Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Smart POS Point of Sale Systems: Integrated EFTPOS to your POS SystemIntegrated EFT...

Smart POS Point of Sale Systems: Integrated EFTPOS to your POS SystemIntegrated EFT...: Integrated EFTPOS to your POS System Integrated EFTPOS will save time and reduce errors when it is integrated to you point of sale system...

Integrated EFTPOS to your POS System

Integrated EFTPOS will save time and reduce errors when it is integrated to you point of sale system.

Most POS systems offer the option of integrated EFTPOS.

The EFTPOS terminals are directly connected to your POS system, via USB, bluetooth or WIFI. The total of the transaction on the touch screen POS terminal is sent directly to the EFTPOS machine, eliminating operator error and saving precious service time. This is particularly important for fast service hospitality businesses such as restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, bottleshops, entertainment centres, clubs, pubs, stadiums, franchises and nightclubs.

In Australia, there are two (2) options for integrated EFTPOS - 
PCEFTPOS through most banks and TYRO. Both of these should connect directly to your POS system. The TYRO system also integrates with some POS systems for the pay at table feature, thereby saving even more time.

When an order is paid at the table of the restaurant, it automatically closes the table account in the POS system. This dramatically cuts double handling. Check if your POS Software supports this functionality.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Restaurant Implications for EFTPOS to Table

Pin Numbers and Tipping at Table Negatively Effecting Tips in Restaurants

POS Systems can help to reduce this effect

August 2014 has seen the elimination of signing for a credit card and the implementation of pin numbers. This action has implications for restaurants, particularly table service restaurants.

There used to be a  quiet, unobtrusive procedure for requesting a tip. The wait staff would take the credit card to the POS point of sale terminal for processing, an EFTPOS copy would be printed with a signature panel and a tip area. This was then taken back to the table for signing and the diner could fill in the tip area if inclined. 

Those days are now gone. Now the EFTPOS terminal is taken to diner at the table and "pay at table tipping" has been introduced. The bill total is entered into the EFTPOS terminal by wait staff and the tip is entered directly into the EFTPOS terminal by the customer, followed by their pin number.  

Feedback from our clients has been that tipping has decreased markedly since the introduction of "tip at table". Where before customers had time to think about the service they had received and decide on a tip amount, it is now easier just to skip completely the tip section. With the wait staff standing in front of them, they can also feel pressured and again, they skip over the tip section. This has contributed to up to a 40% reduction in tips.

There are ways to counteract these negative effects.

1) When the first itemised bill is printed from the POS system, ensure that there is a Tip Section at the bottom. This encourages the client to at least think about a tip before the EFTPOS terminal is brought to the table. Some of our clients have even introduced the American system, where the Point of Sale System calculates from the individual bill total, the amounts for a 10%, 15% and 20% tip. This is then printed on the itemised bill printed for the POS point of sale system.

2) In the experience of our clients, it is best if the waiter who has been assisting the table, is the one who presents the EFTPOS terminal to the client. Delivery of the instructions as to how to use the terminal should be a reminder to the client of the level of service provided by the waiter.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Real-time Web Reporting - from anywhere, anytime.

Point of Sale POS System Business Information on the web in real-time - anywhere, anytime.

POS System Web Reporting

The BEpoz SmartPOS POS point of sale system includes a powerful web reporting facility.

From any device with the internet, real-time reports can be run instantly to track your business key performance targets - anytime anywhere.

POS system reports based on sales, operator performance, discounts, stock levels, profitability, labour/sales ratios and more can be monitored in real-time.

Additionally, you can setup in your POS system's back office program, any number of customised parameters. For example, if a discount over a certain amount is entered, if stock levels reach a minimum level, if a no-sale after cancel is performed (a common theft procedure), if a promotion is awarded or if stock is written off, you can be alerted in real-time via SMS or email.

In addition to strict operator privileges and surveillance system interfaces, these are just a few ways the SmartPOS BEpoz point of sale system is working harder.... for you, whether your business is a restaurant, hotel, pub, cafe, bar, stadium, franchise, bottleshop, club or nightclub!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Restaurant Industry Support Group Gold Coast February 2014 - POS Systems for Restaurants

We recently attended the Gold Coast Restaurant Industry Support Group lunch held at Sensations Restaurant in Broadbeach. Ram and his team served up a fabulous and tasty lunch, all made from organic ingredients. Also on the menu were guest speakers.

One speaker outlined the issues facing restaurants today and how restaurateurs can arm themselves to ensure adaptability in such an ever changing marketplace.

Restaurants now more than ever, are doing it tough. So many restaurants are gaining business by discounting and offering extremely good value. If the volume of trade does not increase, this measure places massive pressure on the profitability of the restaurant. Service expectations must also be met in order for repeat business.

The average pre-tax profit margin for restaurants range between 2% and 6%, leaving little room for error. In our experience, the following issues are often overlooked by restaurant owners / managers and if taken into account and acted on, could impact significantly on a restaurant's bottomline.

1) Stock is not accounted for and inventory is not accurately counted and costed.
Food and beverage purchases does not necessarily equate to usage. Stock should be counted on delivery to check that a) it has been received in full and b) has been sold at the agreed price from the supplier. Stock should also be counted during a stocktake to ensure that there is no pilferage of stock occurring and that serving sizes are accurate. A spreadsheet can do help you do this and a restaurant POS point of sale system will do this for you. Stock orders are placed through the POS system, purchases are entered and received into the system, costs are accurately reflected in real-time and on an accurate first-in-first-out basis. Recipes of ingredients are setup in the point of sale system and sales automatically them from stock. Stocktake is entered in the inventory management system highlighting any stock discrepancies.

2) An organised and accurate accounting system is not in place.
An accounting system will obviously give you the vital reports for your restaurant business, namely a Profit & Loss statement, Balance Sheet and Statement of Cashflow. An accounting system will also allow you to take historical information into account and make accurate forecasts for likely sales. An accounting system such as MYOB or Quickbooks will do this for you. However the chart of accounts is usually very general. It will tell you for example that you sold $$$$$ in Main Meals for the month of February. This is where a POS solution can help you micro manage your business. A good point of sale system will tell you how many individual products you sold, the profitability of every item, the sales by day, shift even hour. A POS system will also highlight and account for all of promotions and complimentary items and reflect a true operating profit.

3) Operating expenses are high relative to sales.
Rent, food and beverage purchases and labour expenses account for the highest proportion of expenses derived from restaurant sales. Rent is usually fixed, but the fight for restaurant profitability is waged in the areas of purchases and labour and restaurateurs have the ability to control these factors. Management can impact positively on food and beverage cost percentages with more effective purchasing and menu pricing. Staff can also be managed more effectively to positively impact on labour percentages. A good point of sale system can perform functions such as alerting you in real-time (via SMS or email) when labour costs have exceeded a set percentage. A POS system designed for restaurants will also provide detailed reporting and analysis of sales compared to labour. A POS system will also allow you to track food and beverage costs, costs changes, sell pricing and sell price margins.

4) Food and beverage stock levels are too high compared to sales.
Why have money tied up in excess stock, when it can could be being used for improved cash flow, wages, marketing and promotions and capital investments? Excess stock levels are likely to have the knock on effects of larger portion sizes, increased wastage and theft. A point of sale system with inventory control will effectively manage your stock levels and provide comprehensive analysis of exactly what stock you require based on historical sales, purchasing time frames and sales forecasts. 

5) Timely reports are not taken, or if so, are inadequately reviewed or not act on.
A restaurateur needs access to sales and operational data on a daily and weekly basis as a bare minimum. Timely information about sales, wages, staff rostering, food and beverage purchases, profits and promotions is necessary in order to make effective business decisions. An effective POS point of sale system will consolidate and provide this information for restaurateurs, in some cases on a real-time basis. Some POS systems will automatically email / SMS this information and also alert restaurateurs automatically when set levels have been exceeded.

6) Menus are inaccurately costed and documented and are not updated.
Chefs typically do cost out their menus. However how often are they updated to reflect changing portion sizes and changes to ingredient pricing? This should be maintained minutely so that restaurateurs can accurately forecast profit and make decisions on factors like promotions. When cost prices increase, sell prices should theoretically be increased to cover the decrease in profit, or an alternatively priced ingredient needs to be sourced. A POS system will do this for a restaurateur automatically.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Cloud Based POS Point of Sale Systems for Restaurants, Cafes, Hotels and Clubs - Reliability?


Are Cloud based POS point of sale systems really the most effective POS solution for a hospitality environment?

This article will explore the pros and cons of using a POS point of sale system that is hosted within the cloud.

While having your POS system hosted on the internet may sound like a great idea, there are many factors you must take into consideration before putting your POS system onto the internet.

1) What happens if the internet goes down?
2) What happens if the line speed is degraded between your premises and the cloud service?
3) The extra security measures required to ensure your POS system cannot be breached via man in the middle attacks.
4)  Does your cloud provider have specific times when upgrades are done? Are these during trade?
5) What if your cloud provider shuts down in the middle of service?

Let us talk about each of these points separately so you are aware of the potential issues that could affect your point of sale system, and in turn, your business.

What happens if the internet goes down? You no longer have access to your data. If your touch screen POS terminals require a real-time connection to the Cloud as well, they are also no longer operational. Essentially your business will stop or have to be run on a paper based manual system. Unless you have pages and pages of hard copy documents that stipulate the POS pricing scheme, there is no way to run your business.

What happens if the line speed is degraded? This is probably one of the worst situations for your POS system to be in. Your whole point of sale system will slow down. Meaning longer queue times for clients, longer waiting periods for reporting requirements. Line degredation can also cause a lot of issues in relation to Packet Loss. Packet Loss is essentially information being dropped from the line. This could be your POS transactions. If this happens, your stock control and cash control systems, as well as your sales figures, will now be incorrect. This means more work trying to correct the issue.

Extra Security? By placing your point of sale information on the cloud and requiring you to log into another system that is hosted over the internet, this places a lot of confidential and sensitive information on the internet. If someone is interested in your data, they can (and will) get to it. The preferred method for hackers is "man in the middle" attacks. What this means is whenever you transmit data over the internet, you first connect to another computer prior to connecting to your ISP and so on, thus giving every single bit of information to that foreign computer.

Extra security on your POS systems can be detrimental to the speed and ease of setup as you will be required to have firewall rules, anti-virus and malware programs installed on those computers. Not only that, but depending on the system, you may even require that POS terminal to be connected to the internet. Very Dangerous.

Cloud Upgrades? Depending on the cloud provider you are with, you may not know of scheduled maintenance to those systems. If this does happen, you may lose connection to your database, essentially stopping your POS system.

So what are other options for a cloud based POS system?

There is no reason why you can’t backup your information within the cloud. This is probably one of the best applications.

You can have your own VPN (Virtual Private Network) that is hosted within your separate locations. It allows POS systems to communicate within each other. A lot of VPN systems these days allow for fallback systems if internet connections fail on a line. Reliability is a must for POS systems, especially large Multi-Venue POS systems. By using a VPN system aswell, you have created a much more secure system, as the information is ported directly to the location (I.P address) required from your router.

Find a POS point of sale system that hosts a smaller version of the main server at each separate location. This means if the Head Office server does go down or if an internet issue occurs, the business can continue to run full speed ahead and backlog the transactions locally until the issue has been rectified. If the Head Office server fails, no need to worry. Every venue has it’s own version of the database and can continue to run while the required work is done on the main server.

Monday, 27 January 2014

POS Software Versus POS Hardware 

A fully integrated POS Point of Sale System is the most beneficial solution, as it means you have one point of contact if you experience any problems with either POS software or POS hardware. However, what if you have purchased some POS hardware at considerable expense and the software just does not work in the way you require, becomes obsolete and/or does not do what you require it to do? What if you have purchased or leased a restaurant, hotel, club, cafe or bottleshop and it came with existing POS hardware? Or what if you have found some POS hardware on-line at a very cost effective price?

The Solution - Can you change your POS software without changing your POS hardware?

Most POS system suppliers prefer to supply the POS hardware as well as the POS software, purely because it makes the support role easier if they have supplied both the hardware and software. However, sometimes it is difficult to disagree that it is a justified decision to retain existing POS hardware.

In this instance, a POS solution provider will be able to install the new POS software on your existing hardware, provided the POS hardware is technically compatible with the POS software. This will provide you with a cost effective point of sale solution that allows you to retain your POS hardware, while enjoying the benefits of new POS software that achieves the efficiency, functionality, productivity and level of information you require in order to run your business effectively.

Some point of sale POS vendors will also allow you to rent the software and after sales support, rather than purchasing it upfront. This makes the POS software changeover an even more cost effective decision.

What should you do to implement a Point of Sale Software Solution?

1) Check the specifications of your hardware for details such as the make and model, operating system, how much RAM is on the POS terminal and what connectors things like POS printers and barcode scanners have.
This can be checked by yourself but it is probably best to obtain this information from the supplier of the POS hardware if these details are available to you. You should definitely obtain this information and check that it is compatible with the new POS software provider prior to purchasing any equipment online.

2) If the information is available to you from the existing POS hardware provider, you should find out warranty details of the POS hardware and the age of the equipment.
Smart Business Technologies