To survive in the restaurant business, restaurant owners need to be constantly on their toes. There are considerable levels of competition and a lot of details to perfection. According to a study by CNBC, 60% of restaurants fail in the first year. What can you do differently to you ensure your restaurant’s success? A handy point of sale (POS) software can streamline your restaurant operations by simplifying difficult to do tasks. On the face of it, the system is fairly straightforward, especially if you are considering a cloud-based solution. Nevertheless, a restaurant POS software has so much more to offer. When used effectively, it can have many other benefits for your restaurant business. In this article, we will go over several features of restaurant POS systems and how you can make the most of this software.
What is surprising is that despite its relevance, about 56% of single-store retailers do not use POS software even today. Instead, they rely on manual bookkeeping methods like: Excel, or cash registers. Business owners should consider the consequences of failing to use a point of sale software. If you have not yet migrated to a POS system, then you are potentially slowing down business operations. At the same time, you are losing access to critical data, which plays an essential role in growing your business.
There are both software and hardware components of each POS system. These components are essential to run daily business operations faster. Every business owner should know the elements of a POS system and what each of them offers. First of all, you can get two different kinds of restaurant POS software. The first one is on-premise POS, and the second one is the cloud-based POS. To use an on-premise POS system, you need to purchase and install software on a computer system.
On the other hand, cloud POS allows users to access the software on any device. Having an internet connection is the only thing that cloud POS requires. The second difference between the above mentioned POS software for restaurants is about maintenance or updates. While using on-premise POS, you need to maintain and update it yourself. However, updates on cloud POS is automatic and does not require dedicated IT professionals for management.
While searching for the best POS system for your business, you need to look for several things. The first characteristic each restaurant POS software should have is flexibility. The ease of integration plays an essential role in every POS system. The POS vendor you choose should work smoothly with the payment processor and gateway. If there are applications you are using, make sure that your POS will integrate with them without any problem.
Finding the right POS system for your business will simplify a number of crucial daily restaurant operations. The modern POS system provides more flexibility than just processing daily actions. The best POS system offers you tools to help you streamline operations. There are specific features of restaurants and retailers search for while choosing restaurant POS software. The first characteristic is the Sales Reporting. Most of the POS systems can look at your sales. The main difference lies in how the system presents those numbers and how much detail it provides. The best sales report should include based on different components. It could be reports based on employee, product, gross margin, total retail amount, hour, net profit, the total cost of items, etc. The POS system should present charts and reports based on the business’s sales performance.
The next essential factor of a successful POS system is inventory management. It helps you to keep track of all your products and help you order products when it’s time. Your POS system should be able to scan the products digitally and count them. It should create product variations and manage the stock. Tracking inventory levels is also essential. Additionally, as a business owner, your POS system should enable you to make seamless ordering. It should allow you to make automatic custom reorders.
Customer management is another essential feature that every modern restaurant POS software should contain. To become successful in each business, you should create a strong relationship with the customers. Your POS system should help your business. Today’s systems have customer management feature, which allows you to access and track all data of your customers.
If you want a successful customer management tool, your POS system should be able to perform several tasks. First of all, it should keep the purchase history of your customers. Secondly, it should save necessary customer information such as name, birthday, surname, age, email, number, and address. Customer information helps the business to create an effective marketing plan. Primarily, you can benefit from email marketing to establish a connection with the customers. Even more developed POS systems can provide a built-in loyalty program for your business.
While considering the best POS system, you should not forget about employee reporting and management features. Any restaurant POS software cannot be the best one without providing employee reporting. It is essential because your employees play a crucial role in the success of your business. Knowing who are the top performers and who needs additional coaching will improve your business. Employee management and reporting contain several steps. For example, it should add your employees to the system and create/modify the schedule for them. Also, the system should track working hours and overtime weekly. And for every week it should present top performers.
If it is the first time you are choosing a POS system for your business, there are several features for you to consider. You can ask other business owners for their opinion. What POS system they are using? What features they like and do not like about that restaurant POS software? Then start searching for different solutions and go with vendors that provide crucial characteristics. These characteristics include flexibility, data security, ease of use, hardware durability, and reliable customer service. If you are searching for the best POS system for your business, there are several main questions you should ask from vendors.
The first question to ask from your vendor is whether their POS system will integrate with your existing software. A POS system that integrates with your current setup will help you to save time and money. Secondly, you need to ask what payment methods their POS system accepts. Make sure that the POS system will be able to accept debit cards and chip-enabled credit cards. At the same time, having an EMV-compliant POS terminal is essential.
While talking with vendors, do not forget to ask about their price policy. Ask how much precisely the software will cost you. The average price of restaurant POS software varies. It could cost you a few hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars per month. It depends on your vendor and what functionality you require from the software. Averegally, 46% of companies spend about $1.500 per year on their POS system. Be careful about hidden payments because some vendors could charge you additional fees. The payments can be in the form of downloads, refunds, type of activation, or transaction fees. Before signing a contract with your vendor, make sure to ask about the hidden costs.
You can create a list of the most popular POS systems. Asking from fellow business owners about what POS system they use could make the process easier for you. Secondly, understand your business needs. If you are a first-time buyer of the POS system, the market can be complicated to negotiate for you. Therefore, you need to narrow down the options and find out the exact requirements you want from the POS system. Once you have a completed list of conditions and you know what kind of POS system you want, it will be easy to make a decision. Then read reviews of business owners about the exact POS system. If businesses like yours love that POS system, then you will be able to make a firm decision.
What will happen when you do not have an internet connection? Will you stop taking orders? Or will your POS system continue to take card payments? You need to have an offline mode to make sure that everything works without an issue when you do not have the internet. Modern hybrid technology based on the cloud POS system helps you to work offline mode. When you gain internet access, it syncs offline transactions.
Choosing a reliable platform is also essential for your business. iPad is one of the most secure and safe platforms for business owners. Technical and customer support for Apple is excellent. Therefore, most companies prefer using an iPad. You can also rely on that platform while carrying out your daily transactions.
Do you have enough information about the reputation of your POS company? What type of online reviews the POS company has? Does the company satisfy its current customers? You will enter into a business relationship with the POS provider. Therefore, as a business owner, you need to be confident that the company is ready to offer customer and technical support for your business.
How does the POS company understand your business? To provide the best customer service company should understand your business field. That’s why if your POS company does not understand your needs, you will not get the maximum benefit from your POS system.
While choosing a system for your business tries to go with the POS system that provides dashboard mode. With the help of cloud technology, you will get instant access to the performance report of your business. That modern tool help owners to monitor their activity from a distance.
How long will it take to train your employees on the system? You should not spend so much time on the learning of a new order. Your employees are not tech-wizard. The technical team of your provider should arrange a short session to teach you how to use the new POS system.
At the same time, the setup of new software should not be costly. If the structure requires an expensive installation, you should not continue with that system. It should not take so much time as well because you have a business to handle. Your new POS system should provide all the flexibility to place orders quickly. It should not be complicated to set up the menu on the network.
Management and Reporting: consider the data and reporting needs of your business. Do you want to track the ingredient costs and inventory? Do you want to get a POS system with labor and card management? Before paying money for these features, try to figure out how can you benefit from these characteristics. If it is possible, try them and decide whether you like those features or not.
If you decide that your business requires management tools, try to get answers from the POS company for several questions. Will you get management or reporting tools from everywhere? Or will you have limited access to those tools? Modern POS software for restaurants offers business owners unlimited access. In other words, you can access the tools anywhere from any device. You only need an internet connection to update your menu, view labor reports, or change promotions.
We are going to introduce several ways for you to make a difference in your business using your current POS system. If you do not have the system now, then we recommend choosing software which provides many useful features. If you have a POS system, already, we recommend you to take advantage of its analytical tools. Many business owners do not know the essence of those analytical tools. POS system does not only simplifies the payment process, but it also analyzes your customers and their buying behavior. On the other, using collected data is an excellent option for the improvement of the business. For example, you can use data to figure out the losing or winning items of your menu.
Your POS system can create a loyalty program using customer data. These days, most businesses use this strategy to keep their customers to come back again. You can even offer discounts to your customers based on their buying habits. All these strategies can become real because of the data collected by your POS system. Therefore, do not underestimate the power of that software and try to get the best one for your business.
Some POS companies will try to sell all their products at once. However, if it is the first time you are buying restaurant POS software, we recommend you to purchase just for the base system. After getting the base product, you can expand it slowly, adding several tools or features. The next important point we would like to mention is about the training of your employees.
While buying a POS system, makes sure that the company will provide short training for you and labors. Note that there should not be any limit on how many people can be present in training sessions. It is better to have all staff members in training and help them to know all the features of the system. You can keep several features like menu cost analysis or credit card batching for the management team. Also, make sure to have these security features protected with strong passwords.
In summary, the best way to become comfortable with the new POS system is to use it. While you are getting convenient with the system, make sure that your employees are also satisfied with the software. For example, during the interviews, you could ask questions about the cost analysis of the menu to see how the potential employee knows the system. Spending money and time on your restaurant POS software will help you to save both time and money in the long run.