How do you know which products at your hotel are fast moving and which are not? Can you access a real time view into sales at multiple touch points in your restaurant? If not you could well be losing out on a vital opportunity to enhance customer service and guest loyalty.
For small and budget hotels trying to plug revenue leakages while providing guests with a seamless experience in a cost effective manner, the answer lies in simple Point of Sales (POS) software.
Is your hotel ready to leverage POS software?
POS systems are not new to the industry but have come a long way from simple billing machines to delivering greater value to their users. A POS system offers an ideal opportunity to move from a manual system to technology that stores customer data, which can be mined for business intelligence and thus facilitates improvement and efficiency at customer touch points.
Additionally, POS systems can be fully integrated with room service and front office to ensure accurate and faster billing. The main benefits of a POS system are decreased service times and maximum utilisation of resources.
There are POS systems available in the market for every segment of hotels from fine dining to quick service restaurants. Hotels should choose a POS that is easily adaptable and fully customisable to suit their specific business needs. While a POS is fairly easy to use, getting staff acquainted with the application and interface will help to ensure faster ROI on installation.
Advantages of POS
- Detail and accurate record of sales
- Track inventory levels
- Note markdown in prices and record accurately
- Track promotion coupons and discounts
- Greater control over income
- Real time visibility into revenues
- Optimal use of manpower
- Real time visibility into income
- Reduced manpower requirement
Benefits of POS Software
The heart of a hospitality business is in its service and delivery of guest experience. A POS enhances both of these. By automating sales documentation, hotel staff can spend less time on formalities and more on delivering better customer service. Modules in a good POS can help staff trace customer history and help identify meal and table preferences. In addition, customer loyalty programmes can also be tailored based on the information gathered.
POS systems are integral for both order generation and tracking inventory shrinkage through in-depth analysis of inventory movement. Proper implementation of POS functions increases business profitability by providing management with details on fast moving products, time of sale and profitability.
The hallmark of a good POS is its interface, which should be user friendly and intuitive so that it can be operated with the least possible experience. POS systems also come in touch screens and hand-held PDA options. The GUI reduces time-per-transaction through direct communication with the kitchen and this process also helps to maintain billing accuracy.
The flourishing Android market has brought with it apps that have enhanced the use of the POS, as it enables stewards to communicate with the kitchen real-time, thereby also allowing order cancellations or changes at the last minute. Apps have been developed for customers as well. Using their smart phones, they can now view and handle their own tabs through effortless and cashless transactions.
As is the case with technology, upgrades are constant and change is expected. POS systems are going to get smarter, faster and better.
Author: Manoj K Mohanty, Vice President – Sales, South and Central Asia, IDS NEXT