What to Look For in a Restaurant Management System
Every hospitality business definitively needs a restaurant management system designed with the features and capabilities to operate and manage that business. In considering which point-of-sale (POS) software to purchase, factors like inventory control, simple order taking, table management, employee oversight, and technical support are all relevant and critical. As a restaurant owner or manager, you have to ensure you have every tool at your disposal to operate optimally and to avoid any pitfalls.
Here’s a survey of some of the most imperative features to look for when buying hospitality business software and hardware.
Menu Setup & Adjustment. You might think configuring or readjusting the menu on a restaurant management system is painless and effortless, but you’d be surprised how labyrinthine that process can actually be in the hands of some POS companies. In fact, you might be required to contact support to make a menu change or, worse, master programming yourself. Spare yourself the headache. If it takes more than two minutes to alter a menu item or introduce a price change, move on to other POS options. Your time is far more valuable.
Tracking Sales. No one expects you to keep tabs on the volume of credit card and cash transactions performed daily. Your POS software should be able to monitor all items sold, which in turn allows you to determine best or worst items sold, busiest selling times, and most productive employees. In short, you obtain the sales data that gets you to your bottom line.
Facile Order Management. Users should experience little to no difficulty navigating order management software. Activities like transferring tickets, splitting checks, changing tables, modifying item quantities or prices, repeating drinks or food items, overseeing tables, handling reservations, and applying taxes should be at the heart of your POS system. For a bar, you should have the power to initiate tabs with a credit card that requires preauthorization, or a predefined amount placed on a credit card until the server closes out the check. A tab preauthorization shields your business from invalid credit cards or restricted line of credit.
Integration of Credit Card Processing. Did you know that nearly two-thirds of customers choose to use a credit or debit card when dining in? If you refuse to accept “plastic,” you’re harming your business by foregoing opportunities galore to augment your revenue. An important factor with credit card integration is what processing company you’re going to work with. Some POS companies function doubly as the processor, which facilitates matters immensely. If your point of sale is with one company while your processing is with another, expect to make a number of calls whenever you face any processing hiccups.
Inventory Control. If you sell a chicken sandwich, your POS should be calibrated to deduct the chicken from inventory. It’s essential to know the amount of food in your pantry or fridges and to set a par level, so that ordering more product from your vendor becomes an automatic alert. And inventory is vital to understanding profit margins, which all commence with food usage and costs.
Employee Management. You must be able to track hours worked by staff and to monitor their productivity. Information like employee pin codes, hours clocked, overtime, sales performance, and security levels should be readily accessible on your POS software.
Technical Support. Opt to work with a company that offers you around the clock service and technical support. Can you imagine braving a system meltdown on a busy weekend and not being able to intercept a human being to troubleshoot your issues? It ain’t pretty, that’s for sure! You can get a feel for a company’s responsiveness and expertise by cold calling the tech support line before buying the product you’re mulling over. Let that be a fair measure of what to expect if you were actually subscribed to that provider.
Check out Omega Software’s restaurant management software O-live to learn about how your restaurant can operate at peak efficiency, turning tables faster and encouraging your customers to return again and again.
Contributed by Danielle Issa.
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