Restaurant customer expectations are high. Diners want easy ordering options, accurate service, and to receive their food fast. Restaurants of all sizes need to make adjustments to meet these customer demands, and one way they can do that is by using restaurant automation tools.

What Is Restaurant Automation?

Restaurant automation is the use of software and processes to simplify and automate repetitive operational tasks. Restaurants can use automation tools to streamline tasks and rely less on staff, which can lead to more efficient, speedy, and accurate operations. 

Why Now Is the Time for Restaurant Automation 

The adoption of restaurant automation is growing as restaurants are looking for more ways to improve customer experience while relying less on staff. Hiring challenges and staff shortages have forced many restaurants to do more with less. The 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry found that 70% of operators do not have enough employees to support customer demand.

One of the ways that restaurants can meet customer demand with a smaller team is by using automation. 

And, it’s easier than ever to bring automation tools to a restaurant. A modern restaurant point-of-sale (POS) system now offers many automation tools that make it easier to operate more efficiently and effectively.  

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Speed Up Service at a Short-Staffed Restaurant

4 Restaurant Automation Tools 

If your restaurant wants to speed up service and streamline operations without needing additional staff, here are four restaurant automation tools to embrace today. These automation tools don’t require complicated systems or tools. You can access these features easily with the right POS system. 

#1) Self-Ordering Kiosks

Most quick service and fast casual restaurants have customers place orders with a person at a counter. But, this process can be automated through the use of self-ordering kiosks. With self-ordering kiosks, customers can place their order without needing to talk to a staff member. They can walk up to an easy-to-use touchscreen and tap a few buttons to place their order.  

When self-ordering kiosks are set up on software that customers already know and recognize (like Lavu’s iPad ordering system), it’s easy for them to order. Plus, allowing customers to place their own orders gives customers more insight into their order ingredients and increases order accuracy. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Using Self-Service Restaurant Kiosks

#2) Kitchen Display Screens 

There is no reason why servers or order-takers need to write down customer requests and walk them back to the kitchen. Instead of hand-writing orders and presenting them to the back-of-the-house, you can use kitchen display screens to immediately share orders with the kitchen. 

Display screens are a part of a POS system. Staff enters an order through the POS, and the information is automatically presented on screens throughout the restaurant. Display screens aren’t restricted to kitchen-use only. You can easily set up automations to send tickets to stations around your restaurant, whether you want drink orders to go to the bar or specific menu items to go to designated stations in your kitchen. 

Related: Kitchen Display Systems: How Your Restaurant Can Benefit

#3) Inventory Management System

Tracking inventory at your restaurant can be tedious. Constantly measuring and managing usage takes time and attention to detail. But, you can automate inventory monitoring too. 

With a restaurant inventory management system, you can automatically deduct stock as inventory is used. You can connect your POS system to your inventory so each time an order is placed, your inventory stock is updated. You can also avoid running out of an item by automating orders when stocks run low, and avoid over-buying by using an accurate system to see how much you have of any item at any time. 

Related: Restaurant Inventory Management Software: The Essential Guide

#4) Digital Menus

It’s not uncommon for your restaurant’s menu to change during the week or even during the day. Menu items may run out, or you may offer unique specials that change daily. Each change requires your team to communicate and update menus — but you can also automate changes with digital menus.

With digital menus, you can program specials so menu options match daily offerings. You can also sync inventory to your menu items so items immediately stop showing when no longer available. Changes can show to servers on the digital tablets they use to take orders, or the changes can display on customer-facing kiosks, on-table tablets, or online menus. 

Related: Order and Pay at the Table: A Guide for Your Restaurant

Bring Automation to Your Restaurant Operations 

Restaurant automation tools offer what your customers and your staff need. They provide easier and more streamlined ways to speedily and efficiently serve guests. 

Adding automation to your restaurant might sound complicated, but it is easy to adopt these tools with a partner like Lavu. Schedule a demo to see how our restaurant point-of-sale system can provide access tools such as self-ordering kiosks, inventory management, kitchen display systems, digital menus, and 200+ other features that simplify your restaurant operations. 

Schedule your demo today. Or, learn more about what makes Lavu a top POS system by downloading our free Restaurant POS Buyer’s Guide