Forget POS – think EPOS!
- January 5, 2016
Remember the feeling of finishing a meal and then spending 5 or 10 minutes trying to attract a waiter’s attention. Then the waiter would arrive at your table and appear somewhat surprised that you wanted the bill. Then there would be another wait as he disappeared and eventually brought you the bill and walked off again, leaving you to study the list of what you and your guests had eaten while you munched your way through the Mint Imperials that came with the bill. 10 more minutes later the waiter would re-emerge and you would hand him either cash or a card and once again he would disappear to process the transaction. Eventually, you would be ready to leave and because of the time that had elapsed, you were probably ready for another meal and you’d eaten all the mints.
I have to admit personally that there have been times in the past, when I was so fed up with waiting for someone to bring me a bill that I would take my cellphone and phone into the restaurant and ask them to send a waiter to my table!
That used to be called ‘Service’ and if your restaurant or café is still run along roughly those lines and you are not running a fully integrated POS system, you are no longer ‘quaint’. You are now officially ‘old school’.
Nowadays, the average age of a diner is lower than say 20 years ago because it is the younger professional, tech-savvy demographic which has the spending power. They have the spending power, but no longer the time to sit around while your establishment takes 20 minutes to process a simple transaction.
You know what happens nowadays…….or should I say you know what everyone expects to happen nowadays. The first part of the process hasn’t changed very much and attracting the waiter’s attention is still a bit of an art form – but once you’ve achieved that, you pay at your table and you leave. The waiter arrives with a Wi-Fi terminal, he is able to call up immediately what you owe because everytime you are served with something, it is automatically clocked up on the POS system so that whenever you decide to call for the bill, the running total is available to you.
The other reason many people like to pay without losing sight of their credit or debit card is because of the recent outbreak of card cloning by employees of disreputable establishments. The advice given by banks and card issuers is quite unequivocal – ‘Don’t let your credit or debit card out of your sight’.
That means that if you do not provide a pay-at-the-table facility, your customers have to find a way to a till, possibly queue and possibly ruin what so far was a perfectly enjoyable evening.
From the restaurant’s administration point of view and functionality which is invisible to the customer, when food is being cooked and served, your waiter can hit the button on the POS till, fixing the time when the meal was served. Then there will be a record of when the bill was paid, giving useful management information to the restaurant owner so that in future he can run his establishment much more efficiently because he knows all the timings. In fact, with a properly calibrated system, you can also tell the relative cooking times for all the dishes on the menu.
At the end of every service, he will also gradually build up a database of which dishes are the best sellers, which are the most profitable, which ones generate the most complaints and even which waiters collect the biggest tips.
That way the restaurant remains organised, the communication between the various departments and service-stages is improved and the restauranteur can very quickly see which parts of the operation require adjustment.
Your POS will have the ability to record all the data that you are able to get on each client, including their party size etc. If you decide to create a postal marketing campaign you will be able to target specific types of customer. For instance, the ones who spend the most….. Or the ones who order the most expensive wine.
The other great advantage of course is that restaurants and cafes are notorious for high staff turnover, so a properly designed and easy to use POS system means a minimal amount of time teaching floor staff about prices or how to operate a till because your investment in a touchscreen and portable terminals means that most people can be trained in a matter of hours.
POS or no POS? I think that the answer is self-evident!
We all know if something sounds too good to be true it…
It’s only a very small change, but gradually, I’m seeing fewer and…
The POS revolution isn’t only within the concept of moving from a…