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creating a more automated restaurant

Face it, there’s one thing none of us can buy – more time. No matter how you slice it, there will always be 24 hours in a day and in the restaurant business, that’s never enough. You didn’t open a restaurant to spend hours in the back office doing tedious tasks like schedules, inventory control, and sales tax returns; you’re in the restaurant business to serve up a great guest experience and make a living.

As an industry, restaurants have not been at the forefront of innovation and adopting new technologies. The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has been an industry mantra for decades. But the challenges of today’s competitive restaurant space are forcing owners to find time and money-saving efficiencies. They are looking to accomplish more with less and stretch every hard-earned dollar into greater returns. 

One of the key drivers of better efficiencies are POS systems that leverage cloud computing. New cloud-based POS systems are more than a box to place orders and close guest checks. These systems have become the restaurant’s business hub, managing and automating everything from employee schedules, attendance, and payroll to real-time inventory and sales tax compliance. 

POS systems integrate with countless apps that help owners and managers reduce back-office time, enabling them more time to promote their business and interact with their customers. 

creating a more automated restaurant

Here are five apps that will help you create a more automated restaurant and get out of the back office:

DAVO

DAVO takes the tedious and sometimes painful task of managing sales tax and automates it from start to finish. Keep in mind, a restaurant gains zero benefits from collecting and remitting sales tax and it contributes absolutely nothing to your bottom line. But missing a filing deadline or not having enough funds set aside when it’s time to pay can cost a business dearly. Therefore, sales tax should be managed as efficiently and cheaply as possible. 

DAVO uses sales data from Upserve to automatically set aside the sales tax daily. Then, when it’s due, DAVO files your tax return and pays the State, on time and in full, guaranteed. Just $39.99 per month, DAVO is cheaper than doing it yourself or using a bookkeeper, and with DAVO you’ll never worry about having enough money set aside or missing a payment deadline. By putting sales tax on autopilot, you bought back all the time and emotional energy you previously invested in sales tax management. 

Gusto

Gusto provides cloud-based payroll, benefits, and human resources management. Gusto takes a friendly and simple approach to complicated, time-consuming processes. They offer features like employee onboarding and direct deposit, and setup is a breeze. They’re mostly known for payroll but they also offer health, dental, and vision plans, plus 401k and workers comp insurance through third parties. 

Start feeding those slim restaurant profit margins with our free Inventory Management Guide.

Homebase

According to the US Department of labor, businesses have to store employee time cards for at least two years. In addition, tracking breaks and overtime and managing the compliance laws that vary from state to state is a full-time job in itself. Homebase is the solution that makes managing teams and staying compliant easier for restaurants. Business owners spend hours every week on tedious tasks like creating paper schedules, running payroll, hiring new employees, and maintaining communications across teams. 

With Homebase, you can plan your schedule in advance by department, set a target labor cost percentage of sales through your POS, and get smarter on making every labor dollar count. 

Employees also have immediate access to their shifts on the Homebase mobile app where they can swap shifts with their colleagues, which makes managing time-off requests and preferred availabilities less tedious for you. As a manager, you will see if employees are about to hit overtime or showing up late to shifts. Maybe this means it is time to hire someone new! If that’s the case, then Homebase can help you hire employees faster and manage applicants all in one spot. 

Team management should be simple, it’s time to get your shift together. 

Restaurant365

Most restaurant businesses still use multiple, disparate restaurant systems that don’t talk to each other and don’t share a common database. Accessing decision-making sales, inventory, and labor data is a challenging and oftentimes manual process. Additionally, if these systems do not speak “restaurant,” the workarounds and customizations can be time-consuming and costly.

Restaurant365 was developed to address these common restaurant challenges. Restaurant365 is a cloud-based, restaurant-specific accounting and operations platform that incorporates all the features you need to run a successful restaurant business. Seamless integration with your POS system, payroll processor, bank, and vendors is an integral part of the platform. The all-in-one solution allows you to record and access all your data in one place – either on your computer or from your mobile device – to help you reduce food costs, optimize labor, and increase profitability.

choosing a POS - Upserve

Upserve Inventory

Upserve’s native inventory management system saves restauranteurs 30-50 hours per month by ditching pen, paper, and spreadsheets for a nearly automated solution. By entering your menu items and their ingredients, your Upserve Inventory will deduct the amount of product used on each plate from your system, so you can see what you’re running low on automatically and in real-time.

Upserve Inventory doesn’t just save time, either. By having everything accounted for in one system (it’s perfect for multi-location restaurants and central kitchens) you can get a better grasp on what’s selling best, what’s underperforming, and what’s getting wasted – helping you feed those slim restaurant margins.

“Upserve Inventory saves us hours a week because it’s all done automatically. Recipes sync to the point-of-sale, so every time we sell a mojito, Upserve Inventory knows exactly how much rum and lime juice was supposed to leave the bar.”

– Roberto Copa Matos, Owner of COPA Cuban restaurant

restaurant inventory spreadsheet template

Food cost is one of the largest expenses for the restaurant, and one of the most overlooked areas for improvement and control.

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Written by   |  
David Joseph is a former chef/owner of an award-winning restaurant and co-founder of DAVO Technologies. David hated sales tax and readily admits he sucked at managing it. After several late payments, he realized he was wasting money on penalties and emotional energy stressing over it. One day he walked out of the kitchen and said, “Why can’t someone do our sales tax the way ADP does our payroll?” His manager, now his wife, started putting sales tax aside daily and from then on it was never a problem. From that seed of an idea, DAVO Technologies developed the DAVO Sales Tax app with the goal of automating sales tax from start to finish. DAVO now manages sales tax for thousands of merchants across the US.