The NCR Corporation's Mark Buonagurio shares six things you may not know about your Point Of Sales System.
A POS isn’t just a POS anymore. It’s a common expression among those in the industry because we’ve come a long way from systems focused only on transactions. Today, advancements like real-time data alerts, employee scheduling tools, mobile POS, and more are helping restaurants operate with efficiency and manage their businesses.
Even with these advances, there are bakeries, cafes, and restaurants that are POS-averse or that are using the bare minimum of a powerful tool. This is often due to a lack of understanding of how a POS system can make your life easier, and I’m going to outline six misconceptions I run into when speaking with owners and operators.
My goal is to help you better understand how a POS solution can function as the brains of your operation and how to use it to unlock critical operational data, resulting in cost savings and time back in your day.
1. Your POS Is Your Second Set of Eyes.
Restaurant theft is an unfortunate, but inevitable, part of every business. Try as you might, it’s impossible to constantly monitor employee behavior, no matter how many cameras are installed or how close you are with your staff. A good POS knows what’s normal for a particular location, in terms of transactions and data,and what’s not. It will send real-time alerts when something falls outside of “the norm,” allowing you to investigate immediately. Most owners I know don’t have the time to sift through hours of video footage, so an alert delivered to your smartphone is a great option.
2. Your POS Can Operate in Real-Time.
Knowledge is power, but it has to be timely. End of day reports are good, but which is the better scenario? Receiving an alert that an employee isapproaching overtime and addressing the situation, or seeing that overtime was already reached hours ago? The emphasis on real-time is on the rise. It puts the power of ‘now’ in your hands, and gives you a 360 degree, up-to-the-second view of the business that allows you to make smart decisions quickly.
3. Your POS Can Increase Customer Engagement.
Operators know that customer engagement can help increase sales. Many don’t realize, however, that customer engagement can be driven by a POS. There are tools out there that help customers promote positive experiences to their social networks, allowing you to reach new potential customers and reinforcing existing relationships. On the other hand, consider what would happen if a less-than-satisfied customer wanted to vent about a poor experience. Wouldn’t it be great if you could engage that that customer before he or she posted that poor experience online? You can. Your POS can help you foster a more meaningful relationship with your customer and when these tools are a part of a business system you have in place, it’s a no-brainer.
4. Your POS Can Fit Your Aesthetics.
This comes as a surprise to most people, like it did for Misty Martin, Vice President of Communications at Magnolia Bakery and her team. “We’ve worked hard to create an environment where customers feel like they’re stepping into their grandmother’s kitchen when they enter the bakery,” recounts Martin. “The aesthetic is part of who Magnolia Bakery is, and a clunky terminal was not going to fit in with our decor. We were able to blend our POS into our operations without detracting from the visual standards of the brand.”
5. Your POS Can Be Affordable.
When you hear the word ‘POS,’ you may assume that it’s an added expense you can’t afford, but that’s usually not the case. There are financing options available so businesses strapped for capital can choose what works for them. POS companies today offer monthly payment options, leasing, or the ability to buy the system outright. From a total cost of ownership perspective, you can easily see a positive return on investment from cost savings and increased revenue. Staying with the status quo of your current cash register is often the most expensive option. You might wonder how that could be. Take the example of not properly ringing in add-ons to a base menu item or not charging an additional dollar for a special topping. These could result in thousands of dollars lost each year. A good POS system can ensure that doesn’t happen.
6. Your POS Is the Brains of Your Business.
A good POS functions as the brains of your operation. “I knew from the moment I took over the operations at Lady M that we needed a POS that was data-driven,” says Ken Romaniszyn, President of Lady M Confections. “How can you know you’re making the right choices unless you have data that’s backing you up? We needed insight into what was selling and what wasn’t. Today, we know how we’re performing up to the minute, and we make the appropriate changes as needed. It’s what’s helping fuel our growth.”
Today’s POS isn’t what it was five years ago. It won’t be the same in another five. I’ve been in this business for years, and what these systems do now is impressive. Whoever would have thought that the system would have ended up detecting theft or sending real time alerts? Those are game-changers. Technology is exciting and brings real value to restaurants and bakeries of all sizes.