POS System v/s Cash Register: What is Best for Your Restaurant

POS System v/s Cash Register: What is Best for Your Restaurant

The Big Question: 'Save' or 'Waste'?

'A buck saved is a buck earned' is the philosophy businesses have adhered to since the day the first business was established. But what constitutes 'saving' can be a moot point. Consider: Carter is a restaurateur surviving by the skin of his teeth in the face of stiff competition at different levels of business. Starting his business with hopes of making it big, he had thought that he had taken just the right decision by opting for a easy-on-pocket 'cash register' instead of another 'expensive business tool'. Wise decision, some would say.

Business is about saving money, right? But lo and behold! Within months of rolling off into operations, Carter's business has been transported to cliff-hanger situation. One may wonder why despite having a modern cash register his business is suffering losses. The answer is simple: A business is more than just recording neat financial transactions. It's also about feeling the pulse of the market and the customer. It's about continuous 'thinking' and anticipation. While Carter's cash register recorded and safe-kept his cash transactions, it was only as good as that. It couldn't do, or help do, the 'thinking'.

The Need to 'Think'

Management, especially cash management, has always been considered to be fundamental to the survival of businesses which means that better cash management systems ought to have made business establishment and/or growth relatively more straightforward. Not quite. The fact remains that despite advancements in means of cash management, businesses continue to suffer losses and are consequently forced to downsize or shut down altogether.

Add to this equation the nature of business: If it's a fast-paced, fiercely competitive business having to catch up with changing trends every so often .e.g., a restaurant, then probably it's time to ponder over how to survive.

Cash Register or the other 'Business Tool'? The 'Saving' Choice

Each era of modern restaurant business history has been marked by some kind of revolutionary change in the way they operate and manage themselves. While issues such as human resource and financial management, especially the latter, are central to survival and growth of any kind of businesses big or small, it is especially true for restaurant business where there is razor-thin margin for error.

However, despite the transition from manual calculations to simple calculators and then 'cash registers' (also called “tills”), many a restaurants have seen their financial management easing but growths plummeting. In the case study alluded to above, Carter opted for cash register, a machine that does nothing but execute and record financial transactions. It's only other 'features' are a cash drawer, a receipt printer and a functional possibility of attaching a barcode scanner. But can it also 'think' for his business? Of course not. Confronted with the same 'saving' choice, Emily opted for the other 'business tool' with the following key features:

  • It calculates and records financial transactions
  • It lists the products that sell more
  • It calculates how much tax she must collect on each sale
  • It develops record of products which sell more, and on which day(s)
  • It reports on products that are out-of-stock / depleting fast
  • It notifies on products that are lying unsold
  • It identifies which employee is more / less efficient
  • It marks out customers who are regular ('loyal' customers)
  • It tracks 'customer behaviour' (e.g., what do customers like and hence are likely to order more frequently)
  • It notes down customer 'frequency'
  • It records 'customer experience'
  • It graphs 'average customer spending'
  • It indicates preferred / more used 'type of payment', etc. 

The result: She is raking in profits. Imagine how Carter would have fared had he too opted for this tool instead of cash register. He certainly would have been in better shape. His business most likely would've been up and running, bringing in decent profits and prospects of growth. Only, he didn't know or realize that. If known beforehand, any restaurateur, let alone Carter, would want to have this 'business tool' irrespective of 'cost', wouldn't they? At JeM POS, we call this 'business tool' Restaurant POS System. This is the system that restaurateurs in UK are fast turning to thanks to its ability to 'think'. And think it does, not only for restaurateurs but for their customers as well, thus turning it into a must-have thing.

POS: The 'Business Generator'.

Given the nature of this business, restaurateurs have to worry about many additional things (which are not associated with other businesses) on a daily basis. They have to stay up to date on current and emerging trends, ensure reasonable sales each day, strategize to retain customers by serving them to their satisfaction, develop and implement man-management strategies, take care of everyday finances, plug leakages, minimize product wastage, oversee inventory, devise and modify business plans on a day-to-day basis in order to stay competitive, identify future business trends and accordingly make projections, enlist and 'reach out' to customers who are regular and frequent, and a lot more.

Doing all these things requires a lot of legwork which is centered entirely on available data. The big question is: Where would all that data come from? A cash register? Certainly not. Cash register can only provide details of cash transactions. Such data would only come from a Point of Sale system. A mix of hardware and software, a Point of Sale system (POS henceforth) combines business transactions with business operations leading to efficiency, something which renders a cash register almost obsolete. Here's how.

Unlike a cash register which is bound to a single location and has nothing of 'real time value' to add to your restaurant, a POS system gives you the choice to run your restaurant from anywhere and on any device, be that a smartphone, a laptop or an iPad (the latest version of POS). With this system, manage your finances, make accurate future projections, devise successful business strategies, optimize employee management, keep traction of your customers, make 'reach-out deals', develop retention strategies, etc. and forget losses. Ultimately, whether you wish to be Carter or Emily, the choice is yours.

Book Free 15mins Demo