It is hard to imagine now, but there was a time not so long ago when businesses did not depend on technology. In fact businesses have thrived for centuries without a shred of technology, yet today it seems almost impossible to do business without it. With so much dependence on technology, is it safe to say it is the backbone of business? Have we become so dependent on it that our businesses cannot function without it?
I had a client last week who completely shut down his restaurant for an entire day because the POS was down. I have been working in the hospitality industry for many years and have only seen this happen a couple of times. It blows my mind that there is no backup plan for many, if not most restaurants.
I have also seen POS systems crash and no one batted an eye. Several years ago I rushed over to a restaurant that I thought was dead in the water, but, much to my surprise, everything was running smoothly. The servers hand-wrote tickets and gave them to the kitchen. The kitchen staff read them and made the orders just like they would if they were receiving chits. The servers took out the “knuckle busters” and accepted credit cards. When I got the system back up and running, they put the orders in under “no make” and processed the cards. No one panicked. No one lost their cool. Everyone was prepared, stayed calm, and worked together. In the end the guests were all happy and taken care of, all of the money was accounted for, and the business became stronger.
The difference between the restaurants in each scenario is one had a plan and one didn’t. The one without the plan lost out on what was projected to be a $10K day. The one with the plan not only stayed open, but thrived that day.
It doesn’t take much. Little things like battery back-ups for power failure, manual credit card impression machines, and just having extra pens, pads, and calculators can make a huge difference if your system goes down. As long as your staff knows the plan and is prepared to act, you can successfully make it through a day without technology. It will make you appreciate technology even more once you have it back!
The old saying, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” is true in almost everything, especially in restaurants. It is not a matter of if, but when your system goes down, and trust me, it will. When it does, will you be prepared?