5 POS integrations you need now

Restaurant POS software has become a requirement for any business that sells products. Restaurant technology has come a long way in the last decade. With software moving to smaller, more mobile platforms and payments becoming increasingly digital, the POS space has evolved into a business powerhouse.

Your POS system, when setup correctly, can do almost anything your business needs with some limitations, such as large-scale data warehousing or analytics. However more and more, POS systems are offering back-office features and much more.

Although some POS vendors are including these features in their own products, you will find that the focus is more about integrations and partnerships with other software platforms. There are many reasons for this, but most of them are about keeping things simple. Building an integration is typically much easier than creating and testing new features from scratch and can save your company valuable resources.

What are the type of integrations your restaurant needs?

First and foremost it is important to know what your business needs, and that your restaurants needs will differ from that of a retailer. Alot of the integrations can be used for both, however there are several that are industry specific. If your business is using a POS system daily then you should definitely be looking into integrations as it will help streamline your business.

You will need to identify what your specific goals are and what you already have that works. If your current accounting tools work, then focus on adding something else like employee scheduling.

We’ve put together 6 of the hottest integrations to look into for 2019 below:

1. Delivery and Takeout

Ordering food online is the new norm. So if your restaurant doesnt consider an online strategy get started on this asap. The benefits of integrating restaurant delivery/takeout software are numerous.

Online ordering allows restaurants to maintain a consistent view of inventory and sales in real time. The last thing any kitchen needs is to be thrown off its rhythm during service, and orders not placed through your POS system can do just that.

2. Accounting software

Accounting software is the backbone of your business. To survive you need to know what is happening with your money at all times.  Integration with accounting solutions will give you reports on revenue costs, losses and profits in real time, tedious reporting methods are eliminated. It helps put you back in control and see things more clearly.  By implementing a POS system with integrated loss prevention and security features, inventory management stays precise, employee morale is increased and your business can continue to be profitable.

3. Scheduling

It’s not a secret that the restaurant industry is a revolving door for employment. Nothing is more frustrating than mapping out an employee schedule week after week, only to find a server is on the brink of overtime, or had requested off. This industry needs to be flexible since scheduling in restaurants is done in shifts. Help give your employees an easy way to make changes that only involve your finger clicking a button to approve. Employee scheduling tracks hours, schedules and performance.

4. Managing Inventory

Knowing what you have and what you need is crucial for any business. Restaurants need to ensure they have enough stock and ingredients to meet customer demand. Since every transaction is performed using POS software, integrations with inventory control software automatically adjust inventory in real time. This also helps businesses make smart purchasing decisions when it’s time to replenish inventory. Accurate inventory management can greatly improve customer experience. Staff are aware of exactly what stock is available and how much is left.

5. Customer Loyalty

Loyalty management software can play a large part in the success of a retail business or restaurant. Punch cards and point systems are a mainstay of retail and restaurant loyalty strategies. By integrating your loyalty management systems with your POS terminal, points and punches are automatically tracked using the credit card or debit card making the purchase. Taking the pressure off of customers improves the customer experience and makes them more likely to return.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

How you can improve your customer interaction and engagement with PointOS a handheld POS System

Getting new customers takes a lot more time, effort & money, than it does to keep an existing customer. This is why it is so important to have good customer relationships and take actions to ensure they visit more often and encourage others to come too. We have provided some tips to help improve customer interaction and engagement so that you can create customers for life.

Create an experience

If your customers aren’t happy with their experience, they will go elsewhere. Make sure your staff is as enthusiastic as you are to provide great customer service and promote your brand.

Listen to feedback

Your customers want to be heard. They can give good feedback, so why not ask for their advice? By letting customers know that you care about what they think and want to improve their experience for them, they will be more likely to visit more often. Leave a suggestion box, encourage online communication, and reply to customers’ questions, requests, and suggestions regularly so they know you are listening.

Engage Online

One way that all businesses, large and small, can compete on an equal playing field is online. Any business can establish a strong online presence, if they offer valuable information, a helpful website, and effective social media business pages. Keeping your mobile-friendly website and social media pages updated with valuable content and promos will remind customers of your presence and inform them of any upcoming specials or events. In fact, studies have shown that customers who engage with a brand online spend approximately 20% more on that brand.

Automatic Promotions

Integrating your POS  with marketing automation software,  you can make money effortlessly with automatic marketing campaigns designed to meet your customers’ needs. By first analyzing your customers purchase patterns, the software can customize the right deals and promotions for each customer. This can take the time and guesswork out of marketing to customers. The service takes no effort on your part and your customers will be subtly reminded to visit your store in the near feature.

Loyalty Programs

Thanking your customers can go a long way towards their future shopping patterns. Consider sending thank you cards or automatic emails letting customers know you appreciate their business. Loyalty programs are also mutually beneficial for both your business and your customers. They will encourage your customers to visit more often so that they can earn more points for a prize or discount, which can increase customer retention and sales in no time. This is also a simple way to collect customers’ information, including their phone number and email address, for future promotions.

Review Purchase Patterns

The best way to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations is to analyze their purchase patterns. This will help you quickly determine what is working and what needs to be improved. Contact PointOS to find out how we can automate this important step for you with customer relationship management software and POS solutions designed to fit your business.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

How reviews impact your restaurant

Over the last few years reviews have become vital to the success of a restaurant, as every restaurant owner is aware of the fact that good reviews can boost popularity and profitability, whereas terrible reviews have the opposite effect, and can potentially even close down your business. As online ordering and delivery become more and more popular – especially with Millennials and Generation Z – review sites have become essential to any marketing strategy. That’s why it is crucial for restauranteurs to understand the impact of reviews on your establishment.

Aside from reviews on your own platforms websites such as Yelp, Toptable or TripAdvisors will also play a part in the the success or downfall of a business.

This week, we’ll take a look at some important statistics about how online reviews impact your restaurant.

You can use these tips to improve your rating, guest loyalty, and bottom line.

Put your reviews to use

Did you know that 53% of guests find restaurants through review sites? Even if you don’t have many reviews yet, just having a presence on Yelp makes it easy for guests to learn about your restaurant. Make sure your profile includes important details – like your address, hours, and menu – so they can go directly from reading reviews to eating your foods.

Engage with your customers

In foodservice, customer service is key – and restaurants are leading the charge in keeping every customer happy. Since March 2017, there has been a 29% increase in the rate of restaurants responding to online reviews. This trend is unique in our industry: restaurants engage at a 46% higher rate than other retail businesses. Keep up with the competition by responding to every review, whether it’s positive or negative. Remember: negative reviews provide valuable information that you can use to improve guest loyalty in the future.

Responding directly to negative reviews can also improve ratings in the long term. Try offering dissatisfied guests a free menu item as an apology, and you’ll encourage them to return to your business.

Manage your menu

75% of guests look up menu info online. Although the younger generations are especially fluent in the use of restaurant technology, your more mature guests are hardly out of touch. A study from February of this year found that 56% of consumers aged 45-65 had recently used restaurant tech, and 4 out of 10 had used computers to review menu items in the past month.

As healthy eating becomes more important to guests of every age, your restaurant can take advantage of review sites to give them the information they crave. Make sure you include menu information on every platform – Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and your own website – to keep guests informed and excited to eat at your restaurant.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

6 Benefits of switching to a cloud based POS

Choosing to implement cloud POS software doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your existing system and terminals. Their is no need to turn in your traditional terminals and swap them for tablets and handheld devices. Cloud can be as simple and seamless as required by your restaurant business. The Cloud POS software can easily integrate into your current system to increase the security and visibility of your restaurant or retail store’s information.

So what is this cloud?

The cloud POS software, integrated with POS hardware, uses an internet infrastructure to access data via a remote server. In other words, the data stored in your POS system can be automatically backed up and synced, making it easier to protect and update information. Cloud solutions are capable of integrating multiple sales channels and, in addition to enhanced security, allow businesses to enjoy the benefits of centralized storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.

Real-time data means real-time solutions to situations before they become problems.  You will be saving money by identifying issues before they get too problematic. Cloud POS is convenient and can streamline how you run your business.

We’ve put together the benefits of the Cloud POS below:

1. Flexibility

With Cloud POS, you can take your business anywhere with an internet connection. You can view inventory counts, labor usage percentages, productivity reports or your daily totals remotely – and in real time. From a phone or a tablet, from work, vacation or from your sofa, you will always have access to your data. Managing your business doesn’t mean that you have to be in your store anymore.

Instead of printing out lengthy reports for every shift, now you can access your insights from any smart device—such as your computer, phone, or tablet—and get updated sales, inventory, customer feedback, and more, no matter where you are.

2. Keep up-to-date on latest trends

In today’s world technology is moving very fast, and you don’t want to have your new equipment obsolete a few weeks of possession. Cloud-based POS systems update automatically and for free, just like the apps on your mobile device, while traditional POS systems require manual updates that can be labor intensive and costly. New versions secure you will always have the latest trend and the best available tools.

3.Adaptability

Change is inevitable and over time the needs of your restaurant and your POS operations will change.  If you want your business to be successful you will  anticipate growth or change, so a cloud-based POS system is better enabled to grow with you.

Whether you want to update your menu on the regular, launching new or services, or requiring more accurate inventory tracking, the more your needs will shift over time, the more sense it makes to go for cloud-based.

Most cloud-based POS systems also update with new features as technology improves across the industry—something you’re unlikely to get with a legacy POS system.

4. Increased data security

In a cloud POS system, your restaurant business can rest easy knowing that your information will always be secure. Information is stored and synced electronically and can be easily restored. There is no need to worry about backing up data or losing it in the event of a power outage or hardware malfunction. Another big benefit of cloud-based systems is that they also allow for advanced security measures such as encryption to protect data from viruses and breaches. The benefits of a cloud-based POS aren’t limited to you and your staff. Customers will feel good knowing their credit card information is secure and encrypted with the most up-to-date technology.

5. Multiple location management streamlined

If you own or manage more than one retail store or restaurant, a cloud-based POS solution allows you to centralize your data across all locations. At any time, owners and managers can access information about each location from any computer, device or specific location, as well as perform an update that will be standardized for every location. Customers and employees alike are likely to become frustrated if their location is not functioning as highly as another, or is the last to receive new information.

6. Mobility

Since the system can be used from portable devices a cloud based POS allows you to be mobile inside the restaurant. This can be very practical as vendors can have the product’s information quickly available. This feature is extremely useful to restaurants as it allows servers to automatically send orders to the kitchen printer, and take payments at the customer’s tables which improves customer service.

Cloud-based POS systems are popular because they cost less, are easy to use and offer better security. So why not give it a try?

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

5 Tips on becoming a better restaurant server

Most likely when you became a server you weren’t handed a “how to” guide on your first day. It definitely takes a certain personality and skill set to be a waiter or waitress, but you will learn best on the job.

It’s important to remember that being a good server at a restaurant isn’t just about ensuring the guests get their orders on time, or smiling as you guide them towards their designated tables. It’s also about focusing on the finer details of their customer experience.

A good restaurant owner will realize that great waitrons are crucial in the success of their business, just as much as the menu and ambiance.

We are hear to give you some good news-your great restaurant servers are made, not born. Every server out there has the potential to live up to guests’ expectations – they just need a bit of extra training.

So, whether you want to hone the serving skills of your staff or train them to lead by example, following a few tricks can help the be the best at their job.

KNOWING THE MENU

An important thing to remember is that servers are the main touch point for the diners and are often the only ones with direct contact to them.

It’s crucial that they are well versed about everything that’s on the menu and know it inside out so that they can answer any questions posed by the diners, or they will be running around the floor trying to get clarity.

This includes knowing exactly what’s on the menu and the ingredients of each dish in order to assist the diners with allergies & dietary preferences. If you aren’t sure, be polite and let them know you’ll find out for them, don’t leave the hanging with a blunt “I don’t know”.

MAKE A CONNECTION

Creating a great experience for your guests is the number one priority of a server.  Any server will tell you that they have at least one million things running through their mind during a shift. They are juggling lots of tables at various different stages of their meals and could have drinks up at the bar food in the kitchen and all while a table was just sat. So multi-tasking is at the top of the list.

Servers need to be able to manage the experience your customer has which means not reverting to robot status by just taking, entering, and fulfilling your guests’ orders. The effort needs to be taken to have a personal connection with the guests as this will have a drastic impact on tips, sales, and restaurant’s overall performance.

Lets help here, with some tips:

  • Definitely don’t divulge your life story every time, it can be as simple as introducing yourself
  • Writing a quick “thank you” on the check.
  • Telling a quick joke
  • Offer detailed recommendations
  • Gage your customers everyone is different, so some might enjoy a bit more personal touches, while others will want to be left alone.

BE PREPARED FOR NITTY GRITTY WORK

A good server is always ready to put in the work regardless of the nature of a task. You’ll see them doing crappy jobs that people hate doing like filling condiments, restocking napkins and preparing linens without complaining and that’s what sets them apart.

You too can help prepare your servers for grunt work by making them run their plates, clean their section, and do any other tasks you have in the restaurant.

Incorporating jobs that lack the glamor and prestige will help you test your servers’ limits to see how much they want to excel and how much they can take. Also, it’ll enable you to see which servers are okay with working crummy shifts and hours that everyone typically hates.

Top servers are usually ready to take whatever sections/tables/tasks their managers give them.

HANDLE SQUATTERS CAREFULLY

Squatters, or whatever you call them are honestly the bane of every restaurant server’s existence.  They sit at your table for what feels like forever either after they’ve paid, or even before. Every time you go up to offer the check they say they are ok “for now” sometimes giving false hope that more is to be ordered.

It’s cool that your guests are having a nice time and want to stay, but they are don’t realize they are holding up the flow of your seatings. Whilst one server is waiting for a table to pack up and head home, another gets double-sat, sending them into a “weeds” while an even longer line starts to form at the door.

It’s frustrating because they are costing the restaurant and the server money. However, you need to be careful in how you kindly suggest them to leave without sounding rude. Its a case by case situation, so again gage the people and your relationship you’ve had with them throughout their dining. I used to say ” Hey , its been great having you, but can you move over to the bar to continue with your drinks? We have a long line of hungry customers.” 9/10 times it worked fine, and you will get customers who get offended but just handle with care.

BEING PROACTIVE

Most servers know that some customers are unbelievably easy to handle while others sitting at separate tables can be incredibly difficult. What they aren’t aware of are the steps they can take to make things go as smoothly as possible when do get a high maintenance group.

For example, after they’ve served meals on one of their tables, rather than asking whether patrons need anything in general, they can ask about specific items such as refills, utensils or condiments.

By specifically calling items out, servers can minimize their trips over an extra spoon or a bottle of ketchup because the diner forgot to request it the first time around. Also, a proactive server can make your restaurant appear as detailed oriented and genuinely caring of its customers.

Moreover, it goes without saying, but refilling glasses before they are empty is always an indication of good service and shows that you’ve employed top servers at your restaurant.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

5 Secondary revenue streams for your restaurant

The restaurant business is competitive so you might need to look at a revenue boost for the day-to-day business.  You will need to look at more ways to come up with additional income that doesn’t require you discounting products or cutting back on staff.  Lets get creative and help you monetize on all facets of your operation to generate more money.

See five secondary revenue sources for your restaurant below:

Boost your take-out business

In a recent survey, around 60 per cent of consumers said that they purchased take-out food at least once a week. In today’s fast-paced society, it’s not surprising that sales of take-out meals will continue to grow each year. Consider ramping up your take-out business by giving out take-out menus, creating a take-out counter with a refrigerated unit for selling beverages inside your restaurant and having parking spots reserved for take-out customers. Design special boxed meals or value meals for your take-out operation, and promote more family dining options. Don’t forget to make sure your set up for online ordering.

Offer Special Events

Themed event nights can bring in your most loyal customers and serve as an excellent way to attract new patrons. While you can go as big as you want, these nights don’t have to be over the top. Simply host the night and spread the word on social media. Some common ideas include:

  • Trivia night
  • Award show-themed events
  • Company sponsored dinners
  • Live music

Be a Vendor for Special Events, Conventions, and Festivals

Some restaurants offer catering services on the side; but if you don’t have the resources to start a side catering business, become a vendor for special events, business conventions, or music and art festivals. Very often, there is a small buy-in to join a festival and application to fill out. If accepted, you can earn a sizable profit, in addition to the sales coming in from your brick-and-mortar shop. To optimize this venture, apply for special events that your target customer would attend. Plus if they like your food they will make a trip to your restaurant.

Sell Restaurant Merchandise

You don’t need to be a chain restaurant or have a top chef in the kitchen to start selling restaurant merchandise. With a loyal customer base, a clever name, or an addictive secret sauce, you can get started.

If your in a tourist destination make sure you capitalize on restaurant merch, but follow these guidelines:

1. Make sure you reflect your companies brand. We can use the beachcomber in Wellfleet, Cape Cod for an example. They are a family oriented beachside bar and restaurant. They sell apparel for all sizes, beer koozies, keychains etc. Something for everyone.

2.  Be creative. Merchandise should be an extension of your brand. Cafe Milagro, a popular restaurant on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast that began as a coffee roasting company, decided to do both. They sell bags of their own gourmet coffee in their gift shop and even have a website where vacationers can purchase more when they’re craving a fresh cup of Costa Rican coffee.

3. Display your merch front and center. Be proud of your restaurant merchandise and make sure customers know they can buy something! Additionally, if you are selling food items like a sauce or special salt, put bottles on every table so customers can experiment on their own.

4. Be open to collaborations with local businesses or other brands. Make a strategic partnership with a complementary company to put your restaurant in front of new customers.

Offer a wider menu range

People’s eating habits are slowly moving from the traditional three square meals a day to six snacks a day. Your restaurant or foodservice operation can benefit from this shift of the traditional meal by offering a wider range of meals like all-morning breakfast, afternoon snacks or late-night menus, as well as brunch on the weekends. However, you will need a marketing plan to alert your regular customers, as well as new customers about your new hours and menus.

Being open to new revenue streams can help you increase profits and identify events that may work well enough to permanently incorporate into your sales strategy.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

Why you should integrate accounting systems with your POS

Financial planning plays a major role in any restaurant. Your finances are one of your most valuable resources and how you manage them affects the growth and success of your establishment. But this isn’t the only reason why careful financial planning is crucial. As an owner, you need to keep a finger on the pulse of your restaurant.

Do you know where you could be saving money? Do you know where you could be making money? Can you gain a holistic view of your finances with ease? If you can’t answer “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time you considered integrating your financial planning accounting software with your POS system.

Why you should integrate?

Around 82% of businesses fail because of cash flow problems. This isn’t just about money it also includes the time it takes to manage finances, and these time-consuming financial tasks collectively account for up to three weeks of full time work a year. Your POS system is central to your restaurant and can update financial data in real-time, incorporating everything from sales to inventory. This saves time and decreases the risk of human error.

So here are just a few reasons successful businesses integrate accounting systems with their POS solutions.

1) Streamline bookkeeping and accounting operations
Anyone who works in multiple systems knows what a headache it is to enter data twice. Accounting integrations allow you to sync data such as sales, time sheets, inventory, and more. These metrics flow seamlessly from your POS to your accounting package, freeing you from manually sifting through documents or worrying about the “human error” factor during data entry. Enjoy the peace of mind that your data will accurately and automatically sync between your POS and accounting package.

2) Updated vendor and customer information
Your POS will seamlessly integrate with your accounting software so that changes to vendor and customer data is saved across both platforms. It also decreases chances of billing errors because creditors’ info is always automatically up-to-date.

3) Save time with automation
Efficiency is key to a successful business. Manage all your data through your POS and let your accounting integration do the magic for you. Automation will give you accurate data and product information at your fingertips, saving you time and energy for other areas of your business.

4) Updated vendor and customer information
Your POS seamlessly integrates with your accounting software so that changes to vendor and customer data is saved across both platforms. It also decreases chances of billing errors because creditors’ info is always automatically up-to-date.

5) Better manage employee time
Configure your employee time management process so that payroll data loads directly into your accounting software. You’ll be able to more closely monitor when employees clock in and clock out and identify times when you can optimize your labor for additional cost savings.

The seamless integration between your POS system and accounting software gives you an advantage when it comes to your financial planning. You can easily gain a holistic view of your business, and have empowering financial information to substantiate your business decisions. More and more restaurants are turning to technology to help streamline operations.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

The beginners guide to starting a restaurant

Almost everyone dreams of owning their own restaurant, bar or coffee shop at some stage. How difficult can it be to run? How difficult can it be to make money? The reality is that the restaurant business is one of the toughest. Starting a restaurant is an ambitious undertaking. Many restaurants fail within a few years because of poor planning and a lack of understanding. A restaurant is a business that needs to be run with precision to ensure that profit margins are in line.

GETTING THE CAPITAL

We don’t want to scare you, but lets be honest right from the start. You need cash money to get this business started. Whether you decide to buy a franchise, partnering or go solo opening up a restaurant means you need some serious cash.

So if you don’t have someone personally investing in your idea you can look into the following:

Working capital loans. A working capital loan is a loan that is taken to finance your everyday operations. These loans are not used to buy long-term assets or investments and are, instead, used to provide the working capital that covers short-term operational needs

Lines of credit. If you’re approved for a business line of credit, you’ll get a maximum credit amount but will only have to pay what you use. Like a credit card, the line of credit constantly revolves. As you pay your balance, you’ll have more credit to draw on for future expenses.

Equipment and technology loans.  Did you even know you can get loans on this? Equipment and technology are necessities in starting a restaurant in this day and age. Make sure you negotiate with your bank or service provider so you can obtain loans for kitchen equipment and restaurant technology. These costs alone are the most expensive in getting your business started. Many point of sale providers, offer 0% financing to offset the initial cost of the technology.

CREATING A BUSINESS PLAN

Having a thorough business plan is essential when reaching out to investors and applying for restaurant loans to start your restaurant. It will also help you develop your strategy and flesh out the feasibility of your restaurant’s details. Below are the main components of a restaurant business plan.

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview and Description
  • Market Analysis (target market, location analysis, competitive analysis)
  • Business Offerings
  • Management
  • Marketing and Public Relations Strategies
  • Financial Projection (investment plan, projected profit and loss statement, break-even analysis, expected cash flow)

FINDING THE RIGHT LOCATION IS KEY

When choosing a location for your new restaurant, the following features are among the most important:

  • Visibility and accessibility. Select a spot that can be seen by those driving or walking by. You should also look for an area that gets plenty of passersby on foot or in cars. In addition, consider if there is parking and ease of access by foot or car.
  • The demographics. Ensure the target market of your restaurant matches the demographics of the area.
  • Labor costs and minimum wage. It’s important to ensure that the labor costs of an area don’t cut into your profits. You will also want to have an idea of what employees might expect to make based on the location.
  • The competition of the area. Some nearby competition can help with marketing. But it’s wise to have enough of a distance that you can still guarantee a solid pool of customers who won’t be easily drawn to another similar place.

OBTAINING THE CORRECT RESTAURANT LICENSES AND PERMITS

To open a new restaurant, you’ll need to obtain several federal, state, and local permits and licenses. It can be worthwhile to have legal counsel when filing for restaurant permits and licenses to make sure you complete every necessary step.

Depending on your concept and the city or state where you open your restaurant, the necessary licenses and permits you’ll need — and the costs to acquire them — will be different. Some licenses are required for every restaurant (i.e. business licenses), while others depend on your restaurant concept (i.e. liquor licenses).

Here are some other licenses and permits you’ll most likely need:

  • Employee identification number
  • Certificate of occupancy
  • Sign permit
  • Food service license

COMING UP WITH YOUR UNIQUE CONCEPT

When starting a restaurant, it’s important to have a clear concept and brand. Your restaurant concept includes the service style of your restaurant, the food you serve, and the ambiance of your restaurant. This goes hand-in-hand with your brand, which forms your restaurant’s identity, personality, and mission. Your brand is the intangible force behind your restaurant concept, and your restaurant concept is kind of like your brand in action.

Think about what you want your establishment to be known for? Is it fresh local meat and produce or is it authentic Italian cuisine? Find your niche and own it.

INVESTING IN RESTAURANT TECHNOLOGY

The days of hand writing customer orders is old, inefficient and leaves lots of room for error.

Most restaurant guests are expecting technology when they come to your establishment. They want, quick , easy and painless service.

To be successful, you’ll need a modern and reliable POS system that can offer pay-at-the-table devices, online ordering, inventory management, guest feedback options, and much more. It will only help you run your business much more efficiently.

CREATING YOUR STELLAR MENU ITEMS

Before you open your restaurant, you’ll want to establish some basic food items that your menu will feature. Deciding what will be on your menu is important when figuring out the equipment you need, the staff you will hire, and the crowd you hope to draw.

Try testing your menu ideas and approach building your menu like an experiment. Consider having a dinner party featuring your proposed menu where you ask people for their honest feedback.

Then comes the not so exciting part, you’ll need to price your menu. This is where cost of goods sold, food cost, sales forecasting, inventory, profit margins, and other restaurant metrics come into play.

HIRING THE RIGHT STAFF

One major step of opening a restaurant is hiring staff to carry out the operation of your restaurant every day. Consider all roles that need to be filled at your particular restaurant before hiring staff. This may include human resources management and supervisors, food and beverage purchasing, receiving and storing products, food preparation, foodservice, food cleaning and dishwashing, marketing and sales, public relations, accounting and auditing, and bar services.

For both front- and back-of-house staff, look for candidates with prior experience and a supreme ability to multitask and to work quickly and efficiently. All employees should work well with others and be able to stay calm under pressure. Front-of-house staff in particular should exude exceptional social skills.

Though the list will vary based on the unique needs of your restaurant business, there are a few fundamental positions you will likely need to fill when opening your restaurant:

  • Executive chef
  • General manager
  • Sous chef
  • Prep cooks
  • Servers
  • Bartenders
  • Hosts
  • Food runners and bussers
  • Dishwasher

BUILDING A STRONG MARKETING PLAN

Starting a restaurant is serious business in the competitive market. You need a strong marketing plan to help you bring in and engage with your customers.  Everything from your opening day initiative to your weekly specials should be included. Don’t forget how important your restaurant’s digital presence is with a carefully designed website, and a social media and email marketing plan you will for sure catch the eye of future guests.

When writing out your marketing plan you should always remember it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing your business. It should be personalized to your restaurant and your concept.

There’s nothing better than running a restaurant. You get to create an atmosphere and cuisine that people will love, but it comes with a lot of hard work. Start planning today with our helpful tips!

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

7 restaurant metrics to measure the success of your business

Running a restaurant isn’t easy, and requires a lot of work starting in the kitchen, to the office, and out on the dining floor. However, it doesn’t end there. Math is a key element in the success of your business.

There are several restaurant metrics you need to measure to ensure your restaurant is running profitably. By calculating these metrics, you as a  restaurant owner can identify the performance of your restaurant and also determine the areas that require any improvements.

Success is created overnight. It requires thoughtful planning, hard work and execution. The below restaurant metrics will make your job easier and help you determine your areas of concern. In a nut shell all your costs combined effect the net profit of your business; you cannot expect to make one change and  see a significant difference.  This is why you need to look at your business as a whole and  keep a track of all the metrics to run a more profitable restaurant business.

1. COST OF GOODS SOLD (CoGS)

Cost of Goods Sold is the cost required to make each item on your restaurant’s menu. It also represents the total amount you need to spend on the inventory to acquire the raw material required for cooking over a period of time. It helps you determine if the menu items are priced correctly or if the food cost is high.

How to calculate the Cost of Goods Sold

For accurate COGs, calculate them on a weekly basis – same time, same day. Here are the numbers you need for COGs restaurant metrics:

Beginning Inventory: This is the value of inventory you have in your physical location on the designated day/time you do the COGs calculation.

Purchases: What you bought throughout the week from your distributor.

Ending Inventory: The total amount of inventory remaining at week’s end.

This formula will help you calculate the Cost of Goods Sold

CoGS = (Beginning inventory of F&B) + (Purchases) – (Ending inventory)

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Technology can streamline the time-consuming process of taking inventory. Make sure your restaurant is using a modern POS system to make your inventory tracking more accurate.

2. LABOR COST PERCENTAGE

The Labor Cost Percentage is the percentage of the revenue that pays for the restaurant labor. It is the second prime expense for a restaurant business after the food cost. In order to yield more profits, this labor cost percentage should be low.

How to calculate the Labor Cost Percentage

Calculate the labor cost percentage of your restaurant using this formula

Labor Cost Percentage = Labor / sales

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Use software that integrates with your digital POS to post staff schedules – as 1 in 3 restaurant and bar owners are doing today according to the National Restaurant Association. Labor softwares claim users spend 80% less time scheduling staff and see reduced labor costs of up to 3%.

3. PRIME COST %

The Prime Cost is the total sum of your labor costs and the cost of goods sold(CoGS), including the food and liquor cost. It represents the restaurant’s largest expenses, it affects your entire operations including how you price the menu, create your budget and set the goals for your restaurant.

Knowing – and then optimizing – your prime cost ensures your restaurant is a profitable enterprise. Prime cost is a percentage that shows how much of your total monthly sales are dedicated to covering variable expenses…and how much is left over for your gross profit.

How to calculate the Prime Cost Percentage

Use this formula to calculate the Prime Cost & Prime cost % of your restaurant

Step 1. Prime Cost = CoGS + Total labor cost

Step 2. Prime Cost /Total monthly sales= Prime cost %

Remember prime cost ignores your fixed costs (rent, utilities, and other restaurant metrics that don’t change much). Instead, prime cost focuses on the two biggest variables you can control to become more profitable: labor and COGs.

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Work backwards with your restaurant metrics- If you know the net income you want to achieve each month, and your fixed costs are set, you can work on lowering prime costs to increase gross profits – and meet your goal.

4. BREAK-EVEN POINT

The break-even point is one of the most essential restaurant metrics to calculate. It helps you determine how your sales should be performing to earn back what you have invested. You can use this number to forecast how long will it take for you to earn back what you have invested in your restaurant business. It is also a crucial number if you are looking for investors.

How to calculate the Break-even Point

Break-even analysis can be challenging for restaurants: You’re measuring today’s business performance with tools and information based on historical accounting data from the past.

Your break-even point helps you understand how many people — based on a determined average price point per guest — your restaurant needs to serve in order for the business to make money. To do this, it’s important to conduct accurate cost accounting; it’s also important for your point of sale (POS) sales reporting to deliver accurate data on guest averages.

Break-even analysis also focuses on making sense of your fixed and variable costs. Here’s a breakdown of the two.

Fixed costs: These fixed costs are bills that don’t fluctuate from month to month. Fixed costs are things like rent, utilities, and payroll.

Variable costs: These are things like food and drinks, cleaning supplies, labor, credit card processing fees. They are costs that can fluctuate from month to month

Break-even Point = Total fixed cost / (total sales– total variable costs)/total sales

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Be sure to revisit your break even point analysis frequently when you have real data to review.

5. FOOD COST PERCENTAGE

It is the difference between the cost of creating a specific item on the menu and the selling price of the food item. This restaurant metrics is important because you have to have an idea about how much you are selling a particular item for and if it is profitable for your restaurant business or not.

The food cost formula is one of the simplest restaurant metrics to run. That’s good news since it’s critical for determining profitability.

Basically, food cost percentage is the percentage of your total sales that are spent on the actual food or drinks. What’s left over is your gross profit. We’ll be referring to food cost in this section, but it works for beverages, too.

Again, the goal is to lower your food cost percentage so you have more profits. But what’s a good food cost percentage?

Ideal Food Cost Percentage: 25%-35%

How to calculate the Food Cost Percentage

Here’s the formula to calculate your Food Cost Percentage

Food Cost Percentage = Item Cost / Selling Price

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Don’t forget “extras” when calculating your COGs in these restaurant metrics. It could be the paper wrapping around a burger or garnish.

6. PROFIT MARGIN AND RATES

There are two major profit margins and rates to look at. These are gross profit and net income. Though the two are commonly mixed up, they are technically separate accounting concepts. Gross profit margin indicates the revenues you earn, net of cost of goods sold. This total equals the money that’s used to pay down operational and fixed expenses.

Gross profit does not account for wages, rent, heat, utilities, etc. Those expenses are instead accounted for as part of net income. The net income rate reflects the percentage of total revenue that is truly left over when all costs are accounted for.

How to calculate the Gross Profit Margin

Calculate your restaurant’s Gross Profit Margin using this formula

Gross Profit = (Total sales-COGS)

Gross Profit Rate = (total sales-COGS)/Total Revenue *100

Net Income = (Total sales-Total costs)

Net Income Rate =(total sales-Total Costs)/Total Revenue *100

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To improve your restaurant profit margin you need to either increase sales volume relative to your expenses or decrease expenses relative to your sales volume.

7. INVENTORY TURNOVER RATION (ITR)

The Inventory turnover ratio is an important restaurant metric that refers to the number of times your restaurant has sold out its total inventory during a period of time. This number prevents you from overstocking or under stocking your inventory and also keeps a tab on how often you use your entire inventory.

How to calculate ITR

This is how you can calculate your restaurant’s inventory turnover ratio

Inventory Turnover Ratio = [CoGS / (Beginning inventory + Ending inventory) / 2]

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You also want to avoid selling out of goods, as this might upset customers and cost you revenue. By studying your ITR, you can optimize your inventory to reach a happy medium.

By constantly monitoring your key performance metrics, you can adapt your strategy and operations quickly and effectively. Running a successful restaurant is hard work, and finance is just one small part of it.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

Point of sale and reservations integrations can streamline business in your restaurant

Integrating your POS system with a reservation app doesn’t just make sense, it makes you cents. An integrated restaurant reservation system allows you to keep on top of your bookings and waitlist, all from your POS terminal. There is no point taking all this information down in a reservations book where it is impossible to search, no sales are linked, and customer details are sketchy at best. Integrating your reservation system streamlines both your and your customers’ experience. Their booking is sent directly to your POS system, meaning neither of you are tied up on the phone.

Today’s reservation software can do a lot to help streamline the experience for your guests like the following:

24/7 access to making a reservation: Reservation websites allow customers to book a table whenever they get a craving, even when your restaurant is closed. So you won’t miss out on any bookings.

Changing of reservation details: Without having to phone your establishment a guest can cancel a reservation or change the time in just a few clicks.

Less time spent on the phone: Unless your restaurant calls to confirm reservations, there is no time wasted on phone calls back and forth with the guest. In fact, some software will send automated text messages to remind your guests about there bookings and ask if they want to cancel or keep it.

Less room for communication errors: As long as the guest provides the right information, there is less room for error and you’ll receive accurate information every time.

Did you know if can also help your team better serve your guests too? See three ways below:

1. Enhance Guest Experience

Some reservation apps are super basic, but others allow your staff to view guest names , dietary preferences, and reservation notes making an experience extra special.

2. Streamline services

Now that your guests have arrived an integration  allows for a streamlined process from the moment the party is seated to the second the bill is paid.  From seating to payment and everything between. With the linking to your POS everyone can track the dining experience so you know when the table will turn and be ready for its next paying customers.

With automatic updates sent between the POS, rather than the servers and hosts, staff will be able to focus on guests and cut down on confusing communication during a busy shift.

3. Be prepared

All staff members can access information that can help you better prepare for every shift with enhanced guest insights that are recorded right in your POS terminals. By checking in on the profiles of guests that have reservations at your restaurant, your team will be able to adjust inventory levels accordingly. You’ll be thankful for the extra bottles of champagne you have on hand when that 50th birthday brunch party shows up.

Integrating your POS system with your reservation system saves you time and money, and improves your customers’ experience.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany