Here are six things you should avoid when executing enterprise-wide restaurant technology implementations:
1. Don’t keep implementations a secret.
Most of the people you work with hate surprises. A restaurant technology solution often affects the entire enterprise in one way or another. While the end result will ultimately benefit the whole operation, be proactive and inform people early so there are no bombshells. Try to regularly include updates on the implementation's progress using your company’s existing communications such as the corporate email newsletter.
2. Don’t dilute focus by taking on too many initiatives at once.
Rolling out an all-new restaurant POS system, starting a remodeling plan and tackling other broad corporate efforts all at the same time can be a recipe for disaster. Be practical and avoid biting off more than your teams can chew.
3. Don’t miss the opportunity to examine old processes while you're updating your systems.
This is a great chance to fix bad corporate-wide habits. For example, evaluating food storage locations may make sense if you’re implementing a new restaurant inventory management system.
4. Don’t underestimate resources needed.
Implementing an enterprise restaurant POS system is a big job, and it touches almost everyone. Choose a smart and responsible project manager who can drive the process. Your PM should have a dedicated crew, budget and a go-to executive sponsor that can be tapped for additional help if needed.
5. Don’t fall for “phone and web” is just as good as “boots on the ground”.
The figure of speech, “boots on the ground” can really mean all the difference when you’re implementing a company-wide technology program. Having a vendor partner place their knowledge experts inside your business for a period of time is a major advantage in terms of configuration and product training. Some things are just better in person and having experts on hand will make sure you’re getting the most of your system.
6. Don’t aim at a moving target.
If you’re implementing a new restaurant back office solution, understand that it will integrate with many other important operations systems. These legacy systems contain much of the data regarding how your business runs today. Changing such things as your broad-liner, menu items and recipes at the start of a new technology implementation can slow down the project dramatically.
In summary, the major keys to running strong implementations are technology projects that feature laser-focused, dedicated teams who are supported from the top down by executives who are invested in seeing the project succeed. When that happens, technology investments tend to pay off in short order.
Meet CrunchTime at Oracle Food and Beverage Connect March 2-4 in Miami to see how they can help you integrate and innovate!
About the author: Erik Cox is the Vice President of Product Strategy at CrunchTime. After spending two decades as a restaurant operator, Erik joined CrunchTime in 2008 to help build the tools he wished he had during his time in the restaurant industry. Today he leads the strategic planning and development of systems designed to innovate restaurant operations. For 25 years, CrunchTime has helped some of the world's top restaurant brands streamline back office operations, optimize food and labor costs, and increase profitability.