5 Money-Saving Tricks Using Your POS System

Whether it’s in the retail or hospitality field or classified as a corporation or mom and pop, businesses of all types present owners and entrepreneurs with one common challenge: to identify ways to save money. While profits are often the make or break factor, another critical part of the equation is to ensure that assets aren’t being mindlessly distributed.

 

POS Systems are money-savers by design, providing restaurateurs with all of the checks and balances they need to account for their daily sales transactions; however, they are often underutilized in terms of their full potential. In order to help put some money back into your pockets, here are 5 money-saving tricks to consider!

1. Staff to save

In the restaurant industry, labor costs are an unavoidable operational expense; however, they are also an adaptable source of savings if managed effectively. POS software plays a significant role when it comes to altering your labor dollars, because it provides the controls necessary to both monitor time and attendance and to easily create schedules.

Your POS system can be used to prevent employees from clocking-in early or clocking-out late. With Future POS’s Class Maintenance, for instance, you have the option to categorize employees by job code (server, bartender, cook, etc.) and to oversee clock-in/out privileges. The Schedule Maintenance feature also provides a simplified method for creating employee schedules.

Once you’ve owned and/or managed a restaurant for a certain period of time, you’ll gain a better understanding of your daily operations in terms of the overall flow of business. By identifying peak hours of the day, as well as lulls in customer traffic, you’ll be able to plan your schedule accordingly. If you’re paying to have 5 servers on staff at a time when you only need 3, you’re not only wasting money on labor costs, but you’re also underutilizing your employees.

2. Get to know your customers

Understanding customer wants and needs is the foundation of any B2C relationship. When you know your customers, you know how to tailor your product or service appropriately. Unfortunately, many operators may direct their focus to broader and more traditional approaches, overlooking the simple, customizable advertising and loyalty opportunities that may be more readily available. Rather than waste your promotional dollars on impersonal messages that may or may not reach your target market, give your marketing a competitive edge by incorporating valuable customer insights.

Your POS system can assist you in capturing customer data, especially when it’s integrated with some form of loyalty program. These platforms track purchasing history and can be useful in identifying marketing tactics based on buying behaviors.  One of Future POS’s payment partners, Mercury Payment Systems, offers a POS-integrated mobile loyalty program that enables full ROI measurement and allows owners to attract, retain and engage customers.

 

3. Go green with technology

The cost-savings associated with “going green” and investing in environmentally sound technology have been proclaimed time and time again. Business owners stand to drastically alter the efficiency of their day-to-day operations by implementing green initiatives, and restaurateurs are no exception. Deciding to invest in efficient products by paying a premium price up front will often result in substantial cost savings down the road.

Fortunately, POS-related technologies offer restaurateurs simple ways in which they can cut costs by making minor changes to their day-to-day operations.  While there is always the option to purchase efficient hardware and equipment, such as fan-free terminals, there are also other techniques that may be more fitting.

Consider, for example, all of the paper that stands to be wasted during a typical day at your restaurant. The following items can help to alleviate this paper consumption:

  • Signature capture pads can be used to complete credit card transactions and to email receipts to customers.
  • Rechargeable gift cards can be reloaded and reused over and over again, saving you from having to constantly print new gift certificates.
  • Kitchen Display Systems (KDS), like Select Electronics ChefXML, integrate to your restaurant POS software and eliminate kitchen receipts by allowing employees to view incoming orders on a visual display instead.

 

4. Mobilize your operations

Mobile technology has drastically impacted how businesses serve their customers, particularly in the hospitality field.  Aside from being more cohesive with contemporary consumer behavior, mobility has given business owners new opportunities to engage customers and to simplify processes that may be time consuming or inconvenient.

The mobilization of POS technology has thus gained popularity in both B2B and B2C applications, mainly due to the recognizable benefits that it contributes. The use of handhelds and mobile payment apps are just two of the ways in which the point-of-sale has gone mobile, particularly in restaurant settings. So, how are cost savings parts of the equation?

With the handheld POS, for example, tableside order entry allows servers to spend more time focusing on the customer and upselling menu items and less time on memorizing complicated orders. A recent case study about one of Future POS’s own customers provides supporting evidence of the cost-saving potential of handheld technology. Alley 64, a bar and grill in Illinois, reduced labor costs by $20,000 in payroll and benefits and reduced food costs by 1.5% by decreasing order errors – all with the help of mobile POS.

5. Know your business

Knowledge of what is racking up costs at your restaurant is half the battle. If you don’t know what areas of your restaurant are taking your resources, you won’t know where to direct your money-saving efforts. Which factors represent fixed costs that can’t be changed, and which factors are under the control of your managerial decisions? Rent, utilities and other overhead expenses may be nonnegotiable, but expenses associated with labor and food costs can be reduced through proper alterations.

Take advantage of the reporting features that your POS system has to offer, as this information can draw attention to problem areas that may not be apparent on the surface. Make sure you are continuously looking at your sales and labor, and always keep an eye out for any suspicious activity that may be resulting in economic losses.

The more you stay connected with your business, the easier it will be to identify new ways to save money moving forward. One way that Future POS helps restaurant owners stay updated on-the-go is with special alerts. Text and/or email notifications can be sent to inform you of excessive voids or “No Sales,” labor costs, sales data and other relevant information that demands attention. Future POS’s Remote Control app is another useful tool that assists restaurant operators in monitoring their business and staying informed on key metrics. This app delivers access to store-level data, allowing managers to compare sales and labor information via their smartphone.

In determining their profitability, restaurateurs always have to account for fluctuating costs. According to the National Restaurant Association, more than 25% of operators surveyed cite food costs as their top challenge in 2013; therefore, reducing waste and improving efficiency are going to be critical. Overall, the underlying theme for today’s restaurateur is to find ways to cut costs and to utilize their POS systems in the process.

 

Image Credits: 401(k)2013

 

Sources: The National Restaurant Association

 

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