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Restaurant / QSR Blog

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Fixing Errors at the Register

There are many causes of loss at Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs), ranging from improper preparation of product to employee theft. But one of the most invisible forms of loss for a QSR can occur in the most visible position in the entire store, namely the cash register - where point-of-sale transactions occur. From simple math errors to outright fraud, not having clear and transparent visibility into each and every transaction can cost a QSR thousands of dollars over even a short period of time. In just one recent case at the Kohl’s clothing chain in Santa Clara, California, the chain had to pay a $409,000 claim for overcharging customers.

What steps can restaurants take to limit loss at the register? Let’s take a closer look.

Step 1: Implementing a Point-of-Sale (POS) System

It’s glaringly obvious that implementing a point of sale system will make it easier for your staff to ring up sales. In fact, studies demonstrate that implementing these types of largely automated systems can add a percentage to your QSR’s bottom line simply by eliminating common user errors at the cash register.

Step 2. Start Using Analytics

Adding video analytics to your businesses operations can sound daunting, but it’s as simple as taking the sales data your systems have readily at hand and turning it into actionable information. Your POS system in your QSR can instantly give you statistics on your best selling products, new customer information, and your most loyal VIP customers. You can also use this information to help staff more appropriately, prevent sell-outs of your customers’ favorite items, and keep your best customers coming back for more. Tired of dealing with customer loyalty cards? Keep your repeat customers happy by tracking their information in your system using their phone number or another identifier, not by forcing them to carry around yet another card.

Step 3. Integrate Video Surveillance and Data Analytics

The best POS systems add a new layer of business intelligence by layering in another level of protection on top of the safety provided by the POS system software. New state-of-the-art video surveillance systems can integrate with your data analytics and can also provide a more sophisticated picture as to what is really happening inside your restaurant.

Suspect that a series of returns or refunds might be fraudulent? Take a look at each one in high resolution to see if it’s the same customer, the same employee, or the pair of them collaborating to defraud your store. Want to know if that keen new marketing display from your corporate headquarters is working? Use heat mapping and video analytics to track customer traffic in real time. Want to know if the RedBox in the lobby really draws in customers or if it’s just taking up valuable real estate? You can correlate the actions between foot traffic and sales to see what’s really going on.

By integrating these new technologies into the current footprint of your store, you can do wonders to fix errors at the cash register, maximize your point-of-sale transactions, and keep your employees honest and satisfied.

Have errors at the cash register been a problem in you stores? Tell how you improved the fixed the issue in the comments!

About the Author — Christie Acker

Christie is responsible for helping Envysion’s enterprise clients in the retail and restaurant spaces understand the best ways to use video-based business intelligence to deliver on their brand promise and drive profitability. With over 15 years experience in building and supporting world-class sales organizations, Christie is an accomplished and tenured leader in the enterprise software sales market. An avid traveler, she has visited over 60 countries and uses her diverse experiences to help understand clients' needs to design and implement solutions to help achieve their goals. Christie holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

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