If you are a restaurant owner still relying on a cash register to run your restaurant or bar, you might not even realize what you are missing.
Often, restaurant owners think that upgrading to a POS system is a costly endeavor for a glorified cash register. However, a POS system has far more functionality than a cash register, and the benefits are tangible. From tracking inventory and order history to automatically reconciling tickets, a POS system can help streamline your operations. This means increased profitability, more time back in your day and a reduction in human error.
Let’s take a look at a real world example:
San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden has been in operation for more than 120 years, offering a serene retreat with a 400-year-old bonsai tree and magnificent, peaceful trails in the heart of the bustling city. A flourishing quick service business, the Tea Garden often sees two-hour waits and lines of more than 35 people wrapping around the garden. On weekends, the Tea Garden receives between 6,000 and 8,000 visitors. On an average day, it serves about 900 guests at a 75-person seating capacity.
The manager, Tak Matsuba, began running operations three years ago. Coming from a Michelin starred restaurant, Tak immediately recognized that the Tea Garden struggled to keep lines moving and streamline back-of-house operations. With the cash register the restaurant used, Tak had no way to gauge basic operations, such as order history or inventory tracking. He also had to spend an average of 45 minutes reconciling bills every day. Even the staff admitted that if they could serve guests more quickly, they could potentially increase their tips.
Given all of these challenges, Tak began searching for a point of sale system that could increase efficiencies while maintaining the restaurant’s old-world charm. During his research, Tak discovered CAKE. After receiving a demo, he knew the system was exactly what he needed. He was drawn to it for benefits including having menu items pre-programmed for selection and the front-facing screen with a tip prompt.
“Overall, it was a very painless implementation for our business. I wouldn’t say it was a piece of cake –,” he jokes,” but it wasn’t that difficult at all.”
The results came quickly and lines were immediately reduced by up to 50 percent. Gone are the days of manually entering prices on a cash register – the new touch-screen system has items and prices built in, cutting the time to take an order in half.
Staff are happier too. The new system doubled their tips while reducing workflow. Tak also reaped the benefits by eliminating the need for reconciliation at the end of the day. Now, Tea House servers sign into the POS, and if there is an error, Tak has all the information he needs to quickly and efficiently solve any problem.
The new system has also given Tak peace of mind. Whether he’s in his office or at home on his days off, he’s able to access live data from the Tea House. He can see what is selling well, change prices, compare sales in designated time periods and check on staff efficiency.
While transitioning to a POS helps speed up business, it also expedites the inventory management process. Tak uses data to track how much inventory he has sold, which in turn allows him to make better, smarter purchasing decisions with vendors.
“Because of the system, I can now see exactly how much tea I have sold,” says Tak. “This makes reordering much easier for me than before, when I had to manually add up numbers and see what was sold.”
While your old cash register might be a good accountant, it simply can’t compete with the inventory management, access to data for decision-making and speed a POS can offer. And upgrading to a POS doesn’t have to be costly or difficult. Your staff, customers and wallet will thank you – and you might even find more time on your hands to take a vacation.
For more details on Tak’s experience, check out a full case study on the Japanese Tea Garden.