3 Best POS Reports For A Small Business Trying To Grow

Hit your small business goals with good data! Dive into the 3 best POS reports that will help your business grow.

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Outside a strip of shops, two women are sitting at their computers with coffees

While running a small food and beverage business is far from simple, each owners’ goals are pretty straightforward. They strive for:

  • Flavorful, can’t-get-anywhere-else products
  • Satisfied, engaged guests
  • Happy, efficient staff
  • Profitability

If the first three goals are met, generally profitability follows. But meeting those primary small business goals—happy people and killer products—requires more than blood, sweat, and elbow grease. It requires good data!

Luckily, the best POS systems provide useful and accessible data, informing business decisions that lead to success. These are the 3 best POS reports in particular that are crucial for small businesses trying to grow:

1. Sales By Category Report Informs Product Inventory Needs

When inventory is moving, it’s a clear sign that guests like what you’re makin’ and will buy more of it. A Sales By Category report gives small business owners a summary of sales broken down by category, item type, quantity, and size.

Some of the best POS systems, like Arryved, let you filter by item size, which is especially helpful for beverage-forward businesses. That means with this report you can see what liquid inventory is moving by pour size: tasters, pints, you name it!

Why Sales By Category Is Important For A Small Business Trying To Grow

Besides being able to give yourself a pat on the back for making products that fly out of the kitchen or through tap lines, this report helps small businesses grow because it informs inventory needs. Not only can you clearly project what needs to be stocked up on, you can get granular with filters. 

Being precise about your inventory sets you up to provide exceptional guest experiences. There’s no worry of having to tell a guest “Sorry, we’re out of that.” Plus, if people want it, you want to have it on hand in order to maximize revenue

2. Average Tab Size Report Informs The Guest Experience

This report is pretty self-explanatory: Seeing average tab size tells you approximately how much each table is spending. That information lets you know helpful things like if your service model is effective or if servers need to upsell more.

Not only does the Average Tab Size report from Arryved tell you the size of tabs, you can also see:

  • How long each party stayed
  • If they ordered both drinks and food
  • How many people were there

With those insights under your belt, now you can strategize!

Why Average Tab Size Is Important For A Small Business Trying To Grow

Knowing this about your food and beverage business is key because you want to maximize average tab size in order to maximize profitability! Being aware of your baseline provides the opportunity to inspire bigger parties, longer stays, and larger tab sizes. Here are some ideas on how to boost all three:

Bigger parties: Reconsider your seating. Are there picnic tables or seats that can be easily moved to accommodate a big group? Do you have high chairs to seat young kids? Kids may not be drinking, but Mom sure needs a wine glass or two and she’s more likely to visit if her kid can sit comfortably. 

Longer stays: Certain service models can inspire longer stays than others. For example, counter service is perfect for guests trying to quickly grab a bite and go. But if your goal is to have them order round after round of drinks, you may consider a more relaxing model like table service, where guests don’t have to move to get more, or contactless tools, so guests can order completely independent of staff. (In fact, QR codes have proven to boost both tab and tip size!)

Larger tab sizes: Lean into upsells by encouraging staff to offer branded merchandise or products to-go at checkout. And, if you’re not already offering food, that’s a great way to see higher tabs, too.

Guest eating a french fry off of a plate being set in front of her.

3. Hour By Hour Report Informs Labor Needs

Determine when your small business is the busiest by tracking the rate of orders coming in by the hour with the help of an Hour By Hour report. Knowing when traffic spikes or dwindles not only helps make efficient staffing schedules, it informs when you should be open at all. And these days, with businesses cutting hours to accommodate smaller staff sizes, that’s really useful.

Why Hour By Hour Traffic Is Important For A Small Business Trying To Grow

Ensuring you’re well-staffed to service the amount of guests you have at any given period is no small feat. As a bar, for example, assuming that you’re going to be the most busy on Friday and Saturday nights sets you up for an unwelcome surprise on your first Monday Night Football shift. Hour By Hour reports help make sure you have enough people on staff to give the thirsty guests what they want, and it’ll play positively for your profitability. 

Plus, labor is the most costly expense for small business owners. Just like you don’t want to ever be understaffed, you also don’t want to waste precious money on staffing up unnecessarily during slow periods. 

Find a happy medium using this report like The Rayback did and maybe you can maximize beverage sales as well!

Other Best POS Reporting Must-Haves 

Your POS system reporting on important metrics is one thing, but small businesses wanting to grow also must prioritize the quality of data and how they access it

Real-Time, Cloud-Based Data Is Best For Business

The food and beverage industry is fast paced, and the data your POS collects should reflect the same timeliness. The best POS systems offer cloud-based reporting so that all the data you see is updated in real-time. 

That means all POS devices are connected to the same cloud and upload data automatically to one place. What’s that one place, you ask?

A Centralized Data Dashboard Makes Accessing Reports Simple

The best POS ensures all orders—placed on-premise by staff, off-premise at an event, online, or via contactless by a guest—are reflected in one comprehensive data dashboard. That means you have access to a holistic view of business performance at any time, even if you’re on vacation in Bermuda.

Plus, easy access to performance data is good for staff morale and communication. POS devices that sync automatically make for faster service as well as opportunities to maximize sales. 

Interested in more POS tools that help small businesses boost profits? Check out how Mainstage Brewing’s POS used custom features and people-first functionality to maximize profitability

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