The Power of Connections: Making the Most of Your POS
Point of sale (POS) software is a cornerstone of any hospitality business, allowing restaurants, bars and hotels alike to process payment for the goods and services offered to their guests. However, when integrated with a reservation or guest management system, POS software can benefit businesses far beyond just processing payments. Integrating these systems allows operators to connect reservation spend to guest profiles, creating a more comprehensive view of both guests and the restaurant as a whole.
With roughly half of restaurants updating their POS software in 2018, it’s clear that operators are finding value in POS systems far beyond just processing payments. Here are a few ways that integrating your POS system with a reservation or guest management system can power your front of house this year.
Know Your Guests
On its own, a POS system gives operators access to data, from how many dishes were ordered to how many guests visited in a particular night. By connecting your POS system to a reservation or guest management system, operators can tie this spending directly to a guest profile, providing a rich trove of data that allows for personalization at scale. However, this can only happen if you select a reservation management system that allows you to own this data and enables you to build direct relationships with your guests.
Connecting historical spend data to specific guest profiles allows operators to create memorable experiences for guests, whether it’s offering a complimentary glass of their favorite wine or surprising them with a free dessert on their birthday. Having access to these details can help operators create experiences that turn one-time customers into regulars.
Foster Guest Loyalty
Tying POS data to guest profiles gives operators an opportunity to create loyalty programs and invite-only events that encourage repeat visits and reward regulars. Operators can offer special items or discounted meals to guests after a certain number of visits, or even use the data to invite guests to special events that would be of interest to them.
For example, operators can identify which guests regularly enjoy wine and invite them to a wine & cheese pairing class or invite guests who regularly order whiskey to a special whiskey tasting. By harnessing the power of guest data, operators can identify which guests will most appreciate these events, not only showing that they are paying attention to guests’ preferences, but also curating events that their guests will love.
Inform Business Decisions
POS systems, when connected to a reservation management system, can also be used to analyze macro trends that help inform business decisions. From knowing how many people visit the restaurant in a particular month to identifying the most, and least, popular menu items, data from the POS system can be used as a tool to help drive business and maximize profits. And with the restaurant industry’s $162 billion in annual food waste costs impacting each and every business, having this data will allow operators to focus on what works, and eliminate what doesn’t.
Imagine this scenario: you have connected your point of sale system to your reservation management system, so you know which guests are coming in that week and have historical data of what these guests have ordered across your properties during each visit. You now have a complete record of dining preferences and spend history that could help inform how many of the Dover Sole vs. Filet Mignon steaks you should order from your supplier that week. You minimize waste and increase profits by doing so. That’s the power of connected systems.
Integrating your POS system with a reservation management system allows operators to keep all their valuable guest information in one place, making it easy to learn about and connect with guests. If used correctly, the data can benefit the entire organization, from marketing to chefs to business managers, and most importantly -- the guest.
About the Author: Joel Montaniel is the CEO & Co-Founder of SevenRooms, a reservation, seating and guest management platform, where he leads business strategy and sales. Prior to founding SevenRooms in 2011, Montaniel served as the Chief of Staff at LivePerson, leading strategic, operational and cultural initiatives.