restaurant-management | 14 mins read

How to Ace Hotel Restaurant Management With the Right POS System

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Debdutta Bhattacharjee

By Debdutta Bhattacharjee

What is Hotel Restaurant Management?

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Managing hotel restaurants entails supervising the various food and beverage activities in a hotel setting. These restaurants work according to a hybrid food and beverage service model and are both, similar and different from standalone restaurants in many ways.

The demands and requirements of hotel restaurants are unique and complex and they therefore need employees who are adept at managing not just food preparation, delivery, and operating point of sale (POS) systems, but also elements like room service and deferred payments.

Unlike independent restaurants, hotel restaurants entertain guests who are staying in the hotel, as well as those from outside the hotel. They therefore, often end up handling a higher volume of orders than standalone restaurants. A hotel restaurant is part of a larger hotel ecosystem that may have a number of other restaurants operating as part of the same system.

The hotel guests and external guests have different demands, and handling them requires a manager to possess special skillsets.

A hotel restaurant manager handles one or more of the hotel's food and beverage business operations. Some hotel managers are responsible for a variety of operations, including restaurant management, bar management, event management, management of cocktail lounges, cafe management, and management of room service orders.

Hotel and restaurant management includes recruiting and training, staff scheduling, handling budgets, developing business plans, menu management, management of customer experience, and so on.

A bachelor of science degree in hotel and restaurant management provides students with different concepts and skills for specializing in hospitality management training.

The program consists of subjects seeking to address the requirements of different aspects of the hospitality industry, like food and beverage, tourism, front office, resort, and hotel and restaurant businesses. Students should register for classes that provide a combination of practical exercises, theoretical classes, and experiential learning.

Hotel Restaurant Vs. Standalone Restaurant- What's the Difference?

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Hotel guests want an experience that extends beyond the dining room. These customers look to order room service, charge meals and snacks to their rooms, and want a consistent experience from the hotel's restaurants and bars. Since hotel guests often stay overnight, they have more interactions with the hotel bars and restaurants over a short period of time than external customers. Hotel guests want an experience that is as frictionless as receiving their room numbers.

While some hotel restaurants are open only to overnight guests, many others serve the general public too. While external guests may not engage with the hotel staff as often as overnight customers, they must still receive a high level of customer service that is not contingent on their stay at the hotel.

A hotel normally has several food and beverage outlets, and a challenge that managers at hotel restaurants face, unlike their counterparts at standalone restaurants, is the tendency of hotel guests to dine on account and ask for the food bill to be added to their overall bill. Often food bills are allowed to accumulate and cleared in batches, or bills accumulated over the entire period of stay are cleared at one go at the time of vacating the room.

A hotel restaurant manager has to keep a tab on various places that can act as points of service and sale where customers may make a purchase, starting from their rooms, to the hotel kiosk, the poolside and the numerous food and beverage stations at the hotel. This is important for the manager to calculate the customer's final bill. In a standalone restaurant, on the other hand, the places where customers are served and where payments are made and processed are limited and can extend at the most to outdoor seating areas.

With customer service areas and points of sale spreading over a wide area in a hotel, restaurant employees have to keep track of kitchen property like cutlery, plates, bowls, trays, glasses, and bottles, that could lie anywhere from the top floor to the basement, and from the parking lot to the poolside. It is the job of the hotel employees to bring them back once the customers are done using them.

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How to Run a Hotel Restaurant

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1. Operating a hotel restaurant is more complex than operating a traditional restaurant. The former requires qualified personnel with work experience in the hospitality industry, particularly in hotel management. A hotel restaurant manager must be polished, and yet friendly enough to make a customer feel at home.

Hotel employees are likely to meet and interact with customers at multiple times, and customer service has to be exemplary. Employees should therefore be imparted proper training in customer service. These points are to be kept in mind while hiring hotel restaurant managers.

2. Hotels should ensure that the customers who stay overnight receive the same service quality consistently, from check in to check out. In most cases, hotel restaurant employees engage with a number of repeat clients in a short span of time.

As a result, there will almost certainly be many more client touchpoints in a hotel restaurant than in a traditional restaurant. Customer service, whether positive or negative, will have an impact on the brand value of both, the hotel and the restaurant.

Here Are More Ways to Run a Hotel Restaurant

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1. The option of room service is one of the primary points of difference between a conventional Food Service business and a hotel restaurant.

Providing quality room service includes buying room service trays and carts; choosing products that are easy to deliver; setting aside specified times for room service; getting the hotel staff to regularly check the hallways and other places for restaurant dishes, glasses, and bottles left behind by the customers; and employing a robust POS system.

2. Use a POS system that connects easily with the Property Management System (PMS), and is able to take care of the functioning of several restaurant locations from a single platform.

The hotel restaurant POS system should also be able to create unique menus for different venues, tap into customer data from multiple locations, and easily impart training to the employees.

Hotel staff should be able to serve visitors and accept payments from any place in the hotel with the help of the POS system.

Therefore, the hotel has to invest in a POS system that can keep the business running even in the case of fluctuating Wifi connections.

How Can a POS System Help Operate a Hotel Restaurant?

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1. Without a restaurant POS system, hotel employees would find it extremely difficult to keep a record of all the purchases done at different places in the hotel. There are also several food and beverage outlets and mini-bars in a hotel where purchases are made.

Also, customers who stay overnight, may not want to clear food bills immediately after availing of a restaurant's services, but choose to do it later at one go. Consequently, a hotel may forget to bill a customer for a service rendered, especially if purchases are tracked manually. A POS system records all purchases and helps in the preparation of accurate bills.

2. Keeping track of supplies and inventory is essential for a hotel that provides room service and operates several outlets. Nothing is more embarrassing than a guest placing an order for a food product, only to find that it is not in stock.

There are numerous kitchens in a hotel, rather than a single central kitchen. This places the main store that handles all the purchasing under tremendous stress. With the help of an inventory management system that is integrated with the POS platform, every kitchen can be notified when stock levels dwindle.

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More Reasons for a Hotel Restaurant to Invest in POS Systems

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1. It is critical to understand which outlet is outperforming the others and why. A POS system provides specific information about the total quantity of items sold at each location.

Custom reporting shows the exact type and quantity of products sold at the bar or restaurant, or ordered by customers from their hotel rooms. This allows hotel owners to make menu modifications. With in-depth business intelligence data, hotel employees can be trained to upsell more effectively.

2. A hotel restaurant attracts business, both from the hotel's guests and from the general public. It is often difficult for hotel employees to keep track of in-house orders and orders from walk-in customers. A restaurant POS records all the orders and helps with better order management.

A POS system linked with the kitchen display system ensures that orders are instantly visible to the back-end staff as they are received and registered. This hastens meal preparation and saves kitchen employees time and effort.

3. With the help of a sophisticated restaurant POS system, a hotel owner can segment customer data on the basis of their ordering behavior. This helps create targeted Loyalty Rewards and broadens the potential for upselling. It helps hotels draw more customer interest and rake in bigger revenues.

How to Shop for a POS System

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1. A POS system should support speedy payments, and should be portable. Customers pay using cash, debit/credit card, or gift cards and a receipt is issued as verification of the transaction. Some clients can also be enticed to purchase an additional product before they change their minds by quickly processing payments with the help of mobile POS solutions. Portable POS terminals are ideal for hotel restaurants in which sales and payment processing can be done at different places within the hotel premises.

2. The POS system should support strong inventory management. Manual tracking of stocks frequently results in a faulty calculation of stock levels. POS systems, on the other hand, help business owners manage stock levels in an efficient manner and without errors. When new merchandise arrives, it is scanned and the quantities are entered into the POS system. The POS system goes on to update the inventory list when stocks are sold. When stocks start to run low, merchants are notified. A POS system can also be linked to security systems to detect possible theft.

3. A POS system keeps track of consumer information and assists business owners in identifying their most devoted customers. Loyalty reward programs can then be used to incentivize these customers. These can also help one-time clients become repeat consumers. Targeted promotions via email marketing, phone calls, and social media marketing are all part of effective customer management. Third-party apps can be connected without hassles with the top POS systems.

More Points to Keep in Mind While Selecting a POS System

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1. POS systems also generate extensive and automated reports on a variety of business-related topics. They reveal which items are doing well and which aren't, as well as purchasing trends, and prices. These reports are precise and simple to understand. Furthermore, because the reports are cloud-based, they are accessible 24X7 on any device from anywhere. They provide managers with vital information related to the business and give them the confidence to make more accurate forecasts and decisions.

2. A high-quality restaurant POS system reduce the number of tasks required of restaurant staff and makes Restaurant Management easier and faster. Furthermore, operations are better structured because all aspects of the business, such as stocks, customers, revenue, and suppliers can be managed within the same program. Sites with multiple stores can be handled from one control center. A strong POS system is both cost-effective and easy to use.

3. A great deal of employee data can be generated by POS systems. These include information on hours worked, sales per employee, top performers and laggards, sales per time-slot, and so on. A POS can also be used as a time clock for employees. Managers can better arrange timetables, optimize staff time on the floor, and impart effective training using POS-generated employee data.

Top 3 POS Systems For Hotel Restaurants

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1. Plum POS- This Hubworks product is one of the top restaurant POS software options available. Plum POS is well-suited for hotel restaurants and is equipped to handle large order volumes.

For large businesses, Plum POS can be customized and equipment and features can be selected according to the needs of the business. The custom system also allows POS equipment to be added to the cart several times over.

Real time business reporting and analytics, hassle-free inventory management, an effective loyalty program, and online ordering and delivery management are some of the stand-out features of Plum POS. A kitchen display system, mobile POS, POS app, digital signage, and self-service kiosk are part of the bouquet of features offered by this POS solution. It can be installed in no time and operated with ease.

2. Lightspeed- This cloud-based POS system doesn't charge for installation. An infinite number of users, customer management features, tableside ordering, integrations, and reporting are all supported by the Lightspeed Restaurant Pos . Delivery integration, accounting integration, a self-ordering kiosk, a loyalty app, and a loyalty program are all available as add-ons.

Lightspeed retail POS runs on any web browser on any desktop or laptop, and it works smoothly on iPads too. Lightspeed is an approved Apple reseller, and customers may purchase third-party POS hardware like iPads from Lightspeed. These iPads can be used for a variety of tasks, including serving as a mobile register or a permanent POS terminal.

3. Toast- This is a hybrid POS system. It uses a local network and is supported by the cloud, providing it with strong offline capabilities. It offers contactless ordering and payment, menu modifiers that are simple to edit, customizable reporting, and add-on modules for staff scheduling, as well as integrated digital ordering and delivery.

The Toast hardware has an Ingress Protection (IP) rating, which means it can withstand water penetration and some degree of dust. Toast handheld devices can also withstand drops. These qualities make Toast POS hardware ideal for establishments with a lot of traffic where equipment may get damaged.

Toast Go portable tablets let servers use tableside ordering and process payments. Diner self-service alternatives are accessible through the Toast Kiosk. The Toast POS is good for small, medium, and large companies.

POS System FAQs

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Q. What are the advantages of cloud-based POS systems?

A
. Data is stored by web-based POS systems on cloud servers. The use of cloud-based software eliminates the requirement for elaborate POS hardware. The cloud server and the main device sync in real time, allowing the user to access information from any location and on any device.

The information is safely stored in cloud servers and it can be restored even in the case of a file getting lost, unintentionally deleted, or the POS program fails. Inventories and accounts can be synced across offline and online stores using cloud-based solutions. Cloud-based solutions integrate seamlessly with third-party apps while also lowering enterprises' upfront expenditures.

Q. Is it important to have a POS system that is industry-specific?

A. No. Many industry-specific software programs do not have all the capabilities that a general retail software solution possesses. As a result, the needs of the organization must be considered while selecting a POS system.

Q. If the server goes down, can the POS terminal still complete a sale?

A. Even if there is a server outage, POS software solutions that have offline modes will continue working. Offline data of transactions can be fed into the system once the connection is restored so that they can be utilized to make reports later.

Q. Can data from an existing POS system be transferred to a new POS software system?

A. If the current program enables the export of inventory and customer information, the data can be transferred to the new POS system. However, each instance must be examined separately.

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