All you need to know about the modern day restaurant POS system
Good restaurant technology has multiple benefits. It enhances customer experience, reduces operational costs and helps in bring in more orders and revenue for your restaurant.
A POS is an indispensable piece of technology at your restaurant. Why? It takes care of multiple functions and links to crucial units of your business.
In this article, we will take you through the following
- Functions of a modern day POS
- Benefits of a cloud POS
Let’s get started with the functions of a modern day POS.
1.Takes care of the essential operations: Ticketing, billing & invoicing
When your staff takes in a customer order, it punches in the customer details in the restaurant POS. it then forwards the same to the kitchen (by printing Kitchen Order Tickets or making use of Kitchen Display systems). Meanwhile, a bill is generated through the POS and the customer is given a payment invoice, confirming the transaction.
The POS speeds up the operational processes at the restaurant thereby increasing overall efficiency.
2.Manages all your data
As all customer data gets punched into your POS, it becomes one big repository of all your customer data. A POS system allows you to segment this data in a multiple ways. Also if you have multiple outlets data management becomes a lot easier as it helps centralize your data across all your locations.
3.Does the Tax computations
Your POS system is capable of handling all the tax calculations. The computations needs minimal staff involvement, all he must do is feed in the order items and the POS system does the rest.
4.Conducts data analysis & reporting
Being a data warehouse, POS systems provide you analytics and insights on your data, helping you evaluate the performances of your outlets, your online delivery channels, individual menu items and so on. Once you set-up a few reporting modules, you’ll get periodic reports triggered to you. This will allow you to quickly see what’s working, what’s not. You could run the insights by your management and fix a few action points or pain areas which need to be looked at. In short, it lets you make more informed decisions.
5. Keeps track of the inventory
Does your restaurant frequently run out of the key raw materials?
POS keeps track of how you are faring with regards to the inventory numbers. It notifies you about the stock levels, alerts you in case of any shortfalls and so on. This increase your productivity and reduces the number of dissatisfied customer.
6. Links easily with your Loyalty programs
To run any business successfully, it is important to keep your customers engaged and happy. Building a loyal customer base is often a result of good customer experiences. Loyal customers not only bring you more business but become your brand advocates, help you promote your restaurant. To make customers more loyal, that is to make them make repeat visits to your outlet, you need to reward them as frequently as they eat at your restaurant. Good loyalty schemes act as great incentives for them to keep coming back to you.
Loyalty points is an effective method to gain more regular customers and to convert potential customers.
Loyalty point schemes are easily integrated to your POS system. As orders are placed you can give updates to your customers about the status of their loyalty points. If they are placing orders online, their loyalty points status displays automatically on the dashboard. Also you can keep a regular check of all your loyal customers and check on their visit statistically and reach out to them personally for your exclusive promotions.
7. Links to your restaurant’s CRM
When customer data gets synced on your POS, it is the starting point for all your post-meal communication. Good communications, post an eating out experience, is what keeps customers in touch with your brand. Obviously the likelihood of them coming back goes up this way. To better your customer communications, you can segment your data into neat buckets based on –
a. Type of order (favourite items)
b. Frequency of orders
c. Time of order
(You can make more segregations as per your discretion)
Sending well targeted communications will help get traffic back to your platform. This would ultimately result in more business.
8. Control theft and pilferage
Many restaurateurs would unanimously agree that thefts and pilferages are common across their restaurants. Mostly, they aren’t even able to track what happens.
The POS can help you control recurring thefts/pilferages through:
- Set-up real-time reporting and analysis
- Maintain Tight control on the inventory
- Monitor system usage
- Set up work schedules among your staff and track their work
Clearly, the modern day restaurant POS links to all the critical components of your business.
When you go looking for a POS, it’ll be very useful to have the above checklist of functions handy and you can test the same as you prepare to make this important purchase. In addition to this, you may have to choose between a cloud POS and an on-premise (legacy) POS.
In the next section we will introduce the key differences between the two POS systems.
A cloud POS gives significant benefits to a restaurant.
1.Safer data storage and high data security
A cloud POS system is hosted on reliable servers (remote servers such as Rackspace, AWS). In other words, A Cloud Server is actually a virtual server, running on a physical server in another location – off-site. Besides this, a cloud POS system is equipped with SSL encryptions to protect it from virus, malware and other security breaches.What this does is it minimizes the risks of data loss or data theft. A legacy POS on the other hand is hosted on local servers where data security is a big concern.
2. Operates from anywhere
With the restaurant POS you always stay connected to your business. As long as you have an active internet connection, you can login to your POS and check up on your day to day operations. In the on premise set-up, you must be physically present at the outlet to oversee your business. This obviously is inconvenient and the cloud POS helps overcome this.
3. Works across devices & operating systems
Cloud POS can work on your PC, mobile or tablet. It can run on multiple operating systems as well. This makes it very convenient for the user to install and use the software with ease. Legacy POS systems usually work on-prem only.
4. Easy monthly payments and say goodbye to bulky hardware
The last thing any restaurant owner wants is to invest too much money on something they are not familiar with. You can easily purchase a POS system on easy monthly instalments and discontinue it whenever you feel dissatisfied. Added to this, you do not have to worry about bulky hardware at your restaurant – you can use your POS on a laptop or a mobile. No need to invest in heavy artillery infrastructure like in the case of the on-premise POS.
5. Constant software updates
A cloud POS never gets obsolete. It is constantly auto-upgraded to keep the software as technologically sound as possible. You must be familiar with the updates that happen on your mobile device. The POS software updates take place in a similar manner. In legacy POS systems on the other hand, the software runs the risk of becoming outdated quickly and then you’d have to buy a new one.
A cloud POS is definitely superior to its legacy counterpart. While you go looking for the right POS for your restaurant, we would advise you to do your own research, drill down on the features you want from your POS and then finalise one for your restaurant.
We hope you found this read useful. Do let us know your take in the comments section below.