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These tips should allow your staff to know the ins and outs of your restaurant’s point-of-sale system.

Moving to a POS System: 4 Tips Your Staff Should Know

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Are you looking to incorporate a point-of-sale system in your restaurant’s workflow? Take a look at these tips to make sure you’re on the right track.
By Saleem Khatri January 2019 Expert Insights

These days almost all restaurants use point-of-sale systems. Even if your restaurant doesn’t, you should consider a point-of-sale system as a great potential next step toward a positive future.

While most POS system software providers provide some type of training with the software, the truth remains that not everyone in the restaurant knows how the system works. This might not turn into a big problem for, say, your kitchen staff. But if your restaurant’s employees and managers aren’t on the same page, this will certainly lead to obstacles in the future.

A restaurant’s point-of-sale system shouldn’t be a source of confusion and frustration for your staff. It should be a tool that helps your staff function efficiently and effectively.

Any restaurant either upgrading or transitioning to a modern point-of-sale system will want to keep a few basic ideas in mind for their staff:

  1. Learn how to use live analytics and data tracking.
  2. Manage customer service and booking.
  3. Familiarize yourself with mobile kiosks.
  4. Understand software integrations.

So let’s get started and see the different POS system training techniques and system features that can assist your staff in the future.

Learn how to use live analytics and data tracking

Training your staff to understand the live reports from your restaurant’s point-of-sale system will make them more efficient and organized in the long run. Not to mention how it will help your management process.

In case you’re wondering what features might be helpful for your staff to track, keep in mind that a point-of-sale system can monitor and analyze operational elements like:

Inventory tracking. A fantastic restaurant point-of-sale system can provide inventory measurements throughout your business day. If your staff understands how to track inventory through a point-of-sale system, you’ll start seeing more responsible inventory usage and clearer customer-employee communication. After all, your server won’t offer an item when they know you just ran out.

Live updates. Receive live performance metrics, menu changes, and customer updates from your point-of-sale system to maximize your management efforts. Showing your staff how to view and use these metrics will help your managers spend less time in the office and your servers will operate the front-of-house without an issue. Ticket updates can also give your kitchen beneficial info that can help them make changes to orders quickly and easily.

Sales metrics. Some restaurant point-of-sale systems can collect and synthesize data on the fly so that you don’t have to. Watch as your sales numbers and your customer numbers are organized into easy-to-read sales reports. This feature is extremely helpful for managers reporting data to other managers and owners.

Look to these point-of-sale elements to understand rudimentary parts of your restaurant’s operations. When you train your staff in their use, you also give your employees real-time advantages with the POS software that can improve both their communication between employees and their speed in serving customers and working on in-shop tasks.

Manage customer service, employee schedules, and booking

One of the most helpful features in modern point-of-sale systems is their ability to handle large amounts of information that can then be separated into different categories for your managers and service staff to understand.

Whether it’s through clearing up employee scheduling or customizing your table layout, using a restaurant’s point-of-sale system effectively leads to improved customer service and operations management. This is something both your employees and your managers can benefit from.

Although a point-of-sale system manages your restaurant’s booking and customer preferences more easily, you’ll still need to train your employees in subjects such as:

Online reservation management. Use a point-of-sale system to help your employees manage online reservations. Given that online reservations and booking are becoming a more and more popular choice for restaurant attendees, it’s helpful for your restaurant’s staff to understand how a point-of-sale system fits into handling online booking. When used correctly, it smoothens out the reservation process and leads to a decrease in missed reservations and simple mistakes.

Employee scheduling. Some advanced restaurant point-of-sale systems can help your managers schedule employees for specific shifts without the hassle of manually recording everyone’s availability. This can be a great aid to improve employee communication, especially if you’re trying to streamline your restaurant’s workflow for a very busy shift. It also makes life easier on your service and kitchen staff, allowing them to easily negotiate their schedules.

Customer preference tracking. A great restaurant point-of-sale system can record various customer choices in case the customer returns to your restaurant in the future. This kind of service leads to an increase in customer satisfaction. It may even help your service staff get better tips from customers when they see how well their needs have been taken care of.

Reservations and customer preference are just the start to the sort of advanced customer service that a great point-of-sale system can provide to your restaurant. With these features, you can start to see how training your staff adequately can produce highly positive results.

Familiarize yourself with mobile kiosks

While legacy point-of-sale systems offer restaurants some stability, the affordability, durability, and quickness of a mobile point-of-sale system make it a smart choice for many restaurants.

Given that mobile point-of-sale systems are a growing trend in the restaurant industry, it would be smart for you to educate your staff on how to use them skillfully and quickly. This means learning how to use the center of a mobile POS system: the mobile kiosk.

Mobile kiosks and iPad terminals can offer your restaurant’s staff a wide variety of advantages so long as they learn to look at the right POS features. For example, they should know about:

Mobile payment. One of the biggest draws for using mobile kiosks is their ability to accept all kinds of payment from a customer without any difficulty. If you’re moving to a mobile point-of-sale system, informing your staff on how to accept and adjust to various forms of mobile payment is an essential task. Explain how this change is for their benefit, as mobile payment often makes it easier for the customer to tip larger amounts.

Terminal and hardware plans. Briefly educate your staff on the terminal and hardware bundles you have chosen for your restaurant and your reasoning behind each choice. This will come in handy when you need to install either your legacy POS system with its central computer or a mobile point-of-sale system which could come with a router and specialized server.

Software updates. Mobile kiosks are updated through cloud-based software updates. While these updates occur relatively painlessly, it is important that your employees understand what is happening and how to adjust their service during the update period. This is different from a legacy point-of-sale system, where the updates have to be installed manually and can often take long periods of time.

Even though mobile kiosks are a relatively new addition to the point-of-sale world, they carry certain upsides that legacy point-of-sale systems can’t compete with. With easily updatable software and mobile payment options, important elements in your restaurant’s digital tech workflow, such as your payment processing and security, become much more effective.

That’s why your staff should understand the nuances of a mobile kiosk so that both your employees and your customers can notice the difference.

Understand software integrations

Despite the complicated nature of many point-of-sale systems, as the technology advances, these advanced pieces of hardware can begin to offer software integrations and functionality that have surpassed previous systems by a long shot. This will help prevent issues with your online ordering processes such as abandoned transactions or poor security7.

Security, accounting, and payment processing software integrations are excellent features that the whole of your restaurant’s staff can use to their gain.

Software integrations are a new but vital addition to more modern point-of-sale systems that restaurants should pay close attention to. So it’s safe to say that your staff should understand the functions of:

Accounting integrations. This piece of advice comes especially in handy for restaurant managers. Knowing what accounting and financial management software your point-of-sale system integrate with can help your employees save valuable time on crunching the numbers and bookkeeping. It can also help payroll and budgeting by quickening the process of collecting data from your day-to-day business.

Security software integrations. Keep your customer information safe and secure by integrating your cloud-based point-of-sale system8 with security software. This becomes especially important during online transactions, where being unable to keep your customer information private can lead to a number of issues such as failed or abandoned transactions. Prevent this from happening by keeping your security integrations up-to-date and prevalent in your daily POS operations.

Payment processing integrations. Payment processing can become a hidden issue that will plague your POS system’s operations until you learn how to deal with it. By understanding how your restaurant’s point-of-sale system can integrate with payment processing software, your managers will understand the extra fees that accompany their increased sales volume, and your restaurant will be able to run with improved financial effectiveness.

Software integrations offer a whole other level of functionality to a restaurant’s point-of-sale system that all employees should understand. With adequate training, they can use these integrations to provide improved and accurate customer service and management.

Even though incorporating a point-of-sale system into your restaurant’s workflow can result in some challenges, there are a few strategies you can adopt in order to make your transition simpler and easier for everyone.

These tips should allow your staff to know the ins and outs of your restaurant’s point-of-sale system. Whether they’re managers, chefs, or servers, they all stand to gain from the improved communication and clarity that a POS system brings to the table.

So don’t wait. Make the move to a new and improved point-of-sale system today.

Saleem Khatri is the Chief Executive Officer of Lavu. Saleem has a "founders mentality", with a track record of working with high-growth software companies. He is a rare breed of someone who is both a hands-on leader and a strategic visionary and brings with him a myriad of inspiration, technical acumen, and a passion for our products, services, and customers.