When you are looking to set-up your restaurant or upgrade the operations of your existing outlets, you may be tempted to go for a low cost restaurant billing software to get the ball rolling.
We understand you wanting a cost-effective approach. And in doing so, you might be overlooking an indispensable part of your overall strategy.
Now, why is efficient restaurant billing at the heart of a successful restaurant management strategy?
Let us look at the functions individually.
One, a restaurant billing software takes care of the Billing and operations processes, this includes ticketing, invoicing, printing KOTs and the likes.
Two, the billing software also participates through directly contributing to revenue. That is right, a good billing software for your restaurant not only ensures lean operations by cutting down costs and bringing down clerical activities. But also feeds the revenue-driving systems such as Marketing, Data Analytics, CRM campaigns, Feedback, Loyalty systems and more.
A lean operation is always a goal for enterprises, obviously not at the cost of revenue streams or lowering technology investments but with a replacement of routine activities. Things that take a toll on the speed of day to day operations. Restaurant billing will encompass a wide range of features. And you should have the checklist handy if you wish to go ahead with a particular restaurant billing software.
In this article, our goal is to highlight the important features of your modern billing software, the technologies that it is equipped with, the benefits of using it and the questions you should ask yourself before making the switch.
Let’s get started.
Features of the best modern day restaurant billing software
The modern-day billing software is power-packed with the most sought-after features there can be. Here we are listing down a few of the top features your billing software must have.
Statista claims in its report that restaurants having a tablet POS will be the third hottest trend to look out for. Yes the ‘portable’ cloud POS for your restaurant is perhaps the hottest restaurant technology out there and is slowly replacing its on-premise restaurant POS counterpart.
So what’s wrong with the on-premise POS software? Well, the on-premise POS system is a thing of the past. That heavy restaurant billing software machine which is installed in your restaurant is what we are referring to. It needs a high upfront investment, can be operated only from your restaurant and is far from dependable when it comes to data storage and security. Your restaurant billing software must be cloud-based. Being on the cloud will help it unlock certain features which will be essential for better operations and data security.
Data Storage: Data gets stored on remote servers instead of your local server. With the rise of online food ordering systems, online table-booking and third-party food aggregators, you suddenly have a lot of useful data. Now imagine you have a local, unreliable server in which the possibility of data loss or leakage is high. Would you continue using it? What if there was a Cloud set-up in its place, trusted by millions across the globe (such as your Amazon Web Services or a Rackspace) – with very little incremental investment, wouldn’t you rather move to the Cloud?
Data Privacy: Continuing the thought, your data is much safer on the cloud (on a remote server) than it is on a Local server. This is designed to safeguard you from spammers, bots, and hackers.
Device Neutral: Your cloud restaurant POS can run on any kind of device – a phone, or tablet; iOS or Android. And you can access it from the comfort of your home. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could make changes to your menu from anywhere and at any time?
Low set-up costs: The best thing about a Cloud system is that you don’t have to pay a heavy upfront cost. Just imagine if the traditional POS you bought gets obsolete in a few months. All that investment would go down the drain. Your cloud restaurant billing system only needs a low monthly recharge and you can end the subscription anytime you want! Further, you make small payments every month. Reducing your CAPEX can do wonders for your restaurant’s finances.
Constant Software Updates: The Cloud restaurant POS does not get obsolete easily. The software gets updated periodically (in the background) to keep your restaurant billing software in-line with the current software versions.
To know more about how Cloud systems triumph over the legacy ones, you may want to give this resource a read: Choosing a Restaurant POS system: Cloud VS Traditional
Online Order Management
Restaurateurs dislike looking at multiple devices to know the status of their orders across channels. It’s both inconvenient and difficult to manage. With the help of the current POS systems and technology, you can now manage the online orders placed through your restaurant billing software. A unique point of reference for all your incoming data. The traditional billing software was capable of only handling the ticketing, printing receipts and billing. But now you can manage all your online bookings on a single system.
Easy integrations with 3rd party aggregators is the hallmark of an easy to manage billing system. So the online food orders from Zomato, Swiggy’s, Uber and of course, your own online food ordering system will all be visible on your billing tool. Convenient and easy! No more complaints from restaurants having trouble tracking data from multiple channels.
Your billing system is the central point of incoming data – both data coming in through your outlets and through your online orders. As data management happens centrally, both operations and analytics get a ton of data to process and study. Structured data can be very valuable for your restaurant allowing you to segment your target audiences. Data when synced well with your analytics tool, gives you insights and allows you to take data-driven decisions with greater precision. It is important for you to define a few metrics across functions before you go about the analytics process. Here is a resource that will help you streamline the analytics process: Integrating Analytics to your Restaurant Management System
Integrations with Restaurant Loyalty and Feedback Systems
When you place an order through the billing system, customer account details get thrown up and the status of the redeemable points should get displayed right away. This is an indispensable part of a restaurant loyalty management system. And the billing software must be compatible with the Loyalty System. If you use a common restaurant management system then this will be the case by default.
As for feedback, it should be recorded in the history section and displayed when repeat orders are placed allowing staff to have better intelligence about who is in front of them. Also, it goes without saying that the feedback data recorded should sync well with the billing software so that they show up for your staff to see at the right times.
Supports multiple payment modes
As customers prefer to pay via their preferred payment modes, your billing software should be flexible enough to allow that. So whether it’s cash, payment wallets or debit/credit cards, your billing system should be able to handle all of that. All latest payment modules should be built into your system so that your restaurant staff can easily use this without facing any trouble.
Integrations with CRM Systems
Acquiring new customers is extremely important for your business, but retaining them will accelerate profitable growth
When customers place orders, SMS and Email campaigns, predefined templates could be very handy. This keeps customers engaged and increases chances of repeat visits. Did you know that the repeat customer is more valuable than a first timer?
Here is an article from Forbes that drives home the point.
So how do you set-up a CRM system that brings back your customers again and again to your restaurant? Here is a quick resource that will help you tweak your CRM strategy: Still struggling to make your Restaurant CRM work? This might be the complete checklist that you need!
Benefits of the modern day Restaurant Billing Software
1. All your operations as a single system
Restaurant management systems are rapidly making inroads into the current restaurant backend architecture. One single system that takes care of the bulk of your operations and also integrates the revenue generating functions such as planning, marketing, and analytics. Added to that, it also syncs easily with other systems leading to ease of operations and more incoming cash!
2. Run your software anywhere, anytime
You don’t have to sit behind a desk at your restaurant anymore. You can operate from anywhere. The mobile restaurant billing software works on all mobile devices and tablets. Once the software system is integrated into your device, you are good to go and can operate from even the remotest of locations (provided you have access to the internet of course).
3. Automate your restaurant management processes
Once data is collected into your POS, you can set-up an automated workflow. Your billing software will be linked not only to the Kitchens, facilitating faster order turnarounds, but also link to your marketing set-up, analytics, feedback and loyalty systems.
4. Employee tracking
Restaurant billing software now needs you to punch in when your shift starts. With every order, all the required customer and payment details get recorded. This allows you to track which employee is responsible for which time period and employee management becomes a lot easier.
5. GST enabled
Modern billing software is built to ensure strong compliance with GST. You can now forward the GST invoices to your customers via SMS, Email and be 100% tax compliant.
So is it time to upgrade your restaurant billing software?
If your billing system doesn’t have the above-mentioned features and benefits, we would recommend you make the switch. The modern-day billing software packed with the complete set of features will really be the game changer for your restaurant. Imagine the benefits your establishment would get when all the crucial activities such as billing, invoicing, structured data collection, analytics, reporting and marketing campaigns, now happen faster and are (almost) automated.
Not keeping up with this trend could set you back. But before you look into this further, quickly ask yourself the following questions and see if the answers are favourable. This will help you understand your present circumstance and your restaurant’s critical pain-points.
Are operations timely?
Any issues faced by the customers in the payment process? Are they happy with the kinds of payments supported by your billing software?
Do the changes get reflected real-time when you make updates from your tab and mobile?
Is the time taken for an order to be prepared lower now than before?
Are the engagement statistics on your CRM campaigns better with the automated frameworks set-up?
We do hope the answer is in the positive for most of the questions asked above. If not, doesn’t matter! You can upgrade any time. Before doing so, we strongly recommend you do a thorough research before finalizing a restaurant billing software. The features and benefits covered in this article will allow you to be well versed with what makes up an ideal billing platform for your restaurant.
More power to you!