Whether running an independent start-up or a well-established business, restaurateurs are faced with a common challenge: how to identify ways to save money. Whilst profits are often the ‘make or break’ indicator, an equally critical part of the equation is to ensure assets aren’t being wasted.
By providing restaurateurs with all the checks and balances needed to account for daily sales transactions, EPoS systems are money-savers by design. The problem is they’re often not used to their full potential. To help you put some money back into the business, let me suggest five money-saving tricks.
1. Save on staff
Staff costs are an unavoidable operational expense. However, they are also a source of savings if managed effectively. Your EPoS software provides the controls necessary to both monitor time & attendance and easily create schedules. It can be used to prevent employees from clocking-in early or clocking-out late.
Once you’ve owned and/or managed a restaurant for a certain period of time, you’ll understand the overall flow of your daily operations. By identifying peak hours as well as lulls in customer traffic, you’ll be able to plan your schedule accordingly. If you’re paying to have five servers on at a time when you only need three, you’re both wasting money and underutilising staff.
2. Get to know your customers
When you know your customers’ needs and wants, you know how to tailor your products or services appropriately. Don’t overlook the simple, customisable advertising and loyalty management opportunities that come with your EPoS system.
Your system can assist you capture customer data. So why not track purchasing history and devise marketing tactics based on buying behaviour that will build loyalty. Rather than waste your promotional pounds on impersonal messages that may or may not reach your target market, try incorporating the valuable customer insights that your EPoS reveals.
3. Go green with technology
These days, it’s crazy not to ‘go green’ and invest in environmentally-sound technology. You stand to drastically uplift the efficiency of day-to-day operations by implementing green initiatives and it’s worth investing in efficient products. Even if you have to pay a premium price up-front, this will result in substantial cost-savings down the road.
In addition to purchasing efficient hardware such as fan-free terminals, consider for example the paper that’s wasted during a typical day in your restaurant. Think about Kitchen Display Systems integrated with your EPoS that eliminate kitchen receipts by allowing employees to view incoming orders on a visual display. Or use rechargeable gift cards that can be reloaded and reused, saving you constantly printing new gift certificates.
4. Mobilise your operations
Mobile technology has drastically impacted how businesses serve their customers, particularly in hospitality. Aside from resonating more with contemporary consumer behaviour, mobility gives new opportunities to engage customers and simplify time-consuming or inconvenient processes.
The use of handhelds and mobile payment apps are just two of the ways in which the point-of-sale has gone mobile in restaurant settings. And cost savings are parts of the equation. Using handheld or tablet POS for example, tableside order entry allows servers to spend more time focusing on the customer and upselling menu items and less time on memorising complicated orders.
5. Know your business
Knowing what is racking up costs at your restaurant is half the battle. Which factors represent fixed costs that can’t be changed, and which factors are under your control? Rent, utilities and other overhead expenses may be non-negotiable, but costs associated with staff and food can be reduced.
Take advantage of your EPoS system’s reporting features to draw attention to problems not apparent on the surface. Make sure you look continuously at sales and staffing, and always keep an eye out for suspicious activity that may be causing shrinkage. Use reporting to analyse food consumption, to tighten up purchasing and inventory and minimise waste. And when you are on the go, stay informed via SMS or email alerts that flag up excessive voids or ‘no sales’ or when sales fall outside of expected norms.
Today’s EPoS systems touch every area of the business and can produce all the answers you need. By using EPoS to its full potential, you will be able to do more with less and run a smarter, leaner business. The top-line message for today’s restaurateur is to utilise their EPoS solution to improve bottom-line profitability.