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Expanding your restaurant’s location isn’t an easy feat. It takes a careful analysis of your financial performance. It’s also critical to ensure the benefits of adding another location outweigh the investment of your time, money, and resources. Often, though, expanding can grow your customer base, strengthen your brand, generate more revenue, and diversify your risk.
It’s no wonder that, while single-unit locations make up the majority of U.S. restaurants, the number of multi-location restaurants is on the rise. And while your restaurant technology can play a significant role in making the decision to expand, once you’ve started the process, revisiting your tools and evaluating how you leverage them can help make your expansion successful.
For Pretty Bird Chicken, a growing quick-service restaurant in Utah, having a technology-backed order and fulfillment operation was essential for their team to grow. “We feel pretty confident opening up this fifth location because we do have our systems, our processes in place,” co-owner Alexis Pham told Square about their decision to use four kiosks at every location and organize their menu item and modification options into categories for streamlined kitchen operations.
Whether you’re planning your second location, your third, or more, taking a few moments to determine what’s essential for your tech stack and making changes that complement your growth will ensure your restaurant technology propels your business forward with ease.
Establish your essential restaurant tools.
Like Pretty Bird Chicken, adding kiosks and more point-of-sale (POS) systems may be beneficial for your business as you scale, but before growing your tech stack, start by outlining what’s necessary for your business to thrive. With a clear understanding of the fundamentals, you can make sure you’re using what you already have to its fullest advantage, then identify any gaps that you can fill to streamline how things run.
How your restaurant technology can flex to support you as you expand
With the fundamentals in place, explorie new ways your restaurant technology can work for your growing team. Consider these applications as you plan for expansion:
1. Uplift your management team.
Having additional locations to oversee adds responsibility to your management staff. Thankfully, monitoring performance data and managing daily operations don’t have to be complicated tasks. An integrated point-of-sale system lets you keep track of how things are operating in one central place.
The Kebab Shop CMO Wally Sadat explained that having access to point-of-sale data and customer behavior, including their purchasing history, marketing metrics, and loyalty information, in one place is essential for achieving their goals as a restaurant with 33 locations.
And remote device management functionality lets your management team oversee network connectivity, battery level, and more without having to physically be in your restaurant’s location.
2. Take personalized orders faster.
Your technology can also support you on the floor as you prepare for expansion. Installing kiosks, for example, can help lines move faster, which increases the total order volume you’re able to take on. By giving customers the ability to order and make modifications themselves, you’re also giving them the autonomy they crave. According to the Square 2024 Dining Report, the vast majority (70%) of consumers said they would prefer or be open to ordering at a kiosk.
You can also make intuitive changes to your POS screen: Using images and different tile sizes, colors, positions, and groupings, you can work faster and more intuitively. And by accessing information about your customers, such as order history, loyalty status, average spend, and more, directly in the cart, you can continue to provide personalized service even as you grow.
3. Fulfill orders easier.
Lastly, higher order volumes can add strain to your kitchen staff, which can make maintaining the speed at which your crew preps orders difficult. Using Square Kitchen Display System technology, which unlocks better visibility into incoming orders, can help you keep your staff’s pace. How? Square KDS runs on Android software that’s quick and easy to activate, and it gives you the ability to tailor order ticket size and screen size based on your kitchen’s needs.
For any restaurant owner, planning for a new restaurant location is a significant undertaking. But your restaurant technology doesn’t have to complicate the process. If you’re planning for expansion or considering it in the future, prepare using our free restaurant startup and analysis tool.