In today’s modern world where competition is fierce and running a successful business is no easy task, we as restaurant owners need to surround ourselves with the best solutions available to run our businesses smoothly, and win customers. Introducing the latest technology for managing your business, the POS system.
Making their big debut back in the 70s, POS systems have evolved over the last 50 years into a productive and efficient system to manage, oversee and track our daily operations. Possibilities really are becoming endless nowadays with hundreds of integrations and plugins available to maximize the range of actions we can take. For instance, latest tech has made it easy for restaurant owners to receive orders online right from the POS console.
Up until a few years ago the two functions were distinct, where making orders was done at the website and had to be manually inputted in the POS. Today however, customers can order meals at a designated online menu which directly records new transactions in the system, saving the restaurant valuable time in making manual listings.
Why Switch to POS
While the system may sound daunting at first due its immense range of possibilities, learning how to use the POS is relatively easy. It all begins with taking an order. But before we dive into the technicality of the process, let’s take a common scenario we have all been through in our lives.
It’s Friday night, and as the week has finally come to an end, we decided to plan dinner with a couple of our friends at a local restaurant we’ve never visited. At 8:00 P.M. the six of us meet outside Remy’s Italian Food with hungry bellies and an excitement we haven’t felt in a while. We ask for a table of six, to which the lady responds let me check for availability. She signals her partner to go check inside, and asks us to please wait a few minutes.
“No problem,” we reply and wait for confirmation, which takes a bit longer than expected. At 8:10 we’re finally lead inside to a dimly light corner right across the bar. The atmosphere is cozy, with a smell of fresh pasta making its way from the kitchen and into the dining hall.
“Anything to drink?” The waitress asks as we take our sits, pen and paper ready to scribble down our first orders for the night. “I’ll take a beer,” Sam says as he takes a glimpse at the alcohol menu. “Me too,” Ally quickly adds, followed by Jane and Robert who decide to try the red wine selection. Waiting for Lisa to make up her mind, we decide to order a few starting dishes to cool down our hunger.
“Very well,” the waitress says as she quickly runs her pen on the tiny notepad. She takes away our menus and gives us an estimate waiting time before leaving to the kitchen to deliver our orders.
We’ll stop here for now so we can take a closer look at the process we’re all used to, and how new tech is evolving it. We’ll begin by evaluating the process of confirming a table is open and available. I think we can all agree having someone physically move around the restaurant to look for an empty table is non efficient and wastes time, so here’s our first issue.
Next, in our scenario the waitress takes the orders by writing them down on a notepad in an environment which isn’t the most comfortable. The room is dark, making it hard to see what you’re writing in a hurry. And to make matters worse, someone needs to understand what it says in order to cook the meal.
Finally, the order needs to be manually taken to the kitchen, making the waitress spend time delivering it rather than attend other customers. In short, this scenario describes a typical restaurant which operates using old fashioned solutions, requiring more staff than needed, and working unproductively.
Modern Solutions for Restaurants
As we’ve seen in the example above, it can be difficult running a restaurant and possibly a nightmare when it’s on full capacity. Imagine the pressure or taking orders, delivering them to the kitchen, making sure they are prepared in the order they came in, and then finally taking them out to the right table, all while having to deal with customer needs and questions. Thankfully, we don’t have to go through this anymore, with POS solutions tackling many of the issues restaurants are facing today.
The system is powerful in many ways, but mostly because it connects between different departments from remote locations. Whether it’s the person who needs to confirm availability, answer reservation calls and sit people down. Or the waitresses who need to take orders, deliver them to the kitchen, and then take them to the table. Or even the cooks who need to prepare dozens of meals at once while making sure they don’t lose any orders, the POS connects everyone by sharing information.
Imagine giving waitresses the option to list what table is open and share it with the person at the front entrance. With a team that constantly moves around the restaurant, identifying what table has become open will be fast and save time. Now picture this; what if you could take an order at the table and immediately send it to the kitchen without having to walk over and shout the dishes. Wouldn’t that be a time saver? This technology works by having a mobile POS device that allows to record orders at the table and send them to a KDS (kitchen display screen) which shows the order.
But apart from managing orders effectively, POS systems are highly valuable because they allow you to track what happened in your restaurant over the course of the day, week, month or year. This information can help track growth, which days require more staff, and which meals are the most popular. Knowing this information can help manage the staff, food purchases and marketing, all within a single dashboard.
Fast forward to the end of the scenario, we’ll want to collect payment. The POS can do just that, by having an integrated sales system that can read credit cards, allowing the customer to pay right from the comfort of his seat, and without worrying about his card leaving him.
As noted above, POS can definitely pose an advantage when it comes to efficiency and managing your restaurant. There are many other possibilities available we haven’t covered in this article, but will be glad to provide over a phone call or text. As Hawaii’s only certified brokers, we have a wide range of products and services to boost your restaurant at an affordable price and highest standard guarantee. For more information or questions regarding your project, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.