Data is everywhere and is a driving force in helping businesses decide when changes are needed. Analyzing and understanding data can be an overwhelming task when it comes from multiple sources.
Running a restaurant can be especially challenging when inefficiencies surface and affect your bottom line. Increased expenses, lackluster service, food quality, and labor can all make a difference. Without data, it is hard to know when changes you’ve made in these areas are improving the operation of your restaurant.
A POS system is more than a cash register. It is a central hub for any restaurant’s operation, providing reports that will help identify areas that can be improved. As changes are made to the restaurant’s operation, having this data at your fingertips will help you monitor its effectiveness.
Here are a few reporting features that most POS systems provide:
- Sales — This will provide crucial details concerning your sales. What data is available will depend on your POS provider, but you should be able to track sales by time period (useful to find seasonal trends), number of guests, table turnover, server sales numbers, and more.
- Inventory — Do you find yourself running out of ingredients, and having to tell customers you can’t serve their favorite dish? Inventory reports will monitor your use of ingredients to give you a better idea of how much inventory is used over time. With inventory controls in place, you will also be more likely to notice if an employee is stealing food or supplies which would affect your bottom line.
- Labor — Your labor reports can provide insight into how your employees are performing from a sales standpoint. Is there a reason why two employees working the same shift have extremely different totals in sales? Labor reports won’t give you all the answers, but they will help you identify areas of improvement.
- Exceptions — Having a report that highlights voids, refunds, and discounts categorized by staff members will be useful in determining if you have an employee who needs more training on the POS system or your discount policy, and if you have an employee who might be stealing in some way.
- Product mix and menu — This report can show you which menu items are selling well, and which are not. With this information, you can make better decisions about what items are hits, and which should be discontinued to save money on the cost of ingredients.
- Accounting —POS software can generate accounting reports to share with your bookkeeper. When it is tax season, having everything in one location will save you time.
This is just a handful of reporting tools available on most POS systems. There are many more reports that you can use to measure and manage your restaurant. Utilizing these reports through your POS system is the key to protecting your profits.