Technology in the Restaurant Starts and Ends With POS, Right? Part B or Part 2

What is the point … of sale?

This is not a trick question, but it is a question, and I intend on answering it in more detail this month. Last month we discussed the functions of 1. Timekeeping 2. Coursing options 3. Future and delayed orders and 4. Integrated credit and gift cards. This month we will get to the point … of sale, and that is MAKING MONEY.

The most important point of point of sale, and OK, I will stop saying THAT, is that it makes you smarter. You work hard, but are you getting the profits and profitability that you deserve? Are you analyzing the numbers so that you can be more productive … so there is more money to improve the business and your life? THAT is the point of point of sale (OK, this is really the last time). Whether this information is coming from your POS or from your cloud reporting tool, here is what is important:

  1. Sales reports. What are you looking for? How many filets or bottles Chateau Neuf de Soda Pop you sold? How many dollars you took in? What percentage of your sales were credit cards? These are all interesting and relatively important, but these representmoney you took in. Done. Look, instead at the money you did not take in! Void reports, Discounts, Refunds, Error Corrects, Cancels – those represent the money you had, or possibly had, and was taken away. These are just the first things you should look at every morning of your long, tiresome, never-ending issued lives. Where is it going and why? Wrap your arms these numbers, and you will realize the truths you do not want to face, and then, the money tree starts growing. Make sure you are the fertilizer. So to speak.
  1. Menu item mix at your bar. OK, you know you sold 12 shots of Absolut Citron and 14 shots of Ketel One and 10 shots of Patron Silver… or DO YOU?? Please do not tell me (or your mom or anyone) that you are still ringing up martinis and margaritas. I am begging! If your POS is still set up in the old fashioned liquors A-F, G-Etc. you are missing the boat and likely missing lots of money. Rum and coke? OK, what kind of rum did that bartender use? How do you track THAT? Bacardi 151 and coke? That is right. That is how to do it, and ANY OTHER WAY COSTS YOU MONEY. Period. Quote me.
  1. Employee productivity. You look at the per head and check average for all of your servers regularly, right? Wrong? What the hey? OK, it is Friday night. Busy, busy. John Handsome rings a $34/per head and $60 per check average. Jenn Cutiepie rings $42/per head and $82 per check average. Two other servers are closer to $51 and $100.  Luck of the draw? Maybe, but if you viewed these over a week, a month, a season and this was consistent, the why the HECK is Johnny boy working on busy nights? He is costing you money! Are you assessing the real value of each of your servers? Of your bartenders? Or your cashiers? If you are not, and the wrong people are working the wrong shifts, then you are burning money. And I don’t mean maybe. Period. Quote me.
  1. Inventory. Are you comparing what you sold with what you have on hand? With what you are ordering? Is anything being given away by servers so they get bigger tips? Is shrimp or steak leaving in someone’s knapsack or pocketbook? POS has all of the tools to get you to a better place with this type of inventory control, or “shrink” as it is known. No, it is not shrinking. It is disappearing and your money along with it, right? Reading and understanding the inventory reports from your POS or cloud reporting (much better than POS) address these head on.

Embrace your POS and it will embrace you. Really. Give your POS a hug and if it hugs you back, run.

More next month. Need some help or advice? Ask your POS guru. Or me. THE POS Guru! I answer to phone calls, emails, text and carrier pigeon.


About the Author

Henry Pertman is Director, Hospitality Consulting at CohnReznick LLP, located in the firm’s Baltimore, Md. office. He can be contacted at 410-783-4900 or

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