Your restaurant is doing amazingly and you are raking in the dough, but maybe not as much as you’d originally thought.  Where can I increase my revenue? What are the strengths of my restaurant? Where and how can I get these insights?  You want to know exactly what’s working and what isn’t.

To answer these questions, you should simply log into your POS’s reporting module. Business performance and profitability work hand in hand and any POS system worth its circuits will have an integrated performance reporting module. The quality of the insights you get from your reporting engine is dependent upon it having the following 4 characteristics:

#1: Integration

Why is integration important? The challenge with many new POS systems is that they rely heavily on 3rd party bolt-on applications. Each of these applications collect and (sometimes) report on the performance within their own silo. Each 3rd party module will be “integrated” with your POS, but the devil is in the details. Rare are the 3rd party modules that will be able to provide granular data to your POS’s master reporting engine. So in many cases, to get the data that will give you the most valuable insights, you must go to each silo and manually pull down the data. Then you need to drop all data the different parts into Excel to integrate. Yes, it is a lot of work. So much so that most business owners don’t do it — and thus miss out on the power of performance reporting. A fully integrated system means that all parts of your business report into the central reporting engine right out of the box.

#2: Customization

No two businesses are the same. And sometimes finding the edge on the competition is all about discovering performance insights the other guy hasn’t. That mean you need to be able to manipulate your business data in a way that works for YOU. The best reporting systems are highly customizable. Reports should reflect the way you think about your business.

#3: Real Time Updates

Whereas you will always want to see how you did last month or year-over-year, the most relevant data is data that is being produced right now. The sooner you know things, the sooner you can act. Your performance reporting platform should be a live reporting tool. It should capture and display data in real time while synthesizing it into your enterprise reports — all in a single dashboard.   

#4: The Integration of Marketing, Sales and Loyalty

Your platform should be able to record and analyze any and all marketing campaigns, providing open-rate, click through rates, etc. That is a given. It should also be able to record all sales from all channels. And it should be able to track the behavior of your loyalty customers. The key to discovering actionable insights is being able to look across all three areas. For example, which combo promotions drive the most loyalty purchases online vs in-store vs call-in? Maybe you need to be saying different things through different marketing channels to impact different sales channels? You will never know unless all three systems are integrated on the reporting level.

Performance reporting can be daunting but it is like hunting for gold. Hard work will translate to actionable insights, which will translate into new profits. Your POS provider should ensure that its dashboard has the capability to monitor and provide insight into the performance of single and/or multi-site establishments. Monitoring your business’s performance and profitability can be stressful, but with the best solution for your business, it doesn’t have to be.