Picture this: You’re in the middle of your dinner rush, three of your servers are crowded around your order station, food is getting backed up due to delayed orders, and you just received a customer complaint about their wait time. Sounds like a bit of a nightmare, doesn’t it? Increasing efficiency in your restaurant, from the customer experience to addressing cost controls, is a large part of what will ultimately make or break your business. To do this, you need a way to solve multiple operational problems through increased efficiency: A system that provides point-of-sale benefits that are critically essential to your long-term success and growth.
Many of today’s POS systems bring several customizations and efficiency options. This includes the meshing of hardware and software options to manage orders, customer transactions, inventory management, and financial reporting. Utilizing a POS system to its fullest potential will present your business with a handful of distinct benefits that will, in the end, help save your two most precious assets: time and money.
Creating an Easier Ordering Process
While it is the overall quality and taste of your food that keeps your customers in their seats, the effectiveness and accuracy of your ordering process keep them coming in your door. Paper slips and manual order inputs are often highly inaccurate and can lead to elevated shrinkage costs due to incorrect tickets or unauthorized complementary food and beverage offerings as a result of service errors.
A modern POS system gives you a faster, more efficient way to take and process orders. Many POS solutions have the hardware and software available to have orders communicated to the kitchen and the bar instantly for a faster, error-free ordering process. Equipping your wait staff with handheld devices to take orders or transitioning to a less clunky interface improves how your restaurant operates by promoting faster service while reducing lost revenue. Your wait staff is able to spend more time on the floor and can receive notifications when a table’s order is ready, limiting their trips back and forth to the bar and kitchen.
When implementing a POS system, you give your customers ordering flexibility and the confidence that they will get the dish they ordered in a timely manner. When handheld devices and mobile ordering are added to the mix, you’re not only removing some of the stress from your staff, you’re working to enhance the overall diner experience.
Flexing Your Customer Service Muscles
In the era of Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp reviews, creating a positive customer service experience is a top priority. You have to think beyond simply serving good food and drink, as a poor customer experience can cast your restaurant in a bad light. Incorrect orders, inconsistent service, and limited payment options can all damage your reputation. These potential pitfalls can easily be managed by a properly implemented POS system. With a flexible point of sale system in place, you’re likely to see more satisfied customers as well as more repeat customers.
Now, when this is paired with the option for your staff to have handheld devices on the floor, you create an environment where orders are input and payments are processed at the table, which gives you several added benefits.
- Maintains menu flexibility. Have you ever struggled with even a basic menu alteration as a result of a clunky ordering interface? Gone are the days where it takes upwards of five minutes simply to sub Swiss cheese for American on a burger. Instead, a streamlined ordering system lets the customer truly customize their meals without adding unnecessary stress onto your staff members.
- Enhanced loss prevention. With your staff on the floor more, and even remaining at the table to receive payment with handheld systems, the old “dine and dash” routine is much less effective. Plus, a simplified order input screen makes it less likely that your menu items need to be comped as a result of a costly misfire.
- Wait time reductions. Even when a customer calls for the check, they often linger, keeping a table occupied that would otherwise be free for another customer. By processing payments at the table, the customer will be prompted to tip and sign on your chosen handheld device, reducing the amount of time they will remain seated and cutting down on table wait times.
The introduction of a POS system gives your restaurant a high level of efficiency which will not go unnoticed by your diners. Ordering and paying is quicker and on top of that, you get the added benefit of more control over your data.
Taking Control of Your Business’s Data
The sales data you gather from a POS system allows you to track what is (and isn’t) being sold in your restaurant. This puts you in a position of identifying where you can gain efficiency and reduce waste in all aspects of your business. The key to doing that is through effective reporting and data interpretation. You can easily identify potential bottlenecks, such as empty tables, poorly performing menu items, or sluggish kitchen production so that you can better serve your customers.
It is also here that you gain insight into customer volume, seating preferences, and ordering behavior. For example, does your data indicate that the pasta dish may not be a top seller, it is the most profitable? Are customers less likely to come in during the early afternoon meaning it’s time to think about starting a happy hour? This type of information is invaluable to both the customer experience and to the improvement of your business operations. You also get the information you need to ensure that you are properly staffed at peak times and not over-staffed during slow periods.
Also, a modern POS solution generates detailed reports to allow for informed, accurate menu planning decisions. You gain insight into the ingredients you are using most often and whether or not you need to 86 any dishes. This reduces your workload with better bottom-line performance through the reduction of waste-associated costs and intelligent insight into menu performance. This all works to make your profit margins grow while reducing the time you have to invest in tasks which can and should be largely automated. So how do you go about choosing the right POS system for your restaurant?
Find a System These Key Benefits for Better Restaurant Efficiency
Nobody knows your restaurant the way that you know it—but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t rely on outside help to look for ways to improve how you operate. Implementing a POS system is one thing, but how can you be sure that you are gaining all of the benefits that the right POS solution can provide to your restaurant? You want to be certain that the solution that is implemented can support your restaurant in its current state, but be flexible enough to grow with you. To keep up with the hectic pace of the restaurant industry, you need to select a system that supports these key point of sale benefits so you don’t find yourself falling behind.
When you reach out to talech, you gain more than a POS solution provider. We take the time to learn your business inside and out so that the solution we recommend and implement for you represents exactly where you are and where you want to be down the road. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and find out how we can revolutionize your business.