Food service is all about delighting customers. But that can be a challenge as tech-savvy consumers continue to expect ever more convenience, even as margins in this highly competitive global industry remain razor-thin. Meanwhile, the rise of sales channels such as Grubhub and Uber Eats means orders are coming in from multiple sources, taxing data systems and kitchens alike.
Food-service operations can range from single-location fine-dining spots to global fast-food chains, with operating structures that include corporate-owned units, franchises, and licensees, or they might be part of larger organizations such as hotels, resorts, casinos, sports venues, or cruise ship operations. Whatever the type of operation, legacy on-premises point-of-sale (POS) and back-office infrastructure struggles to keep up with these disruptions, and they can create data silos that leave decision-makers blind to demand shifts—resulting in supply and labor inefficiencies. What operators need are solutions flexible enough to accommodate this complexity while providing the real-time visibility required to maximize efficiency.
Food service is notorious for its narrow profit margins and intense competition. Operators are constantly on the lookout for a competitive advantage, and that means staying in front of the innovation curve without incurring significant costs. The challenge? Legacy store-based infrastructure that requires time and expense to adapt to each new change. For larger operators, that might mean upgrading physical infrastructure at thousands of locations worldwide. The longer your time-to-value from innovation, the less likely it will result in a competitive advantage. Operators must also squeeze more efficiency from kitchens to meet the demands of new sales channels and additional traffic.
Despite all these changes, business imperatives remain the same: Drive down labor and food costs while maintaining quality and increasing top-line revenue. Doing so requires real-time visibility into demand—week to week, day to day, and even between one day part and the next—to manage purchasing and labor accordingly. Operators must also calculate how external factors, such as weather conditions or local events, can affect traffic. Unfortunately, by the time this data is processed and reported to managers and executives via traditional technology, the critical moment has passed.
Cloud-ready infrastructure can address all these challenges head on. Instead of touching thousands of local systems, operators can roll out new technology and services from a central source, decreasing time-to-value and providing the competitive edge they need. In addition, a best-in-class food service management system meets guests’ expectations with mobile or table ordering, speedy service thanks to electronic kitchen management solutions, and loyalty programs that reward guests for each purchase.
Cloud systems also provide the real-time visibility that operators need to aggregate information from multiple sources upward in the organization, so that labor and purchasing decisions are made with always-current information.
Perhaps most importantly, top-line cloud solutions share data seamlessly with other back-office software, such as ERM and HCM systems, as well as with hospitality management systems within hotels, resorts, and casinos.
For organizations that aren’t ready to move entirely to the cloud, on-premises, cloud-ready engineered systems provide an important first step. These systems offer organizations complete control of their data infrastructure on premises with exact equivalents in the cloud, permitting a frictionless migration when the time comes. With multiple migration paths available, organizations can decide exactly how and when they’ll move to the cloud.
Oracle Hospitality Simphony is a cloud and mobile hospitality management platform providing enterprise POS and back-office functionality on fixed and mobile devices to support a wide range of food and beverage operations. Because food-service operations can’t afford a moment of downtime, Oracle Hospitality Simphony offers a cloud-first solution that also provides local redundancy, so that if an individual store’s connection is lost, it can continue completing transactions. Simphony provides comprehensive guest engagement capabilities, standardized reporting, and advanced central management controls. It is designed to handle multiproperty POS configurations that can include thousands of workstations or a single-property operation. Simphony can operate across every time zone in the world simultaneously, with the ability to scale seamlessly as your company continues to grow.
For organizations opting for on-premises, cloud-ready engineered systems as the foundation for their IT infrastructure, some applications can remain on premises while POS can be migrated to Simphony in the cloud, since data structure and applications are identical to their cloud counterparts. Engineered systems make any hybrid environment possible. For example, Guangzhou Restaurant Group, a large food conglomerate in China, found that its legacy systems couldn’t keep pace with its growth, so it chose Oracle Database Appliance, to help Guangzhou scale without hardware upgrades, while simplified management ensures higher database service availability.
Guangzhou Restaurant Group operates restaurants, food-production facilities, and food markets with eight, high-end restaurant branches all over the city. With expansion on the horizon, the restaurant group replaced its aging legacy database servers with Oracle Database Appliance which increased database performance by 3x and enabled users to create reports—for example, food production reports—5x faster. The speed and performance gains by simply optimizing their underlying IT infrastructure helped eliminate bottlenecks and disruptions to daily food-production operations, giving the company the stability and the capacity to meet demands of headquarters, its restaurant branches, food-production factory, and chain food markets for at least the next five years. With cloud on the horizon, the group is ready for the digital age with cloud-ready engineered systems.
Sticks'n'Sushi is one of the most popular emerging restaurant chains in Europe and is propelling its expansion across more regions. Known for its great food and exemplary service, Sticks'n'Sushi is constantly striving to be one of the most innovative restaurants in the industry—setting new standards for training staff, communication, corporate responsibility, and advertising and design. That drive for innovation led Sticks'n'Sushi to embrace the Oracle Hospitality Simphony cloud point-of-sale solution. The Oracle Hospitality video team recently traveled to Copenhagen to capture the restaurant’s digital transformation, including its app-driven takeaway service. Simphony provides the company with centralized control of an ever-growing enterprise and helps make on-premises and off-premises ordering a universal brand experience. In addition, its plug-and-play simplicity helps accelerate international expansion.
Learn more about how you can prepare your infrastructure for the cloud with Oracle Database Appliance and the entire Oracle Engineered Systems stack—cloud-ready systems purpose-built to maximize the performance of mission-critical applications like Oracle OPERA and Oracle Hospitality Simphony.