Enhancing Employee Performance with Restaurant POS Analytics

How to Use Restaurant POS Analytics for Targeted Employee Training and Improvement

  • By: Katie W.
How to Use Restaurant POS Analytics for Targeted Employee Training and Improvement

In the fast-paced and competitive restaurant industry, employee performance is pivotal to your success. Staff performance — ensuring prompt service, maintaining order accuracy, and upselling menu items — directly impacts customer satisfaction and your overall bottom line. 

But how can you optimize employee performance in an industry where annual turnover averages around 70%? Harnessing the power of data, specifically data generated by your point of sale (POS) system, can be the key to maximizing employee performance and boosting restaurant profitability. 

The Significance of Restaurant Employee Performance

In the restaurant industry, the customer experience is paramount. In a survey of guests who had a good experience at a restaurant, 60% said they would dine there more frequently; 39% said the good experience would encourage them to spend more; and 41% said they would recommend the restaurant to others. 

But customer experience isn’t just formed by the quality of the food; it’s often exceptional service that keeps customers coming back. However, managing and improving employee performance can be challenging, especially in a high-turnover environment where the work is fast-paced and often stressful.

Harnessing the Power of Restaurant POS Data

Today, restaurants have access to more data than ever — and that information can be vital in addressing and optimizing employee performance. Modern POS systems, like RPOWER, are equipped with advanced data collection and storage capabilities. These systems capture a wealth of information during each transaction, offering insights to evaluate and enhance your restaurant staff's performance.

However, before diving into that data, it's essential to identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most for your restaurant. These may include:

  • Average Order Value (AOV): AOV is the average amount of money a customer spends during a single visit or transaction at the restaurant. Monitoring this KPI can determine if your employees successfully upsell and increase the check size.
    A high AOV indicates that customers are spending more on food, beverages, and other items, which can significantly boost a restaurant's profitability. This metric helps restaurants understand customers’ spending habits, optimize menu pricing, and develop effective upselling strategies. Increasing AOV can also lead to increased revenue without necessarily attracting more customers.

  • Table Turnover Rate: This metric measures how quickly a restaurant can serve and clear tables, indicating how many times a table is used in a given period (usually per hour or day).
    For restaurants, especially those with limited seating capacity, maximizing table turnover is crucial for revenue generation. A high turnover rate means more customers can be accommodated, resulting in increased sales. (Keep in mind, however, that there is a delicate balance to this metric. Too high of a turnover rate can make customers feel rushed and compromise their dining experience.)

  • Order Accuracy: What percentage of orders are error-free? Ensuring order accuracy is vital for customer satisfaction. Mistakes such as wrong dishes, missing items, or incorrect preparation can lead to customer dissatisfaction, complaints, and even loss of business. Accurate orders enhance the restaurant's reputation, build customer trust, and encourage repeat visits and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

  • Customer Feedback: This refers to the comments, reviews, and ratings diners provide about their restaurant experience.
    Gathering and analyzing customer feedback helps restaurants understand customer preferences and identify areas for improvement. Positive feedback can serve as a testament to the restaurant's quality and service, attracting more customers. However, even negative feedback can be helpful, as it offers insights into areas that need attention, allowing the restaurant to make necessary adjustments to boost customer satisfaction. Consistently collecting and acting on feedback can lead to long-term customer loyalty.

Tracking Employee Performance

Once you have established your KPIs, your POS system can help you track individual employee performance over time. For example, it can highlight servers who excel in upselling to increase AOV or efficiently turn tables to maximize seating capacity. 

The POS system can also track accuracy rates for each employee's orders, enabling restaurants to identify and correct patterns and common mistakes. Because the data also includes back of house, you can also use it to pinpoint bottlenecks in the kitchen that may be increasing overall wait times. 

Moreover, it allows management to recognize top-performing staff and take the necessary steps to train or coach employees needing improvement.

Targeted Training and Coaching

Armed with POS data, you can develop personalized training and coaching programs for your employees. Start by establishing specific, measurable, and achievable goals for each server based on their performance data. For instance, if a server consistently has a lower AOV, set a goal to increase it by a certain percentage over the next month.

Then, tailor training programs to address the identified weaknesses. For servers with lower AOV, offer training on suggestive selling techniques. For those struggling with order accuracy, focus on order-taking accuracy and attention to special requests.

Provide continuous feedback and coaching sessions. Share the performance data with employees, discuss progress, and offer constructive feedback. Regular check-ins can ensure that servers stay motivated and focused on their goals.

Leveraging POS Data for Incentives and Recognition

Your POS data can help you create performance-based incentive programs by using incentives tied to specific performance metrics. For instance, servers who consistently maintain a high AOV or accuracy rate could be eligible for bonuses or special recognition within the team. These programs can boost motivation, which can, in turn, improve performance, job satisfaction, and overall restaurant profitability. 

Implementing a Data-Driven Performance Improvement Strategy

If you’re ready to harness the potential of POS data for enhanced employee performance, then the following roadmap will outline the steps you need to take to ensure success: 

  1. Define Key Metrics: Identify the KPIs that align with your restaurant's goals.

  2. Collect and Analyze Data: Utilize your POS system to collect and analyze data related to these metrics.

  3. Set Targets: Establish performance targets and goals for your employees based on the data.

  4. Training and Coaching: Develop targeted training and coaching programs to address areas for improvement.

  5. Monitor Progress: Continuously monitor employee performance using POS-generated reports and dashboards.

  6. Recognize and Reward: Implement incentive programs and recognize top performers to boost motivation.

Employee performance is a linchpin in the restaurant industry, and using POS data for targeted training and improvement can be a total game changer. However, handling employee data with care and respecting privacy regulations is essential. Ensure your data collection and analysis methods comply with relevant laws and best practices in data security.

RPOWER’s POS system empowers restaurant owners and managers with valuable insights, helping them optimize their team's performance. By leveraging POS system data, creating personalized training, and incentivizing employees, you can provide exceptional customer experiences and drive business growth.

To learn more about how a modern POS system like RPOWER can improve your customer experience and boost your bottom line, get our free guide: How to Use Your POS to Increase Profitability.

Have any questions? We are happy to help!