Why Restaurants Need Smart POS Systems to Survive

woman at a pos register

We've all seen reality shows that follow the commotion that occurs behind-the-scenes at some of the world's top restaurants.  Screaming chefs, cowering cooks, and flying pots – these may the hallmarks of what makes for great ratings, but are the ingredients in the recipe for a successful restaurant?

In the least amount of words, the answer is no.  It's not the chaos that keeps clients coming back to the hospitality sector.  The reality is that people crave the opposite – fast, efficient, customer-oriented service delivered in a streamlined manner that doesn't sacrifice quality.

Now, more than ever, restaurants can attain the organizational efficiency required to maintain a competitive edge using the power of smart dining options.  These smart systems improve accuracy, speed, and ease of the ordering process for clients while simultaneously reducing overhead expenses for owners.  They allow management teams a bird's eye view of the company's operations, and give instant access to vital information regarding inventory, payroll, scheduling, customer transactions, and more!

Like all industries, the dining and hospitality sector is advancing towards a smarter, automated future, and companies that fail to keep pace with the industry's evolution will find themselves quickly left by the wayside.  Read on to discover the most common mistakes restaurants make, and how smart systems can help your company maneuver around them!

POS Systems and Payment Processing Services

Point of Sale (POS) systems is the 21st century's response to the cash registers of the past.  At their core, they serve as a means through which to accept payment.  However, these sophisticated systems can do much more than solely accept payment.  With the help of a POS system for your restaurant, your team can manage inventory, track sales, keep a gauge on its cash flow, and make bookkeeping significantly easier.

You can also use a comprehensive POS to improve the customer experience for visitors to your restaurant.  Customer satisfaction is a function of both your restaurant's ability to smoothly meet client expectation, and deliver innovative options that evolve their understanding of how a dining experience should unfold.  A top-of-the-line POS will ramp up your company's ability to carry out both.

For owners with multiple restaurants, ensuring consistency in menus, promotions, and prices across different locations is a must.  Equally as important is reducing the labor involved in updating menus or broadcasting upcoming promotions.  Fortunately, smart, cloud-based POS for restaurants can allow you to change prices or input new menu items for all branches with one, quick, simple click.  Conversely, you can also narrow down the scope of your changes to target individual locations if necessary.

Which POS System Works Best for Dining Establishments? 

According to Comparisun, Square has essentially cut out the middleman in the credit card processing space. Square POS systems allow restaurant owners to pay as they go, rather than having to create a merchant account.  With their low, 2.75% per-transaction flat rate, and card readers that plug into any smartphone's headphone jack, Square has rewritten the rules about who can accept credit card payments – bringing small businesses, artists, and start-ups into the fold!

Additionally, Square integrates easily with third-party providers like Weebly, Shopventory, and BigCommerce.  This flexibility allows owners to leverage their POS functionalities without having to migrate to a new platform.

For restaurants with large enough sales volumes, however, the flat-rate offered by Square may not be as attractive as the customized contracts proffered by conventional credit processing companies.  Some of the most popular credit processing companies are PayPal, Stripe, and National Processing.  While PayPal typically offers the lowest rate amongst them, it's recommended that you take the time to negotiate with the different providers – one of their fit-to-form options may work best for your restaurant.

What Causes Restaurants to Fail

There a several errors that restaurant owners make which lead to either less-than-thrilled growth or outright failure.  A robust POS system can help prevent the following common mistakes from impacting your business:

  • Poor Customer Experience – With so many restaurants going neck-and-neck to outgun their competitors in the battle to deliver the best customer experience, clients are less-than-likely to return to a locale in which they had a mediocre time. Fortunately, POS systems can be used to ensure that clients are served swiftly, efficiently, and at the lowest possible price!  A primary example of this principle is fast-casual restaurants leveraging tablet-based POS systems to capture customer orders.  In this way, not only do clients get served immediately, but less money has to be spent on personnel.  These savings can then be parlayed into lowered costs for diners, leading to an experience that's great on taste buds and better on the pocketbook!
  • Difficulty Relaying Promotions – Companies with many restaurants may find it difficult to maintain uniform quality across all of their locations, especially when it comes to customer engagement. Instating new prices or rolling out new promotions can be labor-intensive, and with that labor, come the burdensome costs necessary for its procurement.  With the right POS system, however, your restaurant can both apply generalized changes and kick off promotions in a matter of minutes.  Additionally, customer engagement can be galvanized with the assistance of a loyalty program managed through your POS.
  • Quality Control Errors – Quality is key to keeping a restaurant at the top of its game. Using one of the leading smart systems, your company can track inventory, kitchen performance, production speed, frequency of errors, and other important elements of a company's quality profile.
  • Unnecessary Waste – Using built-in reporting and analytics tools, you can harness transactional data from your POS to monitor for signs of theft, food-waste, overstaffing, and other common hazards that restaurants encounter.


The Bottom Line

Smart systems are no longer a gimmick in the restaurant industry.  Instead, they've become a tried-and-true true way of lowering costs and raising customer satisfaction.  The efficiency and data-driven insights with which they infuse operations guarantee a competitive edge to those that use them – and obsolescence to those who refuse.

How will your restaurant take advantage of the new arsenal of tools and resources emerging during the POS Renaissance?

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