In recent years, point-of-sale systems have quickly become one of the most important and high-tech solutions a restaurant brand can utilize as its purpose has had to adapt to the constant changes in customer demand. In the past, POS solutions were designed to function as a limited-use cash register and accomplish two goals: taking orders and managing cash flow. These outdated systems, also called legacy point-of-sales, had limited functionality because they lacked an open API ecosystem making it difficult to integrate with other solutions and seamlessly scale across multiple service locations. However, with recent technological advancements, modern POS systems are expected to go well beyond their intended purpose and assist with almost every aspect of a brand’s daily operations.
For table service brands specifically, the POS system and recent technological advancements have opened a whole new world of serving and satisfying customers. With advancements in POS technology came cloud-based services, contactless payment options, inventory management features, enterprise-level reporting, and kitchen display systems that can be integrated to not only enhance customer and employee experiences but also elevate operations to new heights.
Reduce Space with the Cloud
A revolutionary feature in modern POS systems is the cloud, or in other terms, the internet. The cloud has enabled POS solutions to perform and enhance critical operational tasks like collecting and storing unlimited amounts of customer data, increasing the speed and accuracy of service, and creating open API platforms for seamless integrations with multiple solutions and vendors. The addition of the cloud to POS solutions was revolutionary for table service restaurant brands not only because it supports scalability but also because it opened the door for mobility and the use of hand-held POS solutions. With cloud-based services, restaurant operators can seamlessly implement the POS in all service locations without disrupting operations, store unlimited amounts of operational data, and access the software on any device with an internet connection.
Provide Safer and Easier Payment Methods
A recent trend table service operators have been experiencing is modern consumers prioritizing convenience when making purchases. As ease of use continues to increase in importance, most consumers have already made the switch from using their preferred traditional payment methods to contactless payment options. According to a 2020 MasterCard Survey on consumers using contactless payment options, 79% of those surveyed stated that they have made the switch from traditional payments to contactless payment options during transactions. The reason most consumers are transitioning to contactless payment options is that they are much faster and more convenient than traditional payment methods like credit card swiping and cash payments. With contactless payment options, consumers can simply tap their preferred payment method near an NFC (near-field communication) payment processor rather than digging around their pockets to find the exact amount of change needed for a transaction or swiping their credit card and risking fraudulent activity. NFC payment processors, or tap-and-go, have not only simplified the transaction process but also fortified it as contactless payment options protect cardholders against fraud risks, credit card theft, and other ways hackers try to get their hands on credit card information like fake card readers and RFID scanners. Contactless payment options are the new norm when making purchases and it is imperative for table-service brands to offer these methods of payment to their guests.
Track Inventory from Delivery Through Preparation
Inventory is arguably the largest budget for any restaurant brand. Since roughly 40% of a restaurant brand’s revenue goes to its inventory budget, it is necessary for operators to find the right solutions that can track and manage inventory levels at all times. A great POS feature table service brands can utilize to track inventory levels from delivery through preparation is inventory management solutions. The right inventory management solution will enable operators to have a clear view of inventory stock as well as automatically adjust inventory levels in real-time as menu items are ordered by guests. Inventory management solutions are designed not only to assist with combating food waste challenges but also to help table service operators understand what stock is left, what is needed, and when the next inventory delivery should be scheduled.
Unite Front and Back of House Employees with Kitchen Display Systems
Proper communication between restaurant staff members is paramount to a table service brand’s success but can be a challenge to accomplish. To assist with streamlined communication between front and back of house employees, table service restaurants can implement kitchen display systems into their POS ecosystem. Kitchen display systems, or KDSs, reduce inaccuracies and inefficiencies as well as bolster productivity by instantly displaying guest meals as they are ordered. This ensures that all orders are quickly communicated and accurately fulfilled to leave guests satisfied after every meal.
Receive Actionable Insights Specific to Operations
Another necessary POS feature table service operators should consider is data management solutions. Data management solutions gather information and data from existing solutions, including solutions from 3rd party vendors, to provide operators with relevant reports so they can identify trends and problems in real-time. These reports may highlight customer demand, most popular and least popular menu items, daily financial data, and KPIs so operators know if they are performing above or below expectations. The right POS must be able to provide operators with crucial information from the press of a button to ensure nothing comes between a restaurant and its guests. With enterprise POS reporting, table service brands can gain a complete and comprehensive understanding of daily operations, uncover what their customers demand, and what keeps them coming back for more.
Implementing the right POS system in your table service restaurant can be a game changer. As important as it is to find the right POS, it is equally as important to ensure the system’s functionality can assist with a variety of daily operational tasks. With the right POS in place as well as the right system integrations, table service brands can enhance their operations and create incredible customer and employee experiences.