Posted on September 16, 2015
A table service POS system goes a long way toward streamlining restaurant sales. However, it’s also a great tool for maximizing revenue. Here are four tips for taking revenue to the next level using table service POS as a lynchpin.
Empower servers with ruggedized mobile POS units. Assigning servers to take orders with ruggedized mobile POS units and transmit them to the kitchen through the table service POS system empowers them in several ways. First, mobile POS systems feature prompts that remind servers to inform diners about specials, add-ons, and other available menu items that they may otherwise not mention. This empowers them to better serve customers and increase not only the average amount of each bill, but the tip as well.
Additionally, when mobile POS devices are integrated with the table service POS, you can harness these devices to allow customers to view images of menu items, learn more about their content, peruse different flavors (e.g., drink flavors), match wines to food, and more. This relieves servers of responsibility for memorizing such information and sharing it with diners and frees them up to engage more closely with each individual at the table.
Facilitate seating. Manual methods of handling reservations, wait lists, and the assignment of customers to tables are highly inefficient and prone to error. Instead of wasting time with handwritten wait lists and traditional reservations books—thereby running the risk of losing business due to seating inefficiencies and mix-ups, use the table management component of your table service POS. Computerizing table management via a table service POS prevents you from double-booking tables, as well as from accepting too many reservations for a given time slot and/or seating customers whose names are on the waitlist in the wrong order because the order of diner arrival is unclear.
Additionally, you can quickly determine table status by looking at the appropriate table service POS “screen” rather than sending an employee to find out whether a particular table has been vacated, cleaned, and readied for new customers. The end-result? Customers get to the table faster, with little to no hassle—and are more likely to visit your restaurant again and again.
Reduce food waste. Every good table service POS solution has an inventory management module. Consulting the system to determine how much of each ingredient you have used within a particular time period eliminates over-ordering, keeping a lid on food waste. Configuring the table service POS to generate ingredient orders only when inventory has been depleted to pre-defined levels has the same effect.
You can also harness your table service POS to reduce food waste by entering and maintaining recipes and portion information in the system. Kitchen staff will then know the proper quantity of each ingredient to use, as well as the right serving size, for every item on the menu.
Optimize profits with back office functionality. Your table service POS system offers a multitude of profit-generating benefits in the back office. For example, a look at POS and other data (e.g., inventory) yields insight into which items diners order most frequently, as well as which items offer the fattest margins and slimmest margins. With this information in hand, you can adjust your menu accordingly, devise special offers, and undertake other initiatives to boost your profit.
However, it’s crucial to remember that managers shouldn’t be pulling such reports on your restaurant floor as this will decrease productivity and frustrate both servers and customers. Back office POS belongs in the back office where financial reports can be viewed in privacy. Investing in an additional all-in-one terminal or PC to help you manage your back office work will more than reward you with a substantial ROI.
Similarly, reviewing data in your table service POS system can lead to enhanced profitability by improving employee management and decreasing employee theft. How? Table service POS software can create employee schedules based on historical patterns, cutting down on over and under scheduling that take a bite out of the bottom line. Reviewing information in the system lets you pinpoint unusual occurrences that may signal theft—e.g., a large number of voids initiated by a single staff member. It also gives you a better handle on employee productivity, so you can schedule your most productive employees and plug profit-draining holes by re-training those whose productivity warrants improvement.
Your table service POS is a major investment in your restaurant business. By following the above tips, you can maximize that investment and enjoy a healthier bottom line.