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The Restaurant Toolbox

The Restaurant Toolbox

Jamie Popp | Monster Contributing Writer

Before interviewing for a management position, “do research on your prospective employer and what technology they use as well as major technology companies in the business to become more familiar with point-of-sale and back-office reports,” Grimes advises. “That knowledge will help you win the job.”

It’s also important to understand different restaurants require different technology. For example, a quick-service chain restaurant may be more likely to have sales software that can provide 15-minute updates on employee performance. Larger restaurant companies may also use point-of-sale software that details what is being sold, how often and how to manage everything from training to shrinkage effectively. An independent restaurant may rely on handheld technology in the kitchen for determining how much a recipe will cost to make or credit card-processing equipment.

“Technology has been driven by chain restaurant operations during the past 10 years,” says Doug Crisafulli, director of marketing at JTECH Communications in Boca Raton, Florida. The company is a leader in guest and server paging. “There are also independent restaurants or small chains with fewer than 10 units using paging solutions to get a faster return on investment.”

Guest paging continues to be commonly used for table management in restaurants such as Chili’s Grill & Bar, part of Dallas-based Brinker International, and Orlando-based Red Lobster. JTECH has also successfully partnered with Motorola to introduce two-way radios in a number of its clients’ restaurants.

“Two-way radios between the host and busser are an inexpensive way to manage tables,” Crisafulli says. “Restaurants are low-margin businesses. In an industry where there is potential for extensive shrinkage and high turnover with a transient labor force, systems make theft more difficult” and restaurants more profitable.