Importance of a Point of Sale System

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The Importance of the Point of Sale (POS) System
Home > Restaurant Equipment, Supply & Marketing Articles > Restaurant Management and Operations > The Importance of the Point of Sale (POS) System Author: Monica Parpal
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Point of Sale (POS) equipment is the computer-based order-entry technology many restaurants use to capture orders, record data and display or print tickets. Restaurant servers, bartenders and cashiers can all use POS systems to easily enter food and beverage orders. POS Capabilities

The POS acts as a cash register as well as a computer. In fact, the POS can consist of multiple stations, including credit card terminals, receipt printers, display screens, hostess stations and server stations. Having a POS system in place can add convenience, accuracy and save time in busy situations. In fact, is has the ability to perform a multitude of functions, including the following: * Calculate cash due for every order entered

* Record the method of payment
* Keep track of the cash in the cash drawer
* Create hourly and daily sales reports
* Allow hourly employees to clock in and out
* Calculate labor and payroll data
* Record daily check averages for each worker
* Keep track of menu items sold
* Record information on repeat customers

How Employees Use POS Systems
Keep in mind that some systems work differently than others. User processes will be different depending on restaurant type and service style. The following steps represent the general process of taking an order with a POS system: 1. The employee enters in his or her name or user code into the initial touch screen. This allows the worker to access the system. 2. The employee begins a new order or check by entering in food items the customer orders. For full service restaurants, the employee is also able to choose a table number and add food to an existing check. 3. The POS sends this all order information to the kitchen or bar in the form of a printed ticket or on a digital display monitor. 4. The kitchen or bar employees read the order and make the appropriate food or beverage for the waitstaff or other employee to serve the customer. 5. In a quick-service restaurant, the employee will read the total charge on the POS display, and collect payment from the customer. In full service, the server will bring a check, wait for payment, then enter it into the POS when the customers are finished. Where to Set Up the POS

Touch screens can be located in many different places around the restaurant, depending on the layout and the service style. For quick-service or fast-casual restaurants, the POS systems are usually located in a visible place, often close to the front doors of the restaurant. In a full service restaurant, the POS is usually located in a discreet location so as not to interfere with the ambience or the dining experience. Advantages of Digital Display Systems

Modern POS systems, especially those in large chain restaurants, have digital display components. Technically called kitchen display systems, also known as KDS screens or "bump screens," the order pops up with clear information as to what food was requested, the time the order was placed, the table number and the server name. When the food is prepared and finished, the kitchen worker will hit a button on the screen, effectively "bumping" it from view and recording the time it was finished. This is an especially effective way to stay organized, communicate the status of orders, and record speed of service information. Specific POS Configurations

You should purchase a POS for your specific restaurant type, especially if your operation has any special requirements. However, the software can typically be configured to your exact operation specifications such as your restaurant menu items and prices. What to Look for in a POS System

Every POS system differs based on its software, hardware and application. When looking...
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