5 Reasons Your Restaurant Needs a Cloud POS
Your Point of Sale (POS) system sets the stage for your restaurant’s success. If you’re using a manual cash register, you can expect the ongoing issues that go with human error: miscalculations, poor record keeping, and possibly even theft. A local POS comes with fewer issues, but with the same amount of time: even the most accurate data needs to be exported and reformatted for tax purposes, for your next menu update, and for each employee’s performance review. Account for the time it takes you to manage all these updates, and investing in a cloud-based POS becomes a more appealing choice. In this article, CAKE from Sysco, a restaurant POS provider, offers five reasons why restaurants should consider a cloud-based POS.
1. Reporting from Anywhere
Running a business isn’t just a full-time job. Most restaurant operators work seven days a week: Whether they’re fixing the dishwasher, talking to a vendor, scheduling a special event, or even pouring drinks for customers. Cloud reporting empowers business owners to occasionally step away from work, without worrying that something will go wrong in their absence. With consistent access to daily or weekly POS reports, operators can check in on the health of the restaurant from anywhere with an internet connection.
Cloud-based reporting is both accessible and dynamic. Most POS systems allow you to choose from many different reports, some even allow you to design your own. With detailed reports, you can cross-reference your sales with a list of servers working during your most profitable hours to find your best earners. Alternatively, you might compare your weekly specials with the total number of guests you sat during a shift - if you saw a surge of business when you were serving crab cakes, maybe they should be a permanent menu item!
2. Tracking Sales
Keeping track of each transaction is more complicated than it first appears. Of course, it’s important to know how much money goes in and out of your business each day. But there’s more to this than simple arithmetic. Do you make significantly more money with seven servers on staff than you do with just five people? Does the weather have a noticeable impact on your sales? Which menu items are the most profitable, and how can you encourage servers to upsell them? With all your data stored in one place, it’s easy to analyze the numbers and answer questions like these.
Whether or not your menu items are profitable, you must be prepared to calculate your taxes based on your sales. Bookkeeping requires excellent records, and the ability to share those records with your accountant. Some cloud POS systems even interface directly with accounting software, so you can transfer all your data with the click of a button.
3. Inventory Management
Wasted food means wasted money. Every item you pay for should eventually end up on a customer’s plate. Sometimes, this will mean whipping up specials based on ingredients that are about to turn; in other cases, you’ll find long-term storage solutions for perishables that are about to turn. For example, if you have enough chicken to feed 40, but you’re only expecting ten guests, you may marinate and freeze most of it to be used days or even weeks in the future. However you handle overstocked items, the first step in the process is knowing which items need your attention.
A cloud-based POS can interface directly with your inventory management system. This allows you to easily track how much of each item is in the stockroom, and make smart decisions about your menu based on the numbers.
4. Online Ordering
Online Ordering (OLO) is more popular than ever. The chance that most of your guests are smartphone users is very high. Whether they find you through a third-party service (like GrubHub) or they order directly from your website, your guests will expect to order and receive their food quickly and easily. A POS system that can receive online orders makes this process infinitely easier. Your guests place an order, and it is sent directly to your staff to accept on their POS, which is then sent directly to the kitchen. While it’s being prepared in the kitchen, your delivery driver can coordinate with servers or hosts to pick it up immediately. Staff at your restaurant can track the driver’s progress, and answer the phone if the customer calls with any questions.
This process not only saves time for both the customer and everyone on your staff; it also saves your restaurant money. By streamlining the ordering process, you give your servers more time to focus on in-house guests. Best of all, you keep your OLO customers happy, encouraging them to order from you again in the future.
5. Employee management
A business is only as good as its employees. For a restaurant to be both successful and sustainable, you need a way to track your staff’s progress. Implementing regular employee reviews and ongoing training is one way to achieve this. It’s important to evaluate your employees’ work in a fair, reliable manner. For instance, you might use your POS to track how much revenue each server brings in during each of their shifts. This metric is a reliable indicator of each worker’s monetary value to your restaurant - but it’s still not the whole picture. If your best earner also has several complaints lodged against them every day, it might not be worth the trouble.
Reliable performance reviews are based on data - and data stores easily in a cloud POS system. Whether you’re reviewing their total sales, their number of missed shifts, or their best day on the floor, you will save time and money by having all the metrics in one place.
In today’s marketplace, your data should be available at all times whenever you need it, and your POS hardware should keep working even if your internet connection isn’t. Your cloud POS empowers you to store important data about your employees, interface with payroll services, and connect to scheduling software on-the-fly. In 2018 restaurants need to be as cost-effective and streamlined as possible to continue competing profitably, and cloud-based POS gives operators the tools they need to empower their restaurant to succeed.