How many times a week does your family go out to eat? If you are like most Americans, 58%, in fact, you are dining out at least once a week. This statistic includes 40% of people who say they limit eating out to one time a week. Another 14% eat out two or three times a week and 4% confess to dining out three or more times a week. While the diners are merely thinking about what sounds good and what they might like to order, on the restaurant side of the equation, managers and suppliers are trying to predict, monitor and restock from the nearly 18.2 meals a month that Americans are eating outside of the home.
Think about that. Especially if you are the one in every four people who is eating some type of fast food every day. You are impacting how often your favorite drive thru restaurant is having to reorder, restock and prepare french fries, ice cream sundaes and everything in between. Americans spend nearly 10% of their disposable income on fast food every year and 20% of these meals are eaten in the car. The restaurant owners, on the other hand, are faced with an hour by hour, and in some cases minute by minute, accounting of the the 10 billion donuts, and every other food, that are consumed in the U.S. every year. How does that monitoring happen? How is it that every time you go through that lane at your local restaurant they always have what you want? How is it that almost every time you sit down to order what you want at an Italian restaurant they always have the type and amount of pasta that you desire. If you think keeping your own home pantry stocked is tricky, how is it that restaurants manage the constant exchange of supplies coming in and prepared meals going out.
The answer, quite simply, involves restaurant computer systems and detailed point of sale monitoring. While you might be shaking your head and wondering, “What is a point of sale system?” the answer to this question is at the heart of any restaurant’s success. While it may have been possible in the past for restaurant owners and managers to manually, with paper and pencil, to keep track of what needed to be ordered, the most savvy now use detailed restaurant computer systems to keep track of their products.
There approximately 47 businesses in the United States that develop POS software and this retail POS software helps restaurants replenish items efficiently, and allows them to negotiate lower vendor costs. Modern and efficient POS software, in fact, is what allows a restaurant to reduce pricing errors and speed up the order .writing and ticket making process. A high quality POS system allows your favorite restaurant to categorize their inventory by a number of fields, allowing for easy monitoring and sorting of merchandise. The most advanced restaurant computer systems have POS systems that allow their users to preview, search, and print daily sales reports and journals from each register, and record a batch and receipt number.
Restaurant point of sale software may not be a phrase that easily rolls of the tongue of the millions of Americans eating out on a weekly basis, but it is a key component of what makes the restaurant business work efficiently.