Firstly, there’s the need to accurately record all food items purchased and, secondly, to ensure the customer is charged the correct amount.
While this may appear to be a simple task, it is complicated by the need to simultaneously handle multiple orders, and billing errors are more common than many realise.
This is where a point of sale (POS) system can make a significant difference, because it inherently improves the ability to accurately record each item ordered and ensures that the customer is charged the correct amount.
It also accurately records turnover, costs and identifies purchasing trends.
Here’s why you need a POS system to help manage your restaurant costs.
Although the term POS originally referred to the point at which a customer pays for purchases, in modern parlance POS refers to a sophisticated computerised system that automatically records sales information. Additionally, a POS system is often linked to credit card payment systems.
Typically, a POS system simplifies the task of invoicing a customer because it looks up the price of each item purchased and calculates the total amount due.
Some POS systems automatically record each item as it is ordered, transfer the order to the kitchen, and automatically tabulate the bill, thus saving time when the customer ask the waitron for the bill.
POS systems often use a graphical interface with menu items listed, and all the waitron does is select the appropriate items and the number of portions served to automatically prepare the invoice.
In many cases, the POS system links to a central server and automatically tabulates items ordered through the kitchen and bar.
The system stores all sales information, and this provides management with an easy-to-use tool to identify, for example, which menu items are popular.
In addition, it is possible to provide a detailed cost breakdown of each menu item, and it’s also possible for the system to automatically update inventory levels and usage.
The accurate information available from the POS system helps management establish food usage and costs as well as allowing them to identify which dishes are most frequently ordered and which ones aren’t. POS ensures accurate customer billing and to that end, minimises under-billing of customers.
Other useful information that’s readily accessible is data such as hourly sales patterns, sales per employee, speed of service and ingredient usage.
Altogether, this information assists restaurant managers to exercise effective control and reduce wastage.
Although POS systems are an additional expense, the information they provide helps restaurant owners reduce costs and make strategic decisions to strengthen and grow the business.
Apart from the benefits of providing accurate information, POS systems help reduce losses, minimise ordering errors, improve labour productivity and increase individual accountability.
The financial benefits of a POS system are ongoing, and the return on the investment more than justifies the increased cost and, when wisely used, leads to increased restaurant profitability.
Is your POS providing you with a good return on investment? Leave a comment below.
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