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Don’t Get Burned: Picking the Perfect Tech for Your Restaurant Crew

Running a restaurant is a culinary tightrope walk – balancing flavor profiles, managing inventory, and keeping those hangry customers happy. But in today’s digital age, there’s another crucial ingredient: the right tech. From firing up point-of-sale systems to managing online orders, your staff needs reliable machines that won’t fizzle out faster than a crème brûlée.

So, you’re staring down a sea of laptops and desktops, each promising to be the hero your restaurant craves. Fear not, fellow restaurateur! CJ Digital is here to break down the tech battle royale and help you pick the perfect equipment for your crew.

Desktop Dilemma: Towering Power or Space-Saving Snooze?

The classic desktop computer has long been the workhorse of the restaurant world. They offer processing muscle for running complex POS systems and inventory management software. But let’s face it, bulky towers can gobble up precious counter space in a cramped kitchen. Plus, all those wires? More like “wire nightmare” in a busy environment.

However, desktops do have some undeniable perks. They tend to be more affordable than high-end laptops and offer easier upgradeability. Need to boost RAM to handle a busier lunch rush? No problem, just pop in a new stick. Additionally, desktops offer a wider range of ports, allowing for easy connection to printers, cash drawers, and external displays. 1 Lombard St in Bank, London has a beautiful MAC desktop at their entrance which is subtle but has a lot of power for the reception staff to take advantage of.

The Laptop Life: Mobility Meets Maneuverability

Laptops are the nimble ninjas of the tech world. They’re perfect for restaurants that need a versatile solution. Need to take inventory in the walk-in cooler? Bam, the laptop goes with you. Want to check online orders from the manager’s office? Easy peasy.

But here’s the catch: laptops typically come with less processing power than desktops. Some high-end models can hold their own, but they come with a hefty price tag. Additionally, smaller screens and cramped keyboards can be a pain for extended use, especially for order entry or data analysis.

All Hail the Hybrid: Chromebooks and the Cloud

There’s a new sheriff in town – the Chromebook. These lightweight laptops run on Chrome OS, a cloud-based operating system. That means most of the processing power happens online, not on the device itself. This translates to a sleek, lightweight design that’s perfect for running basic tasks like online ordering, inventory management, and staff scheduling.

The downside? Chromebooks rely heavily on an internet connection. If your Wi-Fi goes kaput, so does your ability to use it. Additionally, they have limited offline functionality and can’t run some restaurant-specific software.

Picking Your Perfect Plate: Factors to Consider

So, which tech beast is right for your restaurant? Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Budget: Desktops tend to offer more bang for your buck, while high-end laptops and Chromebooks come with premium price tags.
  • Space: Tightly packed kitchen? A laptop’s portability might be a lifesaver. Got the counter space for a desktop? It could provide a more powerful (and affordable) option.
  • Software Needs: Does your POS system require serious processing muscle? Opt for a desktop. If you primarily use cloud-based software, a Chromebook might suffice.
  • Mobility Needs: Do you need staff to access data from different areas of the restaurant? Laptops win hands down.

Beyond the Basics: Must-Have Features for Restaurant Tech

Once you’ve picked your team (desktop, laptop, or Chromebook), here are some features to prioritize:

  • Durability: Restaurant environments can be tough on electronics. Look for models with spill-resistant keyboards and rugged construction. A dropped phone in the back kitchen is bad news, a dropped laptop is a full-on disaster.
  • Security: Data breaches are a nightmare. Make sure your chosen machines have built-in security features like password protection and encryption software.
  • Battery Life (Laptops Only): If you’re opting for a laptop, prioritize long battery life to avoid scrambling for an outlet during a peak rush. Goose Box Catering does over 100 orders a day so battery life is incredibly important to keep those orders being tracked.
  • Ease of Use: Remember, not all your staff will be tech wizards. Choose user-friendly machines with intuitive interfaces.

Pro Tip: Don’t Forget the Peripherals!

Tech doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Invest in high-quality peripherals like reliable keyboards and mice to minimize repetitive stress injuries and keep your crew comfortable during long shifts. Consider touchscreen monitors for POS systems, making order entry a breeze. Additionally, a docking station for laptops can provide a more “desktop-like” experience and easier connection to peripherals.

**The Final Simmer: Choosing the Right Tech is an Investment

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Got any further questions? Walk in for a free diagnostic in NYC:

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Outside NYC? Just mail in your device if in the US.

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