Hospitality Industry
6 min read

Restaurant management is digitalizing: 9 key digital skills to acquire

EHL Insights
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The industry has seen an exponential shift to digital hospitality solutions in the past few years, from eatery computer systems to restaurant management. With more people spending more time at the restaurant than grocery stores, an emerging ecosystem of organizations now relies on digital technology to reduce restaurant failure rates. Understanding and developing current digital restaurant management skills not only makes you stand out, but will also strengthen career prospects. 

What are basic digital skills?

Digital skills mean knowing how to use digital appliances, communication networks and applications to access and manage restaurant data and processes. These skills are aimed at facilitating restaurant management and deepening customer relations. 

Companies in the hospitality sector enjoy significant benefits from digitalization. Digital restaurant management involves the use of economic, sustainable and efficient methods that help boost an organization's market penetration, increase customers, and increase the number of direct bookings. Digitization also enables hoteliers to offer unique guest experiences.

Digitization of restaurant management doesn't mean organizations will become technocratic. Even aesthetically harmonious restaurants with integrated digital elements can fully unfold the restorative effect without revealing the used technology.

 

The link between restaurant management skills and digitization 

Indeed, restaurant management is turning digital, and consequently, advanced processes are either replacing the traditional ones or facilitating greater efficiency. Therefore, staying abreast of new digital skills can make you competitive in this highly dynamic industry.

Developing the following skills will help you strengthen your career:

Mobile integration

Almost every restaurant customer carries a tablet or smartphone, and the time people spend using mobile applications is constantly increasing. Like  other industries, restaurants are realizing a wealth of opportunities by leveraging mobile integration.

Mobile integration helps create a direct connection between clients and the business, and assists real-time communication. Through mobile apps, restaurants can enhance their client engagement and boost staff efficiency.

Companies have widely used these perks to stay competitive, and equipping yourself with this valuable skill means you'll be miles ahead of the rest.

 

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT has revolutionized businesses, and restaurants have benefited significantly. The immense benefits of IoT solutions include:

  • Task automation
  • Direct bill payment by customers
  • Remote kitchen management
  • Robust connections between restaurant chains
  • Streamlined operations
  • Improved food waste management
  • Reduced energy use
  • Improved customer insights

As more restaurants work to enjoy the numerous benefits of IoT, it's more important that workers equip themselves with this vital skill to stay competitive.

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO leverages several techniques to improve a company's online presence. In essence, the strategy simplifies how clients find information about your restaurant to order more food. The marketing team also gains massive returns on a small investment. It also improves online exposure, brand awareness and helps deliver better customer experiences.

 

Web traffic analytics

Any restaurant with a website, webpage or an online ordering portal will find Google Analytics helpful. In essence, this gives you the ability to analyze traffic on the above platforms, understand your target audience, know when to publish or update the website, and numerous other actions. Web analytics can tell so much about your site's traffic and the different related demographics that influence informed decisions through this process. 

 

Digital marketing and customer relationship management

Digital marketing is a valuable component of a successful restaurant since customers rely heavily on the internet to make purchasing decisions. Future innovative technologies will likely take over these decisions. Tools like Alexa will understand user preferences and a single keyword will be enough to order a meal from the restaurant. 

 

Augmented reality

This addition is relatively new to restaurants, but its benefits to organizations are immense. What may have been perceived as a reasonably frivolous business endeavor is now a massively important solution, and establishments are adopting it more and more. The increased interest is influenced by the demands of millennial clients expecting excellent digital experiences. Restaurants and hotels are using this technology to show potential clients what the surroundings look like. 

 

Automated purchasing solutions

The greatest mistake of any restaurant is not having sufficient food to serve. Automated purchasing systems come through for many eateries, saving staff and business owners from this headache. This tool links directly to your inventory system, keeping managers on top of stock through low product level alerts. It also suggests intelligent purchasing recommendations depending on forecasted sales quantities, vendor product lead times and custom par levels. With so much taking place in restaurants, more of them are acquiring purchasing software to monitor the inventory. 

 

Cloud-based storage management

A business that relies on any digital technology solution prioritizes data storage. Workers must understand how to organize and store data securely, making it fundamental to understand how to leverage cloud-based storage.

The two most commonly used services are Dropbox and Google Drive. Both solutions have internet- and desktop-based platforms that you can use to recover lost data. They also offer different ways of collaborating with colleagues. 

 

How to grow your restaurant management digital skills

It's no secret that digital restaurant management is poised to transform the industry. Within the next decade, more staff in the hospitality industry will work alongside computers, so ramping up your digital skills and preparing for the change is essential.

 

Here's how you can develop your digital skills:

Informal self-paced learning

The internet has lots of helpful information on your preferred topics. This makes it way easier to acquire basic digital skills. Even better, you're free to learn any digital skill at your pace and take your own time practicing what you know. What's more, you can easily connect with professionals in the hospitality industry to advance your self-learning.

The most reliable way to up your digital skills is to follow online courses, especially if you have the necessary interactive tools. They're convenient and offer lots of flexibility. What's more, these courses bring education right where you are and you can be sure of individual attention.

Taking an online course also provides scheduling flexibility and reduces the total costs. You'll improve your skills in a comfortable learning environment at your convenience.

 

Continuing education courses

Continuous education programs are the best option if you want the motivation to upskill fast. Contrary to what you'll achieve with informal, self-paced learning, this is a collaborative learning approach with which you'll advance through an educational program with peers. 

You're guaranteed comprehensive training and, ultimately, certification once you're done. Notably, you'll find these programs online as well. Continuing education courses fosters collaboration, and you're assured of the necessary support from your facility and peers. The approach also offers structured learning and networking opportunities. You'll get to expand your perspective through engagements with peers. 

 

Get analytical

Savvy digital experts in the hospitality industry and beyond usually begin with checking out relevant digital statistics behind the scenes. Understanding digital marketing analytics isn't just one of the crucial elements but also a vital part that most people fail to master. After understanding the numbers, you can quickly work out the different things affecting them.

 

Practice makes perfect

Learning all the digital skills applicable to your field is essential. However, it'll be challenging to keep up with the latest digital trends and new developments if you don't continue using your new skills. It's even possible to forget simple processes if you don't practice regularly. Fortunately, you can leverage different platforms to evaluate your current skill sharpness and maintain your knowledge over time.

 

Watch YouTube videos

Just reading books and online publications alone isn't enough. You can still grow your knowledge base by checking out helpful YouTube videos focused on digital restaurant management. This is no longer a streaming platform but has grown into the world's second-largest search engine and learning tool. 

 

Improve your online communication

Online communication is critical not only to restaurants but across different industries. Effective communication leads to successful personal and professional relationships, so improving how you communicate online makes sense. To develop this vital digital skill, make sure you implement the following:

  • Always use concise and clear language with broken text and little jargon.
  • Make your responses thorough.
  • Convey the proper tone when communicating.
  • Establish a positive online persona.

While doing all these, also make sure you familiarize yourself with the workings of everyday communication and collaboration tools such as Slack or Trello

 

Increase your online presence

Online presence is gradually becoming a vital communication component, with people regularly using it to communicate what they're up to. Developing your social media presence on social sites like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, will connect you with more like-minded individuals, helping you stay up-to-date with the latest digital technology news. 

 

Follow digital news

Boosting your digital skills also requires staying up to date on the latest restaurant management technology developments. Therefore, it's always essential to visit the tech section of your preferred news platform or read popular tech publications like Wired and TechRadar. You may also set a Google alert for tech-related stories and hospitality insights.

 

Teach others

The journey doesn't end with you honing your skills. The best way to maintain your knowledge and deepen the learned concepts is to pass the digital skills on to others. If you're into sharing your knowledge and delivering your lessons to a larger audience, you can develop a useful curriculum.

 

Final thoughts

As restaurant management turns digital, experts in the hospitality industry are forced to upskill to stay relevant and competitive. While there are many new things to learn daily, focusing on the above skills can boost your career growth in the sector.

Generally, it all depends on your efforts to stay ahead of the current industry trends. The best approach to this is to review EHL's hospitality business insights constantly. Subscribe today to access a central source of actionable insights.

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