Restaurant point of sale (POS) software does so much more than provide fast, accurate service at the checkout. Businesses install POS systems to help track their inventory, increase efficiency and optimize operations. It’s impossible for restaurant managers to be everywhere, so restaurant POS software can streamline processes and serve as an extra pair of eyes that help you pinpoint waste and eliminate the guesswork that costs you money.
Consider these three reasons for implementing restaurant POS software:
1. Increase order accuracy, decrease waste: Handwritten tickets are potential landmines. Servers trying to input handwritten orders into the POS terminal may be unable to read their own handwriting, kitchen staff may spend too much time trying to decipher someone’s notes, or worse yet, the kitchen staff may just take a guess. Errors lead to a waste of time and ingredients. Use your POS system to automatically communicate orders to the kitchen — and mobile POS to enter orders immediately at the table.
It’s important to consider usability when choosing a system, so pick one that’s intuitive to learn and easy to use. A complicated solution that requires a lot of clicks between screens, multiple steps to place an order or too many peripherals can slow down and frustrate staff. If employees feel comfortable and confident using restaurant POS software, they will be less likely to make mistakes.
2. Optimize labor: Most restaurant POS software includes an integrated labor scheduler. This functionality makes it easy to schedule employees for work, ensure the right amount of staff is assigned at the right time, and make changes to accommodate peak times, holidays, or parties. Restaurant labor costs can seriously impact your bottom line if they are scheduled inefficiently, so track and monitor them through your POS system. The labor data your POS system collects can help you make informed decisions on how many employees to schedule per shift, so you are not caught under- or overstaffed. Many systems can display a comprehensive snapshot of how many employees are working and what jobs they are performing that day. Knowing which employees will be performing certain tasks can help you determine the total restaurant labor costs for each job category, such as food prep, serving, bussing, cleaning, and more.
3. Inventory management: At a restaurant, about 80 percent of profit comes from 20 percent of menu items, so keeping tabs on food costs with restaurant POS software is a smart way to keep costs under control and maximize profits. Food prices fluctuate often, so a dish that was profitable last week could mean a loss this week. Ingredient tracking can help you monitor inventory levels, plan weekly specials and reorder ingredients at the appropriate time. Restaurant POS software can also help you cut down on food costs by identifying which ingredients are about to expire, so they can be used immediately instead of being thrown away.
Restaurants are challenged with rising food and labor costs, higher-than-average employee turnover rates, and growing competition. Restaurant owners that want to boost profitability, retain staff and increase customer satisfaction should make sure they have a restaurant POS software solution that will help everyone smarter, not harder. Make your restaurant POS system part of your efficiency-boosting, cost-cutting strategy.