Employee Time Clock And Restaurant Point of Sale Systems - A Perfect Marriage

Jerry Wilson

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The History Of The Employee Time Clock And Point of Sale

The concept of punching a time clock has been around since the industrial revolution of the early 1900's. However, it was not until the invention of the electronic cash register in the early 1980's that employees could clock in/out on the cash register. This eliminated the need for a punch card and greatly increased accuracy and reduced manpower needs in calculating time worked for payroll purposes.

While the need for employees to clock in and out on a terminal started off simple the requirements of government have greatly increased the demands placed upon management. There are a host of different labor laws, tip reporting requirements and labor restrictions governing the number of hours to be worked in a day/week and even when minors are allowed to work.

The Need For An Employee Time Clock

What started off simple has quickly become complex. Your needs are far greater than a simple time clock that tracks the clock in and out times for your employees. You need help with the government regulations regarding different aspects of your labor pool.

Tip reporting and handling have become a huge issue in the restaurant business. You need help tracking tipped employees and what they declare as tips earned.

Tracking employee breaks has become a bigger and bigger hassle. Some states govern the length of breaks and whether they are paid or not. I know of one state that requires a minimum of a 20 minute unpaid break per employee. If that employee clocks back in 1 minute early, their entire break is paid. Who has time to monitor every employee's break?

And we have just now gotten to the problem of employees clocking in early, riding the clock or simply having a friend clock them in when they aren't even there!

You need help. You need an integrated time clock and you need it bad.

The Solution Of The Employee Time Clock

Some point of sale systems come standard with an employee time clock feature that is designed specifically for restaurants and the goofy requirements placed upon restaurant owners.

All employees can clock in/out on any terminal in the system. There is no set terminal that must be used by all employees. Any employee may clock in on any terminal.

Security and secrecy should be a concern and point of sale software products have different ways of accomplishing this.

  • Secret 4-digit employee code for clock in/out.
  • Optional magnetic card reader and magnetic cards for employees to use when clocking in/out.
  • Optional biometric reader which recognizes individual fingerprints for employee clock in/out.
  • Employee breaks are tracked and various rules can be set depending upon your own state's regulations.

Tipped employees are required to declare their tips earned when they clock out for the day. These declared amounts are then reported with their time worked.

What good would all this data do if we didn't report on it? Most software products are able to track and report on all time clock data and use weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly and monthly payroll cycles. Be sure to verify that the product you are looking at will meet all of your requirements before purchase.

Some point of sale products will also export all time clock data to file for import into several different accounting packages.

The Benefit Of The Employee Time Clock To You

This feature has several benefits. Let's list a few:

  • Increased accuracy over punch cards and manual time tracking.
  • Reduced rounding errors in computing time.
  • Reduced time for management to compute employee hours.
  • Enforce break rules.
  • Enforce tip tracking and declaration for tipped employees.
  • Eliminate buddy punching with optional biometric scanners.
  • Export time clock data to payroll software or payroll service.

About the Author

Jerry D. Wilson is Director of Internet Sales for DirecTouch Restaurant Point of Sale. With over 25 years of hospitality point of sale experience, he has written several articles explaining the benefits of touch screen and retail point of sale software. Please visit DirecTouch Do It Yourself Restaurant Point of Sale or DirectRetail Do It Yourself Retail Point of Sale for more information.


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