Casual dining establishments provide patrons with service in a comfortable setting. According to the National Restaurant Association there are, “Over 1 million restaurant locations in the United States with the industry projecting over $825 billion in sales for 2018.”
In order to make the most of their casual dining establishment, your merchants need a robust point-of-sale (POS) system. While there are many options available, it is important as their reseller and trusted advisor to help them choose a POS that will fit the needs of their casual dining restaurant. Here are several features and items for your merchant to help ease them in the process, make the most of their POS system, and better manage their business.
Along with handling order processing, your merchant’s POS system can also handle payment processing. In most instances, their patrons will likely have a variety of payment methods, including cash, debit cards, and credit cards. They may also have a gift card. A robust POS system is able to handle all of this with ease. The ability of their POS system to accept mobile payments as well as apply discounts and coupons, open bar tabs, and even split checks is the type of convenient feature that keeps your merchant’s customers coming back.
Tracking and Reporting
POS systems can provide a variety of helpful tracking and reporting capabilities, including:
- Calculating cash due for each order entered
- Recording methods of payments
- Creating hourly and daily sales reports
- Clocking employees in and out
- Calculating labor and payroll data
- Tracking number of items on the menu sold
- Recording daily check averages for wait staff
- Tracking cash in the cash drawer
In addition, a POS system has the ability to gather crucial marketing information, such as email addresses, telephone numbers, and order information. With this information, the POS system is able to build a database containing customer information that can be used in direct marketing campaigns and for personalizing promotions.
Setting up Your POS
In deciding where to set up your merchant’s POS, it is important to consider that there may be several locations where the POS system can be set up based on service style and the layout of the restaurant. In a casual style restaurant, the point-of-sale system is often located in an area of the restaurant that is highly visible. This is often near the front of the restaurant. By comparison, a POS system may be positioned in a more discreet location in a full-service restaurant. The purpose of this is to ensure that the POS system does not interfere with the customers’ dining experience.
What to Look for in a POS for Casual Dining
Every point-of-sale system differs somewhat in terms of application, hardware, and software. This makes it even more important to spend some time researching to find the right POS system for your merchant’s casual dining restaurant. Ensure that the POS system they select is one that will fit the needs for a casual dining environment. The factors to consider include price and quality, as well as whether they need to pay for additional features and add-ons. Your merchant should also consider the required hardware components, such as a touchscreen monitor for the POS and where it will be placed. User friendliness is a must when choosing a POS for their restaurant, as is technical support in the event there is a problem. Finally, consider the tracking and reporting capabilities offered by the POS system they select.
Hardware for the POS
Your merchant’s point-of-sale system will need certain hardware components in order to provide them with all of the functionality they desire. It is important to ensure their POS system includes both the software and the hardware required, including a touchscreen monitor that is placed at the point-of-sale. Other hardware components include customer display equipment, network servers, portable terminals, kitchen display systems, and handheld devices.
How Employees Will Use the POS
Among the factors for your merchants to consider when choosing a POS system is how their employees will use it in their dining establishment. It should be kept in mind that not all POS systems work in the same manner. User processes may vary based on service style and restaurant type, which can be important when setting up a POS system in a casual dining restaurant. In general, a POS system will work in the following manner:
- Employees enter their name or user code in the touchscreen, thus gaining access to the system.
- An employee will start a new check or order by entering the menu items ordered by the customer.
- The point-of-sale system sends order information to the kitchen staff on a digital display monitor or printed ticket.
- The staff in the kitchen read the order and prepare the food relevant to the order for the wait staff to deliver to the customer.
Among the most important factors to consider in selecting a POS system is user friendliness. If the POS system requires extensive training, their employees may find it difficult to use and even become frustrated. This could also result in slowing down service. It is also important to ensure that the orders generated by the POS system are easy to read so that there is no chance for error. Your merchants should also look for a POS system that provides technical support in the event there is a problem. The POS system they select should include a warranty coverage as well as customer service and technical support that is continually available so any issues that arise can be resolved quickly and easily without it interfering with their restaurant’s service.
It is also important to consider the software programs required for your merchant’s point-of-sale system to operate correctly. The POS software is a vital element for providing gift card capabilities, inventory reports, and more. For instance, the right POS software can even assist them in creating employee schedules. The software that comes with their POS system should also be able to check orders as well as process payments quickly, which will allow their restaurant to provide faster table turnover and happier customers who are not subjected to long waits.
POS system features like user friendliness, payment processing, managing inventory, and scheduling are all key in helping your merchant run their casual dining restaurant. Also, keep in mind the types of hardware and software they will need and how your merchant’s employees will be utilizing the point-of-sale system. In the end, selecting the right POS system can maximize their business potential and increase your merchant’s bottom line.
Stay tuned to the Reseller Edge newsletter as we dive into choosing the right POS systems for various vertical markets over the next few issues.Back To Blog