This is a guest post from our friends at Kounta.com, the home of Kounta software.
Funny story. When I first spoke with the other folks at Kounta about doing the guest blog thing at this site, I heard them wrong. Well, it’s not that I heard them wrong, but maybe I should have confirmed the spelling. You see, a few days later, when I turned in my first draft for this post, they were kind of surprised to read a short history of electronica musician Moby’s first single, Go. This year is the 25th anniversary of that song’s release, as any Moby fan will tell you. Wikipedia will also tell you, if you’re not a Moby fan, which I am not (though I did like that one song where he sampled gospel music [but can’t take him seriously since he pretty much looks like a Q-Tip with teeth]). But these are the kinds of mishaps that happen when people talk over the phone. This is why they call it “a game of telephone” whenever the message morphs from one person to another. And as Mobi2Go subscribers, you know that they’ll never call it a game of “smartphone app” because words on a screen are a lot more reliable than sounds in your earhole.
So, OK, you’ve cleaned up the ordering experience for your customers by using the Mobi2Go service, and phone errors are nearly a thing of the past. Sure, you still have senior citizens calling in their orders, but they were going to screw up the smartphone order, anyway, so let’s not even count them. The thing is, you haven’t completely eliminated the opportunity for more miscommunications to happen: you’ve still got to get that order into your POS, and your staff need to know what they’re supposed to be preparing. This is why having the right one—a Point of Sale designed with hospitality in mind—is crucial. If your POS doesn’t support station-specific printing of orders, you might find yourself having to shout orders out to the kitchen. Then you’re only one inflamed tympanic membrane away from “Rare burger, seeded bun and hold the cheese!” becoming “There’s a burglar, I need a gun and call the police!” This is to say nothing of the troubles you’ll run into where you’re writing orders out by hand. Someone puts a little extra loop at the top of their “4” and the next thing you know people are dropping dead from your 9-Alarm Chili. This really happened once in Texas. You just never heard about it because who cares? It’s Texas.
Communication breakdowns don’t just happen between customers and you, or your front-end and kitchen staff, either. There are all sorts of ways in which having a hospitality focused POS facilitates the flow of information. Maybe the person who’s supposed to keep an eye on your inventory of ingredients isn’t the same person who orders them. There are a couple of possible points of failure here, starting with the fact that you’ve got a person whose responsibility is to proactively check the fridge and pantry and see if you’ve got everything you need. Then they’ve got to get the information to the purchaser. How much do you order? Has any gone to waste? How quickly do we normally go through this? A POS with advanced inventory features can do all this for you. By entering your menu in as a recipe, the POS can track the consumption of each individual ingredient every time a dish is ordered. Everytime you throw something away, you can record it as waste. By looking at the wastage reports and sales reports, your purchaser gets a pretty good idea on exactly how much of any ingredient you need (hint: more bacon, less okra). The more automated you become, the less prone to human error you are.
There are some of you who might read that last sentence and shudder with worry, envisioning a dystopian future ruled by malevolent robot overlords. This, of course, is silly, since that’s already happened—remember Dick Cheney? The point is, when a cyborg lifeform with no heart is a “heartbeat away” from the American presidency, it puts letting your point of sale take over your stock counts into perspective. It’s OK to have a mobile ordering app communicate directly with your POS. It’s OK for a payment to happen without you being there for it. You’ll always need humans somewhere along the food-prep chain, and you’ll definitely need them to order your food. It’s not like you’ll be taking a job away from a person; you’re just making her life easier. Think of how Mobi2Go has already eased your takeout and pre-order business, and then check out what Kounta can do for you in-house. And fear not: who would want to eat at a robot restaurant anyway?
Dave Eagle is a writer at Kounta.com, the home of Kounta software. Kounta is the best-in-class cloud based Point of Sale Software designed for hospitality and retail settings, and capable of all the things mentioned in this post (including direct integration with Mobi2Go). Thousands of businesses rely on Kounta to ring up sales, track inventory, connect with customers, and generally make their lives easier. Nobody really relies on Dave.