Opening a restaurant requires an immense amount of decision making. From menu to décor to food suppliers to waste management to hygiene and food safety processes to staffing, this is a daunting task for any entrepreneur. The friction involved in running a restaurant can be seriously reduced with the help of an excellent EPOS system. Your restaurant’s EPOS system needs to do more than take orders and print receipts. By streamlining your processes and improving your guest’s experience an excellent EPOS is at the core of a successful restaurant.
Here are 7 key considerations to make when purchasing an EPOS for your restaurant:
Using a cloud-managed EPOS solution allows for greater speed, scalability and lower maintenance costs than traditional POS software. Additionally, a cloud-managed system allows owners and restaurateurs oversight of performance when not at the restaurant. This simplifies the reporting process for restaurant managers.
There are two types of restaurant: restaurants where the server writes down (or even better, mentally notes) your order and then potentially queues to punch the order into a POS system. There are also restaurants where the server takes your order on a tablet or phone and the printer in the kitchen has printed the order out before the waiter has left your table. Make life easier for your customers (they get served more quickly and more accurately) and make life easier for your staff by using an EPOS fit for the future.
There are important restaurant management tasks your EPOS can help with: managing employee schedules, allowing employees to use the EPOS to clock-in and being able to understand demand accurately enough to allocate employee hours to different shifts based on the restaurant’s historic performance, among other things. This sort of contextual data will also allow you to identify superstar performers as well as those who always show up late.
Your EPOS can also potentially directly integrate with a kitchen printer or monitor to inform the kitchen staff of new orders directly without requiring any go-between from your front of house staff.
Performance Reporting and Integrations
There are a huge number of metrics to consider when running a restaurant from net sales to footfall, average stay duration, average spend, customer loyalty and occupancy rates. By having a complete understanding of your outlook (as well as being able to integrate with your accountancy software directly) you can make informed decisions around deals, promotion, menu formulation, pricing and staffing. By having an EPOS system that integrates with your business software and provides you with a unified dashboard, you can make important business decisions more effectively.
Data Security and GDPR Compliance
GDPR compliance is essential in every aspect of modern business. From capturing details for booking, processing customer transactions or acquiring email addresses for your newsletter – compliance is essential. Having oversight into how your restaurant will capture, manage and secure data before you even open it will be essential – unless you want a giant fine. Our EPOS systems are GDPR compliant by default.
Training and Setup
Poorly trained staff make costly mistakes. Attractive and intuitive systems based on Android (such as our RMS Register) or iOS can allow you to shortcut some aspects of training as many staff will be familiar with the user interface design patterns used. The average staff member of a restaurant in the UK lasts 6 months – purchasing unwieldy EPOS systems which are hard to use can result in a lot of costly training with not a huge amount of return.
Integration with Online Booking Systems and Delivery Systems
Chances are your restaurant has a website or a Facebook Page or a Google Maps listing where people go to see menus, reviews and opening hours. Chances are they want to book online too (picking up the phone is so old fashioned, don’t you know?). If your online booking system and the booking system in your EPOS don’t work together then you have a recipe for disaster.
Does your restaurant intend on running a delivery service? Will you take orders over the phone and punch them into your EPOS? Wouldn’t you rather that the customer could book the entire meal, pay for it online and for the order to print out in your kitchen? Even integrating with 3rd party ordering and delivery services such as Just Eat and Deliveroo is an opportunity that modern EPOS systems open businesses up to.
Support and Software Updates
Installation, support and updates are key to a successful EPOS system that offers long-term value for money. We recommend a three-year lifecycle for EPOS hardware and we offer software updates and support. Well documented systems with self-help and setup guides, for example, allow restauranteurs to address EPOS issues before contacting the support team. A knowledgeable support team with access to EPOS experts will allow for more complex issues to be addressed. Knowing that you’re not alone when issues arise with your EPOS system adds extra reassurance that you haven’t wasted money on what can be a costly investment. Ongoing software updates ensure compliance while offering potentially useful new features.
Ideally, your restaurant EPOS system will integrate seamlessly into your operations creating a better experience for your customers and your staff. Conversely, a bad EPOS system can lead to potentially hundreds of extra hours when it comes to decision making, training and management. While there are hundreds of factors that can contribute to the success or failure of a restaurant – EPOS is at the core.
At RMS, we are EPOS experts who have been improving businesses for over 14 years. If you’re starting a restaurant and would like our help then get in touch today.