I can’t remember the last time I bought a coffee and paid in anyway other than contactless on an integrated point-of-sale terminal. And yes, of course, I pay with my phone.
I love that.
There are even more exciting things happening behind the scenes at a tech-savvy hospitality or retail store. The latest breakthrough saves a retailer from losing thousands of dollars by rostering on the wrong number of staff.
What It Takes to Win at Retail
You’ve worked hard to devise an attractive menu, found a good location, hired a fantastic barista and created all the right buzz. To give your retail or hospitality business the best chance, you need to also get these right:
- Enough (but not too many) staff on the floor
- A fast and simple way to process payments
- Knowledge about your clientele, their habits and preferences (or, what they want and how they want it)
Traditionally these insights into customers relied on the savvy of business owners. Those who have ‘the touch’, that ‘just know’ what the customer wants.
But honestly, is that the best way these genius mind-readers should spend their time? Or is there a clever machine that could crunch the data and provide more facts to direct their decisions?
The best hospitality businesses systems are based on the holy trio: POS, rostering and accounting. All apps in the cloud, all integrated.
Because everyone make better decisions when they have quality data in front of them. And everyone is happier when they don’t waste time copying figures from one system to the other.
Let’s break it down.
When your POS talks to your accounting system
Connecting your point-of-sale to your accounting program means you no longer need to manually transfer total takings. A good integration sends the daily takings, funds collected, and any till discrepancies straight to your accounting system on a daily basis.
It sends summarised information and a break-down that is just enough to make your accountant happy and your P&L make sense.
Technically that means: GST figures, total in and out by category, and funds collected by payment method for efficient reconciliation. (It also includes liabilities such as gift cards and inventory valuations”)
A cloud POS system like Kounta will post daily takings, funds collected and GST breakdown into your accounting program
When your rostering system talks to your accounting package
Your rostering or time and attendance system deals with your most expensive and valuable asset – your staff.
It can forecast your staff costs based on the planned roster. A good integration with accounting will automatically post attendance and leave information into the payroll module.
To further simplify your payroll processing, most cloud time and attendance systems have strong EBA interpretation engines, usually stronger than any in the small business payroll game. It takes care of the rules that apply to younger employees, students and certified chefs and automates their wage rates.
A cloud time and attendance solution like Tanda will post timesheets, relevant hourly rates, and leave requests into your accounting program
When your POS talks to your rostering system
The latest idea is to connect your POS to the rostering program. It turns out that rostering can be a lot smarter if it is data driven.
Imagine that you have just sat down to fill out the roster for the next month. Your rostering app suggests a draft roster based on past information, including actual sales in the last month.
When I say sales, I don’t just mean dollars. I mean number of transactions or sometimes even number of items processed. Now you can look at a combination of number of items processed (e.g. dishes to serve) and number of transactions (e.g. payments to settle) in 15 or 30 minute intervals. This gives you a very accurate picture as to the load on your staff.
Your rostering app is now showing how many dishes you are expected to make and consequently how many staff you will likely need.
The difference between data driven rosters and those driven by ‘sentiment’ is striking.
Where in the latter rosters are typically in pre-defined shifts (10 staff showing up at 6pm), with data driven ones you will notice rosters in 15 minute slots. Staff show up when they are actually needed. It reduces overstaffing and understaffing to a minimum.
The rostering module in Tanda will read transactional information from Kounta POS to build a data-driven suggested roster
Even more data feeds
Add more data feeds to make rostering suggestions even smarter. Domino’s Pizza uses Tanda with data feeds from online ordering, deliveries and foot traffic at each store. Tanda then suggests rosters based on the projected load for every individual sales channel based on time of day and day of week. It also applies staff-to-client ratios that would mean optimum staffing at any given time.