors that leads to longer duration on preparing ready-to-go tables for next group of customers. As a result, profit margins can be increased.
- Adding mobile POS
The development of Ipad kiosk stations, integrated with POS system, will continue to grow as part of the ordering food system. With the stations, customers can complete the whole process of viewing menu, selecting items and placing their orders on their own. Operating cost can be reduced. More pictures and descriptions of menu items can also be shown in this way. Mobile applications like ‘foodgulu’ are becoming popular as it makes customers’ dining experience a more convenience one. The remote ticketing system saves customers’ time in waiting in front of restaurants. Online food ordering, online food delivery, etc. are also under development.
- Increasing raw-materials cost
Restaurant managers face the challenge of increasing cost. In the recent couple of years, the price of raw materials and the food ingredients have been dramatically increased because of the rapid inflation all over the world. In return, it drives up the operation cost of the F&B operation in hotel industry. As we all know, F&B is not the main profit center in hotel industry, so if the cost substantial increases, it will add to the burden of the hotel management group.
- Shortage of labour
Shortage of labor is a major challenge to the manager of food and beverage. That’s why one of the important jobs to the manager is to recruit and develop experts in operating the restaurant. In Hong Kong, since the implementation of the minimum wage law, most of the labors have changed their job to the less-manual one. There are numerous disadvantages in working hotel industry, which are long working hour, mentally exhausted (because you need to stand for a long period of time) and little working benefit. These drive out most of the people who want to enter into F&B industry. Therefore, there is insufficient workforce to work. In return, the director of F&B needs to recruit some part-time/casual workers to smooth the operation of F&B outlet in peak hour. In the long-term, it is necessary to find some way to attract the new blood. Otherwise, it will affect the service quality
- Increasing customer satisfaction
Guests have a high expectation on food and beverage in recent years. They expect restaurant can create more stylish cruise to them. Guests also want to eat the palatable food at the cheap price. In the past couple of years, many Hong Kong people love taking photos of food before eating and so it is important for the restaurants to create some innovative idea or special cruise in order to attract more guests. In fact, customer expectation is unlimited. What the Food and beverage operations need to do is to identify the trend as soon as possible to maximize their profit.
- Food safety issue
In the recent couple of years, food poisoning cases have been sparked off much controversy all over the world, like malachite green, melamine and sodium water. So people put much emphasis on the food safety issue, for example, guest will ask what the origin of that food ingredient was. If that ingredient comes from China, people may say no. In this case, it is in need for director of food and beverage to maintain the safety of the food. He needs to strike a balance between low cost and food safety. At the same time, he needs to pay much more attention to that because food virus occurred at anytime and at any place. If food poisoning occurs, it not only hurts the image of the food outlet, but also the reputation of the venue.