Your restaurant POS system is more than an expensive cash register. It’s full of data and reports you can use in your restaurant management. Here are some key ways your restaurant POS system is a tool you can use for the better. Click below to watch the tip via video or keep scrolling to read it.
When it comes to point of sale systems, a common problem among independent restaurant owners, whether full service or quick service, is that you buy a POS system and then you don't use the timesaving, invaluable back office reporting. Instead, you use it like an expensive cash register. But your POS system is the most important piece of equipment you're ever going to buy in your business. The problem is so many of us underutilize what that POS system does.
One quick note about brands: I don't back any single one POS system. I'll find you 500 people who love that POS system and 500 people who hate it. The key is service. The number one thing is when that POS system goes down and crashes on a Friday night, will you have service? The next is, does it have the reporting and the features you're looking for?
Once you've decided what you've got or you're living with what you've got, let's talk about a short list of reporting that can truly help you out in your business.
Number one is your product mix report/PMIX report is also known as a velocity report or an item-by-item sales mix report. It tells you all the items you sold and how many you sold. Combine this report with your recipe costing cards, and you can find out what your ideal food cost is. This is information directly relevant to your restaurant, not some national average you read in a magazine. But based on your recipes and what your customers purchased, if you had no waste, no theft, no spoilage, perfect restaurant, you'd know, your ideal food cost.
Imagine what you could do with that. Maybe even menu engineer.
Number two is using reports like the PMIX report in multiple ways. For example, use that PMIX report along with any of food cost control software, and now knowing your recipe costing cards, knowing what was purchased and taking inventories, you'll be able to know that, hey, you used five cases of chicken wings, but you should have only used four based on what your customers actually purchased. So, instead of your kitchen manager chef saying, "I don't know why my food cost is high." You can sit with them and literally highlight a report and say, "Fix this." That's powerful.
Number three is to use your POS system to help you control your labor. Use the POS system to track labor throughout the week. Then, because you’ve been paying attention all week, when you get to Friday, you don’t have to go nuts cut hours, leaving your restaurant vulnerable to poor service and log ticket times. There are reports in your POS system that on a shift-by-shift basis can tell you what your sales are and what your labor cost is at that moment. And you can track on a daily basis. Imagine what you could do on a daily basis when you look at that number, learning when it's time to cut people or when it's time to make a change to end the week on budget. That's huge.
Number four, there's reporting in there for 8027 tip reporting. This can allow you to, if you're a tipped restaurant, avoid trouble with the IRS because all that information is there and you can get it into your POS reports and share it with your payroll company. Then they can file for you.
Number five, stop theft behind the bar. Bartenders use the no sale button to hide sales and freebies. You want to get rid of that key. But if you don't, because you need to give change to servers or customers and so on, you want to keep giving them that convenience, then check that no sale report. Then you can pull up the no sale report to see how bartenders are using it. For example, if a bartender has a long list of drinks and finds out the group is paying cash, they can hit the no sale and it voids the whole transaction. Then the bartender knows that money in the drawer is there to steal at the end of the night. Well, if you pay attention to that no sale report, you'll see that list of drinks, the no sale and the voiding of it all. You'll be able to say, hey, I gotcha.
It can also stop theft using something called a transfer report. See, for convenience, you can offer people who order drinks at the bar to transfer that drink to their new meal ticket when they’re seated. Of course, you want to do that. But all too often it's overused or misused. For example, a server can see somebody sit down, order a soda for $2.25 and when they pay cash, the server can transfer that soda to the new customer and pocket the $2.25. This drink can be transferred over and over again. It's called the floating beverage. But if you pay attention to the transfer report, you're going to see that the server is literally transferring that same beverage over and over and over again. You can catch it and stop that.
Number six, use the daily sales report, or a DSR report, and a spreadsheet. You can put in your numbers and make sure every penny makes it to the bank.
Really, there are so many more ways to maximize your POS system. A POS system, when you have it in place, makes sure you collect every dollar you've earned. What I don't want you to do is to underutilize the powerful reporting and profit generating benefit to your system. So go out there, grab your POS system manual, whether it's online or printed, comb through the reports section, find out the reports that you could use, call your dealer and get help. Find the reports in your system that can make your life easier and ultimately make you more money. You’re already paying for it!
If you would like to learn how to own a restaurant that doesn't depend on you to be successful, watch this free video course that teaches you three key principles to running a successful restaurant.
Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant management video tips.
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