10 Ways a POS Terminal Improves Restaurant Sales and Efficiency

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Ninety-five percent of restaurateurs agree that restaurant technology improves their business efficiency, according to Toast's annual Restaurant Success Report. And thousands of restaurants have already updated their technology, or plan to do so. Yet only 12% consider themselves on the leading edge. So what’s holding operators back from upgrading their technology?

Most restaurants have slim profit margins. And they're not willing or able to invest their hard-earned cash into anything that doesn't prove it will help improve those profit margins. But a new restaurant POS terminal is not one of those bad investments.

If you're still uncertain about the many benefits of restaurant technology, here are ten reasons why a POS terminal purchase is well worth the investment.

1. Increase Efficiency with an Easy-to-Use Interface

Dated restaurant technology seems to make it difficult to find the right button at the right time. Plus, adding modifiers and typing in special instructions is another beast altogether.

The order-entering process becomes significantly easier with modern restaurant POS systems’ intuitive menus that you build with the help of industry experts. This can save around 10 seconds per order input. Without this aid of the modern POS, those 10 seconds quickly add up – and impact your guests experience when they're kept waiting for a check or held on the phone during a call for takeout.

Orders are fired faster, guests finish their orders quicker, and your staff stresses less — all of which saves you capital in the long run.

2. Decrease Incorrect Orders

In addition to saving time and money on inputting orders, the easy-to-use POS menu makes it more difficult for servers and cashiers to input an order incorrectly. Even if this happens 1% of the time, consider the amount of money this would save on food over the course of one year, or even five years.

If a mistake is made, it could upset the customer to the point that they choose not to return to your restaurant. Since it costs more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one, and return customers drive a significant portion of your sales, it's critical not to lose a customer over something as simple as hitting the wrong button.

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3. Retain Profits by Reducing Waste

When entering orders into the POS terminal, modern software records the sale in the back end of the system. So, if a guest orders extra cheese, the upcharge is automatically applied, and you can better track how much cheese to get in your next supply purchase. The National Restaurant Association has found that this accuracy in pricing and ordering results in retaining 2% of annual sales that would be otherwise lost.

While 2% seems like small potatoes, this is $20,000 for a $1,000,000 business that could go into new furnishings, an updated menu board, or even your pocket.

4. Reduce Employee Theft

When a POS terminal requires a “blind employee closeout,” this makes it more difficult for employees to steal from your business, because frequent comps and voids can be noted in your business reports. When employees know those comps and voids are being monitored, they'll be less inclined to risk skimming from the register.

5. Cut Wait Times with POS Handhelds

Employees can use mobile POS handhelds to turn tables up to 20% faster during your busiest hours. You won't be rushing customers out the door – you'll just be shaving the five-minute process of paying the bill down to a one-minute process.

These tablets aren't just for full-service restaurants. Fast casual restaurants can "bust the line" with this technology during the lunch rush and send more orders to the kitchen.

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6. Save Money on Credit Card Rates

When the credit card processing is integrated into your POS terminal, you can save money on every single credit card transaction. You'll earn the best rates for your restaurant – and with the industry becoming increasingly cashless, credit card rates will continue to be a pressing concern for your restaurant.

7. Boost Customer Loyalty

Loyalty software, integrated into your POS terminal and tied to a customer's credit card information, can increase ticket size by 46%. The cost of the occasional reward is minuscule compared to the increased guest visit and spend at your restaurant, and the process is much better for the guest experience than a traditional loyalty punch card.

8. Increase Guest Spend with Gift Cards

A guest will spend 72% more at a restaurant on average when paying with a gift card – and around half of gift cards are sold outside the month of December. Increase sales and bring in even more new guests when you integrate gift cards into your restaurant's POS terminal.

9. Reduce Paper Waste with Digital Receipts

There are few things more frustrating than having to replace receipt printer paper on a Friday night. Digital receipts make this struggle a pain of the past. Allowing patrons to opt for email or even text receipts (which 53% of restaurant-goers prefer to do) saves you money – and keeps your staff focused on tasks that are actually important.

10. Increase Employee Retention with Better Tips

Like the earlier point about tracking comps and voids to reduce employee theft, a well-tipped employee is also less likely to steal. POS terminals that allow for easy tipping can result in a 3X increase in tip amounts for your staff.

While tips don’t necessarily have a direct impact on an operator, it can reduce theft by keeping your team happy, which also saves you money on employee turnover costs.

Buying a new POS system is a big decision. But it's a decision that can deliver an almost guaranteed return on investment for your restaurant – boosting sales and efficiency and keeping your staff happy.

About Toast: Toast, a new CHECK® Business Tools partner, powers successful restaurants of all sizes with a technology platform that combines restaurant POS, front-of-house, back-of-house and guest-facing technology with a diverse marketplace of third-party applications. By pairing technology with an unrivaled commitment to customer success, Toast helps restaurants streamline operations, increase revenue and deliver amazing guest experiences. Toast was named to the 2019 Forbes Fintech 50, 2019 SXSW Interactive Innovation Finals, 2018 Forbes Cloud 100, and recognized as the third fastest-growing technology company in North America on the 2017 Deloitte Fast 500. Learn more about Toast by visiting POS and Restaurant Management Platform.