Technology is taking the food service industry into an era of unbelievable efficiency and refinement. The good old days of “spiking” an order, literally stabbing the piece of paper with the server’s notes on a metal spike after the food is ready, is long gone. From full service to quick service to kiosks and cafes, software is connecting the front and back of the house like never before.
This new wave of software solutions is transforming food service POS systems while giving restaurant operators wide-ranging tools to streamline operations and improve profits. Restaurant merchants can see immediate results by integrating some of these exciting software solutions.
The room for software growth in the foodservice market is clear. According to the National Restaurant Association, 32% of restaurants report feeling they are lagging behind when it comes to their use of technology.1 As software improves at a rapid clip, many others may find solutions to long-standing management issues in the new wave of products.
Here are four ways restaurant management software and POS systems are working together to improve profits for restaurants in 2017.
Streamline Inventory Management
Some restaurants struggle with managing perishable inventory and waste can be a major expense. Inventory can also be devoured by employees without a sign of theft. An inventory management system that syncs with menu design keeps track of your ingredients and saves money minimizing spoilage, waste, and theft.
Inventory management software that integrates with your POS system can start saving money right away. A program like Orca Inventory and Ordering can carefully track inventory in real time as it responds to orders, making it easy to see where purchasing needs to be adjusted or if ingredients are being mismanaged. Orca even includes tools for recipe costing, reordering from vendors, and invoicing.
Simplify Scheduling and Staffing
When you are managing staff across several shifts a day, seven days a week, it can be time-consuming to keep track of everyone. Furthermore, throughout the week restaurant managers and owners may need to make adjustments as traffic suddenly increases or decreases or to honor sudden employee requests. Having a scheduling tool that communicates with employees directly through text and email can help avoid conflicts and troubleshoot when you suddenly need extra help.
WhenIWork integrates with QuickBooks to make scheduling and payroll easier. WhenIWork connects staff and utilizes text messaging to communicate with employees and keep them accountable for their shifts.
For more direct POS system integration, Time Clock and Schedule by Homebase are free apps available through the Clover App Market for Clover point of sale systems. These tools help keep track of hourly employees and their payroll, streamlining the process of managing your team in the kitchen and out on the floor.
Reservations and Ordering
As consumers increasingly use mobile technology to make reservations and order food, restaurants can improve profits with online and mobile options to do both.
OpenTable.com connects restaurants to millions of potential customers, but it also charges cover fees for each reservation made through their site. For many restaurants, the visibility offered on OpenTable is worth the small fee. Other restaurants may opt for software that integrates with their POS system like SimplySeated.com.
Advance ordering is also gaining steam as restaurants seek to give customers as much flexibility as possible. The quick service industry is especially active in promoting advance ordering as giants like Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Chick-fil-A lead the way. Some software takes a mobile app approach like eDelivery that integrates web, mobile and Facebook ordering. Some software is POS System specific like Clover’s FoodKonnekt.
Faster, Mobile, and More Secure Payment Processing
Restaurants and consumers are both looking for fast, secure payment processing, with a focus on mobile technology. According to Hospitality Technology, 52% of restaurants are looking for mobile POS when considering an upgrade. Furthermore, 46% are interested in enabling new payment options like digital wallets and contactless payments.2 Merchants may consider the contactless payment enabled PAX S80 which also allows restaurants to add a tip after the transactions.
For quick service and fast casual restaurants, mobile technology could enable advance ordering and faster payment to keep busy customers happy. Even for a fine dining establishment, a cloud-based POS like ShopKeep can allow customers to pay at the table for a more secure transaction. With faster payment options, including a quick pay at the table transaction, restaurants can keep the tables turning faster and increase the number of customers they can serve per day.
At Integrity, we are committed to helping our food service merchants make the most of the latest technology. Contact us today for more information about the point of sale and terminal technology to keep your business thriving.
- Restaurants hungry for tech without the headache. (2016, August). http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Restaurants-hungry-for-tech-without-the-headache
- D. Creamer and M. C. Escobar. (2016, December 20). Frictionless POS: 2017 POS Software Trends Report. http://hospitalitytechnology.edgl.com/news/Frictionless-POS–2017-POS-Software-Trends-Report108224