Should I Be Using A Mobile Tablet as Part of My Restaurant POS System?

As a restaurant owner, you understand how important it is for your staff members to be productive throughout their shifts. Their ability to work quickly and to provide your customers with a high level of service at the same time will play a critical role in how successful your restaurant is and in how satisfied your customers are. You may not realize it, but the POS system that you are using will heavily impact both of these areas. Restaurant POS systems can be fully functional and entirely practical, or they can have a detrimental influence on your business. One of the best options to augment your stationary systems is a mobile POS. With a better understanding of how these work, you may decide that this is a solution that can increase the reach and capability of your existing system, and create a better experience for your customers.

What Is a Mobile POS Solution?

There are several types of restaurant POS systems that you can choose to use. Traditionally, the main type of restaurant POS solution that has been used in cafes, restaurants and other similar businesses is a fixed location POS. This is a type of POS that requires staff members to walk to a terminal to input orders, process payments and more. A mobile solution uses sophisticated restaurant POS software and mobile devices to give staff members improved functionality. They will be able to input orders and process payments at the customers' tables.

The Benefits of a Mobile Solution

A mobile solution is just one of several solutions available, but it may be beneficial for many types of restaurant environments. This enables staff members to improve productivity because they can input orders as they are received from different locations. There is no need to jot down orders before walking to a terminal to input them- the system will transfer them automatically. This means that the kitchen staff members can get started processing the order, and the customers ultimately can receive their food faster. In addition, the inconvenience that some customers may feel while waiting to pay their bill can also be eliminated. The staff members can process the payment at the table without delay.

A mobile addition to your system will add increased flexibility and get a bit more mileage out of your current system. If your establishment fosters a high volume, robust environment, you may find that supplementing your POS with a mobile appendage will be a profitable addition to your process.

3 Ways You Can Build Brand Loyalty for Your Restaurant

Whether it’s grabbing a quick bite when we’re on the run, enjoying a casual meal with friends, or a fancy night on the town, Americans love to eat out. In fact, consumer spending in the restaurant sector is projected to reach over $700 billion in 2015.* For a restaurant owner, there is a lot of appeal in gaining a steady slice of that pie. As a restaurant owner, you probably understand the need for a quality Restaurant POS System, but attaining a steady, loyal customer base may seem much more nebulous and mysterious. That’s why we wanted to give you three tips on how you can build brand loyalty for your restaurant.

1. Serve Good Food at the Right Price

The number one way that you can stand out in people’s minds is by offering good food at the right price. Most customers are looking for two things: the quality and flavor of the food and value. If they think that your food is good but overpriced, they may choose to take their money elsewhere. Using restaurant accounting software, you can determine exactly what your food costs are and how your overhead affects your operational costs so that you can set your prices correctly. That means high enough for you to make a profit but low enough for people to feel like they are getting a good deal or true value.

2. Make a Connection

You may be interested to know that making an emotional connection with your customers can help create true loyalty. One way to make this type of connection is by providing fast, friendly service that helps your customers feel like welcome guests. Another consideration in creating an emotional connection with your customers is your restaurant’s ambiance. There are restaurants on almost every corner, which means that you need to stand out in order to garner customer loyalty. We can’t tell you what the right experience is for your restaurant, but you need to make sure that you have something that makes your restaurant unique. If your restaurant is just like every other eatery, there’s no reason for customers to choose your business over another one.

3. Implement a Customer Loyalty Program

Recently, we wrote a blog about the Long Term Effects of Restaurant Coupons. In that post, we mentioned that rewarding your regular customers can be more beneficial than constantly running coupons or discounts. We stand by that idea. Implementing a customer loyalty program can be complicated, but it can also be worth it. Customers who join a loyalty program tend to return to a business more often than those who don’t. But what are people looking for in a loyalty program? It’s actually pretty simple. They want a simple program that offers instant rewards, recognition, personalization, and engagement. People actually like loyalty programs because they feel like they are appreciated by the establishment. If you choose to implement a loyalty program, you’ll want to make sure that your restaurant accounting software works seamlessly with your loyalty program to make your life much easier in the long run.

Hopefully these three ideas will help you build customer loyalty in your restaurant so that you can keep serving great food for a long time to come.

*Sources: http://www.statista.com/statistics/203358/food-and-drinks-sales-of-us-restaurants-since-1970/ http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/consumer-business/articles/second-helpings-restaurants-food-service-loyalty.html

3 Long Term Effects of Restaurant Coupons | Business Software Solutions

Three Long Term Effects of Coupons & Discounts for Your Restaurant


In our blog post Should You Be Running Coupons for Your Restaurant?, we discussed some of the pros and cons of running coupons for your restaurant. In that post, we mentioned that restaurants are particularly susceptible to the negative outcomes of coupons. Modern computer systems for restaurants can make it easier than ever to run coupons or discounts, but that doesn’t mean that they are the right way to go for every restaurant. Today, we wanted to delve a little deeper into three of the long term effects that can result from running coupons and discounts in your restaurant.

Coupons and Discounts Can Eat Into Your Existing Revenues

When running a restaurant, it’s important to remember that anybody can use a coupon. Your regular customers can use coupons just as easily as people who are trying your restaurant for the first time. If too many of your regular customers redeem your coupons or take advantage of offered discounts, it can actually eat into your existing revenues without increasing your customer base. You have to make sure that the possible short term benefit of bringing more people into your business has to balance with maintaining your existing customer base long term. You can try to limit coupon use to new customers, but this is particularly difficult in restaurant settings and making the attempt can actually make your regular customers feel unappreciated. A customer loyalty program, on the other hand, rewards your regular customers for returning to your business and might be a better option.

Coupons and Discounts Can Impact Customer Return Visits

When coupons and discounts are run on a regular basis, it can lead to an unsustainable business model. If your customers feel like they can always take advantage of a special deal, they may begin to wonder why they should ever pay full price for your food and drink offerings. This can result in a large portion of your customer base only visiting your restaurant when a coupon is available. If you do choose to run coupons or discount programs for your restaurant, you should make sure that you are not doing it regularly enough that people become unwilling to pay full price for your food.

Coupons and Discounts Can Negatively Impact Your Brand Image

The unfortunate truth is that coupons and discounts, especially when they are run regularly, can actually have a negative impact on your brand image and the perceived value of what you offer. Short term, you may have more people in your restaurant. But long term, you may find that people begin to ask questions that lead to a negative impact on your company’s image. They may begin to wonder why your regular prices are higher than the discounted offer. They may begin to wonder if there is any value in buying your food at menu price. They may even begin to wonder why they should ever pay full price for your food. When people start thinking this way about a restaurant, it can actually cause them to discount the quality of the restaurant in their minds and they will no longer be willing to pay full price for your food. In the long run, consistently providing true value on good food is infinitely more important than getting a few more people to come into your restaurant.

Conclusion

If you are thinking about running coupons or discounts in your restaurant, make sure you weigh short term gains against long term effects before you make your decision. Using a good Point of Sale (POS) computer system for your restaurant can make you better at accounting for your business, helping you determine when and how often you can afford to offer discounts on your products. On occasion, offering coupons or discounts may be the right course of action. But, in our opinion, providing true value and quality service trumps any gimmick you can come up with to bring in a few more people. We also think that rewarding your loyal customers can be a much better idea for long term gains.

Should You Be Running Coupons for Your Restaurant?

If you’re running your own restaurant, you’ve probably wondered about running coupons as a way to attract new business. However, the decision of whether or not to run coupons is not a simple one, and many factors should be taken into account before making your final decision. While Restaurant POS Systems can make honoring coupons easier, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons that should be weighed before deciding if offering coupons is a good idea for your restaurant.


Pros of Running Coupons for Your Restaurant


Running coupons for your restaurant can potentially:


  • Result in a quick infusion of cash,

  • Help you quickly unload unwanted inventory,

  • Entice people to try your restaurant for the first time,

  • Lead to add-on sales of regularly priced items,

  • Attract first-time buyers who may turn into regular customers, and

  • Increase brand awareness.


Cons of Running Coupons for Your Restaurant


It’s important to note that the pros listed above are potential benefits and may or may not happen with your business. Unfortunately, restaurants are particularly susceptible to the negative outcomes of coupons. That’s why we’ll be going a little deeper into the cons of running coupons in your restaurant so that you can make an informed decision for you business.


  • Running coupons can be costly. As with any form of advertising, weigh the cost against the potential gains. And don’t forget to include anything you will need to pay to the coupon service in your calculations.

  • Coupons may not be a sustainable promotional strategy. Offering coupons can result in a large portion of customers who only buy the discounted item or only visit your restaurant when they have a coupon available. If you run coupons frequently, it can be difficult to get customers who are willing to pay full price for your food.

  • You can eat into your existing revenue. Offering coupons can actually result in a decrease of overall revenue if too many of your regular customers opt to use the coupons. In a restaurant setting, it can be difficult to limit coupons to first time buyers, so you may actually do better in the long run by offering some kind of loyalty reward system instead.

  • It can decrease the perceived value of your food. If you have a luxury or high end restaurant, it’s important to realize that offering coupons can make people perceive your business differently. Unfortunately, it can actually make people question the value of your food and wonder why they should spend money with you. Be careful in making your decision that it doesn’t damage your company’s image.

  • You can end up losing money. Make sure that you fully understand exactly what you can afford to give away. This requires understanding your profit margins and overhead well enough to know what you can discount, how much you can discount it, and how often you can afford to discount it. Understanding these numbers can be difficult without computer systems. For restaurants, it’s especially important to understand the labor costs associated with your product prices.


Conclusion


As we said at the beginning of this post, running coupons is not a simple decision. We hope that this list of pros and cons will help you make a decision that is profitable for your business. We’d also like to remind you that the right software and a good restaurant POS system can help you be better at accounting for your restaurant so that you can keep serving your customers (hopefully at full price) for years to come.

Updating Your POS System

Many business owners have different ideas about how to achieve success with their customers and their employees. They try unique marketing techniques and make an effort to appeal to these important people. Even though they go to great lengths to please everyone, the best way they can offer good service is through a well operating business. When glitches and kinks arise, customers and employees feel annoyed and unsettled. Prevent these discontent feelings by purchasing a new POS system that allows your business to run in it’s prime functionality.

Why Update Your POS System?

It can be hard for retail business owners to justify buying a new point of sales system if they have one that “works perfectly fine”. These managers bend over backwards trying to keep their store running smoothly and fail to see what the problem is. Nevertheless, an outdated retail POS system can only slow your business down. A system that requires much maintenance and patience is not the right system for a busy, thriving retail business like yours.