You’re doing everything right with your restaurant so far. The atmosphere is eclectic and inviting, the menu is on point for your target customers and your staff works together like a well-oiled machine. For most people, having these pieces come together is a recipe for success, but what happens when it comes time to expand into new cities, markets and regions.
In times like these, it makes sense to have a restaurant point of sale system that is easily scalable. It wasn’t all that long ago that legacy POS systems ruled the roost, and with them came a variety of headaches outside of the normal backroom storage issues. They aren’t nearly as secure as today’s cloud-based options, and if you ever needed to make a change across all your locations, you’d have to coordinate with each manager to ensure changes happened when they needed to.
Luckily, those days are largely behind us! Thanks to the power of cloud-based POS solutions, a restauranteur can quickly make changes across their entire network in minutes. That’s a far cry from years ago and this kind of control may mean more dollars in your pocket and promote a shared experience throughout your brand.
So, what does it mean for a POS solution to truly be scalable? Scalability actually covers almost everything a modern-day cloud-based POS can do, from your kitchen planning, sales, staffing and menu maintenance to loyalty programs, payroll and everything in between. No matter how large or small your restaurant is, the growing need for more automation to help with day-to-day operations is necessary for not only growth, but survival in a crowded industry.
According to the National Restaurant Association, there are more than 1 million restaurants in the United States, and many of them are single-unit operations. To grow in the marketplace, your restaurant needs to be able to automate as much as possible so you can focus on the most important facets of your work.
That often means understanding the data your restaurant’s POS collects and using that information to make decisions. Having a scalable solution in your restaurant means that your system grows with you. It should be able to handle each addition to your menu list, maintain records for your plethora of loyalty program members and track your best customers to ensure you’re marketing the right products to the right audience at the right time.
Scalability also means you’re able to quickly make changes based on what your restaurant needs at any given time. Are you planning to launch an expanded menu catering to the coveted brunch crowd? Your POS can handle the added information and if you decide to pull the plug on your brunch experiment, the system is capable of scaling back without causing hiccups. The same quick actions can just as easily be taken for hiring new staff, adding new restaurant integration options like online ordering or introducing third-party delivery options. The elasticity of your POS solution can handle anything you throw at it because it’s tied to the cloud.
Considerations When Looking for Scalable POS solutions
It’s great to think about all the wonderful things you can do with a fully-optimized and totally scalable POS option, but there are a few things to keep in mind when working with a scalable system. You need to keep in mind what things can be automated and easily altered to fit your day-to-day routines. Efficiency is the name of the game!
Efficiency comes in many forms, but whether you’re tracking food waste, predicting future sales models based off previous figures, managing your inventory or scheduling members of your waitstaff, having one system in place reduces confusion. Every location you operate is essentially working with the same tools, meaning when you have to look at certain data points, the layout and collection of that information is uniform from restaurant to restaurant.
But scalability isn’t all about simply morphing to best fit the situation your restaurant is in at any given point in time. The right scalable POS solution is capable of doing a multitude of things, whether you’re tracking ingredient inventories to order supplies more accurately or monitoring loyalty program data to better market to your best customers, scalability impacts every aspect of your business.
Restaurant Scalability in the Real World
Although a well-designed POS solution is capable of tracking how many tomatoes you have sitting in the cooler and how many people are taking a chance on your restaurant’s latest take on the frappe, that’s not all it can do. Let’s say your restaurant wants to cater to more than just standard drive-thru and foot traffic. Naturally, you’re going to investigate options like online and mobile ordering.
According to Sastry Penumarthy with Punchh, who spoke with PAR for our 2019 Restaurant Technology Trends Report, “The industry is becoming more digitally mature, and in many cases, catching up with guests’ readiness for tools like mobile apps, digital offers, and online ordering. These will pick up speed and become more ubiquitous in the restaurant tech stack.”
Not every POS solution is going to provide the same things, though. PAR’s Brink POS, for example, offers customers pre-built mobile and online ordering programs when they use the software. It also has an open API, making it easy for restaurateurs to pick and choose who they work with if they’d rather work with a third-party option.
At the end of the day, anyone can take advantage of all the benefits a scalable cloud-based POS system offers. As the amount of data and information we interact with each day increases, the need for a solution that harnesses all that data and serves it to us in bite-size chunks becomes more important. Those who choose to ignore the myriad of data at our fingertips will put themselves at a huge disadvantage, but those who openly embrace the trend and use it to its full potential can enjoy a world of benefits.
The future is here, and scalability can make everything all manageable.