Technology brings about convenience. It helps make everything better, faster, and easier. Unfortunately, there is also a misconception that technology completely replaces human involvement. Technology does not replace the human touch, yes, it can take over certain tedious processes and automate them, but it also opens more avenues for skilled workers to come into play.
Take for instance the growing popularity of Digital cafeterias at workplaces. A Digital Cafeteria does not replace an actual cafeteria. That essential break-away area very much remains functional, it simply helps make the space more approachable and pleasant.
A traditional workplace cafeteria is characterized by long queues and longer waiting times for food. With the advent of a Digital Cafeteria, employees no longer have to wait in queues. They can place orders remotely and pay online. When the order is ready, they can come to the cafeteria to collect their orders and unwind.
From the kitchen’s perspective, this change doesn’t mean that the cashiers no longer have work. It simply means that they have to be upskilled to handle the same orders online. From physically handling cash and passing on orders, their work now becomes keeping track of orders online, passing on the information to the kitchen, and updating the orders as they progress. Before we elaborate on how a Digital Cafeteria can truly benefit kitchen partners, let’s break down the problems faced by partners in a traditional cafeteria setup.
Challenges faced by Kitchen Partners in Traditional Cafeterias
1. Dependency on manual order methods
In a traditional setup, there is heavy dependency on manually taking orders. This leaves room for a lot of error and miscommunication. Employees usually hand in multiple modes of payments – cash, cards, coupons, payment gateways, etc. and it is often up to the cashier to manually organize and tally these at the end of the day.
This method not only costs valuable time but also limited visibility into daily orders.
2. Multiple Payment Methods
Multiple payment methods deserve a separate mention under problems faced due to the tedious nature of the task. They are often hard to track, especially cash payments, and can lead to a lot of accounting errors. The use of coupons extensively means the use of extra paper leading to a lot of wastage.
3. Lack of Order Tracking
Because orders are taken manually, they are not tracked in an organized manner. Usually, the kitchen relies on paper slips to process orders and has no view of the overall requirement. It prevents the staff from managing their workload efficiently. The staff often go back to processing the same orders at different intervals instead of preparing the required food in one go. This lack of visibility affects order fulfillment times leading to long queues outside.
4. Lack of Sales Data
The traditional setup also prevented an accurate view of daily sales data. A missed slip/coupon or misplaced cash led to further confusion harming the accuracy of the data at hand. Often about 5 to 10% had to be written off citing errors in calculation. The lack of sales data also meant that the kitchen had no real insights into their bestselling items and least selling items. This prevented the management from planning the menus better.
5. Problem of Food Wastage
One of the key problems faced by kitchens in traditional cafeteria setup is food wastage. Because the kitchen is unable to gauge the requirement accurately, often a lot of food is wasted. The kitchen also cannot adjust the menu according to popular preferences leading to more left-over food.
How Digital Cafeterias can help Kitchen Partners
A powerful yet seemingly simple application can transform a traditional cafeteria into a digital one. This not only enhances the overall cafeteria experience for employees but also helps the kitchen streamline its operations and make data-driven business decisions.
1. Single, organized view of operations
With automated processes in place, the kitchen can finally rely on the application for a single view of operations. With the reduction of manual processes, data captured is accurate and helps make operations more efficient.
2. Cashless transactions enable greater transparency
Thanks to multiple modes of online payments, kitchen management can finally get rid of tedious cash handling. Cutting down on physical coupons also helps save paper. The digitization of payments ensures greater transparency, both for the user as well as for the managers.
3. Order Tracking
Now with an efficient order tracking system, the kitchen can finally plan orders better. This means no more missed orders or errors. The kitchen team can also plan to cook meals in a manner that fulfills multiple orders in one shot. They can also update order status as they progress so that employees only have to arrive when the orders are ready.
4. Real-time Sales Data
The kitchen and management can also have access to real-time sales data. They can see which meals are performing better and which ones are not. The data can help with real insights on operations based on which tweaks can be made to enhance the experience for employees.
5. Reduce Food Wastage
And finally, preferred with a detailed view of sales and operations, the kitchen can place future orders with greater accuracy. This will help reduce food wastage as the kitchen can order only what is necessary. The data can also help the kitchen curate menus based on popularity to further reduce leftovers.
Find out how Digital Cafeterias can transform business operations and help Kitchen Partners function with greater efficiency. Allow SmartQ to take you through the journey, you can get in touch with us on https://www.thesmartq.com/.