Your POS is packed with data. Sales metrics, reports on the hours your staff have worked, inventory counts – data that tells the story of your restaurant if you look at it close enough. Knowing how to extract this POS data and the powerful insights within it, can help you make better, more informed business decisions for your restaurant.
Here are just a few powerful business insights you can gain from leveraging your POS reports.
1. What’s Your Venue’s Average Traffic?
Sure, you know your lunch rush starts at noon and your table with the view is always spoken for, but do you know what your average check size was last Thursday? Without a time machine and calculator in hand, probably not. With a quick glance at your Dashboard report, you can gain a better understanding of your customer's habits and effectively amplify their experience. For example, if you learn you seat significantly more couples on weeknights than weekends, why not consider introducing a sharing menu from Monday to Friday? Or, if you realize your patrons rarely spend more than $20 at lunch, try pairing soup with one of your entrees as a special for $25 – no one can say no to a good deal. Either way, you’ll end up with a slight increase in check sizes and a huge increase in customer satisfaction.
2. What Should You Offer as Your Next Special?
Restaurants offer specials for many reasons; you want to keep your kitchen staff inspired, you’re trying to make use of inventory that’s about to expire, or better yet – you’re looking to creative ways to increase your revenue. Whatever the reason, your POS reports can help you make the call. For example, your menu item sales reports show you’re chicken burritos are flying off the shelf, meanwhile, your beer sales are at an all time low. Why not offer a burrito and beer special? Your chicken burritos will continue to sell like hotcakes, while you’ll finally be able to move some of that excess beer inventory.
3. What Makes Your Staff Sweat?
Apart from angry customers and “surprise” back-to-back shifts, the details of your void and discount reports can shed a light on some of the not-so-obvious staff stressors. For example, if you notice a surge in discounts during your Thursday night shift, instead of jumping to conclusions, jump into your POS reports. Once there, you could discover a number of things; maybe your kitchen was short-staffed and stressing to keep up with demand, or you were down to two servers on the floor from your regular three, resulting in an influx of customer complaints, and therefore voids or discounts. With that realization, you’d have peace of mind knowing the increase in voids and discounts wasn’t a reflection of your food, but of your understaffed, overstressed employees who weren’t on their A-game. From there, you can make the necessary changes to your scheduling to make sure you don’t the situation doesn’t repeat itself down the road.
4. When is the Most Profitable Time in Your Restaurant?
While it it would be a no brainer if a fine-dining restaurant owner was asked whether their Friday night or Monday lunch shifts bring in more money, could they tell you how much they made on entrees at 7PM on Saturday? Probably not. By breaking your items down into different categories and measuring them against your Time of Day report, you can see plain and simple which hour brought in the most revenue, whether that was Thursday’s happy hour, or Saturday at 8PM with your dinner specials. With this insight, you could make plenty of smart business decisions; maybe you need to bring on more staff for your Friday night shift, or maybe you could afford to close the kitchen an hour earlier on Saturdays. Whatever the decision, your POS’s insights will help you confidently make it.
Your POS reports are home to tons of data ready and able to take your restaurant to the next level – start leveraging them.
Now, all you need is the POS that will give you these insights!
About the Author
Jackie is a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media strategist at TouchBistro. She covers the latest food, dining, and technology trends for the restaurant industry. A lover of all things coffee, Jackie’s hobbies include breakfast, lunch and dinner.More Content by Jackie Prange