How Chains Are Driving Success With Technology

Today, national chain operators are experiencing challenges they’ve not faced before. With inflation causing operating costs to skyrocket, hospitality staff turnover at an all-time high, and the guest experience completely transformed, restaurant chain operators are seeking innovative solutions and partnerships to ensure positive growth across all their locations.

Catapulted by the pandemic, digital technologies have quickly unlocked new opportunities for operators of all sizes to overcome many of these challenges.

Like the hospitality industry, digital tools have completely transformed over the last several years. Though once unattainable due to high entry costs and a lengthy integration process, providers have democratized their solutions, enabling chains to adapt and thrive in a new playing field.

Let’s take a look at how chains across the globe have been able to do more with less in this new era of hospitality.

Standardize Operating Procedures

Technology plays a crucial role in standardizing operating procedures for enterprise restaurants. With the help of digital platforms, operators streamline processes, ensure consistency, and eliminate frustrations associated with traditional methods.

Chain operators have integrated new tools to improve the way they engage with their customers, staff, vendors, and stakeholders. Most importantly, technology has given operators real-time and accurate information, enabling them to make informed business decisions leading to increased profitability.

For example, beverage ordering has historically been a tremendous pain point for many chain operators. Advanced digital solutions provide a centralized communication hub, allowing operators to place orders digitally, minimizing errors, and creating a more efficient workflow. By implementing technology-driven systems, chains can enhance their overall productivity and eliminate discrepancies in operating procedures across different locations.

Onboard and Retain Staff

National restaurant chains can also leverage technology to improve staff onboarding and retention. With the beverage industry facing labor challenges, it is crucial for operators to adopt efficient systems that attract and retain talent.

The labor shortage has been a significant challenge for the hospitality industry and restaurant chains in recent years. According to a 2021 survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, 89% of restaurant operators reported a shortage of staff. The same survey found that 72% of operators reported higher recruiting and labor costs due to the labor shortage.

Digital platforms offer robust features to facilitate streamlined onboarding processes. Online training modules, virtual orientations, and digital documentation can help new hires quickly integrate into the team. By providing a comprehensive and accessible digital platform for training and resources, operators can empower their staff and create a positive work environment.

The integration of digital solutions into a chain’s day-to-day operations has also greatly helped with staff onboarding. For example, instead of requiring new beverage managers to memorize mandated beverage products and the associated distributor, they can now leverage tools to make the ordering process turn-key.

restaurant chain tech

Ensure Corporate Compliance

Data-driven decision-making is essential for maintaining corporate compliance across multiple locations. Access to comprehensive reporting and analytics is crucial for identifying and addressing compliance issues.

With enterprise reporting and analytics tools, operators can gain visibility into the products purchased across all locations. By monitoring individual store-level buying behavior, executives can identify inefficient ordering patterns and implement corrective measures.

For example, with beverage ordering, group depletion reports enable operators to analyze each location's purchase history by the supplier, brand family, distributor, product name, package size, and total case equivalents. These insights help ensure compliance and optimize purchasing decisions.

The Takeaway

Technology is revolutionizing the way enterprise restaurants operate by streamlining operations, ensuring consistency, and optimizing efficiency. By embracing these technologies, large restaurant chains can reduce costs, enhance customer experiences, and position themselves for sustained growth in the highly competitive restaurant industry.

As technology continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly play an even more significant role in shaping the future of enterprise restaurants.


Grant Douglas is Head of National Accounts at Provi, an online marketplace that simplifies the complex process of ordering, selling, and promoting wholesale alcohol between buyers, distributors, and suppliers.


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