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4 Benefits of a Cloud-Based Point-of-Sale Solution

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These systems can help restaurants be more profitable and efficient.
By Nicole Bryan May 2017 Vendor Bylines

Owning and running a restaurant is no small task. The day-to-day consists of long hours and hard work. Having a firm grasp on the day-to-day details is the key to business success. It is important for restaurant owners to have a strong insight into all areas—staffing, inventory, customer preferences, menus, promotions, and profits—in order to effectively command their business.

A restaurant point-of-sale solution should offer much more than just processing orders for the kitchen crew, the ability to totalize bills, and keeping records of transactions. In order for a restaurant to maximize its potential, the owner should have a POS system that includes real-time access to stored information presented in a digestible format that helps make smarter business decisions. The modern restaurant owner today often makes decisions remotely as opposed to in the business location itself. This means that they need access to critical information regarding their operations. This is possible now through web-based cloud portals that can be accessed anywhere, anytime, whether on a mobile device, laptop, or tablet.

A POS system with a cloud portal can provide a restaurant owner with valuable access to metrics whenever and wherever. A system that can process this data can be helpful for a number of reasons—providing keen insights, creating no-hassle upgrades, heightening security, and lowering labor costs all while keeping your restaurant up-to-date with the newest technologies.

1. Increase Profitability Through Insights

A cloud-based POS system will give a restaurant the data that it needs to grow and maximize profits. A system that tracks and records purchases means that customers’ past purchases are saved and available for viewing. An owner can take that data and track which of their menu items are most successful and then create targeted marketing based on demographics and customer purchasing habits. These insights are available to the business owner at any time, making cloud-based POS systems incredibly effective for managing a business while off location. Intuitive features, such as data monitoring, transaction history, inventory tracking, employee scheduling, and sales records, are all at the fingertips of the merchant anywhere they have internet access.

These types of insights can help restaurant owners create promotions and sales curtailed around specific data. Promotions are important for any small business that wants to attract new customers on top of retaining their current base. When it comes to promotions or sales, business owners often times struggle keeping track of the duration and specifications, especially if they have multiple deals running at once. If these promotions and sales are not tracked properly, that could mean loss of profit or customers for a restaurant. A cloud-based system will keep track of the promotions and profits, making it possible to provide the best customer service and accuracy.

2. Get Instant Upgrades

Manual upgrades can be complicated. With cloud-based POS systems, difficult and mind numbing upgrades are a thing of the past. The POS provider can ensure that the servers are backed up, configured, and properly maintained constantly without business owners having to lift a finger. Any software upgrades such as bug fixes or service packs are handled by the provider from a remote server location. The POS provider will also keep track of a business’ growing hardware or performance needs and will give alerts for potential service upgrades well in advance. This does away with last-minute surprise upgrades of more traditional systems.

Some restaurant owner’s worry about the possibility of running out of space but having a remote server eliminates that problem. A cloud-based system does away with having to upgrade hardware if more space is needed. More customer and inventory data can be stored within the system with everything being constantly backed up on a remote server. A cloud-based system will always stay current with the latest software and technology requirements. Since these aspects never stop evolving, instant upgrades and automatic updates are imperative for restaurant owner’s convenience and general operating function.

3. Minimize the Risks

The potential for data loss is reduced with cloud-based solutions because everything is kept online. Cloud-based POS software that is integrated with POS hardware utilizes an internet infrastructure to access data remotely. This means that the data stores in the POS system can be backed up automatically and then synced, making it easier to keep safe and up-to-date. Using a reputable payment provider that has a PCI compliant server will ensure further uptime and recovery if any such attacks were to come to fruition.

The cloud serves two main functions: the first is shifting computer workloads off site and the second is mobilizing data. Cloud-based POS systems work with highly secure and private cloud systems that are in numerous locations. Well-designed cloud systems provide high levels of security through encryption. Cloud-based servers do not store sensitive credit card information in a backroom but instead the data is immediately encrypted and set over to a secure network. According to Huffington Post, “Well designed cloud systems provide a much higher level of security through encryption and multiple backups. Put simply your data is better off in the cloud.”

4. Reduce Labor Costs

A lot of restaurants have struggled with unrecorded sales and inaccurately recorded inventory. The staff ends up spending unnecessary time trying to correct these mistakes rather than helping customers or other things that need tending to. A cloud-based POS system can fix issues like this. Traditional cash registers require entirely too much human input, especially at peak busy times. Human error can be minimized or eliminated through cloud-based solutions. Consistency is another goal that can be hindered by human error due to traditional POS systems. A cloud-based POS system can help maintain consistent pricing which in turn will improve profits.

Control over stock and inventory is one of the most exciting benefits of cloud-based systems. Instead of training employees to manually go through stock, which requires extra labor and could interrupt daily operations, cloud-based software usually includes features that allow actively measured inventory. This saves money for the business owner on paying employees to manually do stock counts. Human errors such as miscounting inventory and reporting inaccurate numbers can lead to serious consequences for a restaurant that relies on having certain menu items available.

Implementing cloud-based software is not nearly as financially, operationally, or logistically daunting as one may think. In return, restaurant owners gain precious access to valuable data, instant upgrades, complete efficiency, and cost-savings that will help build profits for a business and improve operations. Cloud-based technologies have advanced rapidly in recent years and offer business owners a reliable and flexible solution to their POS needs. 

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.