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Restaurant Point Of Sale Systems

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Question:

Discuss about the Restaurant Point of Sale Systems.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

In retail businesses like in a restaurant, there are a myriad of activities involving the workers and the clients. These may include; serving of food, making of orders as well as executing payment processes. These activities ought to be carefully coordinated to ensure minimal use of resources in addition to effective time management. Consequently, there is the need to integrate both manual and computer operated systems like the POS system to aid in the process of transaction (Barabba, 2009). A point of sale, also called, the point of payment can be described as the location in which transactions between the customer and the seller are completed. At the point of sale, the operator indicates the value of the products to be paid by the client. At the same time, the client is accorded the various options they could use to complete the payment (Bidgoli, 2004). An invoice or a receipt can be issued to the customer as an account of the transaction details. In this essay, we analyze the features and benefits of two different restaurant points of sale systems

Types of restaurant points of sale systems

Depending on the complexity of an organization, different organizations use different systems. This is because each of these systems have various features as well as benefits which could only fit specific operational objectives within the restaurant. For instance, there are two categories of restaurants which include the quick service restaurants and the full service restaurant. For the QSR, the most common pints of sale system used include: the Baker POS system, the Coffee Shop POS system, Deli POS system, Delivery POS system, Fast Food POS system as well as the Food Truck POS system (House, 2008). On the other hand, some of the popular systems especially in the Full Service Restaurants include: the Bar POS system, the Japanese Restaurant POS system and the Chinese Restaurant POS system (Costa, 2016). For this work, we analyze the features of two systems namely the Food Truck POS system and the Fast Food POS system.

The Food Truck POS system, which is basically iPad based, is mostly used in making online orders. Large restaurants can use the system especially to manage the mobile kitchens as part of a strategy to improve sales. The system is characterized by an interactive interface which allows customers to make orders from the comfort of their homes and have the food delivered to them in trucks (Joshi, 2013). Due to the fact that the orders are made online by the clients themselves, the responsibilities of the employees are greatly reduced since they don’t have to man their phones in a bid to keep track of the orders. The orders are received from a central point and depending on the menu selected by the customer; the information is then channeled to the relevant departments within the hotel management team. The system is mostly appropriate for the customers in need of the hotel services but cannot physically access the premises due to constraints of time and perhaps resources. The system is cheaper and relatively time saving especially for the customer who only needs to go online to make orders (Keller, 2008). Additionally, it does not only support multiple units and give the clients a variety of options but also allows them to use debit and credit cards. This makes the transactions faster and more convenient.

 

The Food Truck POS system has a number of benefits which ensures its appropriateness especially for use in the quick service restaurant set ups. To begin with, it enables the restaurant management to track orders and hence maintain the right transaction records. This lightens the process of accounting especially for the deliveries made outside the hotel premises. The POS system also allows the hotel management to monitor the progress of these deliveries as well as the sales made out of the process. This is because the system is both web and iPad based hence the software installed allows room for online surveillance and tracking of processes. For instance, through the software machines, it is easy for the hotel employees, assigned to execute the deliveries, to track the location of the customers and hence make the deliveries in good time thereby uplifting the levels of convenience and proper customer satisfaction. Further, the fact that this system allows for real time tracking of orders comes with a couple of other benefits (Laudon, 2009). For instance, by monitoring the flow of orders, it is possible for the hotel management to establish the peak hours of operation. Since the system allows online tracking of events, it provides an effective platform through which the management can identify the most popular menus which could then be availed in good quantities and quality to increase sales.

Fast Food POS System

The Fast Food POS system comprises a user friendly interface through which the customers can easily interact with the assigned menu prices. It operates under the control of the restaurant employees specially trained to use it. The clients are then served with the menu and the assigned price before being allowed to make choices which are then channeled to the kitchen department for the final process of the service chain (Nonaka, 1995). The system has a terminal through which work orders are directly channeled. This plays a crucial role in reducing the time taken by the customers to wait for their orders to be delivered. In the Fast Food POS system, the client is not issued with a print out of the invoice or value of the food ordered, however, the machine automatically releases the overall price of the client’s menu. Once the client has made the payments, a printout is then channeled to the serving terminal where the next team of employees conducts the service (Peric, 2006). The other core feature of this system is the fact that it supports multiple payment options. The clients can therefore pay in cash and also using credit and debit cards.

The system, just like most quick service restaurant POS systems has a number of benefits. One of the most dominant advantages is the aspect of time management. Since the system is computer managed and the orders computer generated, the time taken to make an order is greatly shortened. As a result, the time taken by the clients while waiting for their deliveries is considerably reduced (Strakic, 2006). The other benefit is that the convenience levels are raised and the customers are relieved of the agony of having to stand in the queue as they wait to be served. This is because the system only requires them to pick and suggest the menu after which they can sit and wait for the deliveries which takes an equally short time. The system is appropriate for in house customers who make orders and are hence served within the hotel premises. Apart from the customers, the system is of benefit to hotel the organization in a number of ways. For instance, the interface is not only user friendly but also quite easy to understand. As a result, less time and resources may be required to train the employees on how to operate the system.  Additionally, the system supports multiple options of payment and at the same time improve staff management due to its simple interface.

 

Suggested System for Integration: Fast Food POS System

As noted earlier, the complexity of an organization largely influences the choice of a POS system.  The operations within the hotel industry continue to grow in complexity as time goes by. This could be attributed to the changes in customer preferences as well as the need to improve business competitiveness (Sullivan, 2004). In order to replace the current manual operations which are quite time consuming and record low levels of precision, the suggested POS system for integration would be the Fast Food POS system. The following are some of the reasons why the Fast Food POS System over the Food Truck POS system was picked for integration.

  • Since the manual system may be time consuming, the integration of the new digitalized POS system would be a worthy replacement. This is because the system allows the direct channeling of orders to the terminal which reduces the amount of time the customers take to wait for their deliveries. In the case of Food Truck system, the orders have to be delivered to the client which is both resource and time consuming.
  • Secondly, when using the manual systems, there is the likelihood of occurrence of errors especially when accounting for the product prices which may cause the organization to incur unnecessary losses (Tanasijevic, 2007). The Fast Food POS System is a computerized system which enhances precision of operations since it also gives room for tracking of orders which makes accountability both easy and speedy. For the Food Truck system, the delivery is still done manually which might give room for operational errors.
  • The system’s interface is also user friendly, this implies less time and resources would be required in order to integrate the new system into the hotel’s management.
  • The integration of the Fast Foods POS system to replace the manual operations would go a long way in enhancing faster service delivery.
  • The other advantage of the integrated system is the fact that it would lead to increase in the accuracy of orders as well as the increase in tableside card processing. This benefit could be attributed to the variety of payment options availed by the system. The various payment options are not so available in the case of Food Truck POS system.
  • Furthermore, the Fast Foods POS system improves the accuracy of inventory records due to the fact that the system allows for real time tracking of orders and hence the records of operation. Finally, the system allows flexibility hence the customers with allergies to certain menus have the option of making alternative orders. Some of these options are however not available when using the Food Truck system which makes the former a better alternative.
 

Ethical and Sustainability Implications

The Fast Foods POS system is one of the most efficient approaches which would easily fit into the operations of most current generation restaurants. Due to the fact that the procedures are computer managed, there is no possibility that information shared between the buyer and the seller can leak to the third party. The confidentiality and security of the details of information exchanged between the parties is a crucial ethical standard which makes the system an appropriate choice. In line with the aspect of sustainability, the world is going digital and the probable projection is that in the coming years almost the entire chain of procedures in companies and organizations will be computer aided. As a result, integrating a system like the Fast Foods POS system in the restaurant’s procedures is a project that is likely to be sustained for a good period of time. The creation and innovation of more technological ideas would not necessarily render the system useless but would be pivotal in improving it hence making it more effective with respect to the company’s processes.

 

Conclusion

The effectiveness of an organization largely depends on the specific structures which have been put in place in a bid to control operations. The systems used within an organization ought to be pivotal in enhancing efficiency of activities carried out in different departments within an organization. Due to the various benefits that come with the use of the Fast Food POS System, it would be an appropriate replacement for the manual systems. This is because it enhances accuracy, increases the speed of operations and also gives room for the easy management of clients. The system is also user friendly which enhances convenience levels. Consequently, the integration of the appropriate POS systems in the hotel management would be effective in meeting these management objectives.

 

References

Barabba, P. (2009) “Through a Glass Less Darkly,” Journal of the American Statistical Association, 86(413), pp. 1-8.

Bidgoli, H. (2004) The Internet Encyclopedia. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

House, C. (2008) Decision Support Systems – A Data-Based, Model-Oriented User-Developed Discipline. New York: Petrocelli Books.

Costa, A. (2016) ‘Enterprise resource planning adoption and satisfaction determinants’. Computers in Human Behavior, 63(1), pp. 659–671.

Joshi, G. (2013) Management Information Systems. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Keller, G.  (2008) SAP R/3 Process-Oriented Implementation. New York: Addison Wesley Longman,

Laudon, K. (2009) Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm (11 ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.

Nonaka, I. (1995) The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation, New York: Oxford University Press.

Peric, O. (2006) ‘Bridging the gap: Complex adaptive knowledge management’. Strategic Management, 14(1), pp. 654-668.

Strakic, F.(2006) ‘The role of the user in the software development life cycle’. Management

Information Systems, 4 (2), pp. 60-72.

Sullivan, L. (2004) “Heavyweight Retailer Looks Inward to Stay Innovative in Business Technology.” InformationWeek, 27(1), pp. 12-16.

Tanasijevic, V. (2007) ‘A PHP project test-driven end to end’. Management Information Systems, 5 (1), pp. 26-35.

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