How disastrous has the past year been for the restaurant industry? According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been “devastating.”
- In 2020, restaurant and food industry sales in the U.S. were $240 billion lower than the $899 billion in sales that were originally forecast.
- By December 1, 2020, 110,000 eating and drinking establishments in the country had closed permanently or temporarily due to the pandemic.
- By the end of 2020, there were 2.5 million fewer jobs in the U.S. restaurant and bar sector than the industry supported prior to COVID-19.
How does an industry survive a year in which it recorded a 25 percent drop in total sales from what had originally been forecast? One of the few silver linings to 2020’s restaurant apocalypse is the surge in takeout and delivery orders which have served as a lifeline of sorts for the industry. As a result, a restaurant’s ePOS software for takeaway must be able to manage the surge in to-go orders.
While third-party order and delivery services have gained in popularity, 64 percent of customers using takeout prefer to place orders directly with the restaurant, according to the survey, and 72 percent state that it’s important for their orders to be prepared at a location they can visit in person rather than arriving from a “virtual kitchen space.”
How ePOS Software for Takeaway Helps Restaurants Adapt Quickly
Restaurants rely on their ability to take and process orders quickly, accurately, and efficiently. This applies whether the orders are taken tableside by servers, via telephone or text, or through a mobile app or website. Today’s ePOS software for takeaway has become the central hub for all restaurant operations, including inventory management, customer relations, and employee management in addition to collecting and processing orders no matter how they arrive.
- The systems help prevent communication breakdowns between kitchen staff and servers.
- They ensure that required ingredients are available when they’re needed.
- They keep track of customer information and help resolve customer grievances.
- They make it easy for restaurant managers to monitor the activities of their staff.
Cloud-based ePOS software empowers restaurant employees by providing them with mobile access to the information they need to do their jobs via apps running on smartphones and tablets. Staff members can monitor live orders, close out bills, and manage multiple orders from any location to prevent minor glitches from becoming major problems.
Digital ePOS software sends all orders through a single funnel regardless of whether the orders were placed online, via phone, or in person. The orders are shown on kitchen displays that alert the appropriate kitchen staff and label orders that are takeaway. The systems automatically collect and store customer information to facilitate return business and help build customer loyalty.
Keys to a Successful Takeaway-Order Processing System
Completing takeaway orders requires a slightly different approach than serving patrons in your restaurant’s dining room. For example, in-house diners benefit from the knowledge and suggestions of your wait staff when they have questions about the menu or make special requests. Your ePOS software has to offer information to assist patrons who may request modifications to orders they place online or over the phone.
Communication becomes an important component of ePOS software for takeaway. On the customer side, the takeaway ordering system has to feature a clear, customizable, and intuitive interface that guides patrons through the ordering process. On the restaurant side, the orders have to be received on time; they have to be clear and complete, and they have to be delivered to the appropriate kitchen staff.
It’s just as important for the takeaway ordering system to communicate your restaurant’s unique fare and ambiance. It should feature your brand prominently and mirror the in-person dining experience as much as possible. By contrast, a listing on a third-party delivery service is bland and generic, so ePOS software for takeaway provides your restaurant with a chance to stand out from the competition.
ePOS Software: The Foundation for Future Restaurant Success
The same technologies that have allowed restaurants to capitalize on their customers’ increasing reliance on takeaway orders help set the stage for the innovations that will reshape the restaurant industry in the future.
Mobile Options Are More Available Than Ever
Even the most well-established restaurants have gone mobile in response to the need to go to their patrons rather than waiting for their patrons to come to them. An ePOS solution for restaurants converts smartphones and tablets into wireless POS terminals that provide access to all the information a restaurant needs to accept and complete orders, manage inventory, track employees, analyze sales, and stay in contact with customers.
Market Trends Are In-Hand and at the Ready
The systems allow restaurant managers to keep close tabs on sales in real-time for quickly spotting and responding to market trends and changing customer preferences. For example, cloud-based ePOS software accommodates the payment options that restaurant patrons have adopted, including contactless payments and digital wallets.
Intuitive Tools Allow Ease of Access
The software easily accepts order-level price changes, split tender, and sales adjustments by percentage. It also calculates tax rates automatically based on location. This ensures that orders are calculated accurately and allows customers to be offered on-the-spot discounts and promotions based on their purchase histories.
Real-Time Features Make Adjustments Easy
Restaurants can make quick changes to their menus based on product availability and changing demand. They can view up-to-date sales reports through an in-app dashboard that breaks down sales by day, week, or month, and by employee, average sales receipt, and lead conversion rate.
As the saying goes, what goes down must come up. For the restaurant industry, the good news is the pent-up demand for the traditional sit-down restaurant dining experience. The National Restaurant Association’s report found that a majority of adults in all age groups look forward to spending more time eating on-premises at restaurants. Dining out is an “essential part” of our lives, according to the survey results, and one that we look forward to resuming.
As Joni Mitchell once wrote, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.” In a period of change, talech has a number of POS solutions that can help your restaurant or retail business adjust operations smoothly. From reaching new audiences to engaging with your existing customers more often, we give you the tools to adapt quickly and with confidence.
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