Restaurant leaders know that data is vital to making operational decisions; however, those that rely exclusively on POS data may be surprised to learn their dataset is incomplete. While POS data can help brands manage their finances or measure the success of marketing programs, it doesn’t give detailed information about the heart of the restaurant: the kitchen.
Pure POS data is transactional accounting, says Lee Leet, founder and CEO of QSR Automations. You know what was ordered and the revenue, but that doesn’t give you insights into operational efficiency or guest satisfaction, which are crucial pieces of a restaurant’s success.
The solution is surprisingly simple. Leet says the ideal technology to round out a restaurant’s data is a powerful kitchen display system (kds), which helps kitchen staff organize orders, troubleshoot back-of-house issues, and streamline operations.
These features are precisely why the 32-unit casual-dining chain 54th Street Restaurant and Drafthouse turned to QSR Automations and its ConnectSmart Kitchen, when it was eyeing expansion into Saint Louis 250 miles away from its Kansas City headquarters.
“Back then, we had managers expedite food and call orders into the kitchen,” says Al Stenner, chief information officer at Kellan Restaurant Management, the parent company of 54th Street. “But we knew we would have to get a tighter grip on our operations as we expanded.”
Stenner says ConnectSmart Kitchen helped 54th Street organize the kitchen and optimize cook times, completing each dish per order at the same time. The restaurant also recently began using QSR Automations ConnectSmart Host (formerly DineTime), a waitlist and table management system. While both systems improve operations, Stenner says the biggest benefit of the QSR Automations technology ecosystem is access to data at all points of the customer journey.
“If we have a bad night, we can see ticket times and seating data so we can pinpoint where failures are coming from,” Stenner says. “We can see how each guest moved through the restaurant from the time they put their name down to wait for a table until they leave. We can tell if an issue is volume-driven so we can improve staffing, or we can see if it stems from a particular cook, who might need more training.”
There’s no question that data is a vital tool for operating a restaurant, but restaurants cannot get a real sense of how they’re performing without insights into the kitchen. QSR Automations feature-rich KDS, which integrates with more than 65 POS systems, can provide operators with the data they need to improve their operations and their bottom lines. Furthermore, an operational platform comprised of several integrated restaurant solutions will help operators harness data from their entire restaurant.
“Some people think a KDS is just a video receipt or a recipe on a screen,” Leet says, “but you can’t have a good restaurant if your kitchen is operating poorly. Our system is actually running the whole kitchen and can help you find ways to improve operations across your entire restaurant.”
To learn how a KDS can help give you the insight your brand needs to be successful, visit qsrautomations.com