Technology
Restaurant operator using restaurant technology to check inventory.

Restaurant Technology to the Rescue: How Embracing Back Office Tech Can Save You Time and Money

With today’s lingering economic uncertainty, marked by rising food costs, persistent labor challenges, and intensifying competition, restaurant technology has emerged as a particularly effective tool for owners and operators committed to building a successful, lasting business.

QR code and phone for payment technology Of course, the value of technology in the restaurant field isn’t new.

The Covid-19 pandemic sparked rapid, wide-scale adoption of consumer-facing technology, such as web- and app-based ordering systems, digital payment options, delivery, and third-party ordering platforms. Fueled by necessity, these tech solutions helped restaurants overcome challenging circumstances and spotlighted the critical links between technology and performance.

But while these innovations solved the pandemic-specific issues, with tech capable of building traffic and corralling sales, recent years have introduced restaurant tech solutions to other problems, including inflation, staffing woes, and supply chain disruptions, that may threaten your restaurant’s viability.

Restaurant Technology’s Next Wave

With consumer-facing tech working to push revenue, many owners and operators began to look to the next frontier. They sought out innovative restaurant financial management tools to create operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and strengthen their bottom lines, and discovered solutions for handling payroll, purchasing, inventory, and food costs. Tech adoption, no longer a temporary bandage to generate sales, grew into a long-term strategy to protect overall business health.

According to a 2023 Popmenu survey of 426 restaurant owners and operators, among those who had incorporated technology into the business:

 2023 Popmenu survey statistic results: 77% reported increased efficiency, 61% noted less pressure on staff, and 35% enjoyed reduced costs.

Additionally, 76% of operators surveyed in the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Restaurant Technology Landscape Report 2024 credited technology for giving them a competitive edge.

Still, many restaurant leaders remain on the restaurant tech sidelines, concerned about cost, ease of use, complexity, and the challenge of product selection. You may wonder if your restaurant is large enough to benefit, or whether a particular tech solution will apply to your unique business strategy. However, with external forces continuing to squeeze your bottom line, this may be the best time to get into the game and adopt back-office technologies.

An Increasing Priority

Though the sector approached $1 trillion in sales in 2024, profitability has proven elusive for many restaurants. The NRA’s 2024 State of the Restaurant Industry Report revealed that more than one-third of restaurant operators reported zero profits in 2023.

Given intensifying competition for consumers and ever-escalating costs, leveraging the proven agility of restaurant technology is more important than ever. According to the NRA, 52% of operators are planning to incorporate technology into back-office functions such as payroll, finance, and compliance. Further, more than half of operators intend to increase their investment in inventory control and management systems by the end of 2024. These trends reinforce the relevance of restaurant tech and spotlight the surging demand for these business solutions.

Embracing Restaurant Technology to Elevate Results

Back Office has helped restaurants of all sizes, shapes, and formats—from independent full-service restaurants to nationwide quick-service franchises—gain greater control of their operations and make restaurant tech work for them.

Back Office answers operators’ intensifying demand for value-enhancing tech. With its payroll, AP automation, accounting, and a full suite of food cost management tools, including recipe costing, ordering, and inventory management, this technology helps operators run their day-to-day, streamlines time-consuming manual tasks, and produces impactful reports to push profitability. A single-spot solution that manages food costs and automates back-office operations will transform your foodservice supply chain and grow your margins, with real-time data on your products, prices, and profitability.

Accounting at Your Fingertips

With industry-specific reporting, timely financial analysis, and the support of restaurant-accounting experts, Back Office presents key financial information via a user-friendly dashboard. Its unique integration routes restaurant data directly from your point-of-sale (POS) system into the Back Office reporting dashboard, eliminating the need for manual data entry and therefore improving accuracy. The resulting reports, including automated daily and weekly reconciliations, can empower timely, proactive adjustments to grow your restaurant’s profitability, cash flow, and financial health.

Back Office’s accounting team also reviews your restaurant’s assets, liabilities, and equity to ensure balanced books and better inform decision-making. Your investment also guarantees semi-annual operational evaluations; these reports allow management to compare their own results against industry benchmarks, to spot potential improvements, forecast, and set long-term financial goals.

The Only Restaurant Software with $35B in Purchasing Data

 

The Ease of AP Automation

Back Office automates your restaurant’s accounts payable system, controlling costs controls and driving efficiencies: processes that once took hours are now completed in minutes. From one central place, you can organize, review, and pay all of your bills.

Simply upload an invoice (or snap a photo). Back Office will digitize and store it in an electronic filing cabinet and, if needed, route it to QuickBooks Online, eliminating data entry. Then, enjoy real-time visibility of pending invoice approvals, submitted invoices, and payment activity. You can also pay your vendors by check or ACH. Automating these manual tasks will save you time, improve the accuracy of your AP data, and support decision-making.

Payroll with a Purpose

For many, managing payroll is a complex, time-consuming process. Back Office integrates with leading POS systems to provide streamlined payroll and compliance services that save time and reduce exposure to regulatory fees and penalties. Since Back Office experts understand the complexities of local, state, and federal legislation affecting restaurant payroll, their support can help ensure payroll accuracy and keep your policies, procedures, and internal documents up-to-date and compliant.

You can also control your operation’s cash flow needs, with flexible weekly, bi-weekly, and semi-monthly pay-cycle options. Meanwhile, employees can enjoy direct access to the financial information they need from you (e.g., HR documents, pay stubs, and W2s) and select their payment method (i.e., via check vs. direct deposit).

Food Cost Management Made Simple

Understanding food costs is vital to the success of any restaurant operation. Back Office provides a range of services to help you better understand your business, remove guesswork, and create a more profitable menu.

Back Office automatically tracks your food spend and costs of goods sold without the hassle of invoice data entry or inventory counts. The software syncs invoices from your food supplier (including national broadline distributors, such as US Foods and Sysco) and imports all line-item data, so you can cost out recipes, monitor ingredient costs, and optimize your menu’s profitability through real-time price updates. Back Office also incorporates product substitutions, mapping and categorizing new ingredients that enter the system to better clarify your costs-per-plate.

Inventory and ordering capabilities, meanwhile, enable you to easily track inventory, spot usage issues, and submit purchases directly from a mobile app. In addition, automated weekly food cost percentage and costs of goods sold reports provide data on budgets, pricing trends, and ingredient usage, empowering you to shift the menu or promote particular items to enhance your bottom line.

Prepare to Prosper

Though today’s restaurant industry outlook may seem challenging, answers are out there. The right restaurant technology solutions can help you solve the profitability puzzle and tackle back-office tasks with greater efficiency and ease.

Created by restaurant operators for restaurant operators, Back Office prides itself on being the easiest back-office restaurant software on the market. It’s time to gain efficiencies, drive profitability, and confidently manage your back-office tasks with one all-encompassing, intuitive system.