How the Best Point of Sale (POS) Systems for Restaurants Boost Sales and Profit
As a restaurant owner, you know first-hand that time is money and high profits are a challenge. This is especially true in today’s business environment. Regardless of your business model, you need to operate with ultimate efficiency to ensure optimal returns.
Quality restaurant and bar point of sale (POS) systems help boost restaurant business efficiency for any restaurant business type. They streamline processes to record stock, manage your menu and staff, deliver detailed sales readings, and effectively take orders while ensuring you achieve profit goals.
The restaurant industry has always had its challenges, but today’s business tools help address the challenges more than ever.
This article explains what a POS system is and why you need it, regardless of your type of restaurant.
What is a Point of Sale System for Restaurants?
A point of sale (POS) system is a combination of restaurant software and hardware for placing orders, and monitoring sales and cashflow, as well as tracking stock and pricing information to aid in restaurant performance. Merchant service providers offer these systems for sale or lease.
Benefits of POS Systems in Restaurants
The following are some of the key benefits restaurants experience with a POS system in place:
Improved Ordering for More Sales
POS systems help staff get orders right the first time, which increases customer satisfaction with faster turnaround times. Staff can order at a register, at conveniently placed terminals, or with mobile ordering devices. Some systems let customers order for themselves right at the table or online, which also reduces errors and speeds turnaround times. An intuitive ordering interface minimizes errors and warns if items are out of stock so customers can quickly reselect.
These systems offer a wealth of payment options, including contactless payment, and offer other benefits like automatic check splitting, quick tipping, and digital or printed receipts on portable printers. Gift card and loyalty program capabilities keeps customers coming back.
POS systems also enable online and delivery service ordering to prompt additional sales. After customers order, a POS shares when their order is received, an estimated time for pickup, and when food is ready, which helps ensure food is hot at pickup and the kitchen stays efficient.
POS systems help staff remember customer orders, which makes it easy to order “the usual,” or customize a menu item. Some POS may even automatically honor loyalty cards. With customer email information, A POS can even help to more effectively pinpoint your marketing efforts.
Improved Cost Analysis and Tracking for Increased Profit
Today’s restaurant POS systems improve analytics for a clear read on profits. Food and drink costs are obvious and, when identified, aid in achieving higher sales volume and optimal profits. Menus can be easily edited, reformatted and continually improved. Deep sales analysis capabilities help you know what to serve and how to staff for each season, month, week, day and hour.
Restaurant owners and managers can also benefit from advanced food tracking, specifically on losses. You’ll know what freebies were divvied out, and by who. By tracking when stock arrives, you can also reduce food waste and better follow first-in, first-out (FIMO) procedures.
An Improved Customer Experience
Good customer service is key to improving sales, and today’s POS systems also monitor staff performance. The restaurant industry is known for high employee turnover, but you can make training easier with intuitive, easy-to-use systems. A quality POS provider will offer additional training when needed, too.
How does a POS System Work in a Restaurant?
With a POS system, your restaurant will get hardware and software systems designed to make staff and management more efficient. A quality POS is so much more than simply where you submit an order.
Intuitive Screen and Terminal Operation for Your Teams
Many POS systems allow you to easily place an additional terminal anywhere convenient for your staff, or offer portable tablets, smartphones, or even tableside ordering systems. Once an order is placed, the kitchen automatically receives the order on high-performance kitchen display screens with all orders and customizations clearly visible.
POS systems provide management software platform specifically designed for restaurants and bars to improve performance from top to bottom, including helpful tools and metrics to run your restaurant, such as:
- Sales management so you definitively know what does and does not sell, and when.
- Cost management with all expenses accounted for and clear readouts so you know where to make adjustments.
- Table management /reservation management that helps you create more intelligent table plans and improve customer management. You can even create a floor plan setup that improves flow and customer satisfaction.
- Advanced inventory management so you know what’s in and out of stock.
- In-depth food ingredient management for improved pricing.
- Full menu management to help you add or remove items and list them in ways that eases ordering.
- Employee management with insights on individual performance and to improve staff scheduling.
Restaurant Point of Sale System Features & Benefits
A quality POS system should offer a number of features and benefits. The following are the top features to look for in restaurant POS software:
- Order customization
- Auto totals for fast and correct billing
- Gift card and loyalty benefits
- Split check capability
- Contactless payments
- Multiple tab management
- Table-side ordering
- Digital or paper receipts
- Improved payment transactions
- Menu importing, integration, and fast editing
- Data analytics for profit/loss statements and wait staff and kitchen staff efficiency
- Full inventory tracking and auto alerts
- Real-time sales tracking, reporting, and data readings via the cloud so numbers can be tracked no matter where you are located
- Employee accounts
- Timesheet management
- Employee scheduling capabilities that reduce house labor costs
- Real-time performance statistics of wait staff
- Online and delivery order capabilities
- Online reservations planning and implementation
- Coordination with third-party delivery apps
A quality POS provider will also provide:
- Clear POS system cost breakdowns with no additional costs
- Systems training
- 24/7 remote and in-person assistance
How to select the Best POS System for your Restaurant
Some POS features are universally necessary for the entire restaurant industry, no matter your restaurant concept. Superior POS systems for restaurants help you experience the same benefits as top-performing restaurant owners, such as superior management capabilities, food tracking, and metrics on staff performance.
But there are also features to look for that serve specific restaurant types. Let’s take a look at popular restaurant categories and how they most effectively use POS systems.
Fine Dining / Full-Service Restaurants
Guests can book easily online, and managers and hosts can utilize intelligent table management to fit staff sizes and improve order timing.
If the night starts with a drink at the bar, the restaurant POS system can easily move tickets from a bar to a table, or even from bar to bar.
Easy Access to Kiosks in the Entire Restaurant
Nearby terminals and mobile POS ordering devices make placing orders instantaneous.
If management makes changes to the menu during the day, it’s instantly reflected on devices, which keeps staff organized. If certain food or wine pairings are recommended, a server can easily make suggestions. If menu items are out of stock, wait staff are always informed so guests can quickly reselect, which minimizes annoyance and speeds orders. If a customer has allergies or requests customizations, the information is clearly logged.
Servers know when food is ready so it’s promptly delivered. Additionally, a POS can remind wait staff to check on diners, or suggest sides and desserts. Group ordering options, split check capabilities, and instant digital or printed receipts satisfy customers and speed turnaround times.
All of this nurtures happy customers and increases repeat business.
Easier Payment Processing
A POS allows for processing payments at the tableside, and accepts a full range of payment options with quick tipping, from credit card payments to contactless payments like Google Pay. Emailed or printed receipts are instantly provided, and gift cards or loyalty programs can be easily applied. Customer information can also be stored to ensure they get their “usual” at their next visit.
Improved Delivery Processes for Restaurants:
In addition to restaurant terminals, you can accept online payments and mobile payments, as well as directly connect with a delivery app. Combined with contactless-delivery, you can painlessly increase take-out orders—which more than compensates for any third-party delivery commissions.
Bars and Nightclubs
Speed of Ordering and Payment
Food and drink orders can be entered with a touch of a button, and staff always know if a menu item is out of stock. Special drink deals and new menu items can be highlighted directly on POS devices as a reminder for staff.
Payment can be taken directly at tables on portable devices, and painlessly split checks and apply tips. Instant digital or printed receipts keep customers moving. If it fits your business model, customer tableside ordering even reduces wait times.
Better Coordination with Times of the Day
POS devices accommodate for special times of the day; for example, a POS will automatically update when happy-hour concludes. Similarly, the menu will update on a POS from lunch to dinner at the correct hour.
Accurate stock tracking helps limit free drinks and appetizers, which are so important to bar and nightclub profits. You know when stock is compromised and when staff members place orders for free cocktails.
Fast Casual Restaurants / Quick-Service Restaurants
From fast food to coffee shops and bakeries, customers are often in a hurry. The right POS system matches the speed you need to operate to satisfy your customers.
Clear register displays make it fast and easy for staff to place orders while customer displays, such as an 8-inch guest-facing screen or 14-inch tablet, let customers easily read order information, sign for credit card payments, and add tips. Customers also appreciate contactless payment options, which can increase sales. Loyalty programs are clearly visible so your staff can immediately inform customers if they are due for a special treat—a benefit customers are sure to appreciate and will keep them coming back.
Receipts include your business logo for additional exposure and can also print coupons or special deals on the reverse, which you can easily change whenever needed.
Online Ordering and Delivery
The same online and delivery features for fine dining are available for fast, quick service operations as well. With a POS, customers are informed of estimated timeframes and when their order is ready for pickup.
Stock and Sales Tracking
As food is quickly sold, stock is meticulously tracked to keep kitchen staff and management informed.
Best Point of Sale System For Restaurants In 2021
If you search for the best POS systems for restaurants for 2021, you will undoubtedly find a long list of sale system options. Some are more popular for restaurants than others, such as Square, Toast POS, Lightspeed Restaurant POS, and Touchbistro. Our personal favorite is BNG POS. It offers the full range of benefits listed in this article in its Restaurant Manager POS system, which is adaptable to fit any budget. BNG POS is a solid option for anyone looking for a restaurant POS.
Restaurant Manager POS: The best Choice for Restaurant Sales
As a point-of-sale provider, BNG POS is specially focused on restaurants and bars. BNG’s Restaurant Manager POS system was designed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners.
This system provides the full suite of software and hardware options mentioned above to maximize efficiency and profits. It offers flexibility and customized solutions for what you need, and easily scales to meet new needs as they arise.
From ultra-efficient order taking, meticulous stock records and in-depth sales statistics, to effective training, simplified menu management, and online ordering capabilities, BNG POS systems help you stay organized and achieve maximum profits. The intuitive software is easy to use, which improves staff onboarding and reduces errors and chargebacks. It benefits all areas of your restaurant from the wait and host staff to kitchen staff and management. And, the same system can be used for multiple locations.
BNG POS makes it simple and painless to select a system that’s best for your restaurant. They’ll even work with your current payment processor or suggest a new one. And all systems are backed with world-class, 24/7 support.
BNG POS offers transparent pricing plans, including premium plans for maximum profit and sales or trimmed offerings to fit your budget.
Contact us, and our team of POS experts will help you find a solution perfectly tailored to your restaurant.