Stuart Coetzee (pictured) from leading epos specialist TISSL argues that a hospitality epos solution can be a good tool for creating happier staff and building a better business
Managing staff is one of the toughest jobs for bar operators and is certainly one of the industry’s largest controllable expenses. Yet, when it comes to managing staff to best advantage, a hospitality epos system is probably not the first tool you’d think of. However, operators can use what they already have at their disposal, notably their epos system, to manage staff performance and satisfaction.
Armed with the management information an epos system provides, operators can easily measure individual performance, motivate, reward and train staff, tighten work patterns and even uncover fraud. Here are a few ways to exploit the information generated by epos to uplift staff satisfaction and performance, and improve the business generally on the way round.
Measure performance: You run a busy business, possibly with multiple outlets. Each employs waiting staff, some full-time, many part-time. While you’re focusing on the essentials, how easy is it to measure how each member of your front-of-house team is performing? Using the unique sign-on process to your epos system, it’s simple to analyse the transactions each employee puts through: who is generating the biggest checks and upselling most specials and extras.
Highlight training needs: By analysing the performance of each member of staff, something that’s almost impossible to do manually but made simple at the touch of button, you’ll be able to home in those who are not upselling and making mistakes at the till, be it by entering products wrongly or cancelling orders. Thanks to this epos-generated data, you’ll be able to target training and to underperforming staff.
Protect staff and reduce shrinkage: Shrinkage is a fact of life but it’s tough for staff that are completely honest when a colleague signs on with their ID and commits a fraudulent act (intentionally or otherwise). Your epos system provides a secure individual sign via fingerprint-reader technology, a PIN or unique ID. Not only does this reduce shrinkage and pilfering by showing up voids but it means till misuse due to error or lack of diligence can be quickly identified.
Give credit where credit’s due: With epos used by all servers and transactions logged against unique IDs, sales are accurately attributed. This makes staff happier as everyone gets credit for their sales. Assessing, measuring and rewarding performance is undoubtedly the way to retain your best staff. This intelligence can also serve as the basis for “best practice” guidelines and pep up staff needing more competition and encouragement to excel.
Measure loyalty: Using your epos system to record staff working hours and the business they generate helps you to assess their loyalty and the fact they’re going the extra mile. You’ll be able to see precisely who is working longer hours or doing extra shifts when others don’t show for work. In short, there’ll be no doubt which staff are the true backbone of your business – the people on whom you can rely.
Manage staff shifts better: One of many epos functions is to record trading trends and staff clock-in/out times, making it easy to compare working days or periods. As a result, you’ll be able to fine-tune your shift patterns to ensure you have the resources on the floor that the business needs, but no more. You’ll be able to reduce payroll costs by identifying staff at risk of overtime too, all of which affects profitability.
Manage pay, perks and promotions: You may already use your epos system to run customer promotions and marketing campaigns but have you thought of using it to incentivise staff? Your system will give you real-time, accurate data on how each member of staff is performing and who has sold most promotional items. It’s an ideal vehicle for competitions to increase check size or sell particular items, and it’s a good way to energise staff.
Run the business around a process backbone: Your epos system has a contribution to make here too. The process backbone which it provides for your business will help you to cope with the industry’s high turnover rate and make a better job of using seasonal workers at peak periods. By following the process flow your epos dictates casual, overseas and trainee workers will take less time to become productive.
Today’s epos solutions are multi-faceted business tools that can do much, much more than just process point-of-sale transactions. Giving your business “people power” is just one of their many assets.