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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, UK
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How to find the right tech solution for your restaurant in a post-COVID-19 environment

The need for lean, streamlined operations, is a matter of urgency.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to reshape the British restaurant scene, with chains - big and small - seemingly forced to accelerate their digital transformation in order to mitigate losses due to lessened footfall.

But for technology solutions provider Vita Mojo, the ideal solution for a brand could vary from business to business. What is sure, they say, is the system of choice needs to be easy to use, waste-reducing and properly integrated with your back-of-house.

QSR Media talks to the team behind Vita Mojo to discuss their take on the new normal and why a holistic approach to data will be a gamechanger for operators.

QSR Media: What will be operators' pain-points on reopening?
Vita Mojo: Similar to before the pandemic, the biggest pain points for operators re-opening after COVID-19 will be throughput, rent and staffing costs. In the upcoming period of economic recession, with a projected drop in eating out spend of up to 30%, the need for lean, streamlined operations will be greater than ever in order to make hospitality businesses viable.

While social distancing measures remain in place many outlets will be operating at 50% capacity or less, and it will be impossible to get the same numbers of customers through the doors. However, many overhead costs such as rent will remain the same.

What will best practises for QSRs look like?
In order to overcome these challenges, QSR brands will need to reassess every aspect of their business, from the menu to the staffing strategy to the ordering channels which they provide. The perfect solutions will vary from business to business, but it all comes down to cutting out waste.

If you're paying staff to operate in an area with low footfall, then you're creating waste. If you're limiting the number of customers you can serve at lunchtime because they're queueing at your POS, then you're creating waste. If you're having to spend an hour every evening copying sales numbers across from one system to another then that's waste.

If instead you can automate a process, operate a delivery-only kitchen, change your opening hours or adapt your menu, you can reduce your waste and, fundamentally, increase your profits.

What solutions exist to help with these pain points?
There are a host of technology solutions for restaurants: mobile ordering systems, self-service kiosks, kitchen display screens and POS. These can make ordering from you more accessible and convenient for customers while reducing the labour required to fulfil orders behind the scenes.

The important thing is choosing systems which work together and integrate with your existing back-of-house. This not only guarantees that your tech really saves you time and effort, rather than causing you more hassle, but it enables you to gather data across your operations.

Why is data so important?
Transparency of customer habits, menu performance, footfall trends and operational timeframes is essential for spotting leaks in your operational pipeline, targeting your investment and making decisions which will transform your business. If your data is fragmented and hard to gather then you will struggle to find the time to properly review it, let alone take actions from it. However, when collected holistically across your restaurant system, data can transform your business.

That’s why we built our end-to-end solution which makes this not only possible, but easy, for operators. Combined with an effective CRM partner, such as our partners Airship, data turbo-charges your customer relationships. Targeted marketing messages and personalised ordering experiences keep customers coming back for more, increasing their lifetime value drastically.

How can QSRs find the tech solutions that are right for their brand?
There are plenty of restaurant tech options which are cosmetically custom, but essentially a one-size-fits-all solution. These are relatively cheap and can be effective - for smaller, single-site businesses they may be the best option. However, to get the full advantages of digital technology you really need a system which can adapt to your kitchen, your workflows and your brand.

At Vita Mojo, we pride ourselves on building long-term relationships with our clients and providing support and insight for their digital evolution. We have been working in partnership with Yo! Sushi since 2018, experimenting with different ideas. This started with the Yo! To Go concept which first launched in Manchester in 2019, and post-COVID-19 we have collaborated to adapt their much-loved "Kaiten" conveyor belt model for post-Covid times.

Yo! customers now scan a QR code on their table and use a bespoke Yo! branded mobile web-app to order and pay for their food and drink which then arrives by conveyor belt. We also provide Yo! with mobile ordering for Click & Collect and self-service Kiosks in Yo! To Go.

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