Cloud kitchens, also known as dark kitchens, or virtual kitchens are growing, and conventional restaurants are losing ground to them.
You may have heard that Jamie’s Italian, Jamie Oliver’s high-end restaurant is closing 22 out of the 25 branches. Meanwhile, dark kitchens register millions of dollars in sales. There is a clear shift in the way customers prefer their dining experience. Fortunately, you can still compete and adapt to this new reality by investing in the right technology: Hospitality EPOS systems.
Before diving into how hospitality EPOS systems can help restaurants compete, it’s important to explain how cloud restaurants work and how they are changing the food service industry.
Cloud kitchens operate using online ordering. They take orders from customers via a traditional website and deliver food to customers using a delivery service. There is no conventional restaurant where people go to, in fact, there is very little physical interaction between the customer and the kitchen.
Since there is no place to serve people, a cloud kitchen does not need real estate space as a real restaurant does. There is no need for waiters and cashiers. Cloud kitchens only need highly-trained chefs and suitable kitchen equipment. Many dark kitchens share a common space to further reduce the cost of the rent.
The business model for cloud kitchens comes with several benefits. You don’t need to worry about rent, decoration, furniture or excess labour. The focus on delivering food is far more convenient for customers, whose enthusiasm for dining out is waning. Kantar explains that visits to restaurants fell by 5 million compared to last year.
While not all restaurants can pivot overnight to become cloud kitchens, it’s possible to take some of the qualities of these kitchens and incorporate them into their current business model using an EPOS system.
One of the biggest benefits of cloud kitchens is their focus on delivery. Hence, it makes sense for you to put more focus on delivery services. Hospitality EPOS systems come with an online ordering component, so if you don’t have the service up and running, then EPOS software will make it easier to set up.
In addition to online ordering, there is also delivery tracking. A service that allows customers to track the status of their order. It’s an excellent service because it grants customers a sense of ownership over what they ordered and they can be reassured that the restaurant is working hard on their order.
Cloud restaurants can deliver well-made meals at low prices because labour cost is low. Hence, restaurants should reduce their dependence on waiters, which can be done through hospitality EPOS systems.
EPOS software comes with several features like digital signage and self-order menus. Having these systems in place lets customers send orders directly to the kitchen instead of waiting for someone to take an order. With hospitality EPOS systems, you create a more efficient ordering system while also cutting costs, making it easier to operate as a cloud restaurant.
While the number of people visiting restaurants has dwindled, they haven’t stopped coming altogether. You have a chance to keep customers returning to your restaurant by giving them an incentive to do so. Customers value personalised customer service, small perks like discounts for their favourite dessert or drinks upon arrival provide customers with excellent incentives to return to your restaurant.
However, how do you know what sort of customers are coming to your restaurant? How do you know what their favourite cuisine is? This is where hospitality EPOS systems become a huge asset. Many of these systems come with reporting and analytics capabilities that allow you to get insight into your customers and their preferences. You can generate reports based on several variables, so you can breakdown your customers into profiles for direct, customised marketing.
Cloud restaurants are changing the hospitality industry and conventional restaurants are going to feel the pinch. However, that doesn’t mean restaurants cannot compete by changing their practices and shifting their focus to online ordering and delivery. The best way to facilitate this change is by investing in hospitality EPOS systems. The software makes it easier to make alterations to their business operations so that they have an easier time competing in the future.
Want to learn about how EPOS systems thrive in the hospitality industry? Visit our eposEX blog.