101 Ways to Deal with Food Cost – Part 6

We take a look at “Technology” when dealing with restaurant FoodService problem areas, part 6 in our series “101 Ways to Deal with Food Cost/FoodService”.


Multiple Orders

Food Cost TechnologyThe wait staff can place multiple orders using a wireless waiter without walking into the kitchen or bar to check for previously placed orders or to pick up prepared orders. The wait staff in the dining area of the restaurant never leaves the sight of their customers and the bill is calculated automatically, removing the risk of human error.

Most systems have an optional snap on credit card reader which can be attached to the bottom of the handheld device. Customer’s credit cards are swiped through the handheld unit and processed. Under this system, customers can feel confident that their credit cards are safe, since they are never out of sight.

Labour Savings

Because wait staff will always be visible in the dining area, customers will be able to easily get their waitperson’s attention. In addition servers will be able to wait on six or seven tables at a time, twice as many as before. If more tables are waited on, more tables can be turned, providing the opportunity to increase sales volume. You might need fewer waitpersons utilizing this system, since each one will be able to handle more customers. This would result in a reduction of labour costs.

POS System Reduce the Opportunities for Employees to Pilfer

If your servers or other employees simply can’t obtain any food without a hard copy check or without entering the sale electronically, you have eliminated most of their opportunity to pilfer.

Two Parts of a POS System

A point sale system comprises two parts: the hardware, or equipment and the software, the computer programme that runs the system. This system allows wait staff to key in their orders as soon as the customers give them. Additional keys are available for particular options and specifications, such as “rare,” “medium rare,” and “well done.” Some systems prompt the wait staff to ask additional questions when the item is ordered, such as, “Would you like butter, sour cream or chives with the baked potato?” Some will suggest a side dish or a compatible wine.

Processing the Order

The order is sent through a cable to printers located throughout the restaurant: at the bar, in the kitchen and office. All orders must be printed before they are prepared, ensuring good control.


Most POS systems allow certain discounts and require manager control over others. Charge cards, cash and checks can be processed separately and then reports can be generated by payment type.

POS Enhancements

Many POS systems have been greatly enhanced to include the following: comprehensive home delivery, guest books, online reservations, frequent flyer diner modules, real time inventory, integrated caller ID, accounting, labour scheduling payroll, menu analysis, purchasing and receiving, cash management and reports. Up and coming enhancements and add-ons include improved functionality across the internet, centralized functionality enabling “alerts” to be issued to managers and voice-recognition POS technology.

POS in the Future

As the labour market continues to diminish; touch screens with POS systems will become essential. It has been predicted that in the next few years, customers may even place their own orders. Terminals will be simply turned around. During Peak seasonal periods, ordering food may be like pumping your own gas; customers will key in their own selections and then slide their credit cards through to pay.

For more info on Ideal Software’s Inventory Management system for controlling food cost IdealStockControl


To view Part 1 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” 33 Possible Food Cost Problem Areas

To view Part 2 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Back to Basics

To view Part 3 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” The Menu, Pricing and Standardized Recipes

To view Part 4 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Purchasing and Receiving

To view Part 5 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Safety and Security

To view Part 4 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Purchasing and Receiving

To view Part 5 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Safety and Security

To view Part 7 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Budgeting and Organizational

To view Part 8 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Energy Saving Tips

To view Part 9 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Menu, Recipes & Portion Control

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