6 Must-Have POS Features Every Successful Restaurant Should Use
Go beyond fleeting trends with a must-have business management toolkit that is here to stay - a reliable and feature-rich POS system
Investment in a smart and innovative system will unify front of house, back office and kitchen operations. Specialist software features offer complete command of all areas of the business. Modern POS, or EPOS, systems are adept at streamlining a multitude of hospitality operations – from QSR to fine dining. So how do you choose the best for your business? Let’s take a look at the must-have management EPOS features and their proven benefits.
Sales Management Tools
What this feature does: EPOS systems can provide granular sales data with a full breakdown of transactions by date, location and specific tills. Many EPOS systems offer real-time reporting and integrations with popular business accounting tools such as Sage and Xero.
Key benefits: Data trends are reflected in sales reports, providing opportunities to refine your operational strategies accordingly. Remote access means you can view sales figures on the go and accounting software integrations save valuable time.
Customer Relationship Management & Loyalty
What this feature does: EPOS systems now connect businesses with your customers on a whole new level. By building your own CRM database you'll have access to valuable customer data. Built-in features help you manage your email marketing campaigns, customise offers and personalise promotions based on customer behaviour.
Why you need it: Turning your attention to customer loyalty is paramount in hospitality - and technology is here to help. Tracking spending habits will help adapt promotions for a seamless omni-channel customer experience. According to Como, developer of white-label loyalty apps, using a customer engagement platform can increase customer spending by up to 41%.
We asked Michal Levitan, VP of Business Development at Como, how businesses can gain a better understanding of their customers:
"Integration between point of sale software loyalty apps provides businesses with powerful insights in their EPOS system that allow them to know their customers, personalise their experience and grow visits and spend."
Staff & Rota Management
What this feature does: Hospitality businesses tend to have a high staff turnover so keeping track of your staff is essential. You can do this with ease using an EPOS system, even across multiple locations. A smart EPOS system will also give you insights into performance and HR budgets with granular business reports. The more sophisticated EPOS systems provide an array of customisation options, so the system is configured to your exact requirements.
Key benefits: Build an organised staff database, set shift patterns, track attendance and send staff notifications - all from one system. The obvious benefits would be increased productivity and better communication with your staff.
What this feature does: One of the most important tools, however often overlooked, is stock management. This type of EPOS feature will help you keep one centralised product catalogue. You can manage stock across many locations, keep organised product categorisation. Smart EPOS systems even allow you to set up management alerts and one-click re-ordering when an item is running low.
Why you need it: We spoke with Maher Al Hajjar, Operations Director of the popular cafe franchise, Caffé Concerto Group, to understand how using an advanced EPOS system supported business expansion:
"The [3S POS EPOS] Enterprise Stock Control module allowed our branch managers and chefs to have tight control on their stock levels and costs, whilst the Purchase Order Manager gave them the flexibility to order directly from suppliers offering the best and freshest produce. As an enterprise system, our procurement teams in head office are able to monitor and manage all branch activities to minimise stock costs and wastage at all times.”
Graphical Table Management & Reservations
What this feature does: This popular EPOS feature lends restaurants a helping hand with reservation management. The EPOS provider will build a ‘Graphical Table Layout’ to represent your exact seating arrangement. This will include accurate covers and table locations. The front facing display can be customised with multiple areas and ability to switch between them with ease. A great feature for optimising table allocation is being able to specify minimum and maximum covers and turn times for each table, so allocation can be calculated automatically.
Key benefits: Staff will be able to effectively manage customer reservations, from walk-ins and online platforms alike, and swiftly view orders for each table. This kind of feature will undoubtedly enhance communication between front of house and kitchen staff, while improving the overall customer experience.
What this feature does: A good EPOS system will give you access to valuable data and reporting tools. To make the most of these, look out for systems with customisation and file exporting options to give you the most flexibility. Business reports can be generated for any business data, from sales and marketing to HR and reservations. Many systems now offer access to your business data remotely, via a web portal.
Key benefits: You’ll be able to gain insights into trends and business performance in relation to your goals. Remote access is extremely helpful for business owners and managers who are often required to make fast, but well informed, business decisions.
Lastly, you may already be using more than one business tool or platform to keep track of operational processes. Choosing an EPOS system to fit your business shouldn’t mean giving up other tools that already work well for you.
For example, if you’re a restaurant owner with a steady delivery revenue stream, you’ll want to manage all types of sales and orders from your EPOS system. Look out for systems that integrate with online ordering (Live Pepper), driver management (Orderlord) and popular delivery aggregates such as Deliveroo, JustEat or UberEats.
Ability to integrate EPOS menus with in-store digital signage boards gives you a competitive edge, as you’ll save time updating content and reduce printing costs. Ask your EPOS provider if they are able to offer this kind of service.
The hospitality sector can now benefit from these great technological innovations, driven by the need to streamline everyday business processes. Businesses that foster the shift towards digital benefit from valuable data insights resulting in sales growth, customer retention and reduced business costs.
What are your thoughts on these must-have features? How is EPOS serving your business needs, do you have a favourite feature?