The bottom-line reality of a café’s success is written in its invoices. Despite the sensory thrill of a busy service, with its clink of spoon on ceramic and the din of steamer and customer chat, what’s really going on inside the business is revealed in the records of sale that remain after hours.
Café invoice solutions should tap into this wealth of information and help provide a complete picture of how the business makes money, and how it could make more.
Modern solutions are digital, touch-screen point of sale (POS) platforms that are:
- Easy to use
- Comprehensive sales management tools
- Able to balance register, online, or self-serve orders
- Available as a receipt in the bag or on the phone
- Fully integrated with day-to-day business software
- Able to generate detailed sales reports
Where invoices once offered both diner and café little more than proof of purchase—a nuisance to track on both sides—now they’re an informative part of building the perfect little coffee ritual.
I like my coffee and accounts black
Invoicing can seem like a rude awakening to the dream of owning and operating a unique café hot spot. Too often what is a crucial revenue-generating function can get overlooked because it’s hard to juggle a collection of seemingly unrelated spreadsheets and ledgers, or because the invoice feels like an unnecessary part of the sale, like insurance for a cup of coffee and a bear claw.
That’s a shame because the right café invoicing solution can streamline the transaction process and introduce savings and sales advantages that add more cream to the daily take.
Ideally, the invoicing software should be part of the larger point of sale system in place across the business. It’s just as important as the table management tech, or the inventory process, or an accurate digital ordering system, so it should be integrated with all these tools and more to give greater control over how cash moves through the business.
From a single window turnout near the subway entrance, to a charming local kettle and cozy sit-down, every type of establishment can keep its finances in the black with the right café invoice solutions.
1. Easy to use
Digital wizardry is always impressive, but it’s as useful to your bottom line as a dancing can of soda if it can’t be easily operated. Digital invoicing should be easy to set up, easy to use during service, and easy for customers to understand and pay.
The best versions available today connect directly to the point of sale terminals that collect orders and customer information and are generated automatically at the tap of an on-screen icon.
All the revenue advantages outlined below only work if the invoicing solution is as easy and intuitive to use as a sandwich press.
2. Comprehensive sales management tools
Invoices are a record of cash flow through a business, so they have to capture the full picture of what goes on during service. A café invoice solution must be able to collect every sale, void, refund, partial payment, split bill, tip, and pay-in that occurs during opening hours. And it has to collect it with no more fuss than the tap of a digital button.
All these little realities add up to a comprehensive accounting of what really goes on between spilled drinks, free donuts, and temperamental chefs.
3. Able to balance register, online, or self-serve orders
The ways customers order, collect, and pay for their coffee can be as varied as the way they like their beverages prepared. Even the smallest cafes now take orders online as well as in-person, or through self-serve kiosks as they attempt to expand their revenue base and cater to every possible passerby.
Modern café invoice solutions can bring all these orders—and the related pick-up or sit-down service, cash, card, phone, or tab payments—into a single format so nothing gets counted twice or missed altogether.
4. Available as a receipt in the bag or on the phone
The paperless push that began in office buildings has followed the office workers out into the cafes they frequent. While some diners will prefer a physical receipt, many people now prefer digital invoices. By asking customers to enter their email at the point of sale, or during online or self-service ordering, businesses can extend their connection beyond the last gulp of latte. Email or text, invoices are easy to track, and linger in a customer’s phone ready to be referenced if needed. It’s also a chance to promote loyalty programs, upcoming events, or just to leave a cheery message that turns a quick pick-me-up into an experience.
5. Fully integrated with day-to-day business software
Café invoice solutions work best when they are connected to the wider software that powers every business. Each sale is, after all, the result of purchase orders, marketing campaigns, staff performance, and supplier and diner relationships that surround service. When all these factors are tied together and accessible from the same platform—which in turn can be accessed at any time from any internet-connected device—it’s possible to achieve more with less investment, both of the financial and time variety.
As an aside, any invoicing solution should also integrate with third-party accounting and bookkeeping programs. There’s no need to change what works in pursuit of improvements elsewhere.
6. Able to generate detailed sales reports
Invoices that are integrated across the business collect information from every sale, every customer, and every item passed across the counter, but to make full use of this data it must be crunched into understandable business advice.
Like having a professional accountant or adviser on staff for the cost of an on-demand movie subscription, a café invoice solution in a digital POS system reveals what sells, what doesn’t, what’s economical to promote, and what’s only going to work during certain seasons and events.
Like all the advantages above, detailed sales reports lead to more efficient planning and buying, and more successful service so that the café’s books stay in the black.
Café invoice solutions boost revenue
Few café owners begin their business lives relishing the prospect of engaging an efficient invoicing system. The truth remains, however, that a digital solution can become just as important to business success as the perfect bean blend, the most inviting cake display, and the most welcoming conversation pit.
The right invoicing system will reduce waste, boost customer connections, and make a meaningful impact on the bottom line of any business.
When you’re ready to make more money from your café, it’s time to partner with talech. The POS solutions we’ve created can be customized to your unique business so that every coffee sold at every service brings greater bottom-line results. 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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