May 18, 2014 by Ozgur Ozden
Cloud computing and its layers namely Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is on high demand by many companies because of its flexibility, scalability, reduced cost.
Before we dive into details why SaaS is suitable for restaurants, let me briefly try to explain what Software as a service (SaaS) is. Levinson (2007) describes SaaS as a software developed, installed and hosted by a cloud service provider and can be accessed and used by end users via any browser over internet, network or a VPN connection. End User actually do not own the software and rent it on a monthly or yearly basis. There are many benefits of using such a system by companies such as quick installation and configuration, scalability, updates and security, reduce cost, etc…
These benefits are suitable and desirable for many companies but if we focus specifically on restaurants purchases and support services, we may list the advantages as:
- Lower cost
- reduced personnel and IT expenses.
- Quick installation-updates, expandable, Security, no maintenance cost.
- You can use the data obtained to prepare custom made social and mail marketing – Special events, promotion sent to the customer as explained by Miles (2013)
- Updates are done automatically
- Ubiquitous – Available at anytime
- view content of the menu and working hours
- increase in customer satisfaction and trust.
- increase in revenue
Specific Advantages for Purchasing and Support Services:
- Reports: Daily sales and related data can be produced by the system and relevant reports can be produced for specific departments. Managers can follow reservations, rush hours, popular tables, effective employees, payment types, use of menu so prepare strategies very quickly and efficiently.
- Restaurants having more than one branch can easily manage and use the same platform Reports can be produced a from single database and overall picture of the chain pf restaurants can be easily managed.
- Stock and Order Follow: Orders like food, vegetables, meat etc… needed to be used by the restaurant can be made via system. Products received by the restaurant and invoices can be entered to the system, as a result fast and efficient stock control mechanism can be established. İf the restaurant has more than one branch then orders for every restaurant can be made online. All orders can be followed by a single platform and once the whole order list is produced by all branches, purchasing can be made by bulk amounts this may reduce price.
- Reservations: Reservations can be made online, even customers can choose a desired seat in the restaurant, This reduces the double booking and decrease the number of employees needed to answer the phones for booking especially during the rush hours, Laudon (2013, p.781)
- Again if you have more than one branch, reservations made for all branches can be followed from a single interface and location.
Customers may follow their previous orders, bills by a properly set cloud system if they register.
- Customers may follow their previous orders, bills by a properly set cloud system if they register.
- Home delivery orders can be made and tracked by the system so there is no extra personnel needed to take the orders. Orders can be automatically patch to kitchen.
- Take away orders can be followed by the system without missing an order or a delay.
- Waitress may take the orders via tablets and this will increase the speed of the orders. These orders can forwarded to the kitchen to increase speed. Payments can be made by the tablets on the table.
These are some of the general and specific advantages for using SaaS layer in restaurants. I am sure there many others too but Cloud system looks very efficient and viable for restaurant owners to reduce cost, obtain speed and trust.
1- Levinson,M., (2007) Software as a Service (SaaS) Definition and Solutions, Available: http://www.cio.com/article/109704/Software_as_a_Service_SaaS_Definition_and_Solutions, Last accessed:6th March 2014]
2- Laudon, K.C., Traver, G.C., (2013, p780), E-Commerce 2013 Business.technology.society., New York, 9th edition, Pearson Education Limited
3- Miles,S.,(2013) 7 Cloud-Based POS Systems for SMBs, Available:http://streetfightmag.com/2013/02/04/7 -cloud- based-pos-systems-for-smbs/, Last Access: 8.3.2014