Point of Sale for Restaurants

Point of Sale for Restaurants

Whether you are newly venturing into the world of restaurant ownership or you are a veteran in the industry, it is important to know the fundamentals to success and one of the primary questions when it comes to restaurant ownership is, “What piece of technology is a must-have?”  Good food will only get a restaurant so far without quick and efficient service working alongside of it.  The latest generation of point-of-sale (POS) systems can help to please even the pickiest of consumers.  Choosing which point-of-sale system will work best for your particular restaurant is key.

Depending on the size of the restaurant and whether or not it offers drive thru service, the restaurant may need to have a drive thru point of sale system in place.  There are more basic point of sale systems for eateries, which gross under $1 million annually.  Point of sale systems typically come in a package with, for example, touch screen workstations, software that allows staff to enter customer orders and sends the order to the kitchen, printers, cash drawers, and credit card processing.

More sophisticated packages may include a higher number of touch screen workstations, printers, cash drawers, and credit card processing, as well as software that can track employee shifts, inventory turnover rates, and the use of loyalty cards for customers.

The consumer experience is the biggest differentiator among companies in the Digital Age, and technology is helping restaurants achieve a greater competitive advantage.   The driving force behind the push for an improved consumer experience is the increasing dependence of consumers on technology.  In the restaurant industry alone, research indicates there has been a 50 percent increase in the use of technology by restaurants in the last two years.  Advanced technology with regard to point of sale systems is amongst the most popular in allowing businesses to streamline the dining experience.

Most point of sale systems do much more than accept payments.  They also track inventory, text and email receipts, analyze customer and sales data, complete invoicing, and help to manage employees, among other capabilities.

It is important to remember that not all restaurant POS systems or software are created equal and not all of the systems represent a one-size-fits-all solution.  Restaurants come in so many varieties, and each has its particular set of needs and goals.  Primary features to consider when looking for a POS system for a restaurant include:

Speed and relatively simple process for use – The restaurant business requires speed.  A slow system could prove to be frustrating for wait staff, managers, cooks and the consumer.  A few seconds per consumer can impact service, food, drinks and profitability in a positive or negative way.

Inventory – A POS system that offers an inventory management feature that allows the restaurant to easily track every ingredient used and item sold is essential in ensuring profitability and success.

Reporting – A POS system that provides the owner or manager with numeric insight into the business, including sales by the hour or item, food costs, labor costs and the number of customers that have visited a restaurant is crucial.

Other features to consider when looking at POS system options include marketing capabilities that allow a restaurant owner or manager to market to their entire database of consumers in real time and technical support from a restaurant POS provider.