4 Ways Your Restaurant POS System Can Save You Time

By Katie McCann

illustration of POS beside clock take out containers and calendar

You know those days where you get home at 5:00 on the dot, flip on the TV, and wonder what you’re going to do with all your free time in the evening?

Yeah, didn’t think so. 

Running your restaurant is a time-consuming affair. And more times than not, you may feel like there’s not enough hours in the day. 

Well, with the right technology, you can get more of your time back. 

Having a restaurant POS system as the hub of your business doesn’t just give you powerful business insights and a sleek spot to take orders – it can also minimize the time you spend on day-to-day tasks managing your restaurant.

Four main areas your restaurant POS system can save you time are:

  1. Staff scheduling
  2. Cloud reporting
  3. Inventory management
  4. Online ordering

In fact, these integrations can put over 30 hours back into your week.

How? Witch craft? Time travel?

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Restaurant POS System or Time Machine?

Put your DeLorean back in the garage (for now). 

The right restaurant POS system will give you back your time all on its own.

Managing the most demanding aspects of your business will always take time, but it shouldn’t take all your time. From hours spent pulling reports to counting your inventory, you can get more hours back in your week when using your POS to its full capability. 

Check out how much time your POS can save you, AND what you could be doing with that time instead. 

infographic showing fun activities you can do with the time you've saved

1) Staff Scheduling

In the wise words of music legend Pitbull, Mr. Worldwide himself, “Time is money, and I ain’t wasting no time”. 

But depending on how you do your staff scheduling, you could be wasting both time and money. 

Building a staff schedule can be time consuming. Something like 50% of business owners report spending roughly two hours a week on scheduling, whereas some report spending up to 12 hours trying to perfect their schedule. Yikes!

Using a POS with staff scheduling built right in means you can spend up to 80% less time making them. If you’re in the 50% of business owners spending two hours a week on scheduling, this could mean going down to as little as 24 minutes a week. 

The right scheduling software won’t just give you time back – it’ll also allow you to track staff activity, communicate easily with your team, and manage employee accounts. And now you have over an hour and a half back to do just that!

What you could do with 1.6 hours instead of making schedules:

  • Watch this future dancing queen channel her inner Aretha Franklin close to 35 times. 
  • Climb up the Empire State Building seven times.
  • Ride The Smiler, a roller coaster in England that holds the Guinness World Record for most inversions, 36 times.
  • Go on a Pedal Tavern Tour, because it’s healthy (it’s technically a cycling tour), has booze, and you run a restaurant – you deserve it.
nashville pedal tavern
Nashville Pedal Tavern

2) Cloud Reporting

Your shift lead calls to tell you he’s placing the weekly inventory order. You’d mentioned running the taco special again, and now he wants to know if you’re actually doing it because he has to order now

So you go to check your reports and see if the special did well before making the call.

…then remember you can’t see these reports anywhere but your restaurant. They’re kept on your local server. You close off whatever you’re working on, gulp down your coffee, and head out the door. 

How long do you spend getting to work and heading home after?

According to CNBC, the average commute to work in the U.S. is 26.1 minutes one way. This means you’re spending over 50 minutes a day getting to and from work. And of course, this means you’re spending 4.35 hours a week just traveling for work. Not checking reports or counting inventory or training staff – just physically getting there. 

With cloud reporting, you can pull the information you need from wherever you are and skip the commute. While you may still have to spend some time crunching numbers or adjusting a menu, at least you shave off the close to an hour it takes to get there and back home.

What you could do with 4.35 hours instead of driving to get reports:

  • Watch Titanic and still have an hour leftover to figure out why Rose felt Jack couldn’t fit on the raft with her.
  • Run a marathon – and hang up your new medal in your restaurant, of course.
  • Listen to Dancing Queen by ABBA over 68 times. 
  • Grab some peanuts and cracker jacks and go to a baseball game, with time to spare if there are extra innings.

3) Inventory

Okay, this may be a good time to break out the DeLorean and travel to the time a minute after you’ve finished your inventory.

But with the right tools (not a time machine), taking inventory doesn’t have to keep you at your restaurant all night. 

Having a POS that automatically syncs your inventory to reporting can save you between 4 to 8 hours a week. No more flipping between spreadsheets, trying to find numbers from last week, or recounting when you mix up piles.

You minimize errors from manually inputting the information, gain a better grasp on how much you’re spending on food, and get 4 to 8 hours back into your week. 

Assuming an average here (your restaurant exceeds average, of course, but for the sake of argument), you could save up to 6 hours a week on inventory management. 

What you could do with 6 hours instead of counting inventory:

  • Hop on a nonstop flight from New York City to Lisbon, Portugal. Start your second location overseas – why not! 
  • Listen to the full Beatles album Abbey Road from start to finish 7.7 times
  • Binge watch season one of Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back
  • Hike the Grand Canyon one way
hiker looking over a rocky vista

4) Online Ordering

As the demand for delivery and takeout rises, so does the time restaurants have to commit to running it. One majorly time-consuming part of online ordering is manually inputting orders from a third-party app to your POS system.

Typically, you have your one staff member who mans the tablets. Back and forth between third-party tablets and your POS, they punch in orders and send them to the kitchen. 

Typically, it takes 2 minutes to type in an order – and it’s better to take longer, or you risk more mistakes. Take an extra minute here or an extra 20 remaking an order and trying to apologize to an unhappy customer? You decide.

Now imagine you get 100 online orders in an average day. There’s 200 minutes – 3.3 hours! – a day spent just typing information from one tablet into another. 

That also means your team is spending up to 23.1 hours a week processing online orders – nearly a full day! 

By using a POS with integrated online ordering, you can skip the tedious – and clearly time-consuming – manual entry. When your online orders sync directly to your POS, you get that full day back into your week. 

What you could do with 23.1 hours instead of manually inputting orders:

Back to the Future can be now – with the right restaurant POS System! 

These four time-saving features in your restaurant POS system can give you back a grand total of (drum roll, please!) 35.15 hours a week!

Whether it’s climbing Everest or climbing back into bed to catch up on sleep, you’ve earned that time back.

Now the only question left is: what’s the first thing you’ll do with your 35 hours?

Photo of Katie McCann
by Katie McCann

Katie is a former Content Marketing Specialist at TouchBistro where she writes about food and restaurant experiences. She doesn’t shy away from the finer things in life, but no matter how much success she continues to acquire, she stays true to her roots and still considers imitation crab as gourmet. If she isn’t writing, you can find her on a patio with friends and a pitcher of white wine sangria.

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