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Stop Hating Your POS System

Posted by Mirus

Restaurant POS Problems

Point of Sale in the Restaurant Industry

Point of Sale (POS) Systems have transformed the restaurant industry.  Their accuracy has significantly cut down operating costs and mistakes due to human error and has increased the accuracy of customer orders.  No more taking orders on a piece of paper and walking the order back to the kitchen!

The POS can use customized hardware and software tailored to specific needs of restaurant operations.  
They can include back office modules (labor scheduling, purchasing, and inventory control systems).  Their standard reporting capabilities help decrease bookkeeping expenses.  Some reports include day-end cash reconciliation work sheets and inventory management. Some comprehensive reports allow you to monitor financials, track inventory, view sales history and identify trends.

What a Good System Can Do

  • See the hot selling menu items
  • Review reports such as: Sales by destination, daypart, customer, reports for date ranges and/or locations
  • See when your slowest times are and create promotions to drive traffic
Although you can not customize reports, in essence, a good POS system is an all-in-one way to keep track of your business cash flow. 

When Needs Change & Restaurant Chains Grow
Many multi unit restaurant operators have come to depend on these systems so much that they're now expecting more.  Though it's true that POS systems gain better control of the business with their basic reporting features, they simply can't do it all.  And that's when the frustration sets in.  The fact of the matter is that these systems were designed for a specific set of functions and they do that quite well.  But since they can't do it all, getting frustrated is pointless.  It's like saying I hate my car because it can't fly me across the country.  It's not built to do that so you shouldn't be upset when it can't.

What POS Systems Can Not Do:
  • Show you if that last promotion was really that successful
  • Allow you to manage by exception across the company
  • Track employee overtime for employees who work in more than one restaurant
  • Pinpoint which employees are excessively transferring and splitting checks
  • Track weather changes and understand why revenue may have changed (and be able to report the reasons to the CFO)

When You Need More
All major restaurant activity is generating data from a variety of systems (such as POS, labor schedule, inventory, payroll, customer loyalty programs, etc.).  Some restaurant companies think these systems give them all the information they need for successful restaurant operations.

The fact is that the restaurant data retrieved from these systems is at the base level.  Transactional systems don’t share (or share only limited) information between each other and operators can only view one kind of information at a time.  To make matters even more complicated, some locations, within the same chain use different POS systems.  Operators find themselves drowning in excel spreadsheets, as they attempt to analyze information from each system, separately. 

Don't Blame the System That's Vital for Business
We shouldn't have unrealistic expectations of the POS systems. They provide only one piece of the puzzle.  They can give us only so much but they just don't have the same abilities as analytical systems.  They were great when we started out and now, we need a more advanced BI solution to take us to the next level.

What issues have you faced regarding the POS system you use?

About Mirus:
Mirus Restaurant Solutions is a multi-unit restaurant reporting software used by operations, finance, IT, and marketing.

For more information, please visit www.mirus.com

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Looking for additional input on how to get more out of your data?

Free Guide: 3 Basics to Harnessing Restaurant Big Data

Topics: Restaurant Operations


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