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14 February 2022

What a Restaurant POS Can Do for Your Venue

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
  • Customising 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 realising 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 customised 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 organised, user-friendly and interactive.

This not only speeds up the ordering process but also helps improve accuracy.

Manage your floor in real-time

Many restaurants simultaneously service both on-premise and off-premise diners. Though it can increase your customer base, this model means organising orders coming from the counter, mobile platforms and self-order kiosks all at the same time.

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 prioritise 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.

Customise 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 organising 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 prioritise 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.

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 labour 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. TASK 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 personalised ordering and dining experiences, and this extends to their payment options. Providing smoother payment services not only improve 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 organised.

Customisable workflow

Workflow design used to be a concept reserved only for fine dining restaurants.

New POS restaurant technology has made customising workflow a part of any successful hospitality business. Workflow refers to how restaurant staff fulfil orders and service customers.

Customising 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.

Customising a POS to the specifics of a restaurant’s menu, ordering system and physical space helps staff manage tables and customer communication.

Finally, customising 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 the front and back of house. This means that your POS needs to be customised to best fit your space, your menu and your customers.

Easy modifications

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.

Leading restaurant tech from TASK demonstrates the future of restaurant accounting with integrated POS systems for immediate insight across multiple sales channels.

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 standardised system organises 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 customised 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 customisable – 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.

Product Management

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.

Conversational Ordering

Data-driven marketing research shows that across the board, patrons reward businesses that make them feel special.

Restaurant customers want a personalised 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 personalised 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

Special Instructions

Given that mobile ordering accounts for 24% of total QSR sales, it’s absolutely essential for businesses to make their ordering process streamlined and personalised.

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 customise their meal is just one more way to personalise their experience and increase order accuracy.

Conclusion

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.

A POS system operates at every level of operation. Customer-facing digital platforms allow for personalised 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.