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With technology moving forward and over 9,000 bakeries in the U.S., a recent study found that over 70% of those businesses still use an analog cash register. It could be because they are already used to them, or it could be because they feel the cost is prohibitive. However, there are good free POS systems which help to optimize operations and service.
These systems are able to remedy the problems bakeries deal with on a regular basis. Though it may seem like a giant pipe dream to have a full POS system in a small business at no expense, it’s very possible. The features and benefits offered promote efficiency in the bakery, and ensures customers get the time and service they need.
Generally, a lot of bakers think that a few lost customers here and there is acceptable. This is not the case, as they typically do not return. Lee Resources found that 91% of unhappy customers will not return for repeat business. One bad experience is enough to cost many dollars in profit from the lost chance of repeat business.
Loyal customers are like gold to small businesses. A study by Constant Contact found that eighty-two percent of small business owners say that loyal customers were their primary sources of profit and success.
Let’s go over the features that can help a bakery help them roll in the dough.
It All Starts In the Kitchen, But Ends with A Happy Customer
The heart and soul of any bakery is where the bread is made, which makes the kitchen in the back even more important than the counter in the front. Making sure that cooks and other kitchen staff have the tools they need to fulfill orders quickly and correctly is what keeps a bakery operating at maximum efficiency.
A point of sale system comes with core features that are built to make the entire process of baking goods and selling them to customers must faster, easier, and less prone to mistakes which cause customer issues and loss of profit. Bakery profits need to rise as much as the dough in the oven will.
Bakeries do much more than sell individual loafs to people who walk in to make a purchase. Restaurants, stores, and other businesses often make large orders on a daily and sometimes even hourly basis. A pen and paper “system” is prone to error, and busy periods will lead to incorrect orders and misplaced tickets. Order management allows counter staff to provide accurate, digital order lists to the kitchen staff that have been taken down as they were on the phone. This ensures accuracy when the order is being baked and prepared.
When effort is put into ensuring that customer orders are completed and received by a grinning customer, each step to completion must be tracked. With order tracking, managers can keep track of walk-ins, deliveries, dine-ins and even drive-thru orders. By tracking each step, it cuts down on errors because they can be corrected in real-time. Accurate orders always make for happy customers, especially in an industry where order mix-ups are the norm.
Bakeries are busy for a reason; customers and businesses alike purchase from them regularly. No matter who the customer is, everyone could use a slice of bread. This is why they are better off using a bakery POS instead of quickly scratching out words on a pad of paper. It’s a given that these will get lost in the shuffle out. This is proven with a study by Acxiom which reported that half of businesses today cannot name their most loyal customers. Having a record of frequently ordered items from a customer will make their ordering process more convenient for both the buyer and seller.
No one runs a successful bakery by selling items on the fly. Taking an order and not having the baked goods to complete it will leave a customer looking for another bakery. With inventory management features, managers can actively add to the counts with a few button presses, and the POS will simply manage the inventory as items are sold, instead of dealing with the pressure and panic of managing a constantly changing inventory, the point of sale system does all the tough stuff for you.
After a hectic day of running around, tending to the ovens and making sure customers aren’t left hungry, the bakery manager just wants to know how much profit was made from today’s haul. Instead of sitting down to do the time-consuming math, POS systems take care of all the calculating in real-time as the staff does business and makes customers happy. All information will be stored on a cloud server and can be accessed at any time. It is constantly updated as sales are performed. Even better, the closing manager only has to simply close the register at the end of the day.
As demonstrated, a POS system has a lot to offer to any small bakery. If bakeries wish to see their customer satisfaction rise, it’s time to check out one of these systems and see the benefits and solutions they provide from the moment they are booted up at the start of each day.
Many of our customers who own and manage small bakeries provide us with a lot of vital feedback, which we put together for this piece, as useful information is always good to share in today’s business market. If more tips are needed, reach out to us at any time, or download eHopper POS for free and discover the benefits.
To find even more great posts such as these, visit eHopper’s blog for new ones each week.
Marketing Manager for eHopper Services, LLC
Brianna Moriarty is the Partner Development Manager at Star Micronics where she works with channel-partners to grow their business and develop new markets. Brianna has a background in marketing and uses this to help VARs and ISVs to establish a go-to-market strategy and create co-marketing campaigns. She enjoys following the latest social media marketing trends and creating content for retailers and SMBs.