Friday, 09 November 2018 11:34

Complex labor laws and your POS

Does your POS simplify your life?

Nations Restaurant News recently reported a change to rules regulating how restaurant owners compensate tip-employees for non-tip work. Labor Department abandons Obama-era “80/20 rule”. Before, employers could not pay tipped employees who performed non-tip work for 20% of their time at sub-minimum wage rates. This is the “80/20” rule.

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POS Buyers GuideManaging a restaurant is a challenging task, which is becoming even more difficult as the market becomes more competitive. Restaurant managers are ultimately responsible for marketing, customer relations, staffing, accounting, and just about any other function you can name. Keeping a restaurant running smoothly — and profitably — requires a host of different skills.

But there are techniques and tools that can make the job just a little easier. Here are five tips for managing a restaurant that can improve your chances for success:

1. Keep an Eye on Cash Flow

When considering how to manage a restaurant, cash flow will be a prime concern. It is critical for ensuring you can meet payroll and pay the bills, but it can be difficult to manage in a busy restaurant. Your point of sale (POS) solution can help you by automatically tracking sales, inventory (based on order volume), and profitability, as well as providing insight into the popularity of menu items. The data generated by the POS can also help you better manage payroll, identify potential staffing level improvements, and gauge the effectiveness of promotions.

2. Train Your Employees

Successfully managing a restaurant requires visibility into staff performance. Outline your expectations for the entire staff, and then make sure you take the time to train them to meet those expectations. Walk the floor and monitor their performance. Praise them when they earn it, and (discretely) correct them when necessary. Have regular employee reviews and team meetings to keep everyone up to speed and to provide coaching or training on new procedures.

3. Invest in Customer Convenience

Eliminate obstacles between your restaurant and your customer (and their money). Invest in a modern POS solution that allows you take a variety of forms of payment, including new PIN and chip cards and phone-based systems like Apple Pay. Your POS solution can also make it easier for you to offer coupons, loyalty cards, and gift cards that can help keep your customers coming back. If you take reservations, let customers request them online or using a mobile app.

4. Communicate Constantly

Succeeding at how to manage a restaurant also requires a significant amount of people skills. Customers, obviously, appreciate it when the manager takes a moment to greet them, ask them about their experience, and make them feel special.

But talking to employees is just as important. Hold regular meetings and give credit to top performers. If there’s a problem, make sure everyone is aware of their role in helping to solve it, and what the ramifications are for the business (and their compensation) if the problem goes unsolved. Make sure employees are comfortable bringing complaints or suggestions to you.

5. Embrace New Technology

Margins in food service are razor thin, so anything you can do to improve efficiency and accuracy are critical. Managing a restaurant is difficult enough without relying on manual processes. There are plenty of software tools available that make it easier to manage your restaurant, and also make it easier for your staff to provide great service. Use technology to track and manage your inventory and alert you when it’s time to place an order with a supplier.

A kitchen video system/display system can improve order accuracy and make the kitchen more productive. Upgraded POS systems can lower your costs, while mobile tablets or handheld devices can help your servers improve their speed and accuracy.

The answer to the question of how to manage a restaurant is never going to be cut and dry, but deploying the right technology and keeping lines of communication open with staff and customers will ensure that managers have the information they need to keep customers happy and make critical business decisions.

POS Buyers Guide

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