Published June 22, 2022
When you think about the various factors that contribute to a positive customer experience at a restaurant, what comes to mind? Probably great service, delicious food and good ambiance, right? Have you ever thought about the point-of-sale system as a value-add to your overall experience? Most customers probably haven’t. But everyone notices when they have to wait forever to order or when the restaurant gets an order wrong. A robust POS system can help prevent these inefficiencies, subtly enhancing the overall dining or takeout experience. What else can intuitive POS software do for your restaurant’s customers? Here are five major benefits.
Having an efficient point-of-sale (POS) system is a key component for positive customer interactions and seamless customer dining experiences. Even if a restaurant’s food is out-of-this-world amazing, many customers won’t return if the intricacies of their order or the charges they incur are incorrect. You don’t want to risk losing customers, especially now that Americans are spending 48% of their total budget at restaurants.
Restaurant owners should put thought and care into every aspect of their customers’ experience, including everything from lighting and decor to background music. However, none of these “extras” mean much if you aren’t leveraging your most important sales tool, your POS system.
In addition to improving order processing speed and accuracy, your restaurant technology platform can help you predict future supply needs based on customer behavior.
Juan Fernando, vice president of the Georgia-based multi-unit Mexican restaurant, La Parrilla, appreciates new technology.
"I think we need to rely more on technology when it comes to understanding our customer behavior," he says. "When we had two restaurants, it was relatively easier to make decisions based on intuition. Now it's different because our restaurants behave differently according to where they're located."
One of the keys to providing top-quality customer service is improving order speed and accuracy. Efficient restaurant POS software can save servers’ time — if they’re able to automatically send tickets to the kitchen or bar through a POS system rather than running back and forth themselves, they can spend more time providing dedicated service to even more customers.
Fernando sees the value of having this kind of connectivity between the front and back of the house. “The new versions of NCR Aloha are very, very strong when it comes to...busy nights when there are so many transactions,” he says.
In addition to speed, POS systems improve accuracy. Gone are the days when the kitchen staff was left to interpret waiters’ handwriting on order stubs. POS-generated tickets offer clear order instructions and accompanying time stamps that help kitchen staff prioritize orders and avoid errors. Add to that kitchen solutions that help route orders to different stations with perfect timing so orders are always hot and ready, and you can deliver on a top-notch restaurant experience.
Have you ever been ready to pay for something at a shop only to discover you don’t have your wallet with you? Maybe you’ve had to dash to an ATM after realizing a restaurant only accepts cash.
In today’s world, transactions continue to shift away from cash and — in many cases — away from credit card purchases toward mobile payments. As a customer, it’s important to know that your favorite restaurant accepts your preferred method of payment, like Apple Pay or Cash App. Adopting a great POS system allows your restaurant to diversify its transactions, and as a result, its customer base.
Today, 92% of consumers read restaurant reviews before deciding to visit, so making it clear that your establishment offers hassle-free payment flexibility will help you attract new customers while retaining regulars.
Related: The surprising benefits of offering contactless payments in your restaurant
Gift cards continue to be popular as a great option for gift giving over the past couple of years, a great way to support local restaurants during the pandemic. Many great restaurant POS systems leverage functionality that allows customers to use gift cards whenever it’s convenient for them.
As a restaurant owner, taking advantage of the opportunities gift cards represent can be great for business. Gift card options yield many benefits — they help strengthen your relationships with current customers and also attract new customers when passed along as gifts to first-time visitors.
Even more than offering gift cards to strengthen customer relationships and forging new ones, creating a customer loyalty program is proven to increase customer satisfaction at restaurants. These programs demonstrate that you care about your customers’ experience and value them as people. An intuitive POS software can support loyalty programs by identifying frequent customers, issuing coupons or discounts and keeping track of points for future rewards.
The benefits of having a robust POS system may seem obvious, especially when it comes to improving your restaurant’s internal operations and processes. What’s less obvious are the many ways these benefits trickle down to enhance the customer experience at your establishment.
Understanding the technology is the first step to unlocking these benefits. With a firm knowledge base, you and your employees can leverage this expansive functionality to track, target and tailor offerings to your customers, building stronger brand loyalty in the long run.
For more great restaurant resources, head to https://www.ncr.com/restaurants.