Restaurant POS – it’s the bread and butter of hospitality tech.
Point of Sale systems connect each and every transaction within a restaurant operation, from the front counter to the manager’s desk. When used to its full scope, a POS system can transform a restaurant business.
Here’s a full breakdown of how a smart POS can help you increase profits, improve your guest experience and shape data-driven business solutions.
What Is a Restaurant POS?
A restaurant Point of Sale – sometimes called a restaurant POS system – is the integrated software and hardware that manages your restaurant’s workflow and transactions. It’s the technology that connects online ordering, mobile payment processing, sales and marketing data, and employee management, as well as inventory management and customer loyalty programs if done well.
Restaurant POS systems are arguably the most important tool for quick-service restaurants (QSRs). They can be used for:
- Faster ordering
- Customizing workflow
- Managing orders from multiple platforms
- Contactless and mobile payment processing
- Integrating with accounting software
- Intuitive ordering and product marketing
- Menu management
- Inventory management and inventory planning
- Integrating with your kitchen display system
A restaurant POS system helps streamline service, improve order accuracy and facilitate better financial reporting and sales reports.
Businesses globally are realizing the enormous power of integrated software that transforms their restaurant pos experience into something that aids their entire business. 43% of restaurant owners in the US and Canada say that new technology has been critical for their business’ survival in the last two years. A fully integrated restaurant POS is the foundational piece of tech to get you started.
Speed up every transaction
Top-notch restaurant POS systems are logically designed and customized to your restaurant for the best ordering efficiency.
Every step of the transaction is integrated into one cohesive system – from ordering to payment (especially mobile and contactless payments) to tracking orders and storing data.
Restaurant POS hardware (that’s the physical device that customers or staff use to place an order) is set up to easily read and understand. Your POS essentially becomes an interactive menu with tailored imaging and flow to bring your brand to life.
This is a much more intuitive way for customers and staff to communicate and enter orders. Whether from the counter or a self-order kiosk, a POS display should be visually organized, user-friendly and interactive.
This not only speeds up the ordering process but also helps improve accuracy.
Manage your floor in real-time
Using table management software allows you to track how much each table is spending in real-time. The technology also records data about how much time customers take to order, eat and pay at each table.
This helps give customers more accurate wait-time estimates, helps wait staff provide more consistent table service, and helps managers design more profitable seating designs.
Customize order flow regardless of the point of origin
Many restaurants simultaneously service both on-premise and off-premise diners. Though it can increase your customer base, this model means organizing orders coming from the counter, mobile platforms, and self-order kiosks all at the same time.
The best restaurant POS systems are able to sort through these orders much more efficiently than any human could.
No matter what the origin of the order, an integrated restaurant POS system can prioritize order flow to make your processing faster and more consistent. This means your restaurant is able to expand ordering options without sacrificing a streamlined service.
QSR Digital Transformation
Learn more about the QSR digital transformation and how QSR technology is changing the way brands deliver exemplary customer experiences.
Take online orders
With delivery food orders doubling during the pandemic, restaurant customers worldwide are spending more through online platforms.
In fact, online ordering has grown by up to 3,868% in certain parts of the country just in the first few months of the pandemic.
And research shows that patrons prefer ordering directly from a restaurant than through third-party apps. To thrive in a mobile-driven market, quick service restaurants should have a POS system that integrates with their own online ordering platform.
Encouraging online ordering not only appeals to customers but also cuts down on labor costs and streamlines the ordering process.
Accept mobile payments
These days, mobile payments are more than just a friendly convenience – they’re a necessity. In 2020, Starbucks reported 22% of their Q3 earnings came through their mobile app, while 49% of Chipotle’s sales were digital.
Mobile ordering and pay represents a $57.6 billion industry that’s growing faster than ever, but it needs reliable payment processing as well as part of a powerful online ordering and point of sale system.
To stay ahead, quick service restaurants (and increasingly table service restaurants too) need to have mobile payment options that integrate with their restaurant point of sale systems.
A smooth service needs to end with effortless payment. POS systems give you endless options, including mobile, account charge, ApplePay, and more.
Split items between customers
Gone are the days of the awkward split-the-bill calculator. Using a POS, front-of-house staff can effortlessly split costs on bills and specific items, making payment processing a breeze.
Consider a party of twelve asking to pay individually for meals, but also split a bottle of wine between three people and four bowls of fries between ten people.
A smart point of sale is designed for situations just like this, making splitting bills simple for full-service restaurants and shifting some burden away from the cash drawer.
Customers increasingly want more personalized ordering and dining experiences, and this extends to their payment options. Providing smoother payment services not only improves the dining experience but also means less hassle and better tips for staff.
Keep track of bar tabs
POS systems can help manage an individual customer’s or party’s bill for easier payment processing.
Bar tabs can be set up by storing card details, such that items can be added directly to their bill without confusion. When the customer is ready to pay, their bill and information is all ready to go with intelligent payment processing capabilities.
Many restaurant POS systems can also help front-of-house staff easily transfer items or bills to new tables. In a busy restaurant, an easy-to-understand point of sale system is essential for helping staff stay accurate and organized.
Workflow design used to be a concept reserved only for fine dining restaurants.
New POS restaurant technology has made customizing workflow a part of any successful hospitality business. Workflow refers to how restaurant staff fulfill orders and service customers.
Customizing restaurant workflow begins in the back of house with good inventory management and planning. Using technology to record, monitor, and order stock helps keep kitchen prep under control and wastage at a minimum.
Workflow also takes front of house processes into account, such as counter ordering or table service.
Customizing a POS to the specifics of a restaurant’s menu, ordering system and physical space helps staff manage tables and customer communication.
Finally, customizing workflow refers to how orders are received and processed. Once an order has been put through, it will appear on kitchen display systems for the cooks to prepare.
A well-thought-out restaurant workflow can save staff hours, cut down on food wastage and facilitate smoother customer experiences. Every restaurant will require slightly different methods of communicating between front and back of house. This means that your POS needs to be customized to best fit your space, your menu, and your customers.
Make Data-Driven Decisions with a Transaction Management Platform
A digital transaction management platform streamlines business operations for hospitality businesses, saving money and time.
You can think of your restaurant POS working in two interconnected ways to help improve profits.
First, integrated restaurant POS systems allow you to see your data in real-time. That includes your ordering, staff costs, and sales all wrapped up in real-time to give you overall food cost percentage numbers.
Second, you can immediately modify your menu and prices to reflect those changes you see in that real-time data.
Menu management is key for any restaurant. If you find, for example, that the margins on your ice cream sundae are growing too thin due to higher food prices, then you’ll know it’s time to tick up the price on your menu.
Your POS system has just become both the source of your information and the solution to your problem. Plus, if you have your restaurant pos software integrated with an online menu, you’re now able to seamlessly update your digital menu board at the same time.
Seamless integration with accounting software
Businesses can use integrated POS systems to seamlessly transfer sales data from one platform to another. Rather than gathering reports and tracking profit in retrospect, automated integration allows restaurant owners to synch real-time data across multiple platforms.
Managing two sets of inventories and payment processing software is a thing of the past.
Improve communication between front and back of house
Clear and constant communication is key for running a smooth service. A restaurant POS software eliminates human error and ensures that both front and back of house staff are on the same page.
A standardized system organizes new orders in real-time so that the information is easy to read and always up-to-date.
It also makes it easy to communicate amendments and customized orders, such as allergies, modifications, or preparation requirements.
Forget running back to the kitchen, or scribbled writing on a ticket – POS systems help keep communication clear and the information recorded.
Bring your brand to life
It’s the difference between a menu that simply communicates to your customers and staff and a menu that engages them.
POS system technology is not just about streamlining behind-the-scenes processes. It’s also an opportunity to invite your customers to become part of the process.
Industry research shows that 74% of QSR customers say that a clear menu is among the most important parts of making ordering decisions.
With smart POS system designs and intelligent restaurant pos software in play, brands have total control over how they present their food options.
Everything is customizable – from the imaging to how customers navigate and explore the menu interface. A POS system provides an opportunity for brands to imagine their own unique ordering experience and bring it to life digitally.
Restaurant POS touchpoints allow brands to easily highlight specific items or trial new imaging. Maybe you’d like to find out which photo angle sells the most burgers, or whether moving images entice more buyers.
With real-time data to provide immediate feedback on how marketing tactics are progressing, POS systems make it easy to alter and compare menus and images.
Digital displays also help quickly and conveniently alter menu items during service hours. If items are sold out, they can be immediately removed without causing a confusing mess for customers.
Promoting a specific menu item on digital screens above a front counter can increase sales by up to 38% with just a touch of a button. This is the power of a successful menu management system powered underscored by a powerful point of sale system.
Restaurant POS systems are truly a game-changer for branding, and today’s restaurant businesses are only just scratching the surface of their true marketing potential.
Data-driven marketing research shows that across the board, patrons reward businesses that make them feel special.
Restaurant customers want a personalized experience. And they want to communicate on digital platforms with the same ease and efficiency as they expect in real life.
A 2021 poll showed that 40% of restaurant owners said they planned on boosting efforts with personalized marketing and customer loyalty programs – and the best way to do that is with online ordering that tracks relevant customer data and delivers customer loyalty programs tailored to each user.
To keep up with this demand, hospitality businesses need to look towards POS systems technology. With TASK POS systems, QSR managers can allow customers to order exactly the way they want to through advanced configuration options. An intuitive ordering platform means customers can:
- search for items they know they love
- browse through the menu based on food categories
- easily request add-ons
Given that mobile ordering accounts for 24% of total QSR sales, it’s absolutely essential for businesses to make their ordering process streamlined and personalized.
That means that in addition to providing an intuitive ordering process, a POS design should always account for space to communicate specific requests.
Online ordering platforms can provide options for common requests (think ‘no mayo with that’ or ‘extra salty’). It’s also a good idea to build in space for customers to manually write in special instructions.
Providing constant and convenient opportunities for customers to customize their meal is just one more way to personalize their experience and increase order accuracy.
INVEST IN TECH THAT WILL HELP YOU GROW
Let’s face it – keeping up with today’s changing restaurant industry is hard. Customers expect more than ever, staff shortages are constant, and food prices keep rising. To stay ahead, restaurants need help from new tech.
An integrated POS system is the place to start, as an extremely valuable asset for managing a restaurant and marketing a brand.
Technology can help optimize every level of operation. Customer-facing digital platforms allow for personalized ordering. Front of house touchpoints facilitate immediate, accurate communication with kitchen staff.
Data analytics help managers define peak sale times, effective seating plans, and successful marketing campaigns.
To be the best, you need excellent tech that can push you forward. For expert advice on integrated POS systems, get in touch with the team at TASK, and learn more about how technology can bring your restaurant business to the next level.