Running a successful business can be a highly complicated endeavor. The service industry in particular is challenging due to the high volume of customers and employees that are a part of the business. Keeping all of the pieces moving can be an overwhelming task, so it is imperative that you find ways to streamline your business whenever possible.
Fortunately, service-sector technology has improved dramatically over the past several years. Processes that used to be incredibly time-consuming and difficult can now be automated using the right software. Choosing the right technology for your business will allow you to take some of the logistical and administrative difficulty out of running a business, and instead let you focus on growing your business and your profitability.
Point of Sale (POS) systems are one specific area of technology that has made great strides over the past decade. The best POS software and hardware providers now offer features that can save you a great deal of time and frustration. Some of the most useful features include:
Automated Pricing and Discounts
Whether you are offering a happy hour or a Sunday two-for-one special, making sure that your staff charges the proper amount can be difficult to oversee. On the one hand, you don’t want customers to get upset that they were overcharged during a promotion. On the other hand, you don’t want your employees extending happy hours or promotions in the hopes of getting a larger tip. Using a POS system that automates promotional pricing and discounts can save you countless headaches while ensuring a fair and positive customer experience.
Shrinkage is an unfortunate reality for many business owners. While the vast majority of employees are hard-working and honorable, there will always be one or two that abuse your trust in order to profit. Inventory tracking can be included in POS software, and makes it much more difficult for anyone to steal from the stock room. Since all items are tracked, there will typically be a quick and obvious red flag if inventory simply goes missing. Also, the fact that your employees know that inventory is now tracked should in and of itself discourage most from trying to steal in the first place.
Customer Informing and Interaction
You can now create a new level of customer involvement and interaction by adding customers to a loyalty list. If they choose to register with your business, their spending can be tracked, and you can offer special thank-you and promotions to them specifically whenever you choose. In addition, you can let them know about upcoming specials via SMS, e-mail, or phone calls.
Mobile POS and Faster Order Taking
With the right POS system, you can have your bartenders or waiters take orders directly onto a smartphone or tablet. In addition to helping prevent incorrect orders from being taken, this can also significantly speed up the time it takes to prepare an order. Instead of needing to wait for the handwritten order to make it to the kitchen or bar, the order can now instantly appear on a smartphone or tablet in the kitchen or behind the bar. This can shave several minutes off the time it takes to go from ordering a meal to having it served.