Labor Shortage Help from POS Systems for Bars and Restaurants
hile “The Great Resignation” is multi-faceted, POS systems for bars and restaurants are being used as tools to support short-staffed businesses and help them continue to provide exceptional service for the eager crowds flocking to normalcy.
With summer on the horizon and folks heading out on their long-awaited vacay, food and beverage businesses are preparing for a busy summer ahead. And while COVID is seemingly in the rearview for guests, business owners continue to struggle with the pandemic-induced labor shortage and all of its repercussions.
While “The Great Resignation” is multi-faceted, POS systems for bars and restaurants are being used as tools to support short-staffed businesses and help them continue to provide exceptional service for the eager crowds flocking to normalcy.
Understanding The Struggles of Bars & Restaurants
Before we talk about how savvy tech can alleviate some of the pains of the labor shortage, let’s first better understand some of the issues that are persisting in the industry.
Whether you’re a diner or a business owner yourself, you know that bars and restaurants are short-staffed these days. In fact, staffing is down 14% for full service restaurants, and 25% for bars and taverns, which is more than double the national average of other industries struggling with the labor shortage. And with supply chain issues and inflation added to the mix, these places can’t afford to implement higher wages and employee benefits in order to entice their workers to stay.
Unfortunately, according to the 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry report, labor shortage struggles are expected to continue at least through the rest of this year. This further informs us that this isn’t an issue businesses can wait out, and cut the hours they’re open in the meantime. The labor shortage struggle requires a solution, and one that keeps staff satisfied and efficient.
Enter POS systems for bars and restaurants!
How POS Systems for Bars & Restaurants Can Help
POS systems for bars and restaurants are much more than just the device staff complete transactions on. The best ones are equipped with tools that actually streamline service, so staff are more efficient and guests are more satisfied!
Robust Reporting Informs Staffing & Menu Decisions
POS systems for bars and restaurants process a ton of data day-to-day. With comprehensive reporting, you can glean a lot of good stuff identifying the best staffing schedules and high-profit menu items.
Here are some high-level KPIs to keep an eye on:
- Rate of sale identifies which menu items are selling at the highest or lowest rates. This tells you a lot about the food and beverages your consumer base likes, as well as the items they could live without. If you need to cut menu items so your limited cooks can better handle orders, start by cutting the least popular ones first. Here you can determine your most profitable items, too, which is great information to have when you’re trying to increase profits.
- Hourly sales by product identifies what products you’re selling during what time of the day. Knowing when exactly things are being ordered helps you know what staff you need at any given time of day. Say food isn’t being ordered after 9PM. Send your cooks home and have them rest up for breakfast the next day!
- Hourly total sales identifies which days of the week you’re busiest. Reports like this help you plan ahead for staffing needs, so you can staff up on the days you’re typically slammed, and rely on fewer servers when business is slower.
Data like this can save you both time and money, which is crucial in a labor shortage. Being strategic about staffing and the menu items you offer can make a positive difference in service productivity and the work environment.
Easy-To-Update Menus Offer Flexibility & Maximizes Profits
Of course, if you’re using POS systems for bars and restaurants to determine what items should and shouldn’t be on your menu, you need one that’s easy to update! Digital menus are more popular than ever these days, and the best POS systems make editing those menus easy to do and cloud-based, so they are updated across all staff and guest devices in real time.
Thanks to your comprehensive reporting tools, once you identify your most profitable items, you can edit your digital menus and place those choices right at the top where people can’t miss them. You can also add stars or other attention-grabbing icons to further incentivize orders of those high ticket items.
Beverage sales tend to always be the highest profit items. Maximize your revenue stream potential by making your drink menu first to populate when guests access your online menu, or even consider pairing each food dish with a drink!
Timed menus are also a helpful tool from POS systems for bars and restaurants. You can set up pricing and/or menu items to automatically change at certain times of the day. This is great for Happy Hour, so there’s no guest confusion on the discounted drinks and food available. But it’s also great regarding fluctuations in staffing.
If you have a cook call out sick and no backup in place, perhaps you remove a few high-effort menu items during the time their shift was supposed to take place. That way, the back of house you do have on staff doesn’t get overwhelmed, and speedy service isn’t compromised for your guests.
Contactless Ordering Makes The Most Of Staff On-Hand
By giving guests the option to order in a myriad of ways, it allows you to rethink the role your wait staff plays. Contactless ordering supported by POS systems for bars and restaurants lets your staff focus on the things that tech can’t do, such as educating guests on your brand story, upselling menu items, and engaging them in the upcoming events you’re hosting!
QR CODE ORDERING
We’ve all become familiar with QR codes since the beginning of the pandemic. But these matrix barcodes have solidified themselves as a staple in POS systems for bars and restaurants because of how much time they save for staff and how convenient they are for guests.
Here are some QR code ordering benefits for businesses that are working with smaller staffs:
- Streamline service: With mobile, cloud-based POS technology, guests order right from their own devices and tabs are updated across all staff devices. That means the order reaches the cooks and bartenders instantly, and they can get started on the order right away. Now all you need is a runner to deliver the goods to the guest!
- Seat more guests: We already mentioned the expectations for a busy summer ahead. You want to maximize your most profitable season, regardless of staff available. With QR codes, you can service more guests with less servers. That means you can open up all possible sections of your bar and restaurant venue, so more customers can eat and drink the day away.
- Make more money: This goes for staff, too! QR codes have proven to boost both tab and tip size by 24%. It makes sense—guests get their orders quickly, are able to learn about the spot from an engaging server, and can easily add a second or third drink to their tab. An experience like this garners repeat business, too.
QR code ordering is a service model that your business can flex in and out of as you see fit. Slow Tuesday mornings can likely be taken care of by your staff on-hand, but this technology from POS systems for bars and restaurants greatly comes in handy for those busy weekends!
Hosting an online store is a perfect way to collect both on and off-premise orders. If fully integrated with POS systems for bars and restaurants, businesses can sell food, drinks, and merchandise online with ease. Inventory and menus should sync across all sales channels, and all orders sync with all staff POS devices, so your team stays organized and alert of each and every order placed.
Although the labor shortage is very prevalent, it shouldn’t limit you from offering purchasing options like this to your guests. Your POS system is there to support you and help you diversify your revenue streams, therefore boosting your bottom line!
For your most die-hard fans, a mobile app is a great tool from POS systems for bars and restaurants. This contactless solution is less likely to be used by first-timers, because it requires a download from the Apple or Google Play Store. But, for frequent visitors, and perhaps with the promise to earn rewards, a mobile app is a way for guests to quickly place orders right from their phone, on or off-premise.
Business-wise, offering a mobile app to guests takes work off your servers’ plates by sending tabs straight from guest devices to the corresponding cooks and bartenders. This makes fulfilling orders a breeze—all service staff have to do is pack up the to-go orders—and it can save you about $14 per order versus delivery via a third party.
Loyalty Programs Incentivizes Repeat Business
Speaking of enticing die-hard fans with rewards, loyalty programs are another helpful feature from POS systems for bars and restaurants. Just as retaining great staff members is important right now, so is retaining and engaging guests that love you!
Loyalty programs that are fully integrated with your POS system allow you the flexibility and insights necessary to understand and delight your most frequent customers, without adding tasks to your staff members’ workloads.
- Member signup is simple. Add a link at checkout for guests, or host a membership site for free!
- Incentives boost your bottom line. Mug clubs encourage lifelong loyalty to your business, and discounts on merchandise get your brand name out in the wild! Customize how you reward members, and see your profits climb.
- Drive traffic. Hosting events and posting on social media are effective methods to get people in your space. But it requires a lot of work on your end, and you may not always have the hands. Loyalty programs supported by POS systems for bars and restaurants drive traffic because members know spending money at your particular establishment will benefit them. You can also easily communicate with members via a quick email, and encourage them with time-sensitive discounts and perks to get more butts in seats.
Now is a better time than any to lean into tech that does work for you, and running a loyalty program that inherently builds your brand is just that!
Integrations Make POS Systems More Comprehensive & Efficient
POS software integrations connect POS systems for bars and restaurants with third-party applications through APIs to have all systems working together to streamline business data. These third-party softwares typically specialize in a certain area of business that POS systems do not, so you’re making your technology even more capable and data-savvy!
Here are some integration categories that are especially helpful to businesses in the food and beverage industry.
Your food, beverage, and merchandise is depleting every day from a variety of sales channels thanks to contactless ordering, and can even be coming in from multiple venues if you have more than one location! It’s important to keep inventory depletion organized and accurate, and having that data flow seamlessly into other systems saves you a ton of time day-to-day. Inventory management integrations, like Yellow Dog, remove hours of manual data entry and analysis from your staff’s to-do list!
Integrating this software with POS systems for bars and restaurants is also good for business. The set-it-and-forget-it tool helps you forecast production levels and track existing inventory, so your menu offerings are never affected by bad inventory counts. Then you can make important sales and financial decisions based on error-free inventory counts and COGS numbers.
ACCOUNTING & REPORTING
Accounting and reporting softwares, think Shogo and Quickbooks, help you contextualize your sales and make informed decisions for your business. Being able to identify when sales are stellar and when they’ve dropped below expectations help you identify what’s working and what may not be in your bar and restaurant.
Here are some examples of insights that help your team maximize their efficiency:
- Labor costs and patterns: To optimize staffing schedules
- Daily task logbooks: To increase productivity and organization
- Purchasing forecast: To eliminate wasted ingredients
Whether you’re hoping to cross reference your POS reporting with bank deposits, or see what your guests purchased and how they paid for it, there’s an accounting integration out there for you!
KITCHEN DISPLAY SYSTEM
Kitchen display systems (KDS) replace paper tickets and deliver orders to the kitchen crew via a large display that instantly receives orders from the front of house POS devices. This makes service faster, and also reduces the possibility of errors in the ordering queue. These savvy ordering screens can also automatically prioritize orders and track the time it takes to get plates out of the kitchen.
Some POS systems for bars and restaurants have this KDS functionality built-in, but for those that don’t, there are many KDS integrations to choose from.
While staff scheduling is another functionality that some POS systems for bars and restaurants already have, third-party softwares are often more robust in their capabilities! You can allow staff to clock in and out as well as track hours, schedules, payroll, and performance, all in one place.
Another staff efficiency win for technology!
Lastly, Your Staff Should Love Your POS System
POS systems for bars and restaurants can offer all the bells and whistles that make your data-loving, efficiency-craving heart desires. But if your staff doesn’t love the system, you have a problem.
After all, staff use your POS system with almost every move they make in the workday. Having a system that’s easy-to-use is good for employee morale and retention, which you can’t afford to compromise, especially in a labor shortage. If staff are consistently getting frustrated by your POS, it may cause them to look elsewhere for work.
Besides being overall intuitive for staff to use, features like the following are typically crowd pleasers from the best POS systems for bars and restaurants:
- Offline mode: Power outages are out of your staffs’ control, but they often cause functional frustrations and loss of sales (and tips!) for them. Eliminate that possibility with offline mode, and all offline purchases will sync automatically once power is restored.
- Card on file: Staff dislike rolodexes as much guests dislike handing over their credit cards. Keep tabs open with a card on file feature and save your staff time fishing out cards at the end of the night.
- Customer support: If there’s a burning question regarding your POS on a Friday night, your staff needs a detailed answer ASAP. Friendly, helpful customer support available 7 days/week is absolutely essential in providing a supportive POS experience for your staff.
Not sure how your staff feel about your POS system? Ask them! Choosing a POS should be an open conversation between you and your team, so you can find the system that best suits your unique business and guest needs.
Time For A POS Change?
If you’re realizing there are some obvious gaps in your current POS, it may be time to re-evaluate the system you’re using.
Arryved POS is the most trusted POS system for bars and restaurants. Its all-in-one, service-forward platform makes it easy to use for staff, and reduces service friction for hungry and thirsty guests! Request a free, personalized demo with a specialist today to learn about how Arryved can better meet your needs.