According to the nonprofit Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), 32 million people in the U.S., including 5.6 million children, suffer from food allergies. The most common allergy-triggering foods are shellfish (affecting 8.2 million people), milk (6.1 million), peanuts (6.1 million), tree nuts (3.9 million), and eggs (2.6 million).
Other dietary restrictions relate to a person’s religion or culture, such as kosher foods for Jewish people and halal foods for Muslim people. This presents a quandary for restaurants that have to adjust their menus to accommodate patrons who must follow certain strict dietary restrictions. In addition, a growing number of restaurant customers have self-imposed dietary restrictions, such as those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, a Mediterranean diet, the Keto diet, the Alkaline diet, or the Fasting diet.
Recent food trends that restaurants may need to be aware of include “flexitarians” whose diet is primarily plant-based but includes meat on occasion, and locavores whose diet focuses on foods sourced locally. In addition, there are “climatarians” whose food choices are dictated by their desire to reduce the impact their diets have on the environment, and especially on global warming.
Keeping up with their customers’ dietary restrictions can set a restaurant owner’s head spinning. Fortunately, modern cloud-based ePOS till systems for restaurants help the establishments adjust their menus and pricing to address the dietary needs and food preferences of their diners.
How Digital Menu Ordering Helps Accommodate Dietary Restrictions
You may not perceive your menu as a source of entertainment for your restaurant’s patrons, but modern digital menus linked to ePOS till systems add a new element to the dining experience by enticing your customers with images and descriptions that build anticipation and excitement. Those same menus provide diners with more options for customizing their orders, including requests related to their dietary needs.
When restaurant patrons have more information about and control over their food and beverage orders, the result is greater order accuracy and less disappointment. Menus can be created that offer advice and suggestions for complementary dishes or substitutes for health-conscious diners, for example. Customers feel like they’re communicating directly with the chef when they specify their preferred variations in terms of ingredients, portions, and accompanying items.
Another benefit of digital menus for special restaurant orders is the amount of information they make available to diners who suffer from food allergies or simply want to exercise more control over the ingredients used to prepare their meal. The more information restaurants collect about their patrons’ food and beverage preferences, the better prepared they are to ensure that future requirements and requests of their customers are accommodated. Restaurants can take this information a step further by offering substitute items for their dishes that are most likely to require modification at the customer’s request.
Adopting an ePOS Till System That Easily Manages Special Food Orders
Cloud-based ePOS systems blur the distinction between in-person and online ordering. In many ways, an online ordering system is better able to work with an ePOS till system for restaurants to accept and process requests for changes related to dietary restrictions. For example, requests for gluten-free or nut-free meals will be collected and analyzed by the ePOS system for planning purposes, such as ensuring such requests don’t slow down preparation or affect the accuracy of orders.
As special orders are sent to the kitchen, they can be highlighted to ensure customers’ requests for modifications due to allergies or other dietary restrictions are clearly displayed. This minimizes the likelihood of errors and increases the chances that the meal will be served as the patron expects. Customers have access to much more detailed information about the potential allergy risk and other characteristics of menu items, which helps them avoid foods that they have excluded from their diet by choice or by necessity.
How ePOS Till Systems for Restaurants Address Common Pain Points
The tills provided with traditional POS systems lack the versatility and functionality that restaurant customers have come to expect, such as accepting any combination of payment methods, splitting bills by payment position, adjusting tips, and settling transactions from any register. By contrast, a modern ePOS till system for restaurants allows customers to pay by position, split bills using any combination of payment methods, maintain bar tabs, open house accounts, and view details of servers’ tip payouts and cash due.
One area where an ePOS till system is head-and-shoulders above cash register-style tills is in allowing you to perform all actions you need to conduct business and promote your restaurant from any location within or outside the facility. This boosts the productivity of your staff by placing all the tools they need to do their job within an app that runs on a tablet or smartphone.
Much of the same functionality is available to restaurant patrons via customer-facing kiosks and tablet displays that let diners place orders and access information about the restaurant and its offerings directly. Orders are more accurate and processed faster because customers don’t need to wait for servers, and servers are free to focus on delivering their orders and addressing any needs that may arise.
A subtle benefit of ePOS till systems for restaurants is the impression the technology leaves with your customers, demonstrating that your business is taking advantage of the latest innovations and capabilities of modern POS solutions for restaurants. The flexibility and adaptability of cloud-based ePOS systems ensure that your business will be well-positioned to respond quickly to customer trends and take advantage of new capabilities as they become available.
Being a good host means anticipating and meeting the special needs of your guests. For restaurants, ensuring goodwill and establishing a close relationship with diners requires being prepared to accommodate their food and beverage requirements and preferences. An ePOS till system for restaurants combines with digital menus and online ordering to ensure that all of your restaurant’s patrons leave the establishment happy, sated, and thinking about their next visit.
When you partner with talech for your restaurant technology needs, we devote our time to identify your business challenges. We use this information to work with you to apply an innovative ePOS till system for your restaurant that will level the playing field.
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