It’s a new era for the restaurant industry. Growing markets, economic challenges, and rapidly changing consumer demands are knocking on the doors of food retailers around the world. Customers expect more convenience, quality, and value from food retailers. How can you meet their needs and stay competitive?
The answer lies in leveraging your integrated point of sale (POS) system. This kind of tech is more than just a cash register. From inventory management to payment processing to tracking your customer loyalty program, POS software can help you optimize your retail or food business for better sales margins all around.
Here’s how you can use the right POS provider to achieve the numbers you want to see.
DELIVERING BETTER EXPERIENCES
If you’re running a restaurant business, or if you have ever worked behind the counter, then you know that old restaurant touchpoints are clunky, hard to understand, and they make mistakes difficult to track or fix. Let’s change that.
Everything in a business should be about making it easier for you to deliver better value to your customers. As TASK’s President of North America, John Laporte, explains, “Efficiency for you is also efficiency for your guests. That’s where the true potential of technology really shines – because it helps you help your customers.”
A POS system, then, needs to make ordering easy, intuitive, and efficient to use. Every point of order entry – from assigning tables to choosing add-ons to make alterations – should be designed for usability. It should also incorporate back-of-house data, such as stock availability and wait times, and provide insights into business performance over time.
REDUCE ERRORS, INCREASE PROFITABILITY
Mistakes happen. It’s part of operating a human-centered business. But every mishap during service has a cost. Wrong orders mean lost profit, food wastage, poor employee management, and potentially a disappointed customer.
The more mistakes you make, the worse your margins and your customer service reputation. Remember that return customers usually account for 65 percent of your overall sales – so it’s important to keep them happy and well-fed.
One straightforward way to mitigate the number of ordering mistakes is by customizing your hardware and software to work for your unique brand. Whether your staff are inputting an order, or if customers are ordering from a kiosk, an app, or online, then you need a clean and intuitive POS interface.
What a Smart Restaurant POS Can Do for Your Venue
Here’s how a smart POS can help you increase profits, improve your guest experience and shape data-driven business solutions.
RETAIN PROFITS BY REDUCING WASTE
Order accuracy can help food businesses retain an extra 2 percent of their revenue. When it comes to your big-picture margins, 2 percent is no small figure.
But manually tracking food and beverage usage and stock orders can be incredibly time-consuming and hard to get right – or too hard, and it gets brushed off. But that waste adds up.
That’s why so many restaurants and retail businesses use inventory management features – like low stock alerts and order predictions – through their integrated POS software. Trevor Dee, TASK’s US Vice President of Business Development, says, “Inventory management technology is all about offering businesses ultimate efficiency. This tool is amazing. It combines POS menu build, recipe management for modification, theoretical food cost, electronic purchase orders, and invoicing – in one centralized, smart tool.”
Not only do POS systems help you regain that margin cost through inventory management tools, but they can help you reduce waste and keep your business environmentally conscious.
REDUCE PAPER WASTE WITH DIGITAL RECEIPTS
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to locate a lost order receipt after a customer complains about a misunderstanding or incorrect order.
Looking through a receipt spike or even worse – the garbage – to find what you’re looking for is unacceptable in today’s quick and professional service industry.
Instead, switching to digital-only communication through your POS terminal can help optimize your payment processor, save paper, and send a clean, positive message to your patrons. It turns out that most customers prefer paperless receipts anyway. So with more pressure from customers and benefits to your business, why not go paperless?
PROVIDE A MEMORABLE PURCHASING EXPERIENCE
With so much of our modern commerce taking place online, it’s important to curate a positive in-store dining experience for customers too.
That means offering all the convenience of an online store – but with the added benefit of a real smile and friendly service. After all, if you’ve invested in a retail space, then you’ll want to keep people coming in to use it!
“Don’t forget that sometimes, the experience you offer is actually your biggest value to customers,” says John. “If you can create something really memorable in-store, you have a much better chance of building that high rate of return.”
Offering easy-to-use self-order kiosks can take the hassle out of waiting in line, and intuitive POS features can make in-person ordering a simple and clear way to interact with your staff. Plus it can reinforce those key elements of your brand and experience in a way that helps build great customer relationships.
Most POS systems also make it easy to track customer loyalty programs, providing a personalized touch for your guests through order suggestions and more opportunities to earn points. It’s all about customer relationship management and using your point-of-sale system to help retail and hospitality businesses.
SPEED UP THE CHECKOUT EXPERIENCE
When it comes to streamlining the checkout process, restaurant-goers want easy interactions, such as Apple Pay, built-in payment processing, and credit card options. Going digital helps you seamlessly offer these options and more, without any friction when it comes time for payment.
Today’s customers demand high-quality food alongside fast and efficient service. The quicker and more accurate your POS system, the more likely your customers will associate your establishment with their own line of thinking, living, and consuming.
In practice, this means you need retail tools that staff can learn and use with ease – leaving no room for communication errors or order backlogs.
How to Create a Loyalty Marketing Program That Works
An effective loyalty marketing program can minimize customer churn, increase your revenue, attract new customers and engage existing customers.
WORK WITH YOUR LOYALTY PROGRAM
Implementing an engaging loyalty program can double your returning customer ratio. That’s an impressive difference. As the average American household holds about thirty brand memberships, joining a loyalty program is becoming increasingly popular and expected among today’s retail stores.
Using an integrated POS solution to leverage your loyalty program is an easy and effective way to increase membership usage, hook new customers, and gather customer data. When retail store customers scan their credit card or app, your cloud-based POS system will automatically link with their account and provide order suggestions, purchase history, and available rewards. They get the perks – such as free add-ons on their birthday – and you get comprehensive data that can help you cultivate loyalty long-term for great business results.
INCREASE CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
Boosting sales starts with making your items irresistible to customers. Research shows that the more personal the experience, the more invested and engaged your guests will become (and they’ll want to spend more!).
As Trevor points out, “The pandemic immediately made one thing clear to the entire restaurant industry – adapt quickly or die. With the amount of choice and access right now, you have to be ready to take your business further than your competitor if you want to stay in the game.”
The more time and effort your staff put into customer service, the more special your guests will feel. So the best POS solutions won’t just make ordering and management easier; they’ll also help improve the customer experience at the same time.
For example, a POS system can link with mobile touchpoints. Staff can then take orders from anywhere in your building, providing a new level of table service or allowing them to take orders across an office building. That not only makes service far more efficient, but it also frees up your servers to spend more time connecting with guests and less time tallying up orders.
INTEGRATE YOUR POS SYSTEM WITH THIRD-PARTY SERVICES
Full integration doesn’t stop at internal devices and your POS app. A streamlined system connects easily with external apps to make delivery processing clear and easy to follow. Whether you have an in-house delivery team or want to utilize third-party apps, your POS tech shouldn’t hold you back from having a bigger impact.
A complete Point of Sale system tracks sales data and payment processors across online ordering platforms to provide the best customer management portal for your business. With less effort needed to set up software connections and train staff in operations, you’ll have more energy to get down to the important things: making sales and connecting with customers.
Every brand has a unique model and customer base, which is why it’s important to invest in a POS that adapts to work for your business. When you’re looking for the best retail POS system, you’re really looking out for three things that will help optimize your business: customization, usability, and integration.