What is the magical characteristic that sets your bar or restaurant apart from the millions of others in the world? Its uniqueness: There’s no other establishment like it.
You provide your customers with a one-of-a-kind dining and imbibing experience, one they won’t find anywhere else. The effort you’ve made to set your business apart from the others extends to your choice of bar and restaurant software. The management solution you choose has to be custom-built to meet the unique needs of your operation.
Avoiding the cookie-cutter approach to POS software for a bar or restaurant requires working with a vendor who appreciates your uniqueness and helps you identify and implement the ideal feature set for your establishment. The process starts by knowing which management features are most important for keeping your bar or restaurant functioning smoothly and which you can do without. These are the bar and restaurant software features that meet the needs of customers, employees, and managers.
Bar and Restaurant Software Features That Put the Customer First
Happy customers are returning customers. That’s why the first consideration when choosing POS software for a bar or restaurant is how well the system helps your business meet and exceed its customers’ expectations. Today customers expect the businesses they deal with to provide them with more options:
- Customers are more likely to engage with bars and restaurants online and via mobile apps. This increases the importance of customization features in POS software so a business can extend its unique brand to its website and custom mobile app.
- Customers expect various payment options, including contactless payments via Near Field Communication (NFC) credit cards and digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- Customers want bars and restaurants to come to them via mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and customer-facing kiosks that empower customers to place orders and pay their bills remotely.
The Importance of Sales Analysis and Reporting
The more you know about how well your bar or restaurant is doing financially, the easier it is to keep the business running smoothly and anticipate potential problems. Cloud-based POS systems provide advanced sales tracking and reports that let managers see which items are the most popular, which employees are the most productive, and which areas of the operation are running the most efficiently.
The sales reports generated by your POS system allow a bar or restaurant to conduct a product mix analysis. These reports help identify where food is going to waste, which areas of the business are the most (and the least) profitable, and the impact of price changes, promotions, discounts, and other special offers. The analysis also pinpoints which menu items are most popular and most profitable:
- “Stars” are both popular and profitable. These should be highly promoted.
- “Plow horses” are popular but not so profitable. These items need to be reconsidered to make them more profitable.
- “Puzzles” are less popular but highly profitable. These dishes need more promotions.
- “Dogs” are neither popular nor profitable. These items are candidates for replacement.
Mobility Lets You Meet the Customer More Than Half Way
Soon, the restaurant or bar that doesn’t take advantage of mobile POS software and devices will be the exception. When your customers interact with your business, they expect a seamless experience whether they’re on your website, using your mobile app, or placing their order tableside, whether with a server or via a customer-facing portable kiosk.
Key features of mobile POS solutions for bars and restaurants include online reservations, takeout and delivery orders, tableside ordering and payment acceptance, and customer histories. The systems provide all of the functionality found in standard POS systems, including support for split bills and custom orders, loyalty programs, receipt printing (or sent via email or text), and cash transactions via wireless links to cash drawers.
Improve the Accuracy of Your Inventory Tracking
Much of the success of a bar or restaurant depends on how efficiently the establishment maintains its inventory. Restaurants, in particular, need a POS system that tracks inventory in real-time and integrates smoothly with your accounting and other business processes. These are among the essential functions of a bar or restaurant inventory management system:
- Support for unit tracking that breaks down sacks, bottles, kegs, and other large units into servable portions
- Account for promotions, bundles, discounts, refunds, and incentives
- Track products from initial purchase order to final sale
Perhaps the most important feature of an inventory tracking system for a bar or restaurant is its ability to adapt to the unique needs of your business today and in the future. Working with an experienced POS vendor helps establishments devise the perfect feature set within their budget to satisfy their current and future needs.
A POS System That Empowers and Manages Employees
Happy employees make for happier customers. That’s why bar and restaurant software that improves workers’ productivity and efficiency is a boon for your customers, staff, and bottom line. Cloud-based POS systems contribute to employee morale by promoting collaboration between workers in a bar or restaurant and automating check calculation and other manual tasks.
- The systems provide a single interface that employees can use to plan shifts and time off, communicate about pending orders, manage dining room seating arrangements, and be alerted when daily specials and other menu items have sold out.
- POS systems running on mobile devices handle all the math involved in preparing bills, including tax calculations, pre-authorization and open tabs, fractional check splitting, partial payments, tip adjustments, and loyalty programs.
Modern POS systems let bar and restaurant managers monitor sales by each employee, transfer orders between employees, and reopen, split, or merge orders. The results include accurate and up-to-date records, less stress, and more tip opportunities for employees.
When shopping for bar and restaurant software, the most likely features to have the most significant impact on the business’s operation improve the dining experience for customers and staff alike. They do so by meeting the increased expectations of customers and by allowing staff to focus on meeting the needs of your establishment’s patrons. Cloud-based POS systems like talech’s check both boxes at prices that nearly any bar or restaurant can afford.
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