8 Ways Your Restaurant POS System Can Simplify Your Business
What’s one thing you can do to run your restaurant more efficiently? Simplify and amplify your operations by using all the features of a high-quality restaurant POS (Point of Sale) solution.
It’ll improve your business and your life.
Modern POS systems, such as a cloud-based POS system are to restaurants what lightning-fast laptops are for office workers. Put away that clunky hardware that sits in the back and requires the occasional wire pulling and restarting to get motivated. Today’s best POS solutions run on tablet technology, such as iPads or Android tablets. The software is simple, intuitive, and easy to use.
And it comes with features designed to make the lives of restaurant owners easier, more efficient, and even more profitable. Are you making use of every last one of them?
Let’s run through eight game-changing ways a restaurant POS system will make your restaurant better forever.
A tiny notepad and a great memory are important tools for a server. But they’re no match for technology that can not only help them keep track of all of their orders, but also make the most of every table, with add-on features that customers will appreciate.
With a modern restaurant POS system, an iPad and eye contact can go hand-in-hand to provide stellar customer service. In addition to acting as a cool novelty, a POS solution that features tableside ordering, like TouchBistro or CAKE POS, will help servers fulfill orders faster and more accurately. Visual menus help both new and seasoned employees answer guest questions correctly, enter orders with fewer errors, and provide smart upsell options to increase revenue and create an even better experience for your diners.
Orders go through to the kitchen with one quick tap. And servers can efficiently split the bill, no complicated math required.
An all-in-one solution brings the back of the house to the front and signals to your customers that your restaurant invests in customer service and efficiency.
2. Table Management Features Help Easily You Manage Your Layout
Tired of your restaurant floor plan? Do you ever wonder what would happen if you moved things around – even if just for an event? Technology can help with that.
Many advanced POS solutions come with high-performing table management capabilities that allows you to design a restaurant floor plan, take orders by table, move parties around quickly, and manage various sections of the restaurant with just a few taps. An easy-to-use restaurant floor plan maker means you can easily add tables or change your floor plans for special events or busy seasons.
These features will help you identify slow-turning or high-value tables at a glance right from the floor plan. And you can maximize your revenue from reservations by optimizing your floor plans and tracking guest status to turn more tables. Best of all, you can track the impact these changes make on any given day, so you can make decisions about whether a change was just an interesting experiment or if it should be here to stay.
3. Custom Payment Processing Makes Paying Faster, Easier, and More Secure
Not all restaurants are going to want to accept the same payment methods. Payment processing decisions are personal decisions. You’ve got to know your business, your clientele, your employees, and your capacity for change and payment charges. That’s why it’s important to think carefully about your payment processor.
Fortunately, most modern restaurant POS solutions give you options. Choose from a selection of payment partners, get an integrated restaurant payment solution, pay-at-table choices, and take advantage of the ability to accept all card types and payment methods (including swipe, dip, or tap and digital payments via Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay). POS integrated solutions eliminate double entry and reduce errors, simplifying transactions for servers and ensuring cleaner accounting records for you.
With a strong solution underpinning your business, you can pick the best payment varieties for you and your customers. You can also rest assured that you’re protected against fraudulent activity with secure payments.
4. Menu Planning Made Simple
Your POS system’s restaurant menu management software should offer a host of smart features to make your menu ordering, preparation, and reporting process smart and simple. On many systems, you can add full-color images to menu items to help your staff sell tableside, set automatically scheduled menus and promotions, and reduce costs by remotely managing menu items from an iPad to respond to low inventory alerts, 86s, and emergencies, all in a matter of seconds.
A high-performing menu management system will allow you to add, clone, and categorize menu items easily on your tableside iPads. It will route orders to kitchen printers and kitchen displays by menu category or item. And it will allow for custom modifiers on the spot so servers can cater to customer requests quickly and easily – and communicate them to the kitchen with just a few taps.
Think about all the steps you’ll save, plus the missed opportunities for miscommunication and human error! This is one feature that can have a huge impact on the efficiency of any restaurant.
You want your restaurant to be more than just a great place to eat – it needs to be a great place to work, too.
But managing and scheduling staff shifts is a full-time job in and of itself. Your POS system can help take some of the load off with features like:
Activity tracking: View clock-ins, clock-outs, breaks, and staff activity with a virtual staff punch clock.
Staff management: Maintain payroll details and personalize accounts with employee-specific settings.
Schedule management: Some POS systems integrate with other apps like 7Shifts, automatically using data to create an effective schedule based on historical sales.
Payroll management: Calculate staff wages and the cost of labor with customizable staff types.
Theft prevention: Reduce theft and losses with comprehensive security controls and adjustable settings. Set your POS to allow only certain features depending on role – maybe only managers can approve voided meals!
Labor tracking: You can track overtime hours, staff, performance, and labor costs on some POS systems.
Remember all those hours you labored over staff scheduling, payroll, and management? Your restaurant POS system can take a lot of the load off, offering you insights that will empower you to make better business decisions.
6. Show Your Customers You Value Them with Restaurant Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Do you want to be people’s favorite restaurant? The neighborhood joint that knows exactly what they want and how they want it every time they come in? When you unleash the power and simplicity of your restaurant POS system’s CRM software, you’ll be hitting customer service home run after home run.
It’s easy to start a loyalty program that tracks and rewards your best customers for coming in often. You can even incentivize them to sign up with points that can be redeemed for food and discounts. And don’t forget you’ll have the ability to communicate with them through targeted marketing via SMS, push notifications, or email.
Here are some of the things you can do with a POS loyalty program:
Create accounts: Add and manage customer accounts with fields to track key preferences so your servers know exactly how to make their day.
Manage balances: Accept advance payments for your VIPs, specific individuals, or even groups who may want to keep coming again and again.
Make payment easy: Bill outstanding balances or pay for orders directly using the customer’s existing account.
7. Manage Inventory with Ease
Your POS system can be the key that ensures you’re never caught off-guard by low or high food inventories again. Many come with easy-to-use inventory management features that help you stay ahead of your stock. Some even help you balance the books so you can see, at a glance, how much ingredients cost and how they add up in every menu item.
With a clear idea of each dish’s profitability, you can optimize your menu by understanding what your clientele wants, dropping the dishes that underperform and focusing on high-profit items. And with your restaurant POS system, you can even program inventory countdown alerts to remind you when it’s time to reorder!
Another advantage of having a good inventory system via your POS? You have all the pricing at your fingertips, making it extremely easy to communicate and negotiate with suppliers.
8. Get a Good Look at Your Restaurant Analytics
Not all restaurateurs want to take a good, long look under the hood of their establishment. But the insights you’ll find are worth any discomfort. This is where a restaurant POS system really earns its monthly fee.
Most high-quality solutions will do some of the number crunching for you, giving you a comprehensive understanding of what makes your restaurant tick. You will:
Increase sales: By determining menu item profit margins, you can decide whether a menu item belongs on the menu full time or not.
Improve service: When you monitor staff performance, you can make better decisions about training and service improvements.
Know your business: There are dozens of reports you can get with most POS systems, including in-shift snapshots and thorough end-of-day summaries so you understand what you can tweak to make your restaurant run more efficiently
With so many features designed to simplify and streamline the way you run your business, a restaurant POS system is a must-have. From inventory management to CRM to HR, it takes the burden of endless decision-making away and simply serves up the data that brings everything into focus.
With all the advantages at your fingertips, you owe it to your restaurant to make the most of every feature!
Dana is the former Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, sharing tips for and stories of restaurateurs turning their passion into success. She loves homemade hot sauce, deep fried pickles and finding excuses to consume real maple syrup.