According to a study by Cornell University on why restaurants fail, an estimated 26 percent of restaurants do not make it past the first year mark. The secret to making any restaurant operation successful is active management. Monitoring employee performance, offering top-notch customer service and keeping an accurate inventory are all vital steps toward ensuring that your restaurant runs smoothly and turns a profit. However, it's challenging to keep track of all this information on your own, in addition to establishing a protocol for ringing up customers, tracking sales and inventory, and so on – this is where the benefits of POS systems come into play.
As with most things you purchase in life, there are a variety of options to choose from: color, shape, model, features. A point of sale (POS) system is no different. There is an extensive range of point of sale providers in the market all with different offerings aimed at different ends of the market from large restaurants to small cafes. There are various types of POS systems and restaurant POS software to consider from cloud-based to hybrid systems depending on the needs of your business.
Whatever system you desire, an excellent point of sale system will provide the ability to monitor and control most functions of your business, either in-house or remotely. Sales reporting allows you to access better data on your market, which will enable you to spend more time on other areas like growing your customers. Understanding your customers' buying trends and monitoring sales performance data is crucial to continuous business growth.
Even owners of small restaurants find the needs of their store quickly surpass what they can handle on their own. That's why it's so crucial to invest in a point of sale system that can provide you and your employees with the technical support needed to keep daily operations running smoothly. Trying to operate a busy restaurant with a manual cash register just isn’t going to get the job done.
Here are five reasons why a modern restaurant POS system is a great idea.
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1. Cloud-based operations
Internet-based systems let you check in with your store (or stores) from virtually anywhere in the world; all you need is an internet connection. Thus, a well-equipped POS system can give you the freedom to manage your store remotely, whether you're sick at home, on vacation or have multiple stores to operate. The back of house software that runs on the POS hardware is equally as important as your POS solution. A powerful cloud-based, back-of-house system makes it easy for you to update your product list, change prices, set up new staff clerks, set system security and more all within a few touches.
2. Reduction in errors and theft
Since everything is stored on the computer or in the cloud, with every sale, refund and an incoming piece of merchandise automatically recorded, your inventory is far more accurate. No more fixing human errors when it comes to counting and math.
The National Restaurant Association reports that 75 percent of all shrinkage in inventory happens as a result of stealing – with a majority of the theft by the restaurant's employees. A modern point of sale system helps you track the various transactions that occur on your POS – this helps to minimize theft in your business. It can also help eliminate fraud. You can monitor every time the no sale button is pressed to pop the cash drawer open, when discounts are given and how refunds processed.
3. Identify hot-selling items
You can monitor the popularity (or lack thereof) of each piece of merchandise or menu item in your restaurant. This allows you to place orders far in advance to avoid running out of "hot items," as well as give you the opportunity to jettison any goods that are merely languishing on the shelves.
4. Better customer service
A well-designed point of sale system saves your staff time, which translates into better customer service and better profit margins. Importantly, POS software that is intuitive ensures your staff can quickly and accurately process orders, which helps with guest management. For instance, it is far quicker for a staff member to punch an order into an iPad than it is to write one down and peck it into a cash register. For a busy restaurant or bar as an example, you can print tickets directly to the kitchen or bar printer, which can speed up the order delivery.
5. Save more time
Since daily operations run like clockwork, you'll have more time for brainstorming or strategizing when you utilize a restaurant point of sale system. You'll be able to catapult your restaurant to the next level when you take advantage of the built-in features and functions. With everything from employee time management to real-time reporting data, you'll have more freedom in your business. These types of elements aren't available in a simple cash register.
Choosing the best POS solution for your restaurant is a tough decision. Be careful when selecting software and hardware, and make sure it's right for your business objectives. Also, be cautious of POS companies who try to upsell you features that you will never use. With the aid of a modern point of sale system, you can quickly get to know where your business stands as you understand all the information regarding your sales. You can get more control over your company while allowing your business to grow and thrive with modern restaurant management software.