Restaurant owners often rely on the three industry-specific data management systems: point-of-sale, back-of-house, and accounting. And while each of these programs are critical for a restaurant’s success, few systems are capable of integrating together and operating as a cohesive management program. This means running competing operating programs simultaneously—limiting communication between the front and back of house, hindering data collection and reporting, and overall preventing long-term success.
Think of it this way: if a restaurant can no longer rely on a simple cash register and notepad system, they also can’t afford to ignore the benefits of a fully integrated management system, one designed to provide a clear understanding of their performance on both a daily and long-term basis. Here’s how to make the three most important software systems in restaurant technology work together and work for you.
Today’s POS System
A modern point-of-sale system is a key component of a successful restaurant—collecting, organizing, and providing operators with important insights into the daily operations of their business. The latest programs can even monitor past and present guest counts based on time of day, track transitions, identify repeat orders, and identify food trends based on high-selling menu items.
Employees use the POS to send orders to the kitchen quickly and accurately while also getting alerts for low-inventory items or reminders to “suggestive-sell” daily specials and high-margin items. And when integrated with the right accounting and back-office software, the POS helps managers optimize purchasing and staffing decisions.
The Best Back-of-House System
Don’t be fooled by POS systems that claim the ability to manage back-office data in addition to tracking point-of-sale information. A restaurant’s back-of-house technology acts as central information database for all other systems, so it’s vital you equip your staff with a system capable of managing inventory and purchasing, organizing staff scheduling, and tracking food safety (HACCP) compliance—all while integrating seamlessly with all other software.
When synced with the POS, managers can dramatically reduce inventory waste, improve purchasing accuracy through a suggested order feature, and predict future needs to prevent running out of inventory.
Another reason to invest in a robust back-of-house system? Its automated purchasing and reporting capacity dramatically increases productivity and simultaneously creates the optimal labor management schedules to needed to scale operations effectively.
A Cost-Efficient Accounting System
Last but certainly not least, every restaurant technology system needs software specifically dedicated to accounting. Combined with back-office programming, an intuitive accounting system is a truly essential bookkeeping tool. This system manages payroll using attendance data from both the POS and back-office, reconciles purchase orders and invoices from the back-office for accurate billing, and makes financial reporting easy by generating income statements and balance sheets. For restaurant operators, this combination of POS, back-office, and accounting programming provides the finance data critical for ensuring long-term growth and success.
It’s easy to dismiss advanced restaurant technology systems as a pricey and unnecessary expenses. But in an industry that demands fast profits, rapid growth, and consistent staff in order to survive, operators need to maintain exceptionally tight control over every purchase, invoice, and hire.
In terms of financial success, owners can no longer afford to operate without an integrated data system, most of which pay for themselves within a year or two through accumulated cost savings.
The POS, back-of-house, and accounting system all work together to provide key insights into restaurant operation by accumulating and organizing data on nearly every aspect of restaurant operation, from identifying the top-selling items to the loss leaders, tracking labor costs, and preventing unintended overtime expenses. Essentially, these three components of restaurant technology give you the facts you need to profitably run your business, something the old cash register/notepad system just can’t beat.