Our client was looking to modernize their point-of-sale (POS) systems for a variety of hospitality offerings to increase operational efficiency through integration of their POS into a centralized enterprise accounting system, and improve customer experience. The first phase involved an upgrade of a restaurant that featured multiple seating layouts, extended operating hours, variations in traffic, and alcohol sales.
All restaurants are complex operations that involve fast-moving processes (seating the guests, taking the order, sending it to the kitchen, preparing the order, serving it, handling payments) and multiple (often part-time) players such as hosts, servers, cooks and bartenders.
During our initial review, we identified specialized business requirements such as:
- Tracking alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage dispensing
- Auto-replenishment of food inventory
- Scheduling of staff, some of whom performed multiple roles, including integration with payroll
- Flexible table layouts
- Routing items and orders within the kitchen
- Mobile pay at the table (PATT), including loyalty cards
- Point of sale rebates on prepared food and beverages
- Cash management—Tip in/out process, cash flow (float entry), end of day, etc.
Based on the client needs, BDO recommended an LS NAV solution that combined the core accounting strength of Microsoft’s NAV application with LS Retail’s Hospitality add-on package that features dining table management, dine-in, delivery and take-out, recipe production and integration to kitchen display systems.
The following explanation of features leverage graphics from our demonstration and development environments:
Dining table management
The client required different types of dining table layout to accommodate different restaurant areas and different occasions as illustrated below:
The client required a mix of dine-in, take-out, and self-service options. Specific features included:
- Guest handling—tracking the number of guests at a table
- Multiple POS layouts and designs to accommodate each option
- Mobile POS
- Bill splitting—both paying at the terminal and table
- Tip splitting
Service flow is critical in the F&B realm. The software offers a flexible way to flow seating the guests, taking an order at the table, sending the order to the kitchen, KOT kitchen order tracking, etc. These features can be enabled or disabled depending on the type of hospitality.
Dining area profile
- Tables can be designed in different shapes
- Table status tracking by symbols and/or text
- Adjust table design on the fly (joining tables, table redesign, etc.)
- Possible table actions when any table is clicked
Ease of Configuration
One screen allows the user to configure service flow and dining areas.
Pay at the Table (PATT)
One of the challenges that most restaurants face is providing an efficient experience for customers wishing to pay for their meal at the table, using their preferred payment system. At a high level, the technological enabler requires an integration from the wireless PIN pad to the hospitality software (in our example, LS Retail).
The integration allows the server to select a staff ID, then the table number directly from the PIN pad, call up the transaction with the amount and close the table by applying the approved amount from the PIN pad to the transaction in the hospitality software. This integration also includes:
- Split payment by percentage and/or by order.
- Partial payments
In addition, we made sure that our integration is PCI compliant, secure without storing any card information locally, and encrypted.
PATT enhanced the client payment process especially in a fast-paced environment.
Many restaurants and bars employ beverage management systems to monitor consumption of drinks—both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Integration between the beverage management system and the hospitality software needed to be perfect and required extensive configuration and testing.
As part of the discovery and analysis, we identified two major components of the solution:
- Mapping of drink designs and quantities the beverage management system and hospitality system.
- For alcoholic beverages, setting security levels by employee role to ensure compliance with local liquor laws—especially important in restaurants that have high levels of under-age seasonal or part-time staff.
This seamless modification allowed the server to take drink orders and dispense the drink without extra steps which enhanced the beverage management process greatly, including eliminating the need to count empty bottles at the end of each shift.
In the final design, when the beverage gun dispenses the customer’s drinks, the drink is automatically entered into an active table on the POS using price references in the hospitality software. The bartender or server then closes the transaction normally.
Prepared Food tax
By law, here in Ontario, each store that offers prepared food has to report a unique tax calculation for a specific set of scenarios.. Our client’s biggest pain point was that these different scenarios listed by the provincial government had to be calculated manually at the end of each year, which was a painful step.
The prepared food tax modification was the answer to this painful manual process. The modification auto calculates the prepared food tax on each transaction entered in the system addressing different scenarios.
Prepared Food Tax that can be applied at the POS once all conditions met according to the Harmonized Sales Tax for Ontario – Point-of-Sale Rebate on Prepared Food and Beverages.
Today’s restaurant customers are digitally savvy and expect their experience to incorporate technology for convenience, efficient service, and seamless payments, regardless of mode. By implementing a digital first strategy to your business you can empower your business to stay on the cutting edge of trends, margins and customer service. How can BDO help start your transition?