The History of Server Prepared Drinks
Since the creation of food service waiters and servers have been pouring coffees, teas and sodas for their customers. A tradition of service that dates back as far as history records serving food.
Nothing new for today's restaurant diner except maybe a bit more variety in the choices of drink. And with servers and waiters vying for more and more tip income it only stands to reason that they are pouring more and more free refills.
So where is the problem? Your customers are getting better service and your wait staff is getting better compensated. All looks good on the surface.
But the question arises, are you getting paid for all those drinks, sodas and coffees? You certainly are paying for all the ingredients. Do your sales reflect the prices that should be charged?
The Need to Control Server Prepared Drinks
But what happens when the server forgets to ring up the soft beverage? Your servers and waiters are already pouring the same amounts of soft beverages so your food cost takes a hit. If they don't ring the drink to begin with (even if by mistake) then you are out the income that is supposed to offset the heavy pouring that is already taking place.
What you need is a way to enforce the ringing of at least 1 beverage/drink per person ordering food. Sounds simple, but not all point of sale systems can do this.
The Solution to Control Server Prepared Drinks
Some restaurant point of sale system have a feature that will allow you to establish items on your menu that will require a beverage, beer or drink be rung to match. For instance, you can set entree’ items to require a beverage, beer or drink be rung to match. Of course, your software company should make a provision that a “No Drink" button be on the screen for those rare instances when a person doesn't even have a water to drink.
Prior to sending the order to the kitchen the software will scan the ticket to verify that items requiring a beverage do have a corresponding item. If not the software should display a warning message prompting the server to ring the appropriate item before allowing them to proceed.
If the guest does not want a soft beverage or simply wants a water then the appropriate key should be depressed, this will then allow the order to proceed. Management should inspect the nightly sales reports to observe how many “No Drinks" or waters are being served by each server. If one server seems to be out of line with the others then a problem may have been discovered.
The Benefit To You
The benefit to you is simple. You get paid for what is served.
The cost to you is nothing extra. You are already paying for the beverages being served. You are just not getting paid for them.
Take a look at what you could be loosing right now.
- $90/Mth 2 Drinks/Day
- $135/Mth 3 Drinks/Day
- $180/Mth 4 Drinks/Day
- $225/Mth 5 Drinks/Day
- $270/Mth 6 Drinks/Day
- $120/Mth 2 Drinks/Day
- $180/Mth 3 Drinks/Day
- $240/Mth 4 Drinks/Day
- $300/Mth 5 Drinks/Day
- $360/Mth 6 Drinks/Day
Mistakes happen. Items are left off the ticket and after the customer is gone it is too late to recover. Your restaurant point of sale system should help reduce your loss by reminding your servers and waiters to properly ring all soft beverages, beers and drinks.
About the Author
Jerry D. Wilson is Director of Internet Sales for DirecTouch Restaurant Point of Sale. 25 years of hospitality experience has given the knowledge to write several articles about restaurant point of sale software and how it can enhance your restaurant or bar operation. Please visit DirecTouch Do It Yourself Restaurant Point of Sale or DirectRetail Do It Yourself Retail Point of Sale for more information.