The Ins and Outs of Point-of-Sale Systems for Casual Dining Restaurants
Casual dining establishments provide patrons with service in a comfortable setting. In order to make the most of your customer’s casual dining experience, you need a robust point-of-sale (POS) system. While there are many options available, it is important to choose a POS that will fit the needs of your casual dining restaurant.
Along with handling order processing, your restaurant’s POS system can also handle payment processing. In most instances, your patrons will likely have a variety of payment methods, including cash, gift cards, debit cards, and credit cards. A robust POS system is able to handle all of this with ease. The ability of your POS system to apply discounts and coupons, open bar tabs, and even split checks are the types of convenient features that keep your customers coming back for more.
Tracking and Reporting
- POS systems can help provide a variety of tracking and reporting capabilities, including:
- Calculating cash due for each order entered
- Recording methods of payments
- Creating hourly and daily sales reports
- Clocking employees in and out
- Calculating labor and payroll data
- Tracking number of items on the menu sold
- Recording daily check averages for wait staff
- Tracking cash in the cash drawer
Additionally, a POS system has the ability to gather critical marketing information, such as email addresses, telephone numbers, and order information. With this information, the POS system is able to build a database containing customer information that can be used in direct marketing campaigns, personalizing promotions, and loyalty programs.
What to Look for in a POS for Casual Dining
Every POS system is different in terms of application, hardware, and software. This makes it even more important to spend time and energy researching to find the right POS system for your business. Ensure that the POS system you select is one that will fit the needs for a casual dining environment. The factors to consider include price and quality, as well as whether you need to pay for additional features and add-ons. You should also consider the required hardware components, such as a touchscreen monitor for the POS and where it will be placed. User friendliness is a must when choosing a POS for your restaurant, as is technical support in the event there is a problem. Finally, consider the tracking and reporting capabilities offered by the POS system you select.
Hardware for the POS
Your point-of-sale system will need certain hardware components in order to provide you with all of the functionality that you need. It is important to ensure that your POS system includes both the software and the hardware required. Hardware for your POS system will include a touchscreen monitor that is placed at the point-of-sale. Other hardware components include customer display equipment, network servers, portable terminals, kitchen display systems, and handheld devices.
How Employees Will Use the POS
Among the factors to consider when choosing a POS system is how your employees will use it in your dining establishment. It should be kept in mind that not all POS systems work in the same manner. User processes may vary based on service style and restaurant type, which can be important when setting up a POS system in a casual dining restaurant. In general, a POS system will work in the following manner:
- Employees enter their name or user code in the touchscreen, thus gaining access to the system.
- An employee will start a new check or order by entering the menu items ordered by the customer.
- The point-of-sale system sends order information to the kitchen staff on a digital display monitor or printed ticket.
- The staff in the kitchen read the order and prepare the food relevant to the order for the wait staff to deliver to the customer.
Among the most important factors to consider in selecting a POS system is user friendliness. If the POS system requires extensive training, employees may find it difficult to use and even become frustrated. This could also result in slowing down service. It is also important to ensure that the orders generated by the POS system are easy to read so that there is no chance for error. You should also look for a POS system that provides technical support in the event that there is a problem. The POS system you select should include a warranty coverage as well as customer service and technical support that is continually available so that any issues that arise can be resolved quickly and easily without it interfering with your restaurant’s service.
It is also important to consider the software programs required for your point-of-sale system to operate correctly. The POS software is a vital element for providing gift card capabilities, inventory reports, and more. For instance, the right POS software can even assist you in creating employee schedules. The software that comes with your POS system should also be able to check orders as well as process payments quickly, which will allow your restaurant to provide faster table turnover and happier customers who are not subjected to long waits.
Owning a food establishment usually involves juggling more than ball at a time. With everything else on your plate, a POS system can ease a lot of headache that comes with overseeing the day-to-day operations of your business. If you’re looking to increase the efficiency of your operation, look no further than a reliable POS system to help get the job done.
Nicole Bryan is the digital content writer for Sterling Payment Technologies, a payment processing company based in Tampa, Florida. Sterling is a payment processor that offers solutions that help grow their customers’ businesses more profitably and efficiently.