After the celebration of securing financial support and finding the perfect location comes the make-or-break process of actually running a restaurant. You’re about to be immersed in a world of reservations and walk-ins, dine-in and takeout, suppliers and chef’s specials, and staff rosters and wine inventories.
It’s a thrilling process when it’s your own business, but there’s one key decision that you’ll make that could determine how long that new business lasts—your point of sale (POS) system.
The right POS solution will help you put in place all the core processes a restaurant start-up needs to succeed:
- Digital Inventory
- Tracking Your Accounts
- Suppliers and Supporters
- Maximizing the Menu
- Table and Service Management
- Service Communication
- Measuring Success
A modern POS system is an all-in-one digital platform that gives you control over every aspect of your business. When you’re piloting a restaurant start-up, you need all the help and information you can get.
Your First Purchase Can Save You Money
The cost involved in establishing a lease, outfitting a kitchen and dining room, and meeting the cost of wages and purchases without a steady flow of income can make you glad it’s still the bank’s money you’re spending in the early days of running a restaurant.
Thankfully, your POS system is one area where you won’t have to spend big to succeed. The leading POS providers now offer their services over the internet, through cloud-based Software-as-a-Service arrangements. This business model lets you the restaurateur access the finest in service and management hardware and software for the cost of a monthly subscription.
There’s no up-front payment. There’s no commitment to years of lock-in contracts. There are no hidden transactional fees. And you can scale up your needs as your restaurant starts attracting a reliable stable of regulars.
Such on-demand POS offerings are common enough now that you get a choice of provider. When making that choice, make sure your POS solution has the right features to power the following restaurant start-up essentials.
1. Digital Inventory
Inventory is how you track the essential transformation of spend into profit. In the restaurant industry that equation is complicated by the perishable nature of ingredients, the bulk purchases of bar products, and the fluctuations of customer tastes and modifications.
A POS system with digital inventory lets you turn those vagaries into precise calculations. You can assign unit measurements to bags of flour and bottles of gin, account for menu variations, and track waste, spillage, discounts, write-offs, and more.
Accurate inventory will keep you in control of your expenses during the delicate early days of a new business.
2. Tracking Your Accounts
Another virtue of cloud-based POS is the fact you can network together every aspect of your business. Your expenses can be balanced against your sales data, and you can track everything through a single platform.
Should you prefer a third-party program, such as Quicken, your POS solution should allow you to incorporate it into your broader business calculations.
3. Suppliers and Supporters
Similarly, you should be able to incorporate all your dealings with various suppliers into a single platform. These partners will be vital to the customer experience you can provide, so you must be able to depend on their deliveries and monitor their costs.
You should be able to compile invoices and purchase orders and track your relationships over time from within the same platform so you don’t miss anything relevant to your bottom line.
4. Maximizing the Menu
Your menu is the center of the customer experience, and the way most guests will define your restaurant. However, the menu is also the point where your purchased ingredients and salaried talents must become pleasurable, profitable meals. A single shared accounting platform and sales data should help you and your head chef find a balance between value and quality so that your business becomes successful.
Your menu should also be designed with takeout and delivery revenue streams in mind. Diners ordering from online menus need to be guided in their modifications and selections with clear, simple options and instructions.
5. Table and Service Management
Perhaps the most important weapon in your front-of-house arsenal is an effective table management app. This piece of organizational wizardry should let you arrange and rearrange your entire seating chart with the speed to please a walk-in party of four while also performing practical tasks such as setting up tabs, splitting bills, and applying discounts.
6. Service Communication
Effective communication is integral to maximizing the benefits of a busy service and reducing expensive waste. Your POS solution should connect all your staff and kitchen through touch-screen terminals that turn complex food and beverage orders into clear instructions—and you should be able to send messages to multiple stations simultaneously so that everyone knows what they need to do.
The flow of communication is a defining part of a restaurant start-up, so it’s well worth considering if your POS solution will allow you to avoid the potentially costly waste and customer disappointment that comes from poor communication.
7. Measuring Success
A modern restaurant start-up has one clear advantage over its peers of 10 years ago—data analysis. The cloud-based platforms that combine every aspect of expense and revenue also let you break down exactly how your new business makes money. You can measure sales in real-time, track the popularity of dishes over days, weeks, and entire seasons, and accurately measure the impact of staff performance and marketing efforts.
This analysis is only possible because today’s leading POS solutions convert each transaction into a measurable action. Once only the domain of big business, this data analysis is now a staple of modern restaurants and a must-have for any start-up.
A Restaurant Start-Up Needs a Complete POS Solution
The practical insights data and sales analysis generate make them an essential feature of a new business. Getting reliable feedback on how your restaurant is performing in time to make positive change can be the difference in surviving the cash-poor early days of an ultimately successful venture.
While it is understandable that your friends and family are going to celebrate the obvious achievements of securing financial backing and finding the right location, it’s the far more practical event of finding the right POS system that may ultimately lead you to success.
At talech we understand what it takes to turn a restaurant start-up into a success. That’s why we customize our POS offerings and technologies to help you realize the full potential of your new business. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.
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