The short answer: Yes, you should.
But why? Restaurants in the past only had cash registers and pen-wielding wait staff to handle order taking and payments, so what’s the fuss all about? The fuss is all about speed, efficiency and customer satisfaction. Oldschool pen and paper order taking just takes too long nowadays. In a time when we can check and respond to email on our phones, the time it takes for the order slip to get read by the kitchen staff seems like an eternity. People just seem to have less patience these days, and they expect their food to be digitally fast too.
Speed + Efficiency = Happy Customer
As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about speed, baby. With everyone in a hurry to get their food and eat, you can’t move at your customer’s speed –you have to be faster. Faster means your wait staff can take orders from a tablet or handheld POS and relay it directly to the kitchen. Faster means you can instantly see the whole restaurant floor to check occupancy, and seat your new customers immediately.
Efficient means that if a budget weary customer asks how much his current order is, your staff can read it right away. If another customer wants the bill split, you can do it in a snap, too.Efficient also means having the ability to take credit card payments at the table, without your staff having to walk to the cashier.
One System to rule them all
Any good restaurant POS software worth its salt can be your restaurant’s savior. Point of sale systems have everything –from inventory management to payroll. A well designed POS system does the job of several employees and it’s probably the most important investment you can make in your restaurant. Here’s what a POS system can do for you.
- A POS system can help manage your Inventory. POS systems have inventory management built in so you can track and check your stock in real time. With an inventory system in place, you can also closely monitor your employees if you suspect theft. A good system will even warn you if a particular stock is low. Never run out of pasta again!
- A good point of sale system can tell you what’s selling and what’s not. Ever notice why nobody buys your fruitcake? You’ll probably notice after weeks of it just sitting there, but a POS system with integrated reporting can tell you about your poorly selling fruitcake faster. It can tell you what your best sellers are, what’s not cool and even which of your staff made the most sales.
- A POS System can help you securely take orders. With credit card scams left and right, it pays to be secure. A POS system with a built in credit card swiper that also acts as a card processor is what you need to look for. If you made your own POS system, always keep your software updated, your passwords strong and use a robust firewall with antivirus software built in.
- Help with bookkeeping. In the cash register days, you’d waste a weekend reconciling all the order slips with your accountant and still be short a few bucks. A POS system does it all for you so you won’t have to pay someone to look up how much you made last month.
- It can help you with employee management.Do you always lack personnel at 3pm? Find out who’s going on extended breaks, whichemployee comes in early and leaves late with a POS system. All POS systems have integrated employee management, so you can track the attendance of your staff. Some systems can even print out pay slips during payday. How cool is that?
If you run a restaurant and you still rely on an antiquated cash register, you need to get with the times and invest in a POS system specifically designed for restaurants. You don’t want to get left behind in terms of sales and the cool factor of having your wait staff take orders using iPads now, would you?