Tech tools to keep your restaurant operations running smoothly
Restaurant owners are busy. From managing staff to managing customers, managers may overlook valuable tools to support their business. What technology should restaurant owners consider to keep things running smoothly?
In the flow of your busy day, the needs of your customers are always the top priority. Keeping the meals streaming from the kitchen to the table and ensuring tables are quickly cleared to accommodate the next wave of customers keeps you busy enough. It makes sense then why most restaurant owners do not take the time to examine the supporting technology on which their businesses run.
However, it is important to take the time to learn how to set up point of sale (POS) technology in order to keep the cogs of your restaurant running smoothly. Now, this does not need to be an in-depth look into everything, especially with the demonstrated ability of some POS solutions to completely change the landscape of their businesses. You can save time and yet realize a maximum ROI by pointing your focused attention to these common POS restaurant features.
Start by selecting POS technology that supports mobility
Mobility has matured to the point of it being long past the wait-and-see stage of business technology planning. Restaurants can utilize some very particular aspects of mobility in the form of a mobile-supporting POS platform. The perfect blend of mobile POS hardware and the use of cloud-based POS software can present you with a number of brilliant moves that, in turn, can streamline your operations and improve the overall customer experience.
Mobile devices can be deployed to servers and bartenders, allowing them to accept orders with a higher degree of accuracy. Gone forever are the blurred, smudged, or illegible paper order slips, replaced instead by a photo-based library of your meal and drink choices. Servers need only tap on the photo on the device to add it to a customer’s order before tapping on a submit button to instantly send the meal and drink requests back to the kitchen or over to the bar.
The use of mobile technology will also impact the way in which you take payments, manage inventory, and monitor sales. A mobile payment app can be easily added to a mobile device used by a bartender or server allowing for quick and simple payments. Receipts can be sent to the customer via SMS text or email, with the resulting sales and inventory data being instantly reflected in your POS database. These functions become more impactful on your business when other channels are added to the mix.
Online ordering is not just for takeout
As you begin using a mobile-based POS system within your restaurant, there are additional benefits that you may start to recognize. Presenting potential customers with an online menu or online reservation options is just the tip of the iceberg with mobile POS technology. Contactless dining options, such as curbside ordering pickup or the use of QR codes for tableside ordering and payment, are just a few examples of how an online menu can be leveraged.
These, and several other customer enticements, will boost internal sales as well as your outward-facing brand. Advanced data management gives you a better ability to build and target specials down to the level of a single customer.
Customer loyalty and rewards programs can be easily employed to boost retention rates and further promote your restaurant. Additionally, an online ordering platform will be especially valuable if it is an integrated feature of your overall POS platform.
Instituting an online ordering platform gives you another valuable tool for obtaining details around what it is a potential customer seeks when engaging with your brand. The robust reporting that comes as a result of fully integrated data from multiple business channels will aid in aligning your overall operations to evolving customer tastes. Also, an online ordering website that is backed by powerful POS technology will yield greater insights into how effective your order management strategy is.
Realize the full potential of POS and kitchen display system integration
All of your orders need to go somewhere to be filled. The overall reputation arguably relies primarily on your ability to accurately fill an order. Using a restaurant POS solution that includes mobile and cloud-based features is ideally suited for helping make the order management process nearly automated. The use of technology in strategic places in your order management process will take the stress off of your servers and kitchen staff while keeping customers singing your praises.
The kitchen display system (KDS) has been a large enhancement from the wheel of order slips once used. A cutting-edge KDS will present order information on conveniently-placed tablets that make it easy for your line workers to complete the tasks in front of them. It will also help to instill deeper levels of inventory controls through the consistent use of ingredients for each meal prepared, ensuring that every meal is prepared like the last, and using only the necessary ingredients.
Data continuity within a seamlessly integrated POS and KDS is a must-have in order for this to work. The most effective POS and KDS integration occurs when your POS provider has partnered with a KDS provider, thus ensuring that the data from both streams effortlessly into the other. These features all factor into achieving a restaurant that runs almost automatically so that you can enjoy the company of your diners.
How to set up POS system to modernize restaurant operations
Taking a momentary pause from a busy day to think deeply about the technology being used is a luxury rarely enjoyed by a restaurant owner. Instead of investing your valuable time to conduct a thorough technical review looking into these key features, consider utilizing an experienced restaurant POS provider as a better strategy. This allows you to understand what you need and gives you an experienced partner to make it all come together.
Guiding restaurants through the large field of POS options is a task that is enjoyed by the consultants at talech. Our team will work with you as a partner to use your strengths as a foundation for building a customized POS solution.
Learn more about U.S. Bank and talech small business technology at usbank.com/AcceptPayments.