For many restaurant owners success is defined as turning a profit and giving customers a unique and memorable dining experience. After all, staying open requires a continuous flow of cash and happy customers.
Throughout the past several years, modern technology has infiltrated the restaurant sector and is changing the way restaurants do business. Gone are the days when pen and paper is the only way to take an order— now sleek devices like an iPad POS can be taken tableside and streamline the entire guest experience from start to finish.
These devices, also known as mobile point of sale systems, offer restaurants a quick and easy way to increase sales while improving the overall guest experience.
So how do mobile point of sale solutions help restaurants? Here are four ways:
Typically, when customers walk into a restaurant they are handed a menu with available items, a brief description, and sometimes pictures illustrating the menu offerings. If the venue is offering specials, a server will come to the table and quickly run through a list of memorized specials alongside the descriptions. But all of that information can be overwhelming without having time to digest it or someone to answer necessary questions like those regarding allergens and ingredients.
This is where a mobile POS solution can help improve the guest experience; while it doesn’t replace a restaurant’s menu, it can act as the ying to the menu’s yang because it gives servicing staff a tool to reference in-depth menu item descriptions to quickly and correctly answer customer questions without needing to run to the kitchen or bar to verify information.
In addition to this, real photos of the menu items can be uploaded into the tablet and shown to the table to set the visual expectation and help customers make their ordering decision. After all, people eat with their eyes first and a mouthwatering photo alongside a delicious description is enough to get bellies rumbling!
All restaurants have the ability to upsell menu items whether they are food or drinks, and consistent upselling will enable any restaurant to increase its profitability.
However, without a mobile point of sale system it’s easy for staff to forget to suggest add-ons such as, “Would you like to add chicken or steak to your Caesar salad?” or “Would you like to upgrade your martini to premium vodka?” because staff are focused on remembering the order and correctly inputting it into the POS.
With a mobile point of sale system, forced modifiers require staff to ask upselling questions, such as a protein selection, as they are putting the order in at the table. Over the course of a month, those small priced upcharges can add up to thousands of extra dollars.
Few things can irritate a hungry diner more than making a selection only to find out after the order has been placed that it’s out of stock. By the time the kitchen tells the server, the rest of the orders may already be in preparation meaning one person will get their food later than everyone else, or the entire order will take longer than it should.
Mobile POS systems allow servers to avoid this scenario by offering real-time insights on inventory levels. For example, if skirt steak is running low and there are only five portions left, the server will receive a pop-up notification and be able to tell all incoming tables about what items are 86’d and what items are nearly out. Each skirt steak that is ordered will immediately decrease the number available on all terminals, eliminating any accidental orders of an item that is no longer available.
Faster Transaction Time
With legacy point of sale systems, staff are required to print a check, bring it to the table, wait for the table to prepare their payment method, take the payment back to the terminal and either swipe the card or make change. If it’s a credit card, the receipt has to be brought back to the table for a signature and if it’s cash that requires change, that also has to brought back to the table. The entire closing out aspect is time-consuming and inefficient.
But with mobile POS systems, the checkout process is streamlined and enables staff to swipe cards tableside, have customers sign on the tablet rather than a receipt, and email guest checks rather than printing them (of course the print option is still available too). The end result is faster transaction time, quicker table turns, and a smooth closeout experience.
If you want to learn more about how a mobile point of sale system can help your restaurant increase sales while improving service click here. Alliance members get 10% off TouchBistro software and services.