A restaurant is an important revenue centre for a hotel, but like other aspects of the business, has very exact requirements to ensure it is managed successfully. Where hotel operations make efficiency gains through the use of modern, cloud based hotel pms software rather than a paper reservation diary, so too a restaurant can make the day to day running easier though the use of an EPOS system.
Modern epos systems fall largely into two distinct types; those which are installed as program (usually) on a windows PC and often connected as part of a local network, and those which are cloud based, meaning they are accessed via the Internet giving the convenience of being able to log in from anywhere.
By having a connected epos terminal in each bar and restaurant the hotel is able to report out management information from different revenue centres within the company, even if they are on multiple floors.
An EPOS terminal is probably what most people consider to be the fundamental part of a hotel POS system but these are far more than just a cash drawer with bells on. Often found in the hotel bar or dining areas they facilitate easy ordering for guests and hotel staff alike, but entering the items for a transaction and processing different payment types is not the end of the story.
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A modern hospitality epos system can link together different components of the food and beverage service in hotels, as well as interfacing with other back office systems and the hotel property management system.
As well as managing electronic payments, many EPOS systems support an integrated cash drawer for securely storing and recording transactions paid for with notes and coins.
When taking orders from customers on the EPOS terminal, these can be sent directly from the restaurant to the kitchen either by modern display monitors or conventional printers. This removes any possibility of errors or misunderstanding in ordering compared with hand written bills.
The hospitality industry depends on tight control of inventory levels, and just in time ordering is an essential part of business management. A hotel EPOS system can track and manage f b stock levels, providing accurate insights to balance all the needs of the hotel bar or restaurant.
An EPOS system will often support promotions, where some sales items can be offered at a reduced cost in conjunction with another item at full price. Similarly 'meal deals' can bundle specific starter, main and dessert options for a lower inclusive price. Both options create value for the customer but drive increased spend for the business. Having the epos system manage these discounts leads to consistency with staff being less likely to make mistakes.
In tandem with a modern property management system, after check in, the hotel epos can post f b items to the guest's room for settlement on checkout, rather than have them pay at the table which enhances the guest experience.
Many hotel point of sale systems are able to forward itemised breakdowns of what has been sold in their bar or restaurants that day to the property management system, giving an overview of all revenue streams in one easy to manage report. Caterbook is able to receive these casual, non-resident postings and display them in the End of Day report.
Many hotel epos vendors have created integrations to peripheral applications to further automate the day to day hotel operation. On a simple level, table booking, loyalty system, promotional codes and online / take away food ordering software platforms have provided valuable new revenue streams and resilience for hotels when accommodation bookings fell through the floor during the pandemic.
Having the POS linked to an app-based online ordering system means hotel guests can order room service from their phone, and a resultant higher spend during the guest's stay.
But if we think about this on a deeper level, linking together the software platforms that hotels uses every day provides a seamless experience during the guests stay, and similarly for staff of all levels within the company.
Simplifying hotel management through connected software applications drives efficiencies, saving time and balancing the need to be customer centric whilst at the same time being business focussed.
A hotel restaurant will have many different staff members, all of whom have varying roles and responsibilities within the company. As with the hotel PMS, an epos system will normally allow different levels access based on the job function of each employee. A manager would be allowed full access to financial reports and stock levels, where waiting or bar staff would only be able to input orders.
In the modern world, hospitality businesses will be increasingly reliant on having their own software technology stack. With many global businesses taking fees and commissions on their bookings and sales, one way to take control back into their own hands is to deploy tech both in house and on their website.
Whether that's hotel pms software for managing the guest's stay, or epos for bringing together the ordering and serving of food and drink - the question is more "can your hotel operate efficiently without maximising your use of technology?".