For any restaurant, new and old, there are two main areas your money gets invested in: labor, and food/beverage. Want to guess which one is more problematic?
Managing all the various employees, tracking shifts, stations, tips, regular and overtime pay, theft, and each employee’s specific hours can be extremely challenging and time consuming- making labor the number one challenge for store operators. Your restaurant’s POS system should be designed to automate these processes while providing greater insight to labor allocation. With the right software in place, you’ll be able to keep tabs on your restaurant labor and sales, and take advantage of opportunities to reduce labor costs.
Let’s start with scheduling. Your Restaurant POS software should take the guesswork out of setting schedules. Instead of randomly assigning shifts, operators can base shift decisions on previous sales patterns. If you only focus on labor hours, such as when there was too much or too little staff working, you will limit your decision-making insight because you will only have half the picture - not an effective way to manage costs either. There is no need to schedule more staff than is needed- just look at the data from your POS system and make decisions based on previous sales patterns. If you know when you are the busiest, or what type of labor is needed at what times, you can schedule appropriately instead of just having everyone there during rush hour, some with nothing to do.
Reporting should be a required feature for any restaurant’s POS system. Customizable data that is refreshed often is critical as well. You don’t want to be making decisions on old data. Get your labor cost percentage at any given time so you can make the necessary changes to your schedule. Managers should be able to see insight to all their employees’ overall labor and pay, average tips, production, who is turning the most orders, etc. Cash on hand, tips paid and tips owed and any un-closed checks should show up on POS reports. Close-of-day reviews can help simplify the closeout process for mangers - some even make sure everyone is logged of and can even turn off all the machines with one easy shut-down process.
Built-in Time Clock
Employees should be given either a pin code, a card to swipe or a biometrics thumb scanner to clock in and out of shifts, all organized within the system. Managers should be able to see an overview of everyone who is currently clocked-in and out, total hours worked, roles of an employee, etc. This will help prevent people from logging in under someone else’s employee ID so mangaers can effectively keep track of each person as they move through their work day. The system should also automatically track regular and overtime pay based on when the employee clocked in. In addition to standard hourly labor, it is a bonus if your POS system can also support split wages which allows a business to pay a delivery driver as a tipped wage while on the road, but receive standard hourly pay while in the store- one less thing for a manager to do manually.
It is important to have the ability to assign special permissions and customize those permissions for each workstation, job detail, or even by a specific employee. This allows owners to control the actions and information that each user can access on the POS system, like sensitive reporting and customer data. They can also add layers of security like having to have manager’s approval to do voids or before discounts can be applied. What if you want to add a specific task to an employee that no one else with their job title has, your POS should allow customization for such a task.
Besides the fact that your POS system can be controlled by fingerprint readers or scan cards which make it more difficult for others to abuse, it should be able to track food and beverage inventory as well. This tracking dissuades employees from consuming food or drink without paying for them if they know that it is monitored. If you have to have a manager sign off on discounts, they can testify that your staff isn’t offering unauthorized money off to their family and friends. Managers can also check when employees edit an amount after a sale to question any suspicious changes. Discrepancies between the amount of cash transaction and the amount of money placed in the cash drawer can also be flagged and noted.
Even delivery drivers are required to check out when they leave and check in when they get back, and integrated mapping features ensures they aren’t gone for too long. If the system says it should take 40 minutes round trip, you know when to expect them back to the store. Report data can also help with cash accountability, giving employee “strict” and “loose” till options that changes who is accountable for money dropped by drivers - the drivers or the inside employee that took the order. Getting employees to watch out for each other can go a long way towards deterring theft and all can be managed within the software’s security features.
Labor management is just few of the many issues that restaurant owners and operators have to deal with on a daily basis. Tracking shifts, managing employees, regular and overtime pay, cash and non-cash tips, theft, delivery versus inside employees - it can be a major headache trying to do it all, potentially compromising other areas of the business. But when you can rely on a point-of-sale system to manage and track labor more efficiently while also streamlining all your other operations, you can spend time and money on the things that really matter for your restaurant.
Breakaway Restaurant Solutions specializes in point-of-sale (POS) and online ordering software for the pizza, delivery, quick-service, and fast casual restaurant market segments.
Written by: Samantha Stuhlman, BRS Marketing