POS programmes for hospitality businesses
The hotel and catering business is one of the industries with the highest demand worldwide, this includes all those companies that cover accommodation services, food and beverages; that is, all establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeteria, bars, among other similar ones.
All these establishments share many things in common, and one of them is the need for basic equipment that allows them to provide an efficient and optimal service. On this occasion, I will comment on one of those pieces of equipment that turn out to be fundamental in the world of the hotel industry, which is the POS programme, its main characteristics, importance and how they help to manage a hotel business.
What is a POS programme?
A POS programme or Point-of-sale terminal, is a computer software designed to help in the management of all the processes related to the sales of an establishment, while at the same time providing a friendly and comfortable interface to those who carry out the function of salesperson, to ensure that this happens in a fluid and efficient manner.
These computer systems cover all aspects of the sales process, from order registration, to invoice generation, to keeping the stock status updated and the authorization of credit card payment.
Importance of POS
Over the last decade, POS software has gradually been scaled up, gradually extending its functionalities and increasing its presence in hotel and catering establishments. All of this is related to the search for increasing efficiency in customer service to maximise sales volume.
The use of this computer tool has revolutionised the way in which the client and the salesperson or service provider interact, creating a means that allows personalised attention for each type of client.
In addition, these systems are extraordinary for keeping a proper control of the inventory and collecting detailed information about the sales, from the one that has to do with money, to the one referring to the amount of product ordered, sold and remaining.
Ideal characteristics of a POS program
There are a few characteristics that you should look out for in your hotel and catering POS programme so that it can make the greatest possible contribution to improving the management of your business. Some of the characteristics are as follows:
Easy to use
A very common element in the hospitality industries is the rotation of workers. It is common for jobs in this sector to be "temporary" jobs offered by university students, newly arrived immigrants or people who need extra money. Therefore, it is important that management software is relatively easy to learn and it is only a matter of a few minutes to understand how to use it. Thus, the cost per change of staff will be lower in terms of training time.
There is always the possibility that you want to make some changes, both in the equipment or hardware, and in the operating system; therefore, having an adaptable POS program is a great advantage. In this way you will be able to make all the modifications you wish to make to your business, but without having to adapt to a new specific POS, better still, it will adapt to you and your employees will be able to continue doing their tasks while maintaining their usual work rhythm.
Work in the cloud
The possibility of being able to monitor and manage your business remotely is undoubtedly of the utmost importance today. Today the virtual form is present in several places, and this is a rhythm of work to which it is simply necessary to adapt. Therefore, a POS programme that works in the cloud and allows you to manage part of the most important activities of your business from anywhere, while receiving sales reports, is essential for good commercial development.
This feature is closely related to the previous one, both in the level of need due to the technological vanguard, and in the fact that as long as the POS terminal works in the cloud, the possibility of it being kept up to date is practically a given, of course, as long as the company responsible takes care of developing the relevant updates for the programme.
Factors to take into account when choosing a POS programme
Choosing the right software to control your sales from the beginning can be very profitable for the future of your business. While it is true that at any time you can change it if you are not comfortable with the current one, the high risk of loss of vital information can be a very unfortunate fact in the evolution of your sales process.
For this reason, it would be ideal to meticulously select software with a variety of options and good features from the outset that you can work with for a long time.
Here are some of the factors you should consider when selecting your POS program
Cloud or local POS program
There are basically two types of POS programmes, one that works entirely in the cloud and the other that works locally.
- The Cloud POS program works with a full internet connection, it is not installed on any hardware in the shop. The way to access it and where it stores the information is through the cloud, which makes it compatible with almost any computer.
- On the other hand, the local programs require a download and installation in some hardware to which we have access. The only way to access the program would be through the computer on which it was installed, which is why many prefer this type of software, as they consider that it makes the handling of sales data and its management more secure.
It should be noted that some companies offer programs that are a kind of hybrid, which are installed on the computer you want, but at the same time you can visualize the data collected through the cloud, as well as it is also possible to generate backup copies on this virtual site of mass storage.
Free or paid TPV program
The number of POS software providers is considerably high, many of which you will find on the internet will try to get your attention by offering their software for free, which is totally true, but what you will understand later is that these programs come with a considerable amount of limitations in terms of the functions available, the technical support they offer and the updates. It is almost certain that if you choose to get one of these free POS programmes, you will have to upgrade your subscription to get the paid version. Although this does not mean that you cannot find totally free POS systems with all their available features, as these are the open source programmes.
The best thing is that you choose the paid version that allows you to access all the benefits of the programme. Bear in mind that those that are locally installed will require the payment of a license plus another payment on an annual basis, for maintenance and update purposes.
On the other hand, the system that operates in the cloud does not have any license, its payment methodology is based on monthly payments based on the number of affiliated users.
Scalability of the POS programme
The ideal is to project our business towards growth, if we think about it, it is advisable to acquire a POS program that is multistore and multiuser. What we hope is to have to hire more staff and be able to open new branches in the near future, to do this, the best thing is to prepare with a software that supports a good number of simultaneous users and can connect with other shops, so the data will be much richer and control can be done in a unified way to avoid confusion.
Bliscop: a great option in the market
Bliscop offers you a POS programme with attractive operating features, as well as monthly and annual fees. I'll tell you a little about the latter below.
Basically, Bliscop offers three packages based on full payment of 3, 6 and 12 months, which have costs of 73.5, 117 and 198 respectively. In addition, they offer you the option to interact with a free Demo version that does not require downloading or installation.
After this, if you are interested, you can create a free account for 15 days with all its functions and services, including the possibility of calling them to make any queries regarding the software, a very useful option when you are in that process of choosing your indicated POS program.
Bliscop Tools Available
To give you an idea of what you can expect from a POS programme for your hospitality business, I will illustrate this with the features of Bliscop.
Digitise your business
This refers to keeping everything as digital as possible to ensure greater control in the provision of services and to reduce the chances of errors as much as possible.
For example, in the case of food and drink orders in a restaurant, hotel or bar, when an order is placed, it is immediately recorded in the POS program so that it can be processed as efficiently as possible. The first thing that will happen is that a new task will be created for the waiter in charge of the table in question to bring the drinks; while another task will be generated at the same time in the kitchen to start the preparation of the meal. When the members of the kitchen indicate that it is ready, the waiters will immediately be notified so that they can bring the dishes to the table.
This helps to ensure that no waiter or waiter is on the clock not knowing what to do, while at the same time you can monitor the tasks to be done and measure the time it takes to complete them.
The Bliscop POS program has an excellent tool for displaying menus. This is the "Digital Card", your customers will be able to view your products from any intelligent device, a factor that facilitates remote orders to be delivered by delivery service or to be picked up at the establishment.
In the shop, employees could take orders by writing them down in the digital card, but also customers could place their order from their trusted devices. It is a fact that the easier and more personal the ordering process is, the higher the consumption tends to be.
Among other details of the digital menu, there is the possibility of updating menus and prices instantly, you can also point out the allergenic ingredients contained in the dishes and place a scoring system that shows the opinion of the customers for each dish or drink.
This software, like many others, allows you to know in real time the status of your stock of products. The instant a dish or drink is ordered and delivered, it is deducted from the inventory. Wherever you are, you can access this valuable information. Thanks to this, you could make changes in the menu if any product is out of stock, to replace it or simply eliminate it to avoid inconveniences with customers due to confusion.
You have the option, in the TPV program, of associating the necessary information for the contact of suppliers of each product, so that at the moment that it is sold out, you are informed via telephone or mail with a few steps.
This is perhaps one of the most important tools offered by a POS programme such as Bliscop. Here you can receive reports about the income and its details, such as daily averages and totals, the origin of each income, the profitability of the home service and a la carte orders, as well as the status of the opinions issued by customers about the service and products. These and many other data that can be very useful in making decisions that will directly influence the evolution of your business and its growth.
Here I have only presented a few tools by way of example, but each programme has its own particularities, although it is true that there are common elements that are indispensable nowadays for any POS programme.