Your restaurant has survived the darker, colder winter months, and now you’re excited for patio season to kick in during summer. Enjoying a great meal or some drinks outside with good company on a perfect summer day is glorious!

But you know that running a restaurant is a tough business, where margins are always thin. You can’t count on the higher foot traffic of patio season alone to boost profits or remain in business — every restaurant can benefit from new ways that help it run more efficiently. Here are a few tips you can use.

Pick the Right Software

Today, there are apps specifically designed to help your restaurant operate, making it easy to use software to manage your workforce more effectively and efficiently. Employee scheduling software reduces the time it takes to create a schedule by 80%, meaning your staff can spend their time at work focused on where they need to be, either the kitchen or with customers.

This is a basic way employee scheduling software adds efficiency to your operations, but far from the only one. It also enables your staff to submit leave requests from any physical location, via their mobile devices.

If a manager needs to quickly find someone to cover a shift in an emergency, they can message all the staff at once. Each staff will then automatically get a notification on their phone. This way, there is little lag in the dialogue, and your restaurant can be fully staffed as quickly as possible.

Because employee scheduling apps can be linked to your point of sales system, the manager-facing dashboard unlocks all the key data your decision makers need to make informed operational decisions.

Food Shop Methodically

This is a time-tested method for restaurants to cut back on waste that’s too important to leave off any list. Make sure that you’re buying food in bulk where you can, and that you’re paying the lowest rates possible. Compare different vendors.

Also, keep track of spoilage by marking the best before date, and use your perishable food before it goes bad. Food is one of the most major costs you have, so being efficient in the kitchen can make or break your restaurant.

Get New Staff Up To Speed Quickly, Properly

Restaurants are notorious for high turnover, and training new staff can be both time consuming and expensive. Make sure that there’s a standardized process for getting new employees familiar with all their duties and tasks properly and quickly. The equation is simple: the less time this takes, the more efficient your restaurant.

Savvy restaurateurs are always looking for new ways to improve their operations. Getting the right modern software, optimizing your food purchases and codifying your HR processes are all important ways you can bring added efficiency to your restaurant. You have to take the initiative and seek out improvements yourself, because you can’t totally count on better summer weather to give your restaurant the bump your business needs.