An iPad Point-of-Sale (POS) system is a must-have for any restaurant that intends to thrive and become successful. The system provides restaurateurs a way to streamline and improve their processes while reducing costs and improving profits along the way.
Depending on the nature of the food business, there are many reasons why restaurant owners should get one for their store. For individuals aspiring to build any type of food establishment, the following are some of the more pressing issues that you should not ignore, and which could be easily handled by a high-quality restaurant POS system.
1. You Need to Receive and Update Orders
Some restaurants offer patrons the opportunity of calling in their orders or sending their requests through the official website or app. Naturally, offering additional avenues requires manpower.
In smaller, understaffed restaurants, handling these alternate streams can be trickier, especially during peak times. When you run a restaurant, you need to know how to allocate the tasks to the available employees, which can vary depending on the demand. But with a POS system, your staff can focus their attention on other tasks inside the restaurant.
If you have a restaurant that needs to deliver orders within a specific time frame, each second counts. Using delivery management software, you can accept mobile orders and send these to the kitchen staff quickly and easily. The kitchen and delivery staff can also update the status of the order instantaneously so the customer’s expectations can be set and met.
2. You Need to Improve Internal Communication
In a traditional restaurant, a waiter writes down the customer’s orders on a piece of paper and sends it to the kitchen. However, if the instructions are vague or messy, the cooks may not prepare the dish according to the customer’s instructions. The result may lead to a bad experience for the customer, which could then negatively affect the restaurant’s reputation.
By using an iPad POS system, miscommunication is avoided. Orders can be arranged in an interactive menu that customers can easily understand and use; afterward, the orders can then be sent directly to staff. This streamlines the process, making it easier to send and verify orders as well as notify the customer of status updates.
The system also makes it easier for customers to change their orders, in case they change their minds. This avoids time lost because of restaurant staff running around, modifying or canceling orders. Cooks can also be immediately provided the correct information, preventing any time or resources wasted in preparing unwanted dishes.
3. You Need to Track Inventory and Ingredients
Restaurants need to be precise when it comes to determining what supplies they need and how much to avoid wasting resources. They need a system to keep track of inventory and to receive notifications if items are running low. With a system, staff can schedule when to contact the suppliers, so the ingredients arrive ahead of time.
Taking control of inventory is especially important in establishments that handle seasonal ingredients. Having a seasonal selection of dishes adds interest and allows the business to support local farmers or smaller food producers. However, having a seasonal menu also presents several issues.
For one, it can be challenging to determine how much is needed of each ingredient and how much to order. With an inventory management system, you’ll know exactly how much of each component is being used for individual dishes on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. You’ll also know if customers request additional portions and how much.
This is critical when ordering expensive or seasonal ingredients. An inventory system gives restaurateurs a more accurate estimate of the number of ingredients used, allowing staff to know how much to order. As a result, waste is minimized, which equates to better profits for the business.
4. You Need to Change and Update Menus
Another issue with having seasonal dishes or changing dishes frequently involves the menu. With a traditional system, you may need to spend time, effort, and money designing and replacing new menus. But with a POS system, updating the menu becomes easier, quicker, and more convenient.
Other than new dishes, you can also customize the menu to reflect new promos or even logos. If you run multiple branches, the new, updated designs can be sent simultaneously. No need to wait for the latest designs to arrive or spend money on reprints and delivery – all changes can be implemented at the same time.
5. You Need to Run Several Restaurants Simultaneously
Maintaining stock gets even more complicated if you run several restaurant branches in different locations. But by having an inventory system, you’ll know how much stock is left and when to order for specific outlets.
A reliable POS system will also allow you to save contact information for all suppliers that your business uses. You can use this saved list to make the ordering process for all your locations more seamless.
Restaurants need to run like a well-oiled machine day in and day out. If you are an entrepreneur, know that a POS system is necessary to minimize or eradicate inefficiencies when running a restaurant. It gives you a better idea of how your business is going and allows you to make the required changes with just a few clicks on the screen.
Ahmad Alzaini is the co-founder and CEO of Foodics, a fast-growing food tech startup. A businessman by nature, Alzaini is an app aficionado, developing businesses in Saudi Arabia within several industries. Today, Foodics has extended to new markets across the MENA region, processing over 1 billion transactions, and offering the latest technology in POS and restaurant management.