Restaurant management involves so much more than just staffing and scheduling, ordering and operations. Luckily, restaurant point of sale (“POS”) systems allow operators to efficiently manage many of the most important aspects of their businesses in one place.
Point of sale software provides the tools necessary to tackle inventory management, sales reports, data analytics, payment processing, and much more. Keep reading to learn:
- What is a restaurant point of sale (POS)?
- What is a cloud-based POS, and how does it differ from a legacy POS?
- Why choose a cloud-based point of sale system for your restaurant?
- How to use point of sale software to collect guest data and elevate your hospitality
WHAT IS A RESTAURANT POINT OF SALE?
Savvy operators know that guests may come to your restaurant for great food, but they stay for exceptional hospitality. And while providing diners with out-of-this-world experiences is not rocket science, it does require intelligent management. Fortunately, a restaurant point of sale, or POS, system acts like Mission Control – seamlessly connecting and streamlining your front of house, kitchen and back-office operations in one place.
Point of sale software provides a true end-to-end solution for operators looking to up their hospitality game, and the best POS systems offer the benefits of intuitive table management along with online ordering, payment processing, real-time sales reporting, and robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology, just to name a few.
WHAT IS A CLOUD-BASED POS VERSUS A LEGACY POS?
There are two main categories of point of sale systems for restaurants: a cloud-based POS and a server-based or “legacy” POS.
Legacy point of sale systems run on a closed-loop, with data stored on local servers, meaning that information is accessible only through specific physical hardware in your restaurant.
Cloud-based point of sale software – also commonly referred to as a web-based or SaaS (Software as a Service) platform – allows data to be stored remotely, making it accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. With these major differences in mind, how do you know which point of sale system is right for your business?
THE BENEFITS OF A CLOUD-BASED POS SYSTEM FOR RESTAURANTS
Both legacy and cloud-based POS systems represent a significant business expense, and the decision between them must be carefully considered. Below, a side-by-side comparison of a few important factors will illustrate why more and more restaurant operators are choosing cloud-based POS solutions:
Cost: Requiring the purchase of dedicated hardware, a bulky back office computer and expensive software licenses, the startup costs for legacy POS systems can be enormous. Cloud-based POS systems, meanwhile, offer more compact (and affordable) hardware with subscription-based software fees.
Accessibility: Legacy POS systems store data on-site and require users to log in to fixed terminals, while cloud-based POS software allows for your database, storage, and even the software itself to be delivered over the internet. This means that restaurant operators can access data, make changes, and view real-time analytics remotely with an internet-enabled mobile device or through their web browser.
Growth Potential: With the proliferation of technologies like mobile POS systems and contactless payment, cloud-based POS software allows restaurant operators to effectively incorporate these innovations into their businesses. Centralized data management also means that venue-specific and group-wide changes can be implemented with the same level of ease, maintaining operational efficiency as your business grows.
Maintenance: Legacy POS systems require manual updates, a process that can be time-consuming, difficult and costly. Because cloud-based POS software is hosted online, your SaaS provider can make updates remotely and immediately on your behalf. This ensures that your business is fully up-to-date when it comes to information security data backup and more. The ongoing customer support available to cloud-based POS clients adds even more peace of mind.
UTILIZING POINT OF SALE SOFTWARE TO CREATE A BETTER GUEST EXPERIENCE
We’ve seen how today’s cloud-based point of sale solutions for restaurants can pave the way for operational improvements, but what about service? In today’s world, data is the key to unlocking incredible hospitality experiences for your guests. A cloud-based POS system allows restaurant operators to create robust client profiles, aggregating historical data based on their past visits and spend history, written reviews, and more.
From there, you can automatically segment your clients based on an endless array of criteria including the number of visits, average spend, and dietary preferences, just to name a few. By closely analyzing these guest behaviors, cloud-based POS software empowers restaurant operators to personalize the customer experience and create hyper-targeted marketing campaigns to boost incremental revenue while strengthening their guest relationships.
TODAY’S SOLUTIONS, TOMORROW’S SUCCESS
Hospitality is a challenging industry, and the complexities of running even a single venue can be overwhelming. That’s why more and more operators are choosing cloud-based point of sale systems for their restaurants, streamlining their operations while generating revenue and owning the guest relationship. This cost-effective, sustainable and scalable solution will help keep your businesses thriving for years to come.
SevenRooms can help set your restaurant up for success with our cloud-based point of sale software today. Book a demo to learn how.