Restaurant point of sale (POS) solutions can range from simple POS systems that enable you to check out diners to feature-rich solutions that help you monitor labor and sales to more effectively manage your day to day operations, add programs to enhance customer loyalty, and track it all with solid analytics and reporting. Having a bare bones POS in today's competitive market without leveraging more modern capabilities can leave you with lower revenue and less loyal customers. When deciding which point of sale to go with, make sure your POS system has these critical features you need to run a successful restaurant.
Here are the four restaurant POS features every restaurant needs to compete in today’s digital economy:1. Labor Management
Restaurants have one of the highest turnover rates of any industry, so effective labor management is critical to long-term success. Labor management not only provides improved staff supervision, but also optimizes total restaurant labor costs– maximizing your POS investment and minimizing unnecessary expenses.
Your POS system can automate the scheduling process for you, helping you understand the optimal level of labor needed per shift. Managers can assign job codes to ensure the right people are doing the right jobs, improving both employee expectations and scheduling efficiency.
Labor-related restaurant POS features make it easy to schedule employees for work, duplicate previous schedules, swap shifts, and ensure the right amount of staff is assigned at the right time. Many systems can display a comprehensive snapshot of how many employees are working and what jobs they are performing that day, determining the total restaurant labor costs for each job category (such as food prep, servers and bartenders). Not only that, your POS can integrate your labor data into your payroll system, eliminating errors and reducing the time it takes to process payroll. Armed with the insights needed to maximize labor, minimize costs, and improve employee expectations, restaurant managers can create a more productive, profitable restaurant.
2. Reporting and Analytics
Whether you have a single restaurant or multiple locations across varying geographic regions, an intuitive and comprehensive management and reporting solution will help you make better decisions about your restaurant’s health. Look for a POS system that delivers reports in real time and can be accessed from mobile devices. This means that no matter where you are, you have the visibility required to manage your restaurant’s operations.
Greater insight into your business enables you to better understand the areas your restaurant excels in, and the areas where you may need improvement. Regularly analyzing data and reports allows owners to identify and catch issues before they become problems. Tracking things like consumer trends, promotion success, inventory reports, and employee productivity ensures you are always clued in and stay one step ahead. Sales and productivity reports are also a great motivation tool which can be used to establish benchmarks and goals for ongoing improvement.
To turn valuable data into actionable insights, ensure your restaurant POS features include reporting functionality, thus creating greater revenue potential for your restaurant.
3. Customer Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are worth their weight in gold. Diners who opt into a restaurant loyalty program generate around 12-18% more revenue than non-members. A good loyalty program ensures that your customers feel their business is appreciated and gives them a reason to return.
Loyalty programs are one of the restaurant POS features that allow you to collect valuable customer data. The more info you can gather about your patrons, the more you learn about their dining habits and can personalize the customer experience. Information about diners’ preferences, dollars spent, and times visited gives you the foundation for a more effective, personalized marketing strategy. Rewarding repeat customers with birthday coupons, personalized promotions, and special discounts will strengthen relationships by providing a more meaningful experience.
Loyal customers are your best references, so treat them well and they’ll tell their friends and family to give your restaurant a try.
4. Great Support and Service
Loyalty programs, labor scheduling and robust reporting are three restaurant POS features that no eatery should be without. Couple this with local support and service and you’ve got a recipe for restaurant success.
Your technology provider is just as important as the POS system you choose for your business. Look closely at the support and service options offered from different providers. The last thing you want is to be left on your own if a problem occurs in the future, so ongoing tech support is a must.
To maximize your ROI, look for a provider that is local to your community. The close proximity will be appreciated for on-site setup, in-person training, and same-day troubleshooting if an issue arises. Not only are local providers accessible, they’ll also provide the personalized, dedicated service your restaurant deserves from its POS partner.
Leverage these important software features to maximize your technology investment, gain insight into costly budget items, and monitor day-to-day business operations to improve your bottom line. Are you ready to get started? Explore restaurant POS solutions that will give you an edge over your competition.