Restaurateurs face a growing field of challenges with every meal they serve. Costs continue to rise in the form of insurance, products and supplies, and wages, putting a dent into already slim profit margins. According to industry consulting firm BDO, business margins for QSRs and restaurants are around 10%, with food costs accounting for 35% of a restaurant budget and labor costs checking in at around 30% of a restaurant’s operating budget. These numbers speak volumes in terms of how crucial it is for you to seek efficiencies that improve customer service while cutting costs.
Thankfully, technology is answering the call of many restaurateurs that are looking for ways to improve margins without sacrificing quality. The innovations and flexibility available through the implementation of self-service POS systems will give you a distinct advantage towards being flexible both in staffing and product orders while maintaining the high level of quality your regular customers have come to expect. POS systems that are geared towards offering self-service options, including self-checkout, have advanced to a level where you and your clientele can be confident in the accuracy of their orders while keeping your staff free to perform other duties.
Enjoying the Rise of Staff Efficiency Through Self-Ordering
There are a couple of extremely popular and innovative advantages that you gain from self-ordering: increased order accuracy and staffing flexibility. Through the use of self-serve ordering kiosks, the customer can quickly and easily place or change their order and reduce ordering wait times while ensuring order accuracy, especially if you implement tableside ordering, the appeal of which has been trending upwards. This gives your staff the freedom to focus on the small things your customers need, such as topping off beverages, cleaning tables, and touching up condiment areas to promote traffic flow, and providing assistance where needed.
Another great advantage of restaurant self-ordering systems is the ability to easily market and upsell additional food items, such as side dishes or promotional items, which is especially beneficial for QSRs. This puts to rest the days where your staff needed to spend valuable shift time memorizing specials and upsell options and eliminates them forgetting to offer them to customers during hectic meal rushes. This goes a long way towards customer retention while improving your reputation and piquing the curiosity of prospective customers, all of which leads to more traffic flowing through your doors.
You realize deeper levels of staff efficiency through the use of real-time labor cost reporting to review revenue and adjust your staffing accordingly. This ensures that you are staffed to handle the rush times while preventing you from being overstaffed during slow periods. Staff production cycles can be better utilized during slow periods, as staff can be allocated to peak-time preparations based on the data gathered. This data will show you what items on your menu are most likely to be in demand, allowing you to pre-stage appropriate food ingredients and drinks so you are prepared to hit every rush with ease.
Aligning Your POS Solution to Deepen Customer Satisfaction
We currently live in a business world in which customers are increasingly demanding technical interactions and customized ordering so they can have a convenient way to order, configure, and pay for their food. They view technical solutions such as self-service kiosks and self-payment stations as the way things should be, as these instill a sense of control and accuracy around their dining and take-out experience. However, a high level of service and fast order delivery is still expected, especially for QSRs.
QSRs will especially reap the benefits of self-service POS, as the nature of the business is to get their customers taken care of and out the door in rapid fashion. What is important to note, though, is that QSRs will need to take care when implementing self-service. It must integrate seamlessly into your ordering and payment flow and must be user-friendly.
A solution that is not user-friendly will cause delays in ordering and can quickly stall your attempts at gaining the desired efficiencies and your customer’s trust. You must tailor your solution to the expectations and abilities of your client base in order for it to succeed. This will go beyond ordering, as the use and expectation of self-pay options are quickly on the rise.
Gaining the Competitive Edge with Self-Pay Offerings
Speedy ordering and receiving a meal quickly and accurately are just one part of the self-service puzzle. Since it is fair to assume that most diners, especially QSR brunch and lunchtime diners, will be wanting to pay without much hassle or wait times. They want to pay right at the time of order, or shortly after the meal has been finished, without the hassle of waiting for staff to assist them.
This gets worse in a casual, sit-down restaurant where diners have to wait for staff to present the bill, figure out how to split it up, then wait for staff to again arrive to most likely take one or more cards back to the register, then wait again for them to return the cards and a receipt to sign. It is just as time-consuming for a customer in a rush to get back to their day as it sounds.
The ability to grant your customers control over the entirety of their experience, from self-service ordering with the options they want, to self-payment options which allow them to eat and run, pays dividends in the long run. Giving the customer the option to pay at the self-servicing kiosk, or right there at the table, augments their overall experience.
Your staff will be happier due to the reduced pressure on them to produce results and an enhanced, empowered ability to focus on the customer and their experience. This improves tipping, making your staff happier and more focused while reducing the number of staff you need on hand to handle your busiest times.
Outside Expertise Guides you to the Right Choice
It is quickly becoming a requirement that restaurant owners move towards self-service ordering and self-pay options, especially for those of you that operate a QSR. Your self-service POS solution must be adaptable to your customer’s tastes while remaining dynamic to quickly change to stay ahead of the competition. This portion of your solution must be engaging and easy to use for this to fully succeed.
On the backend, you will see gains that will reduce overhead in your most expensive aspects of running your business such as inventory and labor costs. Increased order accuracy means less product is wasted while developing customer trust. They will know that they can order, eat, and pay for a burger in fries in minutes, giving your restaurant the reputation as the place to go for a quick, easy lunch bite. The data gathered will assist you in making sound staffing decisions and will ensure that all of your staff’s bandwidth is accounted for, giving you more for your labor dollar.
This is a complex undertaking, one that will require outside expertise. A valued partner will have intricate knowledge about restaurant self-ordering systems and will be able to adapt and design a solution that is the perfect fit for you. They will build in the flexibility so that you can adapt to changing business needs on the go while creating a customer experience that will garner positive reviews and deepen customer loyalty.
We work by learning the ropes of your QSR or casual restaurant to ensure that the most effective self-service POS system is designed and implemented for your requirements. We value scalability and flexibility in our final products and will be an indispensable partner that will work with you from start to finish. Contact us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your self-service POS partner.