Owning and operating a quick service restaurant (QSR) is no easy task. You work long hours, face stiff competition from other restaurants, and are constantly battling against food waste and other forms of shrink.
Anything that can improve your restaurant’s profitability is worth exploring; it’s probably one of the reasons you’ve invested in a point of sale (POS) system. Having one tool that can help you manage many areas of your business – from cash transactions to online orders – just makes sense.
The data captured by your POS is incredibly valuable because it can help you make informed decisions about your business. Adding video surveillance to that data adds another layer of intelligence, with visual insights that can reveal a host of new information about your restaurants.
This type of integration has helped many restaurants increase profitability—reducing losses from theft and fraud, and improving operations, customer service, and marketing.
How does it work?
Video from your network video recorders (NVRs) is integrated with your POS system, and then combined together in a powerful enterprise management platform that delivers live and recorded video from your surveillance cameras, as well as graphical transaction reports. Analytics data, for monitoring people counting, wait times, and queue lengths, can also be integrated into the solution. All of this makes it easy to monitor sales, compare restaurant performance, identify trends, and spot suspicious activity that could be costing you money.
Stop ‘sweethearting’ and discount abuse
One of the biggest benefits of this type of integration is increased visibility at the POS. Every transaction, at every location, is recorded on video and easily reviewed by you or your team.
For example, the system can be configured to alert you to unusually high-dollar transactions (for example, all transactions over $100) or repeated discounts by a particular employee. Reports show you all transactions at each location, listed by employee or transaction type. This makes it easy to see that “John” voided 10 orders over the course of the past week, when on average, every other employee voided just one. Because these transactions are tied to video, you can quickly click through to see what really occurred.
Be “there” even when you’re not
Depending on the type of integrated solution you choose, video can be delivered directly to your mobile device. Even when you’re traveling, you can monitor what’s taking place in your restaurants. You can spot check for cleanliness, ensure employees are wearing the correct uniforms or see that all hands are on deck during high-traffic times.
Improve customer service, monitor compliance, and drive efficiencies
Fast, friendly customer service and efficient employees are key to long-term business success, especially for QSRs. But measuring service and efficiency can be challenging. Even video surveillance can have its limitations because someone has to watch the footage to decipher what took place.
But what if you had some help? Intelligent video – where analytics are combined with surveillance video and POS data – can help speed up the process of video monitoring, because it can alert you to particular kinds of activities. With the right software, intelligent video can help you set and measure key performance indicators (KPIs), which can help you improve operations.
For example, perhaps you’d like to monitor your speed of service. Queue length and dwell time analytics can be used to tell you how many customers are waiting in line, and how long on average they’re waiting for. This data can help you determine if you need to hire more staff, or perhaps just add another employee on your busiest days.
Analytics are also very useful for monitoring customer traffic. People counting analytics can shed light on how many customers are visiting your restaurants. By comparing this data with your transaction information, you can learn if everyone who visited your business actually purchased something, or if some walked away, perhaps due to a long lineup. Video can help you uncover and investigate these issues, and ultimately improve service.
As you can see, video is a very fast and efficient way to assess your restaurant’s performance. There’s a real competitive advantage to be gained by restaurants that integrate their POS data with surveillance video and analytics; those that opt for hosted solutions can bypass some of the larger capital expenses associated with video surveillance, and pay monthly for system access, monitoring and administration.
The information uncovered by an intelligent video system can be incredibly valuable, and in some cases, could save you thousands of dollars.
If you’re thinking about integrating your POS data with video and analytics, remember to investigate your options thoroughly and choose an experienced video surveillance manufacturer that supports your existing point of sale system. Request a demo, and ask about payment options and hardware requirements. In some cases, it’s possible to keep your existing analog cameras and still get high-definition video, for sharper video images without ripping and replacing your cameras.