As decorations find their way into windows and onto shelves, it's time to ensure your restaurant is ready for hungry holiday shoppers.
TD Bank’s recent survey at the NY Business Expo revealed nearly 40 percent of business owners aren’t confident their current payment system can handle increased business during the holidays. If you want to crush the holiday rush, craft a plan that considers challenges like seasonal staffing, managing food inventory and maintaining customer loyalty, as well as your ability to process payments quickly and conveniently. By utilizing a payment processing system as a business management tool, you can create a game plan to tackle the holiday season confidently.
The below check list can help you be sure the kitchen and the front of the house are in order before the holiday rush:
Get Them in the Door
Incoming groups of hungry holiday diners may seem sporadic but humans are creatures of habit and their dining rituals tend to be predictable. Diners may be less likely to stop in if they see a long line or are told they can’t be seated for another hour. Make sure you’re utilizing a POS system that provides you with analytics about the ebbs and flows of foot traffic in your restaurant, thus ensuring you're always properly staffed and can turn tables over quickly and efficiently. If your restaurant is short staffed and you need to hire new employees for the season, leverage your POS system to help you accurately estimate those staffing needs.
Give Them What They Want
Whether you manage a sit-down restaurant or a fast-casual dining establishment, food inventory is key. Improperly managed inventory can lead to wasted food and can wipe out menu favorites if key ingredients run out. Heavy holiday foot traffic might seem particularly daunting, but not with the right tools on hand. Cloud-based POS systems take what was once a tedious task – managing inventory – and make it easy to manage and understand. POS systems track purchasing habits, help determine which items are first to sell out, and will assist in calculating exactly how much of the ingredient you should order.
Make it Snappy
Particularly with fast-casual restaurants, quick payment processing is essential to ensure steady foot traffic without overcrowding. Shaving a few seconds off each transaction by implementing a contactless payment option can completely revolutionize the way a line moves. For lightning-fast payment processing, consider a stationary cloud-based POS system. Looking for something more convenient? Portable POS systems bring payment tableside. These handheld devices help eliminate extra trips for waiters and waitresses. Fewer trips to deliver the check means they can spend more time assisting other diners.
Keep Them Coming Back
As seasonal shopping ticks up and the familiar panic of the holiday season sets in, many diners will be looking for their go-to restaurant. The holidays may leave many frantically running other errands, and food may be the last thing on their mind. You can change that with a POS-based loyalty program, which not only helps you track spending habits of customers, but also encourages repeat purchases. That helps turn occasional customers into regulars.
Don't Go it Alone
Amid the holiday craziness, don't let your finances get off track. A recent TD Bank survey revealed that only 45 percent of business owners were confident about how to handle their finances and accounting. In fact, three-quarters reported that they don’t have a financial advisor or dedicated banker to educate them on financing. Before the holiday rush, consider meeting with a financial professional to make sure that you’re ready to handle the increase in foot traffic.
If your business has encountered issues with staffing, inventory, payment processing, or maintaining loyalty during the holiday season, odds are an upgraded, app-based POS system may help alleviate some or all of these problems. By partnering with a bank that fully understands the unique needs and opportunities of your business and leveraging new technology to help solve many of these traditional management issues, owners and managers can remain focused on the bread-and-butter (no pun intended) of their business – the food.
By being proactive with your preparations, your restaurant will be ready to greet those hungry diners as they stroll in with shopping bags in hand this holiday season.