Does My Restaurant Need A Point-Of-Sale System? Or Is It A Waste Of Money?

Jul 15, 2018 | Restaurant POS, Weekly Articles

Getting a point-of-sale system is one of the first pieces of equipment a restaurant owner debate spending money on when they are investing in a new establishment.

Point-of-sale systems have the reputation of being an expensive piece of technology that rings up items and lets you process payments. However, investing time and money in utilizing your POS system can be the difference between your business keeping its doors open or it closing down.

That’s a pretty bold claim, but the truth is a point-of-sale system is one of the most important tools you have at your disposal in making your restaurant profitable.

Why are they so important?

Well, a point-of-sale system is necessary when it comes to maintaining the operations of your business, but they also prevent theft, limit food waste, and help you make smarter ordering decisions.

Curious how? Here are the top ways a point-of-sale system can impact your restaurant.

POS systems track your profitable items

A lot of restaurant owners make a common mistake when trying to make a profit off their menu items. They try and maintain low-cost food items, assuming that will cover their expenses if they sell enough and don’t spend a lot of money on food. Unfortunately, that’s not always how it works out.

Many successful restaurants have food costs as high as 50%, and in spite of the high price are still making a considerable profit.

How is this possible?

Well, it’s not the amount of your food cost that’s the problem. Instead, generating money is based on the gross profit you make off of every menu item you sell. A lot of restaurants guess what their most profitable menu items are, or don’t realize how much they sell of that specific food or drink item.

Here’s where a point-of-sale system makes a difference.

A restaurant that tracks every item through their POS system can track their daily, weekly, and monthly sales and see what menu items are performing the best.

When you have that data, you can make a pretty good forecast on what you should promote on your menu, and see what items are costing you money and phase them out.

POS systems prevent waste

Continuing off the point above, it can be a bad idea to focus on keeping your food costs low without looking at your profit. Even ordering lots of cheap ingredients in bulk doesn’t matter if you’re losing 60% to waste.

One of the reasons point-of-sale systems were invented was to keep tabs on any incoming ingredients and account for everything in a way pen and paper never could.

A point-of-sale system can record every bit of inventory you scan in and track what flows out through the items off your menu.

Tracking what is coming in vs. what customers are ordering can leave a significant impact on your profit. Why order food cheap food if no one wants to order it? That costs you more in the long run than paying more for a menu item that performs well.

Study your sales and see what people are willing to pay for, and don’t make the mistake of ordering more of one product than you need.

POS systems stop internal theft

Everyone wants to trust their employees, but unfortunately, theft is incredibly common for restaurants, especially ones that don’t use a point-of-sale system.

It’s easy for staff to hand out a free drink, a free meal, and it’s easy to get away with it if they don’t have to ring everything up. Businesses that only use a cash drawer have no way of accounting if a drink wasn’t rung up or exactly how many orders went out.

Having a point-of-sale system in your restaurant makes it easier to track what was wrung up and what you’re missing from inventory. If you’re going through too much liquor, you can see how many drinks were ordered, and calculate what’s missing and check your camera footage.

When you have a point-of-sale system, you can also check on voided out cash items wrung up through your POS system to prevent abuse by managers who can void out transactions at the end of the night.

POS systems monitor working hours

Another thing your POS system can track effectively is your employees work hours. Many point-of-sale systems have apps that let a restaurant owner track when they are losing too much money due from too much staff during slow hours.

Your POS system can show you daily sales trends and help you plan accordingly, such as how much staff you need at your restaurant to cover the busy hours without losing money while paying staff when it’s slow.

You can also monitor if employees are coming too close to overtime hours and prevent underworking by clocking out late or coming in early.

So is a point-of-sale system worth it?

After counting all the value they bring your restaurant it’s clear that they are worth every bit of money you can invest in buying one.

Point-of-sale systems are one of the rare pieces of equipment you’ll buy that can save you money and make you money at the same time.

Curious what else a point-of-sale system can do for your restaurant? Contact us, and we’ll answer any questions you may have!

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