The past year has been a wild ride for the restaurant industry. You’ve dealt with dining room closures, a shift to online ordering, outdoor dining and dining room makeovers for socially distanced tables. Few industries experienced the same level of impact the pandemic has had on restaurant operations.
The pandemic has also had a major impact on restaurants’ top and bottom lines. Restaurateurs are faced with the challenge of keeping their businesses running, while in-house dining remains slow and managing online ordering needs improvement. And at the same time, competition remains tough and margins, small.
Restaurant Operations Efficiency is Not Optional
Efficiency has always been vital to a successful business. No restaurant can afford waste – not wasted food, labor hours, steps, or effort. In 2021, as businesses rebuild after the pandemic’s early months, minimizing waste is even more important. Efficiency can make the difference between a restaurant that thrives and one that doesn’t survive.
Creating more efficient restaurant operations, however, can be a challenge. Fortunately, there is technology that’s designed to help. The right point of sale (POS) system can increase efficiency by:
Think about how many things you and your staff do manually that POS software could do for you. Do your employees rekey information or walk orders or information from one place to another? Does your team spend time searching through the system for a two-for-Tuesday promotion – or accidentally give customers that price on Wednesday? A POS system can automate manual workflows and automatically apply pricing at specific times, enabling faster and more accurate work.
Developers with industry expertise design POS systems with features that often save servers steps and clicks. The onePOS system, for instance, allows you to enter orders by guest number, automatically moving to the next guest to eliminate clicks. Then, it enables you to combine orders onto one check or add modifiers without deleting and reentering all items on the check. It also generates buttons with the most commonly tendered cash. For example, it can display $26, $30 and $40 for a $25.67 check – so the server doesn’t have to key in the amount.
Also, any time you update menu items, modifiers, or prices one by one, you’re doing too much work. Bulk edit functionality allows you to make changes, all at once, from a single screen.
Sending information where it needs to be
Reporting is vital, especially now when owners and managers are keeping a close watch on expenses, revenues, and profits. Instead of sending reports on inventory, payroll or sales manually, your POS system can send them automatically, weekly or daily. You only need to type in email addresses once, tell the system what to report, and your POS system does the rest.
Your POS system can also save managers time. Employees can print their schedules and clock in and out right from the system. Some POS solution providers are also integrating additional functionality to help manage labor during the pandemic. For example, they may be able to ask health screening questions when employees clock in, automating the process.
Improving customer experiences
Efficiency isn’t only essential for restaurant operations. It’s also necessary for creating great customer experiences. Even though more customers may be ordering for pickup rather than in the dining room, they still expect prompt, efficient service. Apps like a curbside check-in service, for example, can help improve CX. They allow customers to notify you when they arrive and where they’re parked and alert your staff through your POS system.
Don’t Settle for Inefficiency
Keep in mind that not every POS system can deliver the same efficiency gains. If you’re ready to upgrade from one that doesn’t support efficient restaurant operations, it’s important to evaluate your options carefully. Demo systems to see how they work. Pay special attention to how many times a server has to click to enter an order and how easy it is to print checks. Also, consider the work required by your back office to keep your business running.
Completing each task may only save a few seconds at the POS terminal or on a tablet tableside. However, over a week or month, those seconds can add up to more table turns, faster service, and happier customers.
Are you ready to learn more about managing a more efficient restaurant, saving time and money? Contact Everything but the Food.