When going to a restaurant you would typically evaluate your experience based on the food and the service. Assuming your food is already good, customer service is where you can really knock the ball out of the park. One of the effective ways to improve your customer service is to use a mobile POS.
A point of sale (POS) system manages your orders, payments and customer information. Depending on the system you choose, it could also handle reporting and inventory control. A mobile POS uses your own smartphone or tablet together with specialised software and hardware to fulfil the same functions as a fixed POS.
We will look at 7 benefits of implementing a mobile POS system in your restaurant.
With orders being taken at the table and directly inputted into the device, there is less chance of error in that the server is selecting from preloaded menu items rather than writing the order down on paper. Allergies and special requests can be added to the order as well.
There is also one less step as the server would still have had to walk to the fixed POS system and enter in the written order. If the server is distracted or takes another order along the way, this further delays the order being placed. With a mobile POS, as soon as an order is submitted on the device it goes straight to the kitchen for preparation. The kitchen staff won’t need to decipher servers’ handwriting which will also save time.
Additional orders like drinks or desserts are less likely to be forgotten if entered into the device as they are requested by customers. It’s better not to have a customer asking more than once for something. There may be some customers who decide not to ask again which would be a lost sale.
If the restaurant is busy and there is only one fixed POS, servers will be delayed in entering their orders as only one person can work on the system at a time. With a mobile POS, multiple orders are being submitted at the same time, limited only by the number of devices you have.
The initial costs for setting up a mobile POS tend to be lower in that you can use your own devices and don’t need expensive hardware. The hardware may include a card reader and receipt printer. The software is often provided on a monthly subscription basis and implementation is relatively quick.
Upsells and drink pairing suggestions can be inputted to prompt the server as the order is being taken, e.g. “Would you like to add a sauce for your steak?”, or “If you would like to order wine, we recommend [insert wine name] to go with your seafood platter”. Making suggestions will encourage customers to order additional items and may increase the total bill for a table.
With orders getting to customers quicker with less errors, they will leave sooner to make way for new customers (and more sales). Less errors also means less wastage of incorrect dishes, which is a cost saving.
Some restaurants allow customers to place orders on a device themselves, reducing the number of servers required to run the front of house and eliminating the need for printed menus (and saving trees). If there are menu changes updates are quick and easy to make.
Using a smartphone or tablet to take orders presents a professional image to your customers. It will show that your restaurant is technologically up-to-date and keeping up with international trends.
Your servers won’t need to carry pads of paper or scramble around looking for pens, which often seem to disappear during the course of the day.
It’s easy to take a device to wherever your customer is sitting, whether they’re at the bar, on your rooftop terrace or at an event you are serving food at. With servers carrying the devices on their person, there is no need for them to keep going back to a fixed POS, making them more available to serve your customers.
As you grow your business, you would simply buy more devices to match the work load. The device would just need to be set up with the requisite software and hardware, which is typically a quick and easy process.
Chances are high that your servers have smartphones and/or tablets of their own. They will be familiar with using apps on their devices, which will make learning how to use the mobile POS relatively easy. Less time spent on training means more time to look after your customers and to make sure they are happy.
When information is captured digitally, the data is available to be processed in a multitude of ways. You would be able to monitor orders, inventory, cash flow, etc. from wherever you are (assuming the system is cloud-based and offers this functionality). You could find out which are your busiest days or your most popular menu items, which will help you with planning, e.g. buying enough ingredients or running a promotion for the quiet periods.
While serving customers, your servers have the opportunity to capture customer data which you can use to provide more personalised service and/or to start a loyalty program. They could ask for an email address or mobile number to send the payment receipt to, or offer an incentive for additional information, e.g. free drink on their birthday if they provide their birthdate, or a free dessert if they opt in to receive your newsletter. If you have an email or mobile number for a customer, it could be linked to their order/s which over time will provide insight into their dining preferences. An integral part of running a restaurant is getting to know your customers and making sure they keep coming back to dine with you.
At Ryno Insurance we offer General Property insurance that covers accidental loss or damage to portable or valuable property such as the smartphones or tablets you use for your mobile POS system. You invest so much time, money and effort in your business and we want to make sure your property is protected. Ryno Insurance will work with you to customise insurance cover for your restaurant, whether you want to cover one device or many.