From the blog How to Make the Most of Your Restaurant’s POS System
Your restaurant’s point of sale (POS) system may not be as important as the food you serve, but it can still make or break you.
It’s not enough just to have a point of sale system. You need the right POS system for your business. Modern POS systems offer more than basic transactions. A successful restaurant makes the most of the available features, boosting everything from efficiency to customer loyalty.
Whether you operate a food truck working a busy strip, a bar in a sleepy town, or a bustling upscale restaurant, your business depends on your POS system.
Start with premium equipment
Paying the bill is one of the last things your customers do before they leave. If the rest of the visit has been amazing but it’s a pain to cash out, that can ruin their entire visit.
It’s critical to improve everything about the customer experience you can—including paying the bill.
Premium POS equipment should be designed with your staff and your customers in mind. It should be easy to use and ensure fast, intuitive transactions. And its features should also include personal touches. They make a big difference.
Make sure your equipment can handle the payment options your customers expect and make sure it adds to the experience rather than taking away from it.
Never turn down a payment
Technology grows by leaps and bounds, and payment systems are no different.
Within the last few years, we’ve seen EMV chips go from uncommon to widespread. A customer is just as likely to want to pay with an app on their phone as they are to pay with a credit card or cash.
Can you run a restaurant without keeping in step with technology? Sure. But you’ll almost certainly lose business when potential diners realize you don’t accept their preferred payment method.
Customize to your unique specifications
As your business changes and grows over time, an adaptable POS system should be able to grow with you. You need something customizable to meet your changing needs.
For example, can you easily update menu items, prices and tax rates? Can you create and control authority levels for employees? Does your POS track time and Inventory? Can you configure the most critical settings to perfectly match your needs?
Flexibility should be a priority. Period. If you’re current POS isn’t up to par, it may be time to consider switching.
Take a 360° approach to analysis
You already know how important it is in the restaurant business to stay ahead of the game—and ahead of the competition. An analytical POS system can help.
Built-in business analysis tools can save you a ton of time by giving you the low-down on everything from inventory management and costs to staff management and revenue. A strategic POS analysis makes it easy to streamline your operation.
Introduce gift cards
Everyone loves a gift certificate. They’re easy to give, fun to receive, and make great stocking stuffers and easy gifts.
Gift cards are a more secure alternative to paper gift certificates. Gift cards have added layers of protection, much like credit cards, which protect against fraudulent use. They look professional, fit into anyone’s wallet, and make processing a sale as easy as serving up your world-famous pie.
Build customer loyalty
A happy customer is a loyal customer. That’s why customer loyalty programs are so powerful. A loyalty program allows you to reward your most regular customers or biggest spenders with special benefits.
Greg Kihlstrom, author of The Agile Brand, explains why this is so important. “Successful customer loyalty programs are win-wins for brands and consumers. They bring additional recurring revenue to the company and make customers happy with perks and rewards. All this adds up to a better customer experience, which can bring better returns.”
A top-of-the-line restaurant POS system will include options for launching and managing a loyalty program that works for you.
Good results, Kihlstrom goes on to explain, are not coincidental. “Using the right tactics in creating your program can have a measurable, meaningful return on sales and retention.”
Be aware, it may take some experimenting to figure out what works best for you and your customers. But at the end of the day, Kihlstrom says, “Loyalty programs are effective.”
Maximize your potential
Even if you’re reasonably happy with your current POS system, it’s a good idea to take stock from time to time. Find out how the latest options can help you can maximize your restaurant’s potential, build customer loyalty, and tap into ROI-boosting efficiency.
And when it’s time for an upgrade, make sure the POS provider you pick offers the options that mean the most to you and your customers.