Your POS system is the hub of your restaurant business.
It handles orders, tracks payments and cash flow, manages inventory, and provides robust reporting to help you make decisions for front and back of house.
In short, a POS helps you operate smartly and keep costs in check, which is why choosing the right system is essential for your business.
But if you’ve already invested in POS hardware and software, do you need additional software integrations on top of that?
This additional software – called third-party integrations or third-party applications – acts as a bridge between tools you already use (e.g. accounting software) or introduces new tools that help automate tasks for a more efficient use of your time. Goodbye manual data entry!
This article will help you better understand what integrations you need and exactly how they can help your restaurant.
A third-party integration is a separate tool designed to seamlessly connect with your POS system, extending the core functionality of your system.
When you add these integrations to your POS, you build a full restaurant management system that controls all the different parts of your business from one place.
That central hub (your POS) collects and shares data between your different integrations, so you can complete different business functions. Think daily sales totals pulled directly from your POS into your accounting ledger. This means you don’t have to do any manual data entry – three cheers for that!
A full restaurant management system helps you streamline your operations, making it easier to run your restaurant.
Third-party integrations – “stacked” on top of your POS software – are a growing trend in the restaurant industry. Why?
More and more restaurateurs recognize the value of tech to help them be more efficient and more profitable. And the restaurant tech industry is working overtime to meet the demand. There are more third-party POS apps in the marketplace than ever before.
So how do you know which ones your restaurant actually NEEDS, as opposed to the nice-to-haves?
Here are the top four restaurant POS integrations you need for a complete restaurant solution:
Let’s go through each one and what added value they bring to restaurant operations.
One of the most helpful POS integrations is an accounting software application.
TouchBistro’s restaurant POS is integrated with Shogo, a third-party integration that connects your POS software to Quickbooks accounting.
The Shogo integration allows restaurants to map sales data (by category or item level) directly into their accounting software. Once mapping is set up, Shogo automatically posts the performance data in the accounting ledger at the end of every business day. Totals are pulled right from the POS system, completely eliminating error-prone, manual accounting entries in your bookkeeping.
All basic accounting functions can be mapped: revenues, taxes, discounts, and all tender activity like credit cards, gift cards, and cash drawer transactions. This data is also posted by location, which makes it easier to group and compare multiple locations.
Historical data is tracked, too. Helpful month-to-month and year-over-year reports provide accurate snapshots of growth and inform your forecasts.
One of the major benefits of integrating sales and accounting through your POS system is that sales totals move from your POS terminals to your accounting software automatically, eliminating delays and errors. The Shogo integration saves restaurant managers hours of tedious bookkeeping. No more dealing with multiple spreadsheets and manual data entry.
Even more, you can easily access status updates through the dashboard. Reports can be viewed on-demand, at any time, from any device because the app is cloud-based.
Reasons to love TouchBistro’s Shogo accounting integration:
What good is having performance data if you don’t use it to improve operations?
Reporting integrations like Avero help analyze operational data from your POS, so you can figure out exactly how your restaurant is performing. The Avero integration lets you create useful reports that help you control costs and increase profits.
Every day, your restaurant logs hundreds, maybe thousands of business transactions. Even more if you’re running multiple locations. The data captured by your POS software records every sale, at every hour, by each individual staff member. Inventory is measured down to the garlic clove. When you have Avero, you can view all this POS data and use it to find solutions to your most pressing business challenges.
Avero’s analytics engine is designed specifically for the hospitality industry. It can crunch your restaurant’s numbers in a range of different ways and deliver reports that address your exact concerns.
Want to get a better grip on planning your inventory or reduce overall expenses? Maybe you need to keep theft in check or maximize sales during particular hours. Avero’s reports produce insights from your operational data that can help address all these things and more.
Avero also helps to contextualize your sales. For example, it can pull in weather and event data. Did the playoffs last year help to promote more bar sales? Or did the rainy summer weather affect your patio sales?
Avero reports can interpret data with custom date ranges, employee groupings, or analyze a day’s or a year’s worth of figures on the fly. Precise, useful reports are then displayed on custom dashboards, available to you at any time, from anywhere.
Whether your concerns are focused on one kitchen or trends across multiple venues, Avero pulls all relevant POS data into its powerful analytics engine and interprets that information. You can then act on that insight and make informed, effective changes in your business operations.
Avero reports address 11 different operational categories such as sales, labor, productivity, and revenue management. You can even target specific areas of your business that you’re concerned about.
Here are some sample reports that could impact your bottom line:
Reasons to love TouchBistro’s Avero reporting integration:
Optimizing employee schedules is a common challenge in the restaurant business. Enter TouchBistro’s integration with 7shifts, the restaurant scheduling solution that allows you to stay in control of labor management.
TouchBistro’s 7shifts integration shares operational data with the app to help you create schedules that meet your restaurant’s labor needs. No more pen and paper or spreadsheet and print schedules (which just end up getting moved around). Plus, the 7shifts scheduling integration can shave up to 80% off the time it takes to maintain a manual schedule.
Here’s how 7shifts schedules work. A restaurant manager creates an initial schedule that’s accessible online to staff through the 7shifts app. Employees use the app to check work hours, key in their availability, and request shift changes – which can be approved on the spot.
Managers can adjust the work schedule in real-time – and, thanks to the app, staff always have the latest version at their fingertips.
Scheduling staff isn’t just about adding or subtracting the number of people on shift – it’s also about scheduling the right people. With access to employee POS information like table turnover and sales performance, 7shifts can help you know which employees to schedule when, so you know the right staff is in place – crucial during peak times and special events.
Predictive scheduling is how restaurants determine the number of staff members required for a given shift. It’s best to calculate these shift requirements using available POS data.
POS data shows how much revenue is generated by a specific employee in a given hour. This is referred to as SPMH (Sales Per Man Hour). Assuming the restaurant will generate the same amount of sales in those same hours, managers can predict exactly how many staff you need to reach that sales number.
Predictive scheduling not only saves the restaurant operational costs by not overscheduling employees, it also gives staff advance notice of work shifts – reducing surprises, no-shows, and the scramble to find people to cover missed shifts.
Reasons to love TouchBistro’s 7shifts scheduling integration:
When it comes to customer expectations, using tech to power transactions takes the cake.
That’s why online ordering and delivery is a must-have for today’s restaurateurs. Checkmate, TouchBistro’s integration partner for online orders, makes it easier to get the most from this growing trend.
If you use delivery services like Uber Eats and Doordash, you know that each of them has their own system for accepting orders. Individual order tablets can clutter your countertop and overwhelm your staff in no time.
TouchBistro’s Online Ordering integration through Checkmate lets you streamline the leading online ordering platforms directly into your POS. That way, you spend less time typing orders and more time managing your business.
Getting online orders correct is a requirement for repeat business. With an online ordering integration, orders from third-party apps like Grubhub go directly into your POS, which means they don’t get lost or entered incorrectly. Being consistently accurate is a huge advantage for restaurants – especially those that rely on delivery and takeout for a big part of their sales.
There are other upsides, too.
You may need fewer staff members focused on online ordering when you have an integration because one terminal is easier to manage than a counter full of them.
You can also look at all delivery platforms from a single location, making it easier to compare and make decisions about which platforms are best for your business.
Reasons to love TouchBistro’s Online Ordering integration with Checkmate:
The two common threads for all integrated POS applications are automation and accuracy. Sharing POS data with other restaurant tools creates new ways to work smarter, cut costs, and keep customers coming back.
For effective, integrated solutions, choose a single POS vendor, like TouchBistro, to ensure that all applications use identical data across all your management tools. When everything operates as one, it creates a cohesive family of solutions that work together to improve your business.
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