Restaurant technology is completely changing the way we eat out and the way we order food to eat at home. These innovations range from new customer-focused technology like ordering online, mobile payments, and menus on QR codes to back of the house systems like automated inventory management. There’s one thing that ties all of these components together though: the restaurant point of sale system. This is why choosing your POS system should be at the top of your priorities for your restaurant. Here are a few features you should look for when choosing the right POS system for your restaurant.
Contactless Payments and Ordering
While at one time contactless payments and ordering were just a convenient or even futuristic feature, it is now spreading to many restaurants. As more and more people become used to the idea of eating out with minimal contact, this mode of ordering and paying is quickly becoming the norm. When it comes to operating your restaurant, contactless dining can actually be implemented in a couple different ways. First of all, with the feature of table side ordering, servers can use a handheld device and send the order to the kitchen. This improves efficiency, while also lessening the chances of mistakes from taking orders with pen and paper. Additionally, contactless payments take away the need for servers to leave the table with the customer’s card, which promotes a sense of security, while also being more efficient.
Since you’ll have reservations coming in from a few different channels, you need a POS solution that can accurately handle all the information. You don’t only need to give the customer a good and straightforward booking experience, but you also need to get all of the important data from that customer. Instead of using a handwritten reservation book, opt for a digital reservation management system to help everything flow smoothly. These different types of reservations can each be handled by the POS system in a coherent way:
- Customers can book online, with the information being sent to the POS system.
- Staff members can manually log information from a phone reservation to the POS system.
- Walk-ins can also be added to the waitlist at the door, putting all the information in the same
Customer Loyalty and Marketing
Another benefit of digital reservation management is what all you can do with the customer data. Since you’ll have your best customers’ details and dining preferences in your system, it makes it easier to develop marketing campaigns and loyalty programs to help improve repeat business. With customer email addresses, your POS system can help send them special offers that are geared toward their preferences, making your campaigns more effective.
Reporting and Analytics
Since your POS system keeps track of so much of the data for your restaurant, it also becomes the best source when it comes to looking at the financial side of your business. So because of this, your POS system needs to have great reporting and analytics features so that you can get the most out of your data. The right system will have the ability to produce detailed reports on sales, employees, inventory, and customers, whenever you need it, allaying management to make informed decisions quickly in all areas of their business!
The Latest Hardware
Of course, a POS system will only be as good as the hardware you have. Using older, bulkier devices will only end up slowing down service and can even annoy both the customers and the servers. Your system should run well and interact seamlessly with your functional POS hardware. Here are a few things to look out for:
- POS Terminal: You want a sleek touchscreen that doesn’t take up too much space in your restaurant.
- Receipt Printer: There are still some customers who prefer paper receipts, so it’s nice to still have this option available.
- Cash Drawer: While a lot of people pay online or with card, there are still many customers who want to pay with paper money.
- Credit Card Reader: EMV and contactless credit card readers are necessary for efficiency and data protection.
- Mobile Devices or Tablets: Having a mobile ordering device can save your servers time and lower the chance of mistakes. They can also accept payment at the table to increase efficiency.
- Kitchen Printer and Kitchen Display: By connecting your POS to a kitchen display and ticket printer, you can improve the communication between the front and back of house to speed up the service in the kitchen.