Point-of-sale systems serve a crucial role in the hospitality industry, assisting with everything from the processing of customer payments, to the accurate collection and management of data. Nevertheless, businesses do need to take certain steps to actually maximise the benefits and in this post, you can find out more about what these steps are.
- What is a Point-of-Sale System?
- What Are the Main Benefits of Point-of-Sale Systems?
- 5 Additional Benefits of Point-of-Sale Systems?
- An Overview of Point-of-Sale Systems in Hospitality
- Benefits of Point-of-Sale Systems for Hotels
- Reporting Features of Point-of-Sale Systems in Hospitality
- Point-of-Sale Systems: Key Trends for Restaurants
- Point-of-Sale Systems: How to Pick the Right App
What is a Point-of-Sale System?
A point-of-sale system, or POS system for short, can be described as a computerised system, which can be used by businesses to process payments, track sales information, collect and manage associated data, and much more. These systems are controlled through the use of POS software installed on a range of compatible devices.
Although the systems are primarily associated with sales and payment processing, they do actually serve a number of extra functions too, allowing businesses and employees to monitor performance, develop customer loyalty programmes, create reports and a whole lot more. In this sense, they can be seen as multi-purpose hospitality technology.
There are a number of benefits associated with the use of a point-of-sale system within hospitality, including improved payment processing, faster access to information, and more convenient service for customers, ultimately resulting in an improved guest experience in hotels, restaurants and other similar settings.
With that being said, the uses for those involved in hospitality management extend further. Using a point-of-sale service to collect sales data, for instance, can help to improve accuracy and eliminate much of the human error linked to manual data collection. POS systems can also assist with data analytics and data visualisation, giving you a better sense of where your business currently stands and what you can expect in the future.
5 Additional Benefits of Point-of-Sale Systems?
In addition to these core benefits, there are a number of further ways that point-of-sale systems can benefit those in hotel, bar, nightclub or restaurant management, and fully realising these benefits will enable you to maximise your POS system and achieve the highest possible return on investment. These benefits include the ability to:
1. Expand Your Business
A high-quality point-of-sale system can be seen as a highly advanced piece of hotel, bar or restaurant technology, helping you to improve the customer experience. As your reputation grows and your business results improve, you can also use the technology to start to think about expanding your business beyond its current limitations.
For example, within a restaurant, a POS system can be integrated with your website, allowing you to take online orders and expand into being both a dine in and takeaway service. Alternatively, within hotels, you can add new elements, such as a restaurant, a bar, a gift shop, or function rooms and allow guests to pay in those locations, in the moment.
These payments can potentially be processed using mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, iPads, or similar accessories, allowing guests to pay in a way that is convenient, while the payments are automatically synchronised with wider company sales data. Many of the managerial tasks associated with expanding a business in this way can potentially be automated, making it a more realistic prospect for businesses that are in different financial situations.
2. Upsell Current Products and Packages
Another way that those involved in running hotels and other hospitality businesses can maximise the benefits of their point-of-sale system is to use it to enhance upselling and cross-selling efforts. On a basic level, the POS system can also help to track which employees are successfully upselling and cross-selling too.
This can be used strategically to create friendly competition between employees, with rewards for the top performers. As a result, upselling and cross-selling are incentivised and performance is tracked automatically.
However, going further, a POS system can be integrated with an online booking engine, so that intelligent recommendations are made at the right moment, to maximise sales. Within restaurants, the system can be integrated with a self-service kiosk, recommending side dishes that are regularly paired with what the customer has ordered.
In bars and nightclubs, special offers can be added to the POS system, making them easier for staff to process, and this then makes the employees more likely to highlight these offers to customers when they buy. Additionally, POS systems can be used to create customer loyalty schemes, which can also assist with upselling and cross-selling attempts.
3. Train Staff to Maximise Customer Satisfaction
To maximise the benefits of point-of-sale systems within hospitality, businesses need to provide the right level of training, with a focus on customer satisfaction. A good way to think about this is as follows: to get the most from POS systems, businesses should ensure that customers get the greatest possible benefit too.
Once employees are sufficiently trained, they will understand how to use POS software to improve the experience for customers or guests. For example, upselling and cross selling can become second nature and can be integrated into front desk or customer service processes, while knowing how to access customer data can improve efficiency.
The customer data that can be captured by POS systems, or integrated with the systems, can also help to provide a much greater level of personalisation. This can be critical for providing customers with a unique experience, where they feel valued as an individual, and where your offerings are tailored to their needs.
4. Customise Your POS System to Fit Your Needs and Branding
In many cases, modern point-of-sale systems and the software that powers them can be set up in ways that allow them to better fit with your needs and your branding strategy. This may involve making the right initial software choice, however, which is why it can be important to opt for solutions that allow customisation.
Taking the time to include branding within the software can be useful for building a greater sense of belonging and reminding employees of your business’s core values. This can also be important for customers because it can ensure receipts and other payment-related documents have your business name and logo clearly displayed.
Automation through a POS system can allow messages or orders to be sent to customers, employees and business partners at the right time. Branding can then provide these automated forms of communication with a personal touch.
However, you can take this level of customisation further by ensuring the POS system and its software are fully integrated with other business processes. For example, the POS system can be integrated with your sales data, so that it is kept continually up-to-date, and logging in to the system can be connected to your payroll processes.
The greater the level of integration with wider processes, the more effective you will be in turning your POS system into a tool that feels unique to your hotel, restaurant, cafe, bar, or nightclub.
5. Adapt to the New Post-Pandemic Reality
Many sections of the hospitality industry, with hotels being a particularly strong example, have had to find alternative means of generating money as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions.
A well-designed point-of-sale system, which offers a degree of flexibility, and which allows new revenue sources and physical payment areas to be added to a hotel can be vital for helping your business to continue with some of these new revenue sources and adapt to the new post-pandemic reality, with travel and tourism picking up again.
For instance, some hotels have branched out into areas like food delivery, in order to supplement their income. If this applies to your property and you would like to continue offering this service, your POS system will need to facilitate online ordering, while also serving the more traditional hotel functions.
Your point-of-sale system and the associated devices can also play a key role in ensuring customers or guests feel safe. As an example, iPads and other tablets can be used to process contactless payments in restaurants at the table, or customers could be given the option to pay using an app, which can help to maintain social distancing.
An Overview of Point-of-Sale Systems in Hospitality
For those in the hospitality industry, understanding point-of-sale systems and software can be critical to achieving lasting success. In particular, business leaders need to be aware of how they work, what their potential is, and why they are so important within modern hotels, restaurants and similar settings.
To find out more and access insights about the true value of these systems within the hospitality sector, read the “POS Systems: Overview and Importance in The Hospitality Industry” article.
Benefits of Point-of-Sale Systems for Hotels
Point-of-sale systems can be beneficial to hospitality businesses of all kinds, but they have particular uses for those operating within the hotel industry, because of the amount of data hotels deal with and the variety of services they tend to provide aside from the simple sale of hotel rooms.
To learn more about the ways a POS system can benefit your hotel business, complete with specific examples, take a look at the “6 Benefits of Point-of-Sale Software for Hotels” article.
Reporting Features of Point-of-Sale Systems in Hospitality
Point-of-sale systems have a number of uses away from the core applications like processing card and cash payments from customers. A good example of this is their role in assisting businesses with creating accurate and useful reports, and this could include performance reports, employee reports and more.
If you would like to improve your understanding of the reporting features available when using your POS software, check out our “A Deep-Dive into Reporting Features of POS Software for Hospitality” post.
Point-of-Sale Systems: Key Trends for Restaurants
Within the restaurant industry, the use of point-of-sale systems is critical to success, but different restaurants also have different uses for the software. To get the most from your POS system, it is recommended to always stay up-to-date with the emerging trends and to also be as informed as possible about what the future is likely to bring.
To explore the topic of point-of-sale system trends for restaurants in greater depth and to learn about the main trends to be aware of, read the “Restaurant POS Systems: The Latest and Future Trends” article.
Point-of-Sale Systems: How to Pick the Right App
To maximise your point-of-sale system, it is important to select the right app. After all, your chosen software will serve as the front-end of the system and will be used by employees to process payments and carry out other tasks. That said, selecting the right app does also require an awareness of what to look for.
If you are hoping to find some useful advice on what to look out for when browsing the different software options on the market, check out our “POS Apps: How to Choose the Right One?” article.
Point-of-sale systems can play a fundamental role in business success within the hospitality industry, but hotels, restaurants and other companies need to understand how to maximise the benefits. This can be achieved by training staff to focus on customer satisfaction, customising your setup, and using POS systems to expand.