Although many restaurateurs are aware that touch-screen point-of-sale (POS) systems can offer some benefits to their business, most don’t realize how dramatically these advanced systems can improve their bottom line. And with high-tech systems now available at an incredibly affordable price—some even free—all the benefits of a state-of-the-art POS system are well within reach, even for the most budget-conscious businesses.
Unlike a credit card terminal, which only processes credit and debit cards, a POS system is an all-in-one business management tool. These systems enable small and mid-sized restaurant owners and operators to better manage and grow their business while experiencing tremendous gains in efficiency. A POS system can process sales by cash, credit card, debit card, or check, all from a single interface—no more bouncing from the cash register to the card terminal and back again. This streamlined transaction process allows more customers to be served in a shorter amount of time, which translates directly into higher sales, while creating an excellent customer experience that encourages shoppers to return in the future.
Not only does a POS system make customer service more efficient, but it also dramatically reduces the amount of time spent on daily office management. Integrated, comprehensive, on-demand reports provide any restaurant with organized, detailed data that offers a more complete picture of business operations and reduces bookkeeping and accounting expenses. With an integrated system, merchants can review total sales by specific day of the week, date, time, or even by team member to evaluate performance trends, measure the effectiveness of promotional efforts, and determine menu items that are in highest demand.
When it comes to inventory management, a POS system also provides a simple and accurate way to ensure an up-to-date inventory. With all sales tracked through the same system, it’s easy to set re-order alerts to avoid running out of in-demand ingredients for popular dishes and possibly losing sales.
To enhance customer service and engagement, POS systems also retain customer data and purchase history for use in loyalty programs or marketing campaigns. Using this data can help create a more personalized experience that customers will appreciate, and it can help boost loyalty, offer up-sell opportunities, and encourage repeat business.
A POS system can also double as a personnel management tool, making short work of the usually time-consuming task of managing employees’ hours. Multiple time-keeping features, such as an integrated time clock, improve accuracy and eliminate the practice of employees over-reporting their hours. Detailed information about individual employees and their productivity enables business owners to make more informed staffing decisions, effectively reducing labor costs and increasing profitability.
With so many features to improve both internal management and customer-facing experiences, a full-featured POS system can streamline an operation of any size and automate daily management activities. These efficiency gains and revenue-boosting opportunities enable restaurateurs to focus on what’s really important—keeping customers satisfied and coming back.
The opinions of contributors are their own. Publication of their writing does not imply endorsement by FSR magazine or Journalistic Inc.