Restaurant and small business owners always face one similar challenge — there’s always an infinite list of things to do, but not enough time to do everything!

This means you’re either up at all hours, or putting off some of your responsibilities. Face it, the life of a restauranteur or small business owner is one that’s filled with constant tasks and stress.

But there are solutions. Little things you can do to automate different processes and parts of your day to help you get more done, with less stress.

Here are some of my top tips to automate your small business tasks.

1. Buffer + Quuu

This is one of my favorite combos. Depending on your line of work you’ll want to frequently update your twitter or Facebook page. Using Quuu with Buffer you can automatically have content (based on your selection criteria) get posted at scheduled increments on your social media accounts.
2. Archie

Archie is a drop dead simple tool that helps you automatically engage with your Instagram audience. You’ll want to take some time to think about your customers and their interests to make sure you start automatically gaining Instagram fans.


3. Use MailChimp

Automate email marketing newsletters and promotions with MailChimp.


4. Kickoff Labs

Kickoff Labs lets you build viral marketing campaigns that can build you a lead list fast. Your customers likely have friends that would be ripe for your messaging, and Kickoff Labs helps you get them to invite them to try your restaurant.


5. Google alerts

Set google alerts to track any mentions of your restaurant. This will give you material to promote to your fans or help drive new visibility.


6. Yelp Reservations

If you’re managing a restaurant that utilizes reservations, then integrate Yelp to help you automate reservation systems and messaging.


7. Automated Loyalty Programs

Systems like Square give you a POS system that is familiar, modern, and can create automated loyalty programs to keep your customers coming back.


8. Instagram Photo Contest

Consider having an Instagram photo contest for your fans. Have them share and the photo with the most likes wins. This is an easy way to get a collection of high quality photos that you can re-use and promote your restaurant at the same time. Foodies love taking pics.


9. Delivery

These days there are several services like Favor, Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates and more. Let them handle the hassle of delivering your items and increasing your revenue and exposure.


10. Proofreading documents

When writing any sort of documents, you’ll probably spend hours proofreading. I recommend using a tool like Grammarly to quickly and accurately catch all typos and grammar errors. You’ll save hours of time/week in proofreading.



If you have tons of bills to pay (and we know you do) IFTTT helps you create formulas that will send you automated reminders to take care of everything at a specific time.


12. Shyp

On those rare occasions you need to mail an item, but don’t want to deal with the post office. Shyp sends a courier right to your location to handle it for you.


13. Declutter your inbox and highlight work items consolidates junk emails into daily digests that will help unclutter your inbox. This will help keep a focus on the most important emails, while removing all the spam and junk mail.
14. Electronic/Online Checklists With Notifications

Whether it’s using a checklist tool for your own personal day-to-day tasks, or one to help keep your employees on track, online checklists with notifications are a sure-fire way to increase employee productivity. Overall, this helps you reduce costs, and minimize your managerial workforce.


15. Customer Complaints

Managing customer complaints is often mismanaged by restaurants and small businesses. This happens because you want to take the time to give them a personal email but will often put it off for other high priority items. An automated system may not completely address every situation, but will help you respond in a timely manner to help minimize fraud, losses and a poor experience for customers.


16. Automated Employee Scheduling

Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t need to deal with employee schedules? Tools like WhenIWork offer free ways to automate your employee schedules, send instant updates to reduce no-shows, and even manage time off requests. Best of all, it’s completely mobile making it easy to keep employees accountable.


17. Automated Time Off Requests

Leverage tools to track team availability to automatically handle time-off requests. This will save you hours of stress and time managing the process.


18. Automate New Hire Paperwork

Face it, hard copy paperwork is a thing of the past. It’s easy to lose track of and more difficult to manage. Tools like KinHR give you a quick and easy way to have employees fill out their paperwork and ensure it’s stored in an accessible and secure location for you.


19. Ordering Kiosks

Nowadays, there are restaurants that operate completely by machine. I’m not recommending going that far, but by using order kiosks/tablets you can streamline your entire ordering process, minimize cashier staff, and provide a consistent experience.


20. Data Analysis

Using a good POS and back office system makes it easy to analyze orders, costs, and find new ways to optimize menus and inventory. Utilizing sales data/historical data/ and pricing data to make logical cost saving purchases.


21. A Good Accountant

With all of the headaches you need to deal with on a daily basis, you’ll want to Yelp yourself a great accountant. The time they save you in the long run is more than worth their costs.


22. Employee Performance Management

Rather than guessing who your top employees are, use an automated system to rank your employees performance. You’ll quickly learn which employees slack off or hurt your business’ brand.


23. Inventory Ordering System

Knowing what to buy and when to buy it can be crucial for success. Having an automated ordering system that also tracks inventory usage can ensure you get notifications when supplies are running low so you never run out of your popular items.


24. Automated Training System

Streamlining new employee training using an online system like WaitTrainer can minimize the time you and your other managers spend bringing new hires up to speed. The faster you get them trained the more you save in costs.


25. Payroll

This falls in line with the new hire paperwork, but using a system like Gusto you can automate your employees payroll to ensure employees get their paychecks on a regular basis without you needing to worry about it.


26. Support Local Businesses

Promote local artists, musicians and other complementary businesses and they’ll help promote you. Some ideas that can help increase your social media profile are hanging artwork from local artists on your walls, work with local food distributors, or even feature some items from other local restaurants. For example, if you’re a local coffee shop, then talk to some bakeries and see if you can feature some of their items at your shop.