Let’s travel a few (cake) years back. Remember when we’d go to the bakeries and get consumed by the aroma of freshly baked bread and cakes. We’d order a Pineapple pastry with some cardamom tea or cupcake of the day. Bakeries are built to cure all those sugar cravings. That’s one reason why there’s always a mad rush of hungry customers waiting to try that crunchy Apple Pie. That’s where a Bakery POS comes in handy. It helps get rid of those long queues during weekends and on other days too.
According to the data given by Statista, revenue in the Bread & Bakery Products segment amounts to US$464,080m in 2019. The market is further expected to grow annually by 4.1% (CAGR 2019-2023). So, if you’re planning to open a new bakery in the Big Apple or even in the remote corners of the country then a Bakery POS is a must-have.
Planning to start a bakery business in India? Head here to know more.
Bakeries mean much more than just cakes
Bakeries today are not just limited to serving cakes and cookies. Today, you can order also order coffee, salad bowls, cheese and mushroom sandwiches and much more in a bakery. The biggest mistake bakery owners end up making is not using technology to simplify their restaurant operations. In today’s age and time when everything is going digital, using technology in restaurant kitchens becomes a necessity.
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The right technology for a bakery
If your bakery has the right technology in place, you’re going to have a frictionless functioning. And not to forget, you’re going to upsell. A Bakery Management System is going to help improve all operations while doing the majority of them.
1. Bakery POS System
A bakery without a POS system is almost like a caramel pudding without caramel. As soon as orders are punched into the Bakery POS system, automated KOTs are generated and sent directly to the kitchen. All orders, online and otherwise can be directly managed on the Point of Sale system. The functioning of a Bakery POS system is not just limited to order punching or KOT printing, today you can do much more with your POS system. We shall discuss the same in detail in the coming sections.
2. Order Management and Integrations
Most bakeries have tied-up with third-party food aggregators for delivery purposes. Other sources of orders are through websites, call or the ones placed in-house. Given the many different directions through which orders are placed, there are chances of them getting mixed up. A bakery dashboard is a single dashboard that will show the status of each incoming order and thereby simplify their management and completion.
3. Online Food Ordering System
Getting your bakery’s own online ordering platform is going to help increase the number of orders. Now that customers will place orders directly through your online ordering website, you wouldn’t have to pay any commissions to online food aggregators. And you will have your own online presence where your creativity won’t be restricted. Updates can be made on the go and will be instantly reflected on your bakery’s website.
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4. Customer Relationship Management
Each time a customer places an order at your bakery, their basic details get stored into the Bakery POS system. The collected data is then used for running various CRM campaigns. There are a few customers who always end up having their regular desserts at your bakery. Sending them customized emails and texts will surely get them to your doorsteps.
Want to make the most out of your CRM tool? Read here for some tips and tricks for running successful SMS and Email campaigns.
5. Loyalty Management
When customers visit your bakery, it’s your duty to serve them well. And sweet. Apart from this, getting them to sign-up to your Loyalty Programs is an effective way of reaching out to them via targeted offers and discounts. I mean, who wouldn’t like receiving 20% worth of discount on their frequently ordered double chocolate chip cookies?
6. Bakery Finances and Accounting
When was the last time your bakery made unexpectedly high sales? Or do you know which dessert of yours is wiped out of those display freezers the quickest? In order to study your bakery’s sales and other financial reports, a simplified bakery accounting software is required. A tool that will help you track each sale and also help manage stock purchases. Inventory management also becomes less of a task.
7. Employee Management
Picture this, it’s the holiday season and your pastry chef decides to go on a one-month expedition to the hills, which is not the problem. The situation becomes tricky if you forget about it. With a staff management tool, you’ll be able to manage each employee’s shifts, payroll information, and other activities. Since everything is recorded in the system, there are fewer chances of any miscommunication between staff members.
8. Bakery Data and Analytics Reports
Let’s say there was a sudden dip in sales as compared to the previous months. It could be because of anything. How do you prevent this from happening in the following months? By analyzing data and reports, you’ll be able to identify the areas where you went wrong and make sure they’re not repeated. Data and reports can be accessed on any device, anywhere.
Features of a robust Bakery POS System
Bakery Point of Sale system is supposed to be taking care of the majority of operations. Let’s now talk about the features that a Bakery POS system must-have.
1. Efficient Bakery POS for dispersing those long queues
People will go lengths when it comes to desserts, both literally and figuratively. Bakery POS systems help dissolve long queues and unnecessary wait times. All orders are displayed on the POS system. You can easily juggle between current and past orders. Both front-of-house and back-of-house operations will run smoothly and more orders will be completed in less time.
Even during special occasions and festivals, customers won’t have to stand in long lines to either place or collect their orders. On regular days, bakeries are the busiest in mornings and post-dinner hours. That’s when you’d need a mobile POS system at your bakery. Instead of running back and forth between the cash register, you can go to customers yourself and take down their orders on the handheld POS systems. This also gives you a chance to interact better with customers, asking them for their feedback, if there are any. Most bakeries don’t have a typical restaurant set-up. They only have a few tables and chairs to accommodate a small number of people since people mostly take their desserts home.
2. Spot-on Inventory and Stock Management with regular notifications
Nothing is more disappointing than finding out that your favorite dessert jar is not available because the bakery is out of that one main ingredient. It gets even worse when more than one customer comes to your bakery looking for that one dessert. Even if one ingredient is missing, it’s very tricky to complete the dish because the substitutes are limited. For example, a Banoffee Pie is incomplete without the caramel.
Keeping track of each and every ingredient will help prevent such instances from happening. A Bakery POS will tell you well in time if you’re running low on any ingredient. All raw materials can be purchased in the right quantity leaving almost no scope for unnecessary wastage. Given that baked items and desserts are easily perishable, tracking each item through the inventory will help chefs prepare only the required amount of cookies and cupcakes.
A proper insight into the inventory will also help you decide the food cost of individual bakery items. This way you’ll also be aware of all purchases and expenses happening in your bakery kitchen.
3. Quick menu updates
Bakeries don’t have a constant flow of bakery dishes on their menu. It keeps changing with any upcoming occasion or festival. Christmas is a month-long affair that calls for customized baked goods. These are not relevant to any other time of the year.
The above is one of the many such changes that keep happening in a bakery’s menu. You may have to add special fruit cakes based on seasonal fruits. Or you may have 10 different varieties of cheesecakes in your bakery on the National Cheesecake Day. A Bakery POS should be able to assist you in making any such changes that must get reflected almost instantly. You can add, remove and update your menu whenever required on your Bakery Point of Sale system. Even when you’re not physically present inside the bakery, you can make changes since all data is stored on Cloud and can be accessed from anywhere.
4. Special orders, modifications, and customizations
Some people are allergic to nuts. Some simply don’t like them mixed in their brownies. With baked goods and desserts, comes a lot of different preferences. There’ll be customers who would want an extra layer of chocolate icing on their birthday cakes. While there’ll be some who would want a plain cake without any layer of cream. A Bakery POS should follow these specific customizations. It should be able to note down every little detail (including the date and time of delivery) given by the customers. Your chefs wouldn’t have to rely on tiny sheets of paper where the server has scribbled something down while taking down the order.
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5. Wondrous marketing strategies
Your bakery is all set and functional. However, to increase your customer reach, marketing is a very crucial step for expanding your brand’s name. Loyal customers must be given offers on their “most-ordered” desserts, regularly. Your Bakery POS system must help market your brand to loyal customers so that you get repeat orders. There are numerous ways of engaging them, for example, promoting something new that’s happening at your bakery or by simply increasing the average basket size. Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to redeem a “Buy two and get one doughnut free” offer!
6. Flexibility in payment and timely intimation of pre-orders
A lot of customers order from bakeries a few days prior, especially when it comes to custom orders of cakes and baked items. Your Bakery POS system must provide the option of advance or partial payment while taking their orders and then adding them when they finally pay the whole amount. Not just that, the Bakery Point of Sale system should also notify you about the regular customers so that you can apply suitable discounts and offers on their subsequent orders.
The Bakery POS must also be able to give you a schedule of every order so that the chefs have a sufficient amount of time to prepare exactly what customers wanted. Customers must be given a choice in the mode of payment. The methods of payments must not be limited to just cash or card, given the various other cashless transaction options available in today’s time.
Benefits of having a Bakery POS
Technology has penetrated all industries, big and small. Each new invention has only helped make functions fluid. Bakery POS systems have done exactly the same.
1. Disorderly functions replaced by rapid service
Traditional Point of Sale system was bulky and stationary. The staff had to run back and forth the main server to punch in orders and print KOTs and bills. With the coming of Bakery POS, the servers can cut long queues and take orders. This speeds up order completion. In the case of bulk orders or pre-orders, the kitchen staff is immediately notified and they start with the preparation. And if it’s a small order the front-of-house staff can quickly pack and deliver the order.
2. Compatible with plenty of hardware options
A modern-day Bakery POS is compatible with multiple devices. Mobile phones, tablets, iPads, and desktops. Using a handheld Point of Sale system reduces the chances of errors.
Read here to know how to choose the best mobile POS system for your restaurant.
3. Sky-rocketed sales
The concept of wait-time is completely diminished after Bakery POS systems have taken over Bakeries. More and more orders get completed in a short span of time. An equal amount of time and effort are divided between different orders.
4. Automated reports and analytics for the win
Your bakery POS system will give you a detailed report on inventory, staff, sales, customer and much more. In order to reach higher sales and improve bakery management, it is important to analyze your performance regularly. For example, what time is your bakery the most crowded? Or which specific dessert is the most liked by your customers. These automated data reports will help identify the weak and sweet spots of your bakery.
5. Makes you, “Go-Green”
Your pastry chefs and other restaurant staff are not going to rely on gazillions of pieces of paper where order details are mentioned. Everything is automated and on a screen. Imagine the number of trees you’d be saving when you get rid of the papers in your bakery. Apart from this, you’re not going to waste any food because of an efficient inventory integration that lets you track every ingredient.
6. POS that understands your bakery
Every bakery is different. You may own a bakery that only sells vegan desserts. Or you may run a bakery that operates five days a week. Your bakery POS system must understand your bakery’s needs and requirements for making all operations smooth.
7. Coordinated flow of functions equals efficient staff
Bakery POS systems are notably user-friendly. They can be operated by anyone. Your staff no longer has to run around with paper Kitchen Order Tickets shouting out orders. Front-of-house employees can take orders and deal with takeaway orders without any complexities. Whereas, the back-of-house chefs can work on baking delectable desserts. When the work environment is good, the staff too is at ease and is more productive.
Related article – Hire the best staff for your restaurant
8. Content customers
With Bakery POS systems taking up the majority of tasks, you get ample time to interact with customers and ask them how their experience has been at your bakery. It’s always a good idea to take their feedback so that you can improve your methods and in turn provide excellent guest experience.
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How a Bakery POS will help you save money?
Bakery POS systems not just help you manage your sales but there are plenty of other things in which they simplify operations and increase productivity. And all this without burning a hole in your pocket.
1. Swiftness in terms of service
You wouldn’t want to see the wait-staff running around with cups of hot chocolates and plates of cookies on a Sunday during winters. Even the tiniest of accidents could cost you, valuable customers. Having your own Bakery POS system will increase your staff’s efficiency who will, in turn, be able to serve more tables. Or, the orders placed online would get packaged and delivered quickly.
2. No exorbitant expenses
The Bakery POS lets you manage inventory on the go. Since it’s super easy to track all raw ingredients, there will be no over-buying or under-buying of food items. It also makes sure that all items are available in the right quantity.
3. Reduced labor costs
Bakery POS reduces a lot of manual work that earlier required staff to perform. Just one person can handle multiple functions using the Point Of Sale system. This greatly reduces any extra labor costs and a regular check can be kept on all employees.
4. Tax compliant with multiple integrations
Your Bakery Point of Sale system is compliant with the tax system and this makes all the calculations highly accurate. The Bakery POS software also provides quick and easy integrations with CRM tools, loyalty programs, third-party food aggregators and more. This not only helps in retaining old customers but also acquiring new ones.
5. No scope of theft or pilferage
It is not uncommon to experience theft at your bakery, given how busy they can be on certain days. However, with cloud-based Bakery POS systems, you can control this. POS systems provide you with real-time sales, inventory and other reports. You will know which employee is handling the transactions, what for and when are they doing so. This makes it easier to keep track of all the different activities that are happening at your bakery.
Why is it important for bakeries to have their own online ordering website?
- Third-party food aggregators sure help in delivering orders across but it all comes with a heavy price. When you tie-up with these food aggregators, you’re required to pay a certain amount of commission and service charge on each order that is placed through them. This often proves to be heavy on your overall revenue.
- That’s not it, there is high competition and there’s a possibility that your brand gets camouflaged between other brands. You’ll have very limited space to showcase your bakery, not to forget the many guidelines you’ll be compelled to follow on their platform.
- Let’s say you want ten red-velvet cupcakes, five blueberry muffins, and eight lemon tarts, by evening. You try ordering them online but they have a limited basket-size or they’re out of blueberry muffins. Sounds devastating, doesn’t it?
With online food aggregators, customers cannot pre-order or get their orders customized. That creates a problem when you have to order in bulk and with certain specifications. Or Let’s take corporate orders, for example, a company completes five years in the business and they want to order a three-tier cake. Something like that takes time and precision. And that only comes when someone has placed a pre-order.
A sensible way of getting out of this is by building your bakery’s own online order website where customers can directly place orders at your outlet. Once you have done that you’ll receive all orders on your Bakery POS system which can then be further managed. The money saved on commissions to the online food aggregators can be invested in growing your bakery business.
Get, Set, Bake!
As is constantly said, there is ALWAYS room for dessert. Given the variety of options available today, bakeries provide all sorts of desserts for everyone, serving each of their demands and preferences. There are sugar-free pies, vegan cupcakes and more. You even have “healthy desserts” for all those who are very particular about their daily calorie intake. Given the rate at which the bakery business is growing on a global level, it only makes sense that you equip yours with a Bakery POS system. One that has your back when there is a heavy volume of cookie orders pouring in from all directions, online and offline. Once you have your orders in control, you can focus on your customers while further expanding your bakery’s business.