In this day and age, it is virtually impossible for restaurants to maintain and grow sales without some form of digital participation. Traditional POS systems that were used primarily for tracking sales and inventory and employee reporting have adapted exponentially over the years. They now include such comprehensive features as tracking guests’ return visits, their favorite dishes, and more.

These systems make it easier for restaurant owners to run their entire business, with features that help analyze sales data, connect with customers and manage employees in real time. They include integrations for email marketing, loyalty programs, and other capabilities that streamline processes and save time.

Beyond the new, sweeping POS systems handling both back and front of the house duties like never before, many restaurants are seizing upon the opportunity to integrate with broader technology programs to help track guest satisfaction. At the end of 2020, Your Pie selected InMoment to help achieve its goal of keeping customer experience improvement at the forefront of its growth efforts.

One feature of InMoment is that it aggregates all social media commentary. This allows restaurants to better analyze comments and ratings, seeing all these items (stars, Google reviews, etc.) together in one dashboard platform. Restaurateurs are then able to prioritize feedback and experience data to keep up with (or ahead of), drive innovation, and provide better and more modernized customer service.

Where restaurants were previously relying on face-to-face feedback and mystery shoppers to pinpoint areas for improvement, these new platforms like InMoment allow owners and management to capture customer sentiment in a more in-depth and comprehensive way. This data will reveal important moments or impressions that matter to restaurant guests and enable you to develop and prioritize recommendations for corporate leadership, frontline staff, and franchise owners.

Another way for restauranteurs to stay on the cutting edge is by implementing digital Learning Management Systems (LMS). In working with various restaurants, these systems have been able to develop specific modules to train and educate owners and team members to heighten efficiency within the restaurant team.

Your Pie works with an training committee comprised of franchise owners, general managers, and store operators who meet once a month to discuss pertinent topics and plans for developing the next training module. Training topics run the gamut from new menu items to promotions, to learning about InMoment itself, and more. These systems help educate those on the front line to execute their jobs more effectively and speak with confidence to the guests.

With LMS, the library of modules is always growing and available for reference when needed. As we grow more familiar with the utilization of this vital tool, the more it will continue to work for us in the future.

Customer feedback platforms and LMS work hand-in-hand. For example, with the rising need for takeout and delivery services over the past couple of years, we were able to develop a module to instruct team members on the best way to execute service and how to improve speed and accuracy.

Restaurants receive feedback from guests in real time through these systems and then use that information to update operations as needed. They can also monitor brand-related trends that need to be addressed operationally to support franchise owners and their teams to execute more effectively. These systems are an invaluable resource in providing the feedback for operators to discover what is being done well and where they have opportunities to improve.

While these tools and others have been out there for several years, they are being more readily accepted across the industry as not only helpful, but essential. As more and more restaurants get on board, these technologies will become more affordable and even easier to use, benefiting everyone in the long run.

Dave McDougall is the CEO of Your Pie.

Fast Casual, Outside Insights, Restaurant Operations, Story, Technology, Your Pie