Restaurant Point of Sale Best Practices: 7 Steps You Can Take Today to Cut Costs and Increase Profits

By Tricia Hoy

Many costs are set before your doors even open. A restaurant point of sale system is the first line of defense against overspending and wasted dollars, but busy operators often don’t make use of its controls. Successful chains know their numbers, and use the reports and controls in their POS systems to stay ahead of the competition.

1. Forecasting.

Good plans are based on accurate information. Understanding your sales history, employee hours, and outside factors that could affect your business equips you to plan for efficient prep and staff correctly.

Some point of sale systems provide intuitive tools to help you predict and plan for a profitable business day. But no matter what system you are using in the restaurant, your gross sales numbers are the starting point for your prep and labor plans.

Ideally, you want to be able to review historical sales by:

  • Day and week
  • Day part
  • Hour
  • Order type (delivery, carryout, dine-in, buffet, etc.)

If you have a buffet, look for a POS with effective buffet planning tools built in.

2. Scheduling.

Serving customers well, and at a reasonable cost, requires the proper number and mix of employees. Scheduling too many people increases labor costs, while scheduling too few can result in poor customer service that drives away business. A system like SpeedLine has the ability to recommend labor targets for scheduling based on your forecast and established goals. Back in April, we talked specifically about Accurate Labor Scheduling: Cutting Costs you can Measure with your Point of Sale.

3. Prep Planning.

It’s pretty clear at the end of the day when you haven’t forecasted your sales accurately. Much food waste is avoidable with the right tools and systems in place.

Does your POS system have the ability to recommend a food preparation plan based on historical sales and manager input? With an accurate prep plan like this in place, even your newest prep staff will know how many tomatoes to chop or crusts to pre-sauce before the dinner rush. The result? At the end of the night, there’s less waste and more profit.

4. Web and mobile ordering.

"Easy" sells, and mobile is easy. Did you know that 95% of people with smart phones use them to search for local information—like the location of the nearest pizza shop?

The convenience of mobile ordering drives order volume and frequency, which in turn drive profit. Read our post "Mobile Orders to the Point of Sale" for insight into how mobile ordering is working for SpeedLine POS users.

5. Delivery performance management.

For some 80% of pizzerias, pizza and delivery go hand-in-hand. That means one of the challenges restaurant owners face every day is overseeing drivers and managing delivery performance. Are you getting orders to customers on time? If not, is the problem bad ready time quotes, kitchen inefficiency, or under-performing drivers?

If delivery is a big part of your business, it takes constant attention and a commitment to ongoing monitoring. A POS system designed for pizza and delivery makes it a lot easier, and profitable.

Download our free guide for 9 ways to increase restaurant delivery profits:

Does your delivery operation need a tune-up?

6. Customer marketing.

Loyal customers are the key to long-term profitability. It costs 7 to 10 times more to gain a new customer as it does to keep a current one, so taking care of guests who already love your brand should be top priority.

Reminder mailing. Your customer database is a gold mine of information. By using the data in your POS, you can schedule reminder mailings for lazy customers, or even create a personalized promotion based on guests’ menu preferences.

Loyalty rewards. Nothing promotes order frequency—and brand loyalty—better than a loyalty program your customers can get behind. Check out your POS vendor’s options for customer loyalty. A loyalty program is an investment in your best customers—the ones who keep you in business. Encourage repeat business through rewards, and let them know they matter to you. Rewards build customer loyalty and frequency—and even order size.

SpeedLine user? Watch the Speedline Loyalty video tutorial here.

7. Auditing.

Secure cash control depends on your operating procedures for cash handling—and how well you train staff to follow them. Put your restaurant POS system to work to simplify and lock down cash practices.

  • Set account signature slips to print on receipt printers whenever money is removed from or added to a cash drawer, employee bank, or safe. If your POS doesn't support this, use printed forms to do the job. Have both the manager and the employee sign the slip to verify the amount of cash moving, and keep it under the till for future reference.
  • Review your store bank account reports regularly to detect cash control problems early. Look for short/over counts, and suspicious voids, discounts, coupons added after close, or pay-outs.

Every restaurant company looks for ways to cut costs and drive profits. These 7 steps let you leverage your point of sale system for measurable bottom-line results.

What’s the #1 way you use your point of sale software to keep costs in check?

Posted by Tricia Hoy

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Tags: LiveMaps, Online Ordering, pizza POS, point of sale, restaurant delivery

Get it right the first time.

There’s a reason pizza and delivery chains are driving the biggest changes in restaurant technology. Pizza and delivery concept restaurants are different from other restaurants, and they have complex needs at the point of sale. In this guide, gain the knowledge you need to choose the right technology fit for your restaurant.


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