5 Things to Look for in a Restaurant POS System

Written by  on 16 October 2015

Investing in a restaurant POS system is one of the best things you can do for your business. With such technology in place, you can increase operating efficiencies, improve customer service, control costs, and much more. However, purchasing a restaurant POS system requires a significant financial outlay, making it extremely important to select one that suits your establishment’s specific needs. While these needs will vary from restaurant to restaurant, there are critical elements every restaurant POS system should have. Let’s discuss five of these.

1. Ease of use

Even if your menu is complex, your restaurant POS system shouldn’t be; in order to maximize your investment, servers, managers, and kitchen staff must be able to leverage it to the greatest extent possible. For this to work, you need the most user-friendly restaurant POS system possible.

On the server side, this means a simple interface. For example, if you own a counter service establishment or table service restaurant that uses mobile devices to capture customers’ orders and transmit them to the kitchen, you’ll want a restaurant POS system that presents servers with icons that may be easily distinguished from each other (e.g., Combo #1 vs. Combo #2 or Chicken Parmagiana vs. Chicken Paillard), thereby increasing order-taking speed and accuracy while bolstering customer satisfaction.

In the kitchen, the restaurant POS system should display orders in a logical fashion so staff can easily locate them (e.g., transmitting orders for hot items to the hot station and orders for salad to the salad station). The ability to receive translated orders through the restaurant POS system is imperative if kitchen staff members’ primary language is not English. Again, these attributes contribute to faster food preparation with minimal errors.

2. Support for different facets of the restaurant operation

The support provided by a restaurant point of sale system shouldn’t be limited to the ability to ring up transactions. Such support should extend to different applicable types of front-end functionality, including, but not limited to, updating and/or changing prices/item descriptions on digital menu boards and tablet-based self-ordering devices; managing reservations and table assignments; accepting online and takeout orders; and handling tasks linked to special events.

3. Real-time inventory management and control module

Few things are as disappointing to customers as the inability to enjoy what they intended to order because the restaurant is out of an ingredient needed to prepare it. And few things are as upsetting to restaurant operators as lacking the appropriate inventory—or losing money on ingredients that have spoiled due to over-ordering. A restaurant POS system that affords insight into real-time inventory availability—and automatically generates re-orders based on user-defined minimum on-hand, SKU-level inventory levels—eliminates all of these problems.

4. Support for customer engagement initiatives

Competition in the restaurant industry makes customer engagement through targeted and personalized marketing, loyalty programs, and other undertakings imperative for establishments of all kinds. A restaurant POS system can be the lynchpin for these initiatives by allowing you to gather and maintain an extensive customer database that contains not only information like individual patrons’ names and addresses, but also details of their food/beverage preferences, previous purchases, and spending habits. The more personalized your offers and programs, the more engaged customers will be.

5. Insight into all areas of the business

As discussed in the introduction to this blog post, a restaurant POS system can be a very effective tool for fostering a foodservice establishment’s growth. However, its power to fulfill that promise will be limited unless it yields management insight into everything that’s happening in their business. We’ve already mentioned that a good restaurant POS system offers access to information about ingredient usage, but it should do the same as far as sales (down to the menu item level), time and attendance, labor scheduling, and restaurant traffic-related data are concerned. Even better is a restaurant POS system that permits this data to be accessed remotely from any computer or mobile device wherever you are and/or automatically pushes critical data to your device rather than forcing you to comb through disparate systems to find it.

Today’s restaurant operators face more and more challenges in attracting and maintaining customers, as well as in operating their businesses with maximum efficiency. Implementing a restaurant point of sale system with the five above-mentioned attributes will increase the chances of cultivating a loyal clientele, controlling costs, and succeeding both now and in the future.

Read 448 times Last modified on Friday, 16 October 2015 19:23

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