10. You have employees.
If you have employees you are open to theft, sweet-hearting and careless mistakes. You need a point of sale system to manage your employees, enforce your policies and ensure that your money gets to you.
9. Pricing and Math Errors.
It is still amazing how many restaurants still use a calculator and hand written tickets. According to studies done by various institutions you are open to math and pricing mistakes totaling in excess of 1% of your annual volume. In a restaurant doing as little as $1,300 per day that would add up to $4,700 per year. To eliminate pricing and math errors you need a point of sale system.
8. Time in Attendance.
Employee payroll is one of the most overlooked and most easily managed portions of your profit and loss statement. If you have 12 employees and each of them clocks in 5 minutes early a day, that equates to 1 hour per day of extra payroll. Even with minimum wage plus benefits this could add up to $15 per day or over $5,460 per year. This figure doesn't take into account the total man-hours it takes to compute time cards and then report on the hours worked for each employee. This is time that you could be spending elsewhere. If you have a few as 5 employees you need a point of sale system.
7. Reducing Theft.
This is the original reason for the invention of the cash register back in the late 1800's. Even when most of the businesses were family owned and run there was a need for a cash register to reduce theft. In today's world of hiring employees to help staff and manage your store there is even greater need for this type of control. For years we have known about the tendencies of people with regard to theft. 10% of the people wouldn't steal if giving the opportunity. 10 % of the people are going to steal no matter what safeguards are in place. 80% of the people will steal if given the opportunity. Point of sale systems are put in place to guard against the 80% and make it more difficult for them to steal from you.
6. Speed of Service.
There is only 1 thing we can think of that will drive customers away faster than bad food and that is slow service. When a customer places their order their own internal clock is running in overdrive. No matter how long they took to look over the menu and to place their order, once they have given your server or cashier their order their hunger clock is speeding along faster than a fan on high! You need a fast, reliable way to get orders into your system. This should mean a terminal that is fast, easy to understand and quick to respond to the touch of the server, cashier or bar tender. The system should also distribute the order properly to the kitchen prep station or bar. Your point of sale system should also measure your speed of service and report on how you are doing. Reducing the time it takes to get your customer's their food is critical and can even make up for less quality. For proof I give you some of the major fast food chains. Is their popularity based upon the best tasting, best dressed and best served burger or speed of service? If you want to speed up your customer service you need a point of sale system.
5. Enhanced Reporting.
What is the use of having a computer and not taking advantage of the power? If all you need is to have a total amount of cash in the drawer that sometimes matches to the amount of sales shown you probably don't need a point of sale system. However, if you want more detail and information to help manage your operation and make it more profitable then you need a point of sale system. It used to be that having a good product was enough to get you by. Now it takes a lot more information in order to compete with all the other restaurants in your market that are all looking for the same customer you have seated in your restaurant. You need to understand the buying habits of your customers. What are they ordering? When are they ordering it? What is your most profitable item? How many of it did you sell? What items on your menu are not selling? If you cannot answer all of these questions with total confidence in your answers then you need a point of sale system. If you hesitate to correctly answer (without guessing) any of these questions you need a point of sale system.
4. Exporting of Data to Other Systems.
Even most small businesses today have some form of electronic accounting in place either in their operation or through an accounting service. In addition, most businesses have an electronic payroll service or software that creates payroll. Point of sale systems capture critical data for you and then export this data in formats that automatically put this information into accounting and payroll packages, eliminating hours of tedious manual input that often leads to mistakes and human error. If you have an electronic accounting or payroll service/software or even if you want to track your sales in Excel, you need a point of sale system.
3. Integrated Credit Cards.
If you are not currently taking credit cards as a form of payment you need to start today. Never mind the fees. The loss of business that you are suffering in today's plastic minded economy will more than compensate for the fees charged. If you are currently taking credit cards through a stand-alone terminal you could be being charged exorbitant fees for the terminal when you could be processing through your point of sale system. In some cases, the elimination of the terminal rental will pay for the credit card interface in less than a year. With integrated credit card processing you are assured that the amount of the sale will match the amount charged on the credit card, eliminating the need to go back and match individual sales when the credit card batch does not match credit card sales. When high-speed Internet connections are used to process credit cards we receive approvals in less than 2 seconds. No longer is slower speed of service an excuse not to take credit cards. If you want to quickly, accurately and smoothly process credit cards you need a point of sale system.
2. Competitive Marketing.
a. Frequent Diner Modules. Who are your customers? What do they buy? How often do they visit? Of your frequent visitors, who hasn't been in to see you during the past month? Of your frequent visitors, who has a special day coming up this month? These are questions that you should have the answer to. All the major chains and all of your competitors are after the people who come to your restaurant. They want to take them for themselves. How are you going to compete with the billions of dollars being spent to draw your customer away? By marketing your operation and your menu. Your point of sale system should be able to manage your customer base, keep up with their buying habits, how often they visit, when was their last visit and what special occasions they have coming up. Your point of sale system then should be able to sort these into groups that should be sent mailers, coupons, invitations to special events or simply told that they are appreciated and asked to visit you again. If you have competition you need a point of sale system.
b. Gift cards have become the norm for so many businesses today. An entire industry has been formed around the old concept of giving a paper gift certificate. Today, you will find gift cards at most major checkout lines. A point of sale system should be able to sell, redeem and control balances for your own gift card program. No longer do you need a book of certificates that are kept in the safe. Today, all you need is a stack of blank plastic cards with your colorful logo on them. These cards carry no balance and have no cash value until sold and a balance placed on account. As an owner you should keep a few of these cards with you. Each of these cards might have a small balance on them for you to hand out to pull customers to your restaurant or to give in case of a poor experience to help bring someone back. Think of these cards as your personal marketing tool. When the customer looks in their purse or wallet and sees your logo they will be reminded to come visit you. If you use gift certificates or gift cards you need a point of sale system.
1. You Don't Need Any More 'Partners'.
Sure, you need gift cards. Yes, you need to better understand your customer's buying habits. You absolutely need to have credit cards integrated with your point of sale system. You need enhanced reporting and export of these reports to electronic accounting and payroll services. You need to eliminate errors, reduce mistakes and keep track of your payroll. But more than any of these you don't need any more partners. Especially the ones that take their portion of the profits before you get yours. We are talking about the servers, waitresses, bartenders and cashiers who:
a. Undercharge customers in order to enhance their own tips. Show a $5 tab and a $50 tip. (Yes, I have seen this!)
b. Deliberately void or delete an item after it has been paid for.
c. Stuff coupons into the cash drawer in exchange for cash.
d. Don't charge customers for soft beverages to enhance their tips.
e. Ring up a lower priced item (well brand) and serve a higher priced item (premium brand)
f. Give discounts to their friends.
g. In a buffet line, ring up a buffet and a tea. Reprint this ticket 10 times and sell and collect for themselves these reprinted receipts instead of ringing up new customers.
If you want to stay in business, you need a point of sale system.
The History of Hand Held Terminals in Restaurants
The desire for restaurant hand held terminals and wireless restaurant software has been around since the invention of the electronic cash registers in the 1980's. When restaurateurs saw the power of the electronic cash register how it stored and recalled orders, how it dispersed orders to various kitchen and preparation printers and how it helped control the flow of the restaurant the desire to have this power in the palm of your hand has been there. It is only recently that technology caught up to the demand.
In the 1990's a couple of companies introduced hand held terminals to restaurants with limited success. Displays were small and therefore limited menu items. Battery life was short and limited use. But the demand was still there because the tremendous benefits to the restaurant owner.
I distinctly remember a trip to an NFL game where the stadium food provider used Seiko hand held terminals to take orders from customers sitting in their seats. I was about 6 seats from the aisle and placed an order for a drink and a hot dog fixed the way I wanted. The server took the order, told me the total and I passed the money down to her. As I was receiving my change my food arrived from the kitchen! Now THAT is service.
More recently, restaurant software companies took advantage of the PDA craze and their technology and adapted their software to these devices. Screens became larger and could display entire menus. Battery life was extended and we had "hot swap" batteries that allowed you to swap a battery without losing the program.
Table service restaurants began entering orders at the table and having food runners deliver the food. The server/waiter only had to leave the floor when it is time to print the check.
Quick service restaurants began taking orders in the drive through ahead of the speaker box. Others began creating entire sections for curbside ordering where the customer parks and a server with a hand held takes their order and payment then the food is brought out to them.
With hand held terminals restaurants began providing a speed of service only dreamed of before.
The Need for Tablets in Restaurants
Today, tablets from Apple and others have taken POS technology to a new level of efficiency while lowering the cost of ownership. Touch screen tablets have dramatically reduced entry level costs while software takes advantage of the high speed processors and network capabilities offered by these tablets.
To be able to take orders at the table or car, receive payment and have the food delivered with amazing speed of service. Thereby increasing table turns and customer throughput.
The tablet needs to be reliable, durable (they do get dropped) and easy to operate. The battery needs to be able to last for hours. The database must be automatically backed up to the cloud via a wireless connection.
The network needs to be able to handle several terminals without slowing down the entire system. In some cases, the network needs to extend beyond the walls of the restaurant so additional customer may be served in patios, parks and parking lots.
The Solution Tablets Provide Restaurants
Through the use of wireless routers and wireless access points an entire restaurant can be set up for tablets for every server/waiter/manager. Additional wireless access points may be installed outside the restaurant to give broader coverage and allow for taking orders outside the restaurant.
We have one customer who walks across the street to a park and takes orders. The server collects for the food, even swipes a credit card and the system processes the approval without the server having to go to a terminal. A food runner brings the food to the person who is still sitting/laying in the park.
Servers/waiters are able to enter orders and take payments at the table. Managers are able to authorize voids, check sales and other manager functions from their tablet. Imagine the ability to view reports on a tablet or to approve a void without having to go to a terminal. All these things are possible with restaurant tablets.
The Benefits of Tablets to You
In Quick Service, if you were able to increase throughput to handle only 4 more customers per lunch rush at $5 per order, you would enjoy a similar $600 per month increase in revenue.
The History of the 86 Feature
The term, "86" started so many years ago that its origin has long since faded into the memories of all but a few restaurateurs. Suffice it to say, if you "86" an item you are out and you need to stop taking orders immediately.
A lot of table service restaurants use a board located near the kitchen to write items that have been 86st for the day. Servers are expected to actually read this board and remember the items that are not available. Some restaurateurs yell out the items as they run out. Problem is, the restaurant sounds more like an old style fast food restaurant with employees yelling at each other.
Yelling is not the only problem with trying to track items in this way. Like, who has time to write the items down? Also, do you really expect the wait staff to remember how many of each item is left? And then when the count gets down to 1 item left you know that 2 servers are going to sell that last item.
The Need for the 86 Countdown Feature
You need a fast and accurate method of letting the wait staff know the exact number of items left and then stop servers from ordering the item after the last one is sold. This needs to be displayed at each station every time the server goes to the terminal. It needs to be visual, eye catching and instantly updated each time an item is sold.
The Solution for the 86 Countdown Feature
Some restaurant point of sale systems come standard with an "86 Item Countdown" feature that displays actual counts, deducts from the count when an item is sold and then prevents sales of the item once it is sold out. All management has to do is set the count for the items to be tracked and the system will do the rest.
Every item being tracked will have the number of items left displayed on their menu button. Each time an item is sold from any terminal in the system the number available will decrement and update on every terminal. Once an item is sold out the item will no longer allow the item to be sold.
Some systems will even allow for an substitution menu to pop up for items that have been sold out.
The Benefit To You
Better communication to your wait staff means better service to your customers. Your wait staff will now be able to approach your customer with confidence about the quantity of items remaining and be able to quickly shift customers to other items when your daily specials are all sold out.
Customers will benefit from knowing before they order if an item is available. No one wants to order an item and have the server return to the table and be told that they can't have what they want. By using an 86 Item Countdown feature this problem will be reduced.
Something Extra For You
How about getting more than just a countdown of daily specials? How about using this feature in a bar to inventory bottled beer? Yes, you could use this same feature to inventory and count down bottle beers.
Other uses for this feature would be baked breads in a bakery/sandwich shop, pre-made salads in a fast food restaurant and tickets to a special event.
Use your imagination and you will be well pleased with the many other uses that are possible with this easy to use feature.
However, not all restaurant point of sale systems have this feature. Please make sure to ask to verify that this feature is available on the software you are considering.
The History of Server Prepared Drinks
Since the creation of food service waiters and servers have been pouring coffees, teas and sodas for their customers. A tradition of service that dates back as far as history records serving food.
Nothing new for today's restaurant diner except maybe a bit more variety in the choices of drink. And with servers and waiters vying for more and more tip income it only stands to reason that they are pouring more and more free refills.
So where is the problem? Your customers are getting better service and your wait staff is getting better compensated. All looks good on the surface.
But the question arises, are you getting paid for all those drinks, sodas and coffees? You certainly are paying for all the ingredients. Do your sales reflect the prices that should be charged?
The Need to Control Server Prepared Drinks
But what happens when the server forgets to ring up the soft beverage? Your servers and waiters are already pouring the same amounts of soft beverages so your food cost takes a hit. If they don't ring the drink to begin with (even if by mistake) then you are out the income that is supposed to offset the heavy pouring that is already taking place.
What you need is a way to enforce the ringing of at least 1 beverage/drink per person ordering food. Sounds simple, but not all point of sale systems can do this.
The Solution to Control Server Prepared Drinks
Some restaurant point of sale system have a feature that will allow you to establish items on your menu that will require a beverage, beer or drink be rung to match. For instance, you can set entree' items to require a beverage, beer or drink be rung to match. Of course, your software company should make a provision that a "No Drink" button be on the screen for those rare instances when a person doesn't even have a water to drink.
Prior to sending the order to the kitchen the software will scan the ticket to verify that items requiring a beverage do have a corresponding item. If not the software should display a warning message prompting the server to ring the appropriate item before allowing them to proceed.
If the guest does not want a soft beverage or simply wants a water then the appropriate key should be depressed, this will then allow the order to proceed. Management should inspect the nightly sales reports to observe how many "No Drinks" or waters are being served by each server. If one server seems to be out of line with the others then a problem may have been discovered.
The Benefit To You
The benefit to you is simple. You get paid for what is served.
The cost to you is nothing extra. You are already paying for the beverages being served. You are just not getting paid for them.
Take a look at what you could be losing right now.
Please Note that this version does not support End of Life Versions of Aldelo EDC
We know its hard to believe that such a feature rich point of sale can keep adding new features but we keep finding was to make our software better and better for our customers!
Recently Aldelo Released several new add on software directly from Aldelo such as Kiosk, Gift, Customer Display, and a kitchen display that is powerful yet less expensive then a traditional KDS and easier to setup!
Aldelo Express iPad Based Kiosk helps restaurants and bars achieve faster service, better customer experience and reduce labor costs via self-served ordering and payments.
Our kiosk app integrates seamlessly with Aldelo Express iPad Cloud POS. Super easy to use and made for customer facing operations without any prior experience required.
Aldelo Express iPad Based Kiosk offers three ordering modes, enabling a wide variety of stores to participate in the popular Kiosk trend.
*** Fast Casual Self-Order ***
Deployed as counter top or wall mount Kiosk solutions for Fast Casual operations. This type of deployment is imagined as a row of Kiosk ordering stations for customers to walk up and order. Typically best suitable for fast casual stores.
*** Table Top Self-Order ***
Deployed on each table top as a Self-Serve order entry and payment option. Designed for table service operators looking to speed up customer service, reduce labor costs, and improve customer overall experience.
*** Digital Menu and Ordering ***
Made for Table Service or Fine Dining operators who wish to use iPads as their digital menu, and enable customers to place orders directly. This type of deployment replaces the need for paper menus and improves customer service experience by enabling customer direct ordering while viewing the menu.
Get the Aldelo Express iPad Based Kiosk today, and start saving on labor costs, increase customer satisfaction, while speeding up services seamlessly.
*** Next Step? ***
1) It's super easy to setup our Kiosk app. Simply go to Apple App Store on your iPad, search for 'Aldelo Kiosk' and install the 'Aldelo Express - Kiosk' app once found.
2) Then taking your Aldelo Express Cloud POS for iPad, in the Login Screen Main Menu Slide Out, click 'Scan App QR', then scan the QR presented on the Kiosk App.
For more information please feel free to call our team at 877-639-8767
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You can add discounts right from the ipad in the order entry screen but taking two fingers and swiping up to show the sub menu and choose "Discounts" or for more flexible options you can add discounts from the cloud !