This post was last updated 8 days ago.

The past year has been a wild ride for the restaurant industry. From dining room closures and a shift to online ordering to outdoor dining and dining room makeovers to accommodate 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. Now, restaurateurs are faced with the challenge of keeping their businesses viable as in-house dining remains slow and online ordering may need optimization – all while 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 early months of the pandemic, 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:

Automating processes

Take a minute to 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 spending more time than necessary 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 to enable your team to work more quickly and more accurately. 

Streamlining workflows

A POS system designed for restaurants with developers with industry expertise will also have additional features that save servers steps and clicks. The onePOS system[BW1] , for instance, allows you to enter orders by guest number, automatically moving to the next guest to eliminate clicks, then allows 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, $26, $30 and $40 for a $25.67 check – so that 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 having your back-office staff configure and send reports on inventory, payroll or sales manually, your POS system can send them automatically each week or even each day. You only need to type in email addresses once, tell the system what they need to know, and your POS system does the rest.  

Managing labor

Your POS system can help managers find more time in their days by enabling employees to 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, such as asking health screening questions when employees clock in.

Improving customer experiences

Efficiency isn’t only essential for restaurant operations. It’s also necessary for creating great customer experiences. Even though customers may be ordering more often for pickup rather than waiting for a table in the dining room, they still expect prompt, efficient service. Apps like a curbside check-in service, for example, can help improve CX, allowing customers to notify you when they arrive and where they’re parked and communicate it directly to 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 for your first system or 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, paying special attention to how many times a server has to click to enter an order, how easy it is to print checks, and 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, but over the course of a day, week, or month, those seconds can add up to more table turns, more efficient use of labor, faster service, and happier customers.

Are you ready to learn more about how to manage a more efficient restaurant, saving time and money? Contact Everything but the Food.