In the United States, Mexican culture holds a strong presence. After all, recent Pew Research reports that Spanish is the most common non-English language spoken in U.S. homes – even among non-Hispanics. One could even argue that tacos and burritos are becoming more popular than American classics like burgers and fries.
And that isn’t just speculation. Research shows that Mexican and Mexican-style restaurants are growing in popularity. Technomic, a food research company, found that these restaurants’ sales grew 9.3 percent in 2012 – in comparison, all other limited-service restaurants only increased 5.8 percent. Chipotle Mexican Grill and Taco Bell are becoming fast food favorites, while traditional restaurants like Burger King are struggling to grow.
In fact, Chipotle’s sales have grown and Chili’s plans to double their Mexican menu.
Just because Mexican and Mexican-style restaurants have become as widespread as other restaurant types doesn’t mean that they don’t have a unique atmosphere and unique business needs. Differences include language barriers, complex menus or a diverse clientele – any one of those factors could stand in the way of a Mexican restaurant’s productivity. This could make it difficult to find a POS system that meets these needs.
A Mexican restaurant POS system should allow customers and employees to effectively communicate regardless of language barriers or language-specific menus.
Here are a few ways that an ideal Mexican restaurant POS system can solve these problems:
- Menu consistency – For both customers and employees to understand your restaurant’s menu offerings, items must remain consistent across advertisements, physical menus, buttons on the POS screen and tasks on the kitchen display system, if applicable. Customers and employees should be able to understand menu items no matter where they appear. Otherwise, confusion could ensue and result in a loss of revenue or productivity.
- Seasonal menus – Mexican restaurants could have dynamic menus that change by season or event, like Cinco de Mayo or happy hour. These situations could require seasonal ingredients or items – like avocados or summer margaritas – or maybe an entirely different menu. Rather than struggling to ring up new items correctly, restaurants should be able to easily transition between regular and special menus.
- Translations and ingredients – It’s important to give your employees access to the proper tools to communicate effectively with customers. This will help make sure customers understand the dish they’re ordering, what comes in/with it, how spicy it is, etc. If they are unsure what they’re ordering, it could confuse employees and lead to an unpleasant experience. To improve communication, allow access to translations, ingredients, recipes, nutrition information, etc. Your Mexican restaurant POS system should provide easy access to these resources. In addition, it is important to make sure you have all of the items you’re advertising on hand – POS systems can help you manage your inventory so you’re not losing or wasting.
- Multilingual customer receipts and order tickets – Some Mexican restaurants may have a customer base or staff that is multilingual, requiring order tickets or receipts to include translations. This could help streamline the check out or food preparation processes to keep things running smoothly.
- Measuring your growth – We already know that Mexican cuisine is on the rise, but, how will restaurants know if they, too, are growing in popularity? Restaurants can use their POS system to set goals, measure growth and track productivity.
When its POS system is well organized and well planned, these restaurants are better positioned to take advantage of the increased interest in Mexican food in the U.S. They can leverage effective communication, exceptional service and streamlined processes. Managers won’t have to spend as much time troubleshooting everyday tasks and working on organizational issues and can focus on what really matters – customer relationships.