7 Ways Cloud-based Restaurant Technology is Transforming the Industry
Cloud-based restaurant technology is changing the way restaurant operators can do business and how they make and manage technology investments. From the way it’s accessed to personnel and payments, cloud-based restaurant management software is making its way into the mainstream and into the back-of-the-house in restaurants around the world.
An Intro to Cloud-based Restaurant Management Software
Cloud computing has been around for a while now, and the adoption of cloud-based software has increased dramatically in recent years across all industries, including the restaurant industry.
So, what is cloud computing and where does this so-called cloud exist?
In the past, in order to operate restaurant management software, each restaurant location was required to have servers “on-premise” which is technology-speak for “in the restaurant.” This meant that you needed a rack of computers wired up somewhere in the restaurant in order to capture data, process transactions, and report on performance.
Simply put, cloud-based restaurant management software relies on a network of remote (off-premise) servers that are hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.
Cloud-computing is the reason you can watch Netflix without having mountains of DVDs on your shelves. It’s the reason you can access Gmail without having your own personal email server in your home (we’re not going there 😏).
Cloud computing is how most modern technology applications function. It’s convenient. It’s secure. It’s the future of technology, and the future is here.
The Restaurant Industry’s Shift to the Cloud
The shift to cloud-based restaurant management software will make it fundamentally easier for restaurants to analyze sales, manage costs, and make data-driven decisions. That’s a big change for an industry that’s notoriously lagged behind the newest technologies…and with good reason.
Cloud-based POS software has become more and more common, making it easy to record sales transactions and offering all kinds of great insights on sales. Until recently, the back-of-house has been a bit slower to adopt.
Several of the most popular restaurant accounting and ERP platforms remain on-premise solutions. It can be difficult to aggregate data across locations or access the information that you need when and where you need it. The time is now to consider replacing older, legacy back-of-house software with state-of-the-art restaurant management solutions.
7 Ways Cloud is Transforming the Restaurant Industry
Still unsure about cloud-based restaurant management software? Like the idea but not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 7 reasons cloud-based restaurant management software is transforming the industry:
1. Access data anywhere
To get started, all you need is the smartphone in your pocket or a computer with a web browser and access to the internet. Just download the mobile app or login to the website. You don’t need to be in the building to use the software, deal with the headache of VPNs or private networks.
Access it on the train, from another location, from the beach. Access it literally anywhere…well, anywhere with internet which is basically anywhere.
2. No hefty upfront technology investments or long-term contracts
Why tie yourself down with a lengthy, expensive contract for a technology vendor to sell you technology that might soon be out of date? On-premise software requires long-term commitments, support contracts, and a much higher TCO, or Total Cost of Ownership.
The restaurant industry is turbulent enough, with restaurants open and closing on a daily basis. If you’re just getting started, you probably can’t commit to dropping tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on new technology. You’re just trying to keep the lights on and the guests happy.
Cloud-based restaurant management software eliminates the need for a major upfront investment and the lower monthly cost allows you to prove the ROI from day one.
3. Benefit from Flexible Payment Terms
If cash flow is a concern for your business (which it is for most businesses), then flexible payment terms are a big deal.
With cloud-based restaurant management software, you’re paying for your software-as-a-service (SaaS). For example, xtraCHEF offers both month-to-month and annual contracts. The latest technology, new features and releases, infrastructure improvements, etc. are all included as part of the service for which you’re paying. Compare this to the large upfront outlays that other technology investments require, and it’s a no brainer.
Not only do you not need upfront cash, you can even pay with a credit card!
xtraCHEF offers month-to-month subscriptions with minimal upfront fees.
Ready to give it a try? Request a demo today.
Another benefit of SaaS is that you can quickly and easily scale up or down based on your needs. Opening a new location, add it your existing contract and get up and running by the end of the day.
With just a few clicks, you can add users, integrations, locations, new features, and more. No visits from a technician. No lengthy implementation processes. No significant investments in hardware or space to store servers. Just grab and grow.
5. Connect and integrate with POS systems
One of the best benefits of cloud-based restaurant management systems is the ability to easily integrate with other systems. With APIs and other integration methods, your cloud-based restaurant management software can actually talk to one another, share data, and provide insights across stores and systems better, faster, and easier than ever before.
Then, you can easily move data from those systems into xtraCHEF and vice-versa in order to improve visibility. For example, our API-level integration with Toast’s cloud-based POS system allows us to sync daily sales info into xtraCHEF to get a real-time view into your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) with no manual data entry. Game changer!
6. Improve data security
Cloud computing is far more secure than storing data on your personal computer or an internal server.
In fact, cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (what we use here at xtraCHEF) have sophisticated security controls like two-factor authentication for logging in, deterrent controls to warn potential hackers about safeguards, preventative controls that make it harder for unauthorized users to access cloud data, and detective controls to respond to hacking incidents.
Not to mention, if something were to ever happen to the servers in your restaurant – like a flood, a fire, or a theft, you may not ever see that data again. Cloud-based restaurant software often comes with back-up and redundancy built in.
Why leave your restaurant’s data to chance?
7. You don’t need an IT team
If you’re managing legacy systems on premise, you have to know what you’re doing. From networking, security, recovery, troubleshooting, etc., not anyone can walk into a server closet or the office and start pulling cables like MacGyver.
With cloud-based restaurant management software, you don’t need to hire an IT person or beg your brainiac nephew to stop by the restaurant to do whatever you did last time. All you need is access to the internet and software provider that is committed to providing support and ensuring your success.
Ready to experience the benefits of cloud for your restaurant?
The new standard in restaurant cost management.
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