A good POS system is designed to seamlessly integrate your BOH and FOH. It tracks your guest’s order as soon as your wait staff enters it on the touchscreen where it pops up on the screens in the kitchen and at the bar. The bartender is making the drinks as appetizers are prepared. When finished, your kitchen staff notifies the server that your guest’s meal is ready with a quick touch.
Gone are the bells, the line of servers in the kitchen waiting for their orders, and the mad dash to the kitchen and bar.
At the same time, your POS system is tracking inventory by deducting the items just used to make the dish and drinks and adding them to a purchase order.
Finally, following the digestifs and dessert, the bill is calculated and payment is processed at the table. At the end of the day, reports are generated. These include the number of customers, information on new guests, busiest hours, most popular menu items, average sales per employee, number of table turns, and the amount of time it took to prepare each dish.
It also integrates with your accounting program and acts as a timeclock for your employees.
For those of you who have not embraced this type of technology, this scenario may sound either too good to be true, or a scary new world. But, once you’ve gotten a taste of what modern POS systems can offer, you’ll never retreat into the world of paper tickets again.
If you’re considering purchasing your first POS system, here are the features you’ll want to look for:
- Intuitive Interface. What is an intuitive interface? It’s a system that works the way you expect it to—intuitively. You don’t have to get out the 50-page user manual when it comes time to change menu items or reboot the entire system once they are in place. It requires minimal training and even less support. Never purchase a POS system without a demonstration—one that involves getting your hands in the mix and real time data.
- Table Management. Set your greeter up for success by carrying the POS system over to the host stand. They can view open tables on the screen, make reservations and even take to-go orders. The system updates as tables are filled, cleaned and reserved.
- Inventory Management. Not only does a good POS system keep track of what items have been used and what products have been ordered, it also notifies you when a product is running low. Gone are the days (and nights) when you or your staff were hightailing it to the neighborhood store in search of the one missing ingredient from your signature dish. If this has been an issue for your business, you may want to consider a system that allows you to set reorder benchmarks. Reach a certain number in your inventory and the system will automatically reorder.
- CRM Database. Managing customer relations and creating a system that recognizes your loyal customers is a must have in this very competitive market. A CRM database gives you the ability to customize special offers based on your client’s behavior—their likes and usual dining hours. It is also designed to help you create successful email marketing campaigns. A survey conducted by Como Sense, a customer engagement platform, found that this type of engagement increased customer spending by 41 percent after one year.
- Staff Management. These days of quick turnovers makes organizing and setting shifts a challenge. Your POS system not only acts as a timeclock, it can also keep track of shifts, recommend coverage based on history, and send staff reminders.
These systems offer your business valuable insight and can make the difference between marginal profits and streamlined business processes that lead to increased sales, reduced costs, and definitive success.