The past two years have been painful times for the hospitality industry, with an estimated 13,000 Canadian food service businesses permanently closing their doors during the pandemic. Many service veterans saw an opportunity to exit the industry to pursue their back-burner dreams, leading to the current labour shortage that’s plaguing hospitality businesses.
It hasn’t been easy for restaurant operators to maintain success, but there is one consistent factor present among those who have powered through – technology. Fintech providers are proving their worth by helping restaurants bounce back, and in some cases, even prosper and see unparalleled growth.
Change is in the Air
COVID-19 accelerated the rise of the digital economy, and in turn, this has led to a rise in card-based payments and numerous digital payment options. Last year, digital payment card transactions (credit, debit, and prepaid) totalled more than $67 billion in Canada. That number is predicted to reach $80.56 billion in 2023, nearly a 19% increase.
Another growing trend in the fintech space is loyalty programs. Food costs and inflation are causing consumers to rethink their dining out habits, and many are looking to rewards-based loyalty programs to earn bonuses and redemptions to allow them to continue enjoying their favourite restaurants.
Now, more than ever before, restaurant operators need to invest in a technology platform that offersend-to-end payments (acquiring, gift cards and loyalty), data analytics, and financial management in a single solution, in order to help their business grow. That’s why Givex offers a one-stop-shop for businesses looking to streamline operations so operators can focus on other areas of the business, allowing them to provide the hospitality they’re known for instead.
Integrated technology is key for businesses looking to optimize operations. One of our clients, BarBurrito, noticed its franchise partners were somewhat bogged down with multiple different systems. Having an all-in-one solution allowed BarBurrito to bolster its efficiency and expansion across Canada – and for a multi-site operator focused on growth, efficiency is key. For instance, its app offers the same Loyalty and Gift Card redemption capabilities as in-store, creating a seamless experience for customers whether they’re dining in or ordering online. Having a POS system that integrates every aspect of operations makes business easier for everyone, from servers to accounting and management.
The integration goes beyond in-house operations tying into the same system. While third-party delivery apps like UberEats and DoorDash have allowed restaurants to reach new customers, they left something to be desired. The pandemic had a major impact on on-premise restaurant sales, and having access to a streamlined and efficient online ordering app was instrumental to the survival, success and growth of the BarBurrito brand. A robust POS system has the ability to integrate these delivery apps, which sends orders straight to the kitchen, records the sales automatically in reports and allows staff to trim those excess tasks and focus on guest experience and driving revenue.
Fintech has proved to be invaluable for BarBurrito. With the help of integrated technology, BarBurrito was able to enhance the customer experience while also tapping into valuable analytics and streamlining operations. This allowed the brand to scale rapidly, and BarBurrito has recently grown to become Canada’s largest Mexican restaurant chain, with 174 locations at present and nearly 40 locations set to open by the end of the year.
Focus on the Future
Restaurants must adopt the right tools to ensure consistent operations. Staffing is going to continue to be an issue, but when businesses put their faith in digital systems that carry out their purpose efficiently, they can focus on maintaining solid service.
The future of restaurant operations is now. While retailers have embraced fintech with open arms, restaurants have not been as quick to adopt the cloud-based POS systems that support operations and provide the reporting capabilities and data that are required to foster growth. Working with a fintech provider that offers an all-in-one, cost-effective platform is what will push restaurants into the future. Those who already have one in place are primed for success, and those who delay will fall by the wayside. It’s sink or swim for restaurants in 2022, and fintech is the rowboat.
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