According to a study conducted by POS software research firm Software Advice (SA), 55% of restaurants surveyed were not using any management or point-of-sale software, but instead relied on manual methods like hand-written tickets and traditional cash registers for restaurant operations. It comes as quite a surprise that more businesses have not already switched to more time-efficient techniques for management, because the restaurant industry is expected to bring in $683.4 billion in 2014.
Being a part of the ever-growing restaurant industry is hard enough but with technology innovations moving more quickly than ever, how can you be sure your restaurant is up-to-speed for the industry? Based on the research compiled by SA, integrated restaurant management suites loaded with convenient features seem to be the best way to keep up with restaurant management demands. Of the restaurant buyers surveyed by SA, 61% said they would only be interested in an integrated software suite, and less than 1% said they would be alright using multiple products for management.
Many restaurant owners have chosen SalesVu for their business management needs, one of the more popular mobile solutions on the market. SalesVu can solve all the pressing challenges in today’s restaurant industry and provides an intuitive software management suite which can be accessed from anywhere you have internet!
SA collected the following data for
Top Requested Restaurant POS Software Features
This graph reflects 48% of restaurant owners surveyed wanted inventory management, 34% wanted sales tracking, 23% wanted employee scheduling and 18% iPad/tablet compatibility.
I. Intuitive Inventory Tracking:
Restaurants everywhere are losing countless man hours performing the tedious task taking inventory on a regular basis. This means keeping someone on the clock to count all products in the store, decide which vendors need to be contacted for orders and compare sales data to current inventory to analyze what is selling best. This time-consuming process runs up labor costs and does not directly contribute to sales. In order to keep up with the demands of today’s industry, restaurants should seek to move towards a more efficient inventory tracking alternative. An ideal solution would automatically deduct products from inventory count after each sale is made and import that information to a web-friendly report which would allow you to view the details of your inventory from wherever you are. Systems today even encompass more convenient elements like the ability to automatically email vendors for more product when inventory count drops below a certain amount, generating profitability reports to easily show which products have the largest profit margin and managing transferred products between locations with specifiable delivery and shipping preferences.
i. Case Study: Sugar House Coffee
Restaurant inventory tracking can be especially challenging depending on the type of restaurant you own. Sugar House Coffee manger Emily Potts found herself frustrated with their current system which was “a very outdated PC running Coffee Shop Manager” because it wasn’t very intuitive and she couldn’t take it to events while catering. Since switching to SalesVu’s Restaurant Management Suite, Potts has enjoyed the ability to not only manage inventory but also easily keep track of employee hours.
“We are always getting different pastries from our baker and I need to be able to add a product quickly,” says Potts. “I also love that there is an employee time-clock on the POS – it’s nice to have everything on the same program. It makes payroll quick and easy!”
II. Real Time Reporting:
One key component of efficient restaurant management is being able to view sales statistics even when you aren’t in the store. With some of the cloud-based solutions offered today, you have the capability to see real time reports of what is going on in your store by logging into a cloud-portal on the internet. A seamlessly integrated system would allow you to see things such as average ticket sales for the day, returns/exchanges processed, and breakdown by payment method for the time period you specify. A reporting feature such as this one would allow for important sales data to be analyzed even when you aren’t present in the store, allowing you to always best make decisions for the company.
ii. Case Study: Shades of Sugar Bakery
Autumn Surface, owner of Shades of Sugar Bakery (Richardson, TX) found herself searching for an all-in-one restaurant management solution after struggling to keep up with employee hours, sales trends, expenses and invoices. Once she decided to switch to SalesVu, Surface was able to make better data driven decisions about which products to keep on her shelves and which to discontinue.
“I like that at any given time I can pull a report and see exactly what is happening financially at the bakery,” said Surface, owner of Shades of Sugar bakery. “I can input my recipes and it will keep track of my inventory and my employees clock-in using SalesVu. It truly does everything! SalesVu has combined all of those [features] into one easy application and made my time mine again, so that I can do what I enjoy doing, BAKING.”
III. Efficient Employee Scheduling:
In order to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth, the POS system you select should not only be able to accept payments for your product, it should also have some features that will make managing your staff easier. Traditional cash register POS systems make it very hard to track sales by employee, a component that is helpful when trying to make an accurate labor report. Subscribe to a mobile POS that allows for employees to clock-in and out, trade shifts and schedule time-off requests. A cloud-based system would allow you to manage your staff’s schedule, adjust compensation and view labor reports from wherever you have internet access. Some services even allow you to sync your schedule with iCal, Google Calendar or send your employees text message notifications about their shifts. A feature like this would benefit your restaurant greatly because your employees information will be stored all in once place. Everything from compensation to shift reports, and even performance reviews can be managed easily at the click of your mouse.
iii. Case Study: Sweet Freedom Bakery
Finding an all-encompassing POS can be a challenge, owner of Sweet Freedom Bakery, Jen Kremer realized after searching the market that bigger companies would not necessarily mean better services. Sweet Freedom needed a new POS because their current solution, Quickbooks POS, was dated, “horrible” with tracking items, had no timekeeping and did not integrate well with credit card processing.
“We narrowed every option on the market down to two: SalesVu and Square,” said Kremer. “Obviously upfront costs pushed us in the direction of these two and ultimately SalesVu won our loyalty because of employee timekeeping. Other items were also charming like gift card integration, quickbooks integration, etc.”
IV. Tablet Takeover:
According to SA’s research, traditional POS systems provided by companies like Micros, Adelo and Digital Dining have been trusted by restaurant owners for years. However, the costly set-up and high maintenance requirements of these terminals is turning away many small restaurant establishments. Not only do these devices take up a considerable amount of space in a restaurant; when they malfunction or need to be repaired it often costs owners a considerable amount of time and money to get the system fixed. Because of this, we have seen a recent shift in the restaurant industry towards the use of tablets for point-of-sale transactions. Tablets are not only smaller and less expensive to purchase, they also provide complete mobility and in the event that one is broken or malfunctioning, you could simply pick up another tablet and process transactions on that.
“This curiosity mirrors a trend we see in the restaurant industry at large.” says Craig Borowski, POS Researcher at Software Advice, “Across the nation, restaurants are experimenting with tablets, using them to replace menus and even replace waitstaff in the ordering process. Early reports suggest that tablet use could even lead to more spending per table.”
iv. Case Study: Cloud Cafe
Denae Dehoyos, general manager at Cloud Cafe (Katy, TX) sought an intuitive restaurant POS system because she wanted a product that would be consistent whether they were in the store or at an event. Since adopting SalesVu, Dehoyos has been thrilled with the convenience of an iPad POS, as well as the reporting capabilities SalesVu can offer.
“As we are an all tech-savvy staff at the cafe, we enjoy having up to date technology at our fingertips – literally! It’s so much easier to just have a tablet or iPad (most of us here already own at least one) that we can pop a card reader on and handle our business… Since we already have phones and tablets handy. Why spend the money on old technology?” said Dehoyos, “We saved tons of money not having to hire an accountant for the company alone. SalesVu makes it easy to let anyone manage the finances.”
SalesVu and The Competition
What’s more? SalesVu has more features AND lower credit card processing rates than our leading competitor, Square!
When he began searching for a mobile POS system, K Bar K Ranch owner Kent Black started by looked into Square, who charges a fee of 2.75% of credit card sales for processing. “I noticed that SalesVu only charged 2.7% so I started looking into [that],” said Black. “I was impressed by all the features SalesVu offered both on the iPad as a POS device as well as the reporting software available online.”
We know you have many choices when selecting a mobile POS solution but here are some of the specific capabilities SalesVu can provide that many our competitors CANNOT.
With SalesVu you can
- Open and manage several tabs at once
- Allow customers to tip on paper receipt or on iPad screen
- Set up recurring time-based discounts for selected products (useful for things like happy hour!)
- Split checks
- Allow your employees to clock-in and clock-out
- Schedule employee shifts and allow employees to request trades
- Use fully-customizable, SalesVu compatible gift cards
- Generate an automated email campaign with discount codes based on rules that are proven to increase sales
- Build an ecommerce website for online ordering that is fully integrated with your in-store solution
- Table management
- Online reservations
- Manage inventory and transfers across multiple locations
- Easy multi-location management and reporting
- Free card reader with merchant account or option for external terminal
Purchasing the appropriate POS software for your restaurant may seem like a difficult process, but it’s important to know that a demanding industry doesn’t have to be demanding on your wallet as well. SalesVu’s Restaurant POS Bundle offers all of these highly-demanded features and more at a competitive rate. We encourage all interested parties to visit our website for more information SalesVu business management subscriptions, and sign up for a free 15 day trial of the Restaurant Bundle, today!
We’d like to thank POS technology research firm Software Advice for their detailed data collection.