Dining out is a favorite pastime of consumers no matter the time of year. However, the holiday season—with its many group celebrations of different kinds—will likely bring even more traffic into your restaurant, creating new businesses opportunities. Exploiting such opportunities necessitates making the most of your table service POS system to:
Facilitate inventory management. The inventory management component of your table service POS system ensures that you will have the proper quantities of ingredients on hand, at the right time. How? Instead of guesswork and hearsay, orders for each ingredient can be automatically generated once existing supplies have been depleted to a pre-set level. Pre-set ingredient levels can be temporarily adjusted to reflect anticipated increases in business at holiday time, and temporary additions of seasonal ingredients used only to prepare special holiday menu items (Christmas cookies and breads, for instance) can be added.
You can also make the most of your table service POS system by leveraging it to review sales records and determine which menu items sold particularly well during the previous holiday season (same time last year) and which were not so popular. This way, you’re more likely to feature a menu that truly appeals to holiday crowds.
Ensure proper employee scheduling. Just as a look at your table service POS system allows you to obtain an accurate picture of last year’s holiday sales, it permits you to discover when your establishment was at its busiest and look at staffing levels for individual time periods. With such information at your fingertips, you can assign an adequate number of servers, runners, busboys (and girls), and kitchen staff to each shift—in turn accommodating holiday crowds without compromising customer service. Excessive payroll expenditures are also eliminated when a restaurant POS system has an employee scheduling module, because the technology makes scheduling too many employees to cover a given shift a veritable impossibility.
Enhance transaction security and avoid liability for fraudulent transactions. This is easy if you’ve installed a table service POS system that is “EMV-ready.” An “EMV-ready” table service POS system—or any POS system, for that matter, is considered “EMV ready” because it has been configured to accommodate transactions completed via “chip-enabled” credit and debit cards manufactured in conformance with the Europay/MasterCard/Visa global standard. Such cards store payment information on a secure chip rather than a magnetic stripe. Unlike magnetic stripe cards, chip-enabled cards cannot be unlawfully duplicated for use in fraudulent transactions. EMV also supports enhanced cardholder verification and authentication. The upshot? The likelihood of processing fraudulent transactions—which is always a concern, but is really top of mind at holiday time—is greatly reduced, if not eliminated. Concerns about assuming liability for these transactions, which shifted from issuers to merchants on October 1, 2015 (see our previous blog entries on the EMV liability shift), are also eliminated with an “EMV-ready” restaurant POS system.
Improve table management and reduce wait times for tables. A table service POS system improves table management in a table service establishment in several different ways. Some restaurant POS systems allow table status (vacant, in use, just vacated, being cleared, etc.) to be displayed on-screen at the host stand, making it easier for restaurant personnel to assign tables to waiting parties and ensuring that newly empty tables are quickly re-set and ready for the next group of holiday revelers.
If the table service POS system has a mobile POS component, orders can be transmitted directly from customers’ tables to the kitchen rather than re-entered into a central terminal or conveyed to kitchen staff via paper tickets. The faster orders are received in the kitchen, the faster orders are ready, and the faster tables turn. Additionally, the ability to accept mobile payments through a restaurant POS system—from customers’ smartphones or mobile POS terminals used in a pay-at-the-table application—keeps tables turning faster as well, making things easier to manage. This is especially important at holiday time, when everyone wants to celebrate.
Your table service POS system is the heart of your establishment. Your holidays—and your customers’ holidays—will be happier when you harness the technology to its greatest advantage.