Quick service operators are hungrier than ever for POS solutions that do more than simply process payments—and vendors are responding with a wide variety of options. While some features of the newest quick service POS systems can be considered “nice to have,” others are more essential to success in an increasingly competitive market. Let’s take a look at three features all quick service POS systems should have.
Quick service restaurant customers want just that—quick service. However, moving patrons through the queue in the shortest amount of time isn’t always possible with quick service POS systems that lack a conversational ordering feature. Without conversational ordering, employees must follow a specific sequence of screens and order options, which sometimes forces them to interrupt customers, ask them to repeat parts of their orders, or delete and re-enter information. Additionally, learning the ins and outs of order-taking using these systems is a complex process.
By contrast, with conversational ordering as a component of quick service POS systems, orders can be modified instead of deleted, and employees can enter parts of multiple orders or combinations without backtracking or interrupting customers. Moreover, because conversational ordering is more intuitive and user-friendly, employees can quickly become proficient at “working” it. The end-result of all of these benefits: minimal order errors; better, faster customer service; improved order flow; increased order size; and greater customer satisfaction.
Gift Card and Customer Loyalty Programs
Gift cards continue to be the “gift that keeps on giving” to merchants of all types—and quick service restaurants are no exception. According to a recent report by financial consulting firm CEB Tower Group, U.S. consumers purchase more than $100 billion worth of gift cards each year, and 65 percent of gift card recipients spend an average of 38 percent more than the face value of the gift cards they’re given. In order to offer full-fledged gift card programs that make it easy for consumers to check their gift card balances and re-load their cards in-store, restaurants must leverage quick service point of sale systems.
Meanwhile, according to the National Restaurant Association, 57 percent of adult consumers are more likely to patronize foodservice operations with customer loyalty programs. And a recent study by Loyalogy, a provider of loyalty program analysis, revealed that rewards programs may increase guest visits by 35 percent. When quick service POS systems are leveraged to execute customer loyalty programs, these programs can be made more appealing by automatically “pushing out” special rewards to diners’ mobile phones and/or email addresses, as well as by giving customers real-time access to information about their accounts.
Enterprise-Wide Reporting Capability
Whether operators run one quick service restaurant or multiple locations, understanding current restaurant performance is essential to maintaining the sharpest possible competitive edge and guaranteeing success. With enterprise-wide reporting capability as a component of their quick service POS systems, restaurant operators have access to a complete “picture” of their business. It’s easy to zero in on every aspect of quick service restaurant operation and management, including sales and detailed analysis (including which items customers are ordering, at which stores, and when), the results of marketing/promotional initiatives, and time and attendance/labor scheduling and performance metrics. This actionable information can be used to make better, more informed business decisions, as well as to zero in on problems or potential problems that need to be addressed before they seriously impact the bottom line.