A POS is a “Point of Sale” system that restaurants and retail businesses use to track sales, cash flow, food inventory, and more.
It drastically helps simplify bookkeeping and allows business owners to keep an eye on how their business is doing.
The days of writing every transaction down on paper and then transferring it into some sort of account system are gone.
POS systems give you the ability to enter and process all of your transactions in one central system.
Restaurants have a high volume of cash and credit card transactions on a daily basis and they also need to track tips as well.
Having a good POS system is going to not only speed up the order process, but provide more accurate checks and balances.
Benefits of having a POS System for your Restaurant
Before POS systems were available, waiters used to write everything down and pass a hand written note to the kitchen to prepare the food.
A POS system now streamlines communication between the wait staff and the kitchen by allowing them to put orders directly into the POS system which then communicates with the kitchen.
Orders go through the computer and directly to the kitchen printer to be processed.
Some POS systems are placed on the table and guests can place orders, pay and checkout on their own.
A POS system tracks every penny that goes in and out of your business and they also act as a credit card processor.
Not only does this help you know exactly what money is going in and out, but it also provides a secure way to process credit card transactions for both customer and the business itself.
Because orders and payments are processed through the POS system, it can provide more robust reporting.
Business owners are able to track food usage and popular menu items.
Orders are also linked to a waiter so you can track how that waiter is doing, their tips, etc.
More advanced POS systems can show you what profit you are making on specific menu items and compare to the cost of food to prepare those menu items.
POS systems have reporting capabilities that can help you identify ways to tighten your menu and provide more of what is popular with customers.
POS systems can also organize profit and loss statements as well as sales tax statements and more.
Timesheet and Payroll Processing
Many POS systems come with built in timesheet capabilities to help you track employee hours and run payroll.
This can save a lot of money because you are not having to manually track and enter employee hours, they can simply clock in and out of the POS system.
Drawbacks of a POS System
Technology Fails Sometimes
The biggest drawback with any sort of technology or software is that it isn’t foolproof.
While the chances of it completely failing on you aren’t necessarily common, it can happen.
Having strong backups of your system will save you should the POS system crash and your data be lost.
If you don’t have a backup, you risk losing all of your date including orders, profit and loss, payroll statements and more.
The other downside to systems like these is that they can go down, meaning that your business is kind of left in the water.
You will lose orders that were in process and all current orders will need to be taken by hand until the system is back up and running, including customer payments.
Planning for outages by having a generator or some sort of backup plan can help smooth over these unfortunate instances.
These are only a few reasons why any restaurant should invest in a good POS system to track their day to day activity.
While yes, there are a few drawbacks which we mentioned above, we feel that the pros still outweigh the cons of a good POS system.
A POS systems gives restaurant owners and managers the peace of mind that orders are not being missed, payments are not being missed, and that employees are accuratly clocking in and out.
It also helps you see how your restaurant is doing and identifies areas needing improvement.
As a business owner or manager, you cannot be everywhere, but a good POS system can get you close.