How to improve business for restaurant owners

Your restaurant has been around for decades.  There are tons of memorabilia on the wall and grandpa is still in the back going through the books like he always has, but it's time for a change.  Customers want to come in to use their credit card or Apple pay, but you're stuck in the stone age.  So what's stopping you?  You're afraid that Grandpa is going to hate the new technology and your business will suffer during the integration of a new Point of Sales (POS) system.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  There are countless benefits of adding a POS into your operations not to mention the amount of paper you will save.  Integration between systems opens up capabilities on both the operations side, including kitchen efficiency and better intelligence, and the customer-facing side, such as mobile and online ordering, and more sophisticated loyalty programs.  Now is the time to become seamless, bring more clientele into your restaurant, and have a more efficient staff.  The hardest think you will have to pull those books from grandpa and show him how easy it will be to make a little change.

POS Integration starts from the top down

The old ways are going to take a hike.  It has to.  The biggest mistake managers make in change management is not believing in the system.  That means Grandpa already has his baseball bat in hand to smash the computer as soon as it comes in the door. For your employees to jump on the POS wagon, you have to make them believe that this is the next best thing since forward facing flash.

Create an action plan that requires you to get to know the system and understand all of the benefits.  Your staff will be coming to you for your questions since you're the one who wanted to make the change.  You will now become the guru of all things POS.  If not, get ready for unanswered questions, a frustrated staff, and grandpa pulling his books back from the basement, setting up shop again to do numbers sans technology.

Organize your information

Depending on how long you've been in business, you have piles and piles of history.  There's inventory, regular guests, and financials that you want to include in your new POS but you have to get organized. Luckily, great POS systems like Wisely and Breadcrumb have fantastic customer service so they can assist you through the integration process.  Most restaurants do not have bank hours, so a customer service team that can help you 24 hours a day is invaluable.

Grab the best metrics you have and decide what kind of information to include in your POS system.  Compile your inventory history in the last few months to gauge the trends to give your new technology a chance to give you smarter feedback on cutting costs from over buying.  Gather sales so you can staff more appropriately, and finally, if you have any customer information, bring your customer service to the next level by adding a Customer Relation Management (CRM) into the mix.    Wisely’s system integrates with Open Table to gather any relevant notes given by guests before their visit.  This feature will help your chef know things like dietary restrictions or any other information that will keep your customers happy and come back for more.

Features, features, and more features

There are tons of bells and whistles to these POS systems.  The goal is to pick the right one for you and your staff.  Depending on your budget, you might be limited to the features that are available.  Either way, you're heading in a growth direction, so there is a likelihood that the success of the POS integration will lead to getting, even more, features, providing your customers with the best experience possible at your restaurant.

You might be thinking, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?” when you discover all of the things that become automated when you decide on a POS system.  For example, on Breadcrumbs system, not only can you discount or void a check but you can enter in the most common reasons, giving insight on voids or refunds.  This metric will help keep an eye on bad performers, whether you're comping too many meals, and improve your performance, so your bottom line is not affected the following week.

Also, you can add features like table side service where the customer can pay their check from their table.  Some of the premium features might not fit your restaurant ambiance, but that's the beauty.  You can choose a system that fits. 

Train like it’s your job

It's a common misconception that most young people can grasp technology like its second nature. However, you are not doing them justice by neglecting the opportunity to learn about your business. An employee who receives the necessary training is better able to perform her job.  Bringing a new POS system into your restaurant is an opportunity to gain trust and respect from your employees.  They will get just as excited about the new technology as you, but you have to show them why it's so amazing that you're no longer using the 1920s register.  

When you embrace the new POS system, your employees will notice.  You will be walking around with a huge smile on your face because now you can pull up sales metrics with a tap of a finger.  Get your employees on board with your excitement and show them all that they can do to make your business a bustling success.  Training them of all the features will also give them the confidence to answer questions to customers, making them the authority to everyone they greet at your restaurant translating to great reviews and repeat customers.

Grandpa will be just fine with your new system.  The bright colors, large buttons, and 24-hour customer service is just enough to coax him into a change that will improve your business.  Integration of a new POS starts with management.  When you embrace the new technology with open arms, it will only continue to hug you back. 

To learn about other ways to improve your restaurant business contact 10twelve.