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Data Overload? How to use your restaurant POS to make better business decisions.

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Some restaurant owners love data. They love being able to drill down the numbers to crunch and splice them different ways. Others go by their guts. For those of you who aren’t number lovers we have some high level tips for using your POS reports and alerts to make better business decisions in your restaurant. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the data available, instead start with these simple tools:

Part 1: Using reports to reduce fraud and loss

In part one of our three part series we talk about ways to use your POS data to reduce loss in your restaurant. This is one of the most straightforward and obvious uses for POS reports. The desire for cash and inventory control is often the trigger for restaurateurs to start looking for a POS system. Some tools are more straight-forward than others. Here are few you can start using now:

Void, deletion, and no-sale reports– Depending on your restaurant size and number of staff, combing through these reports daily may or may not be a feasible option. Rather than investigate every void or no-sale, there are a couple ways to make this data easier and faster to digest and use.

1. Look at voids by manager. Looking simply at number of voids by manager on duty can give you a good picture of who you need to talk to. Whether or not you have voids set up to require a manager password, if one manager stands out as consistently having more voids, no-sales, deletions, etc. during their shifts, you have actionable data to start a conversation.

2. Create alerts for outliers. Maybe at first you do want to look at and investigate every void, no-sale, or deletion. But after a while you may find that a small number of these are normal and you don’t want to spend your time on them anymore. Once you have established an appropriate baseline, it is very easy to create an alert parameter. Choose an appropriate number of voids, deletions, or no-sales for each manager or staff member and use Restaurant Manager POS alerts to be notified in near real time if anyone exceeds this number.

Inventory control reports- If you struggle to find meaning in your inventory control reports you’re not alone. Inventory control is one of the hardest to manage tools. It takes a lot of accuracy and diligence to do it right. If inbound PO’s are not quickly and correctly entered into the POS, inventory counts will be off, making inventory reports useless. Restaurant Manager POS inventory control offers a simpler tool with stock counter reports.

Stock counter reports let you simply do a count of high value items- pizzerias might use balls of dough, bars might use bottles of beer. Counts can be entered at the beginning of a servers shift and a report generated at the end of that shift (or mid-shift). A simple inventory can then be taken on the spot. If you are concerned about inventory loss, this tool lets you zero in on and stamp out that loss.

Cash Control- While inventory can be more complicated than people think, using reports for cash control is as easy as it sounds. Mid-shift cash tray reports combined with blind counts where the cashier doesn’t know how much the drawer started with, have an immediate impact on loss.

Part two of our series on using POS reports to make decisions will focus on other uses for POS reports like menu engineering, improving customer service, and analyzing sales with tips on what those numbers really mean.