Every part of the restaurant industry felt the effects of restrictions mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Chinese restaurants were particularly hard hit. In June of 2020, Fortune reported that:
- Soon after the stay-at-home orders were issued, more than half of all Chinese restaurants had stopped taking debit and credit card payments, which indicates the establishment had closed.
- By comparison, the second-hardest hit restaurant segment was delis and sandwich shops, 23 percent of which had stopped taking such payments after the restrictions were put in place.
As Chinese restaurants continue their recovery from the downturn in business, they will rely increasingly on technology to reduce their costs and boost profits by making their operations more efficient. Among the most important features of a Chinese restaurant POS system are multilingual support, integrated online and in-person order processing, mobility, and omnichannel marketing.
Does the Chinese Restaurant POS System Support Multiple Languages Natively?
Since many of the people who work in Chinese restaurants are native speakers of languages other than English, the POS system they use at work should communicate in their native languages. A POS system for a Chinese restaurant should accept and display orders in English and Chinese, including orders sent to the kitchen and other communications between the front and back of the house. The orders, receipts, and other communications can be printed and displayed using both traditional and simplified Chinese characters to improve processing speed.
Alternatively, the POS system can be configured to use pictures for all order entries. This approach is especially useful for Chinese restaurant POS systems because of the complexity of the eatery’s menu, which typically features many variations of the standard dishes the restaurant offers. The restaurant’s orders need to be processed as quickly as possible at times of peak volume to ensure the kitchen can keep pace.
The restaurant’s POS system needs to be able to print receipts or send them via text and email in both English and Chinese. In addition, it should show information in both languages on tablet, smartphone, and terminal display screens. Support for multiple languages extends to employee scheduling, inventory management, and financial record keeping, all of which can be conducted in English and Chinese. The multi-language POS system becomes the key for making a range of restaurant processes more efficient.
Does the POS System Seamlessly Combine Online and In-Person Orders?
The key to a smooth-running restaurant is the ability to integrate and automate as many processes as possible. A Chinese restaurant POS system has to merge order processing with other parts of the workflow, including inventory management, sales tracking, and employee performance monitoring.
The POS system must also be able to adapt to changing customer preferences, including the increase in online orders that began following implementation of COVID-19 restrictions and is expected to remain popular with restaurant patrons long after restrictions are lifted. The order processing system has to be able to accept and process online orders alongside orders for in-person dining via an integrated workflow, like the following:
- The system notifies the appropriate workers as soon as the order is taken.
- The kitchen receives the order once payment has been confirmed.
- The system rejects online orders that lack a payment method, delivery address, or other critical information.
- The kitchen notifies the appropriate parties once the order is ready for pickup or delivery.
Chinese restaurants need to consider the best way to present their online menus so that customers can quickly browse their offerings and select options within the confines of a web interface or mobile app. Online menus can be adapted to suggest multi-course meals and complementary pairings of food dishes and beverages, for example. This is one area where working with a POS vendor who has expertise in implementing online ordering can help a restaurant avoid many of the pitfalls of the transition.
Does the POS System Support Mobile Operations?
One of the most important tools in a restaurant’s arsenal is its ability to adapt to changing markets and customer preferences. The clear trend in restaurants and other retail businesses is mobility. A Chinese restaurant’s mobile operations allow it to reach a broader audience by bringing the restaurant to your customers. It also makes interacting with the restaurant more convenient and potentially more inviting for customers.
With mobile POS capabilities, the restaurant can offer curbside pickup, walk-up service, and expanded home delivery of meals by accepting and processing orders via apps running on smartphones and tablets. Card readers, receipt printers, and other peripherals connect wirelessly to the restaurant’s mobile app, which provides the same functionality as a full-service POS terminal, including split bills, modified orders, and customer histories.
Does the POS System Support the Restaurant’s Omnichannel Marketing Effort?
The more you know about your restaurant patrons, the more likely you are to devise an effective marketing strategy for your establishment. A cloud-based POS system preserves a record of your restaurant’s interactions with its customers and offers the sales analytics features that let you capitalize on this information.
A Chinese restaurant’s omnichannel marketing strategy communicates a singular message and brand across all of the business’s operations, online and in person. The foundation of your strategy is data analytics that lets you know which customers and categories of customers are most likely to respond favorably to specific promotions, discounts, and other special offers.
- The POS’s customer data analytics allow the restaurant to test-market new dishes or targeted promotions to determine which are most effective.
- It helps the establishment measure the response to discounts and special offers across a swath of customers or within microsegments.
- Customers respond warmly to a personalized approach that demonstrates your restaurant’s appreciation for their business.
The restaurant industry is a people-pleasing business, and the best way to please a Chinese restaurant’s customers is by ensuring the orders they receive are accurate, timely, and delicious, regardless of whether the meals are served in-house or via delivery. Finding the perfect POS solution for your Chinese restaurant requires the assistance of a vendor who understands your operation, your needs, and your customers. As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Make sure your POS system leaves an impression that has them coming back for more.
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