A restaurant POS system, or point-of-sale system, is more than just a glorified cash register. A restaurant POS is a touch-screen computer that enables, records and charts all transactions made within a restaurant.
Even less-complex models have the capacity for fully-integrated accounting, inventory management, service management, customer relations management (CRM), real time video and payroll modules. Since restaurant POS systems can be customized to meet specific needs, they work well with any restaurant concept.
Restaurant POS Systems: Guest Service
Restaurant POS systems can help improve speed and efficiency in your operation. As soon as an employee enters an order into the system, it is instantly sent to the kitchen via printer or monitor. The POS system allows managers and employees to monitor check times and deliver food promptly. Intuitive touch screens speed order entry and reduce training time.
POS systems improve guest service since servers can easily access open checks at any time to verify the accuracy of an order or split checks among large groups.
Restaurant POS Systems: Marketing
POS systems can also track the effectiveness of certain marketing efforts, such as rewards programs. These types of programs help increase brand loyalty by offering guests special discounts after spending a predetermined amount of money.
All information entered into a point-of-sale system is saved and organized in statistical data form. Servers are able to monitor their alcohol sales, comps, voids, credit card tips and per-person check averages.
A POS system can help managers evaluate these “progress reports” and determine areas in which their serving staff needs improvement. POS systems can even be used to monitor server contests, such as highest beverage sales, to generate increased revenue or highlight items of higher profitability.
Restaurant POS Systems: Tracking Sales
A point-of-sale system provides detailed information about your menu by identifying top sellers and the most profitable menu items. POS systems also can track consumption and immediately deduct it from your restaurant’s inventory, eliminating the risk of ringing in sold-out items.
Not only can restaurant POS systems be used to monitor your staff’s sales, they can also monitor their hours to provide you with detailed labor cost data. You can even create employee schedules directly within your POS system and use it as a time clock, enabling employees to punch in and out on the monitor.
A POS system helps increase your restaurant’s bottom line by protecting your restaurant from employee theft. In order for any food to be prepared, it must first be sent through the POS system. Every item entered into the POS system is automatically deducted from the restaurant’s food supply. At the end of each week, a point-of-sale system automatically calculates your inventory, enabling you to examine discrepancies and make better purchasing choices.
Introducing a Restaurant POS System to your Operation
Whether you are installing a restaurant POS system for the first time or updating your current system, it’s essential to work out all kinks beginning from day one.
Ask your operator about maintenance contracts, repair services, upgrade charges and training. Request a POS system representative to be onsite the first day the restaurant POS system is put into service to assist with training and other technical problems.
You have to do your part to maintain your POS system, too. Update it with any new menu items, and make system familiarization part of the standard training program for new employees. Maintaining the integrity of your POS database should be high priority.
Types of Restaurant POS Systems
Two of the most popular hospitality-specific POS systems on the market are MICROS and Radiant Systems’ Aloha. Both are Windows-based and offer serving, management and analysis features. Most POS systems can run on many hardware types, but it is important to determine that the restaurant POS system you are planning to install meets your budgetary and operational needs.
MICROS boasts a list of high-profile clients including, TGI Friday’s, Panera, and Señor Frogs. It is the most-widely used point-of-sale system for entertainment and leisure. Aloha’s clientele includes Johnny Rockets, Tijuana Flats and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Both companies have a wide product range, from basic POS models to wireless handheld table service models.
The restaurant POS system is considered a front-of-the-house system and is merely one piece of technology needed to run a restaurant. But if you want to increase your restaurant’s efficiency, nothing drives home the point better than a point-of-sale system.