If you are in the market for a new hotel point-of-sale management system, you might be wondering just what you should be looking for in terms of the features. Many POS systems are on the market today, but not all of them are geared toward hotels. Some of them may have limited features, or they might not integrate well with the other management systems you are using or want to use.
Point-of-sale software can provide your hotel with quite a few benefits for a very low cost. They can help to manage and add amenities, increase cross-selling and upselling, maintain and record receipts, reduce errors, and more. They are quickly becoming an essential part of the hotel business.
When choosing a POS system for your hotel, make sure it has all of the features discussed below. You will find that the top options on the market tend to have these features and more, but it is always important to double-check. Know what you are getting before you decide to spend your time and money learning a new piece of software.
Feature #1: Invoicing
Naturally, this is one of the most important functions that the point-of-sale system needs to provide. It will record the sales made at your hotel, and it can provide updates in real-time. The types of invoices provided will vary depending on the system.
With some of the better systems out there, it is possible to do a lot with the invoice. For example, it is possible to split guest bills by food type and quantity. The charges can be routed to a specific invoice or a new one.
Feature #2: Customize Your Order
In some cases, orders will need to be customized. This might be for select room packages, options with discounts, etc. With a quality POS system, it will be possible to customize the orders quickly and easily. This is a feature that should be part of just about every POS system available today.
However, you may want to dig a little deeper when you are making your choice to ensure the system you opt for has the level of customization features you will need. Ideally, it will let you make modifications and add-ons to the packages on the fly, which can help you to attract more visitors.
A lot of hotels, for example, will want to customize packages based on things like the season or the holidays. They might want to create packages for guests who are all going to a convention in the area. The point-of-sale system should let you offer items as inclusions, which can make upselling easier.
Feature #3: Reporting
All of the hotel point-of-sale management systems will allow for reporting functions. This can help you to monitor a wide range of different factors across your hotel including sales activities on all of your channels, employee performance, and room inventory levels.
Different systems may have different types of reports available. This will be something to look into when purchasing a system. Some, for example, might offer customizable reports. This can provide you with more insight into what’s happening in the hotel.
Feature #4: Staff Management
POS systems can be used for a host of purposes, and this includes staff management with many of the options on the market. This allows managers to track the times that employees clock into and out of work for starters. However, it can also be used to monitor their performance.
One of the ways that this is often used in conjunction with POS systems is to track how well each employee is doing with cross-selling and upselling. You can see which employees are doing the best in this area and then reward them for a job well done. This incentive can get more of your associates interested in getting the guests to purchase more.
Some platforms offer more than just a point-of-sale system. They will have other features and modules, such as front desk software, that will allow for the scheduling of employees.
Feature #5: KOT Printing
If your hotel has a kitchen, the hotel point-of-sale management system you choose should have KOT printing. This stands for kitchen order tickets and is simply a note that will include all of the pertinent details related to the items ordered, the room or table number, and the quantity.
Once a customer places an order, the information is then sent on to the kitchen staff. Although this might seem like a small benefit, it is far more helpful than many hotel managers realize. This is because, for them, they don’t always put the kitchen at the top of their priority list. They don’t know just how much KOT printing can help. Let’s look at a couple of the reasons to make sure your point-of-sale system offers this feature.
The systems tend to be quite easy to use. It doesn’t take a lot of training for someone to know how to use the system whether it’s a guest or staff. They can place their order in the system and the KOT will then be generated and sent to the kitchen.
You will also find that it can potentially help to speed up service in the hotel restaurant. Instead of waiting for the staff member to return to the kitchen with the order, or to take an order over the phone, it goes right to the kitchen. The staff can get started making the order right away. This means that it should get to the customer faster, too, which makes them happy.
The KOT will produce real-time reports, and it will essentially eliminate errors from manual entry. While this might not seem like a big deal, it is something that can help to cut out negative reviews that stem from simple mistakes. You can think of it as preventative actions, so you don’t have to deal with upset customers later.
Research and Test the Point-of-Sale Software
Now that you know the most important features that should come with hotel point-of-sale software, it should help when narrowing your selection. Look deeper into the sorts of things the software can offer, and make sure to test any systems before purchasing them.
Something you will also want to consider when you are choosing software is what other features or modules it offers. Rather than getting just a point-of-sale solution, you should look for a software platform that has other features to help make hotel management easier. For example, look for options that also include front desk software, housekeeping software, booking engines, etc.
Consider all of the different software solutions that could benefit your hotel and choose one that has everything you need. You should look beyond just the features, though. You also want to get a better sense of how easy or difficult the software will be to use. Always find a solution that offers a lot of integrations, and has a simple interface and an easy learning curve.
Once you have a solution you feel will be capable of meeting all of your needs, check the price. You will find that many of the options on the market today are quite affordable. Typically, they charge by the room. You can opt for a monthly or annual subscription.