Food service management in a busy restaurant is a juggling act. You have to manage employees, provide customer service, produce quality food, and stay within your budget in order to create profits. That combination can be overwhelming, and spending money on new equipment for your restaurant may be the very last thing on your mind. However, some new technologies for restaurants can help improve your employee performance, customer service, and food quality while actually increasing your profits. Take a look at a few new technologies that could really make your job a lot easier.

Streamline Your Kitchen With Light Alerts

There's a lot going on in a restaurant kitchen. Servers are rushing in and out, water is running, plates and cutlery are rattling, grease is crackling in the fryers, and so on. It's noisy. And in many cases, it's a multicultural crew, so not everyone speaks the same language, which can lead to misunderstandings even between people who can hear each other over the noise. In other words, the restaurant kitchen is a prime spot for communication errors.

LED light alert systems allow you to eliminate some of these communication errors and allow your kitchen to run more smoothly. A green light may flash over newly dry silverware that's ready to go on the tables, or a red light could illuminate a fryer that needs to be turned off. A system of light-based alarms is unobtrusive enough not to affect your customers' dining experiences, even in a restaurant with an open or partially open kitchen. And at the same time, the lights are obvious and universally understandable enough to send clear messages to your employees. A light alert system can smooth your kitchen operations considerably, which will in turn increase the speed and quality of the cooking.

Offer Increased Personalization With Touchscreens

When customers come to your restaurant, they want several things, like a tasty meal that they don't have to prepare and options that they don't have or can't make for themselves at home. But they also want things their way. Allowing customers to personalize their experience as much as possible gives them the sense that their meal was prepared specially for them, not just one of dozens of similar meals served that evening.

Today's advanced touchscreen food vendors allow customers a high level of personalization while actually decreasing your staffing needs, as these are essentially self-serve kiosks. While touchscreen food vendors such as soda fountains and ice cream bars that offer dozens of combinations and options are obvious choices at fast food restaurants, cafeterias, and buffet-style restaurants, they can also work in more traditional sit-down restaurants. Cutting down on the need for your servers to refill drinks or serve dessert by putting in an automated soda station or dessert bar can significantly reduce workload while increasing customer satisfaction. An innovative touchscreen food vendor can even create buzz for your restaurant as customers become curious about the flavor combinations they can produce.

Go Green With Automatic Biodiesel Converters

Want to reduce waste in your kitchen? Start with your excess grease, a major source of restaurant waste. With an automatic biodiesel converter, you can convert the grease that your kitchen has finished with into an alternative fuel, which can then be sold to outside distributors or used to power your business's vehicles. Either way, you'll increase your profits and do something good for the planet at the same time.

An investment in a biodiesel converter is also an investment in your restaurant's reputation. In certain locations, converting excess grease into fuel is a requirement for becoming a Certified Green Restaurant, a title awarded by the Green Restaurant Association. The ability to advertise yourself as a Certified Green Restaurant can increase interest in your restaurant and inspire more loyalty from customers who prize environmental responsibility in the businesses that they patronize.

Don't get so wrapped up in saving money that you neglect to invest in things that will increase your profits or improve your bottom line. An important part of food service management is knowing how to recognize the opportunity to improve the business by investing in new innovations and equipment.