Your point of sale system (POS) is a vital piece of equipment for your business. But in addition to being a vital part of your checkout process, your POS system is a data center that, when utilized to generate POS reports, can be the most powerful resource for making business decisions. There are hundreds of different kinds of point of sale reports your system can generate to provide data-driven insights that can generate or save your business money.
In this blog, we will be going over 7 POS reports you should be pulling on a regular basis and what can be gleaned from these reports. We will review:
- Sales Reports
- Transaction Reports
- Inventory Reports
- Employee Reports
- Customer Reports
- Auditing Reports
- Loss Prevention Reports
1. Sales Reports
Regardless of your industry, you should set time aside to run sales reports. Sales reports can provide vital insights into the profitability of your business. Understanding your sales trends will help you make informed decisions that will help keep your business in the black.
There are hundreds of variations of sales reports you can run to get the exact insights you need, but there are three vital types of reporting you should pull from your POS system.
- Sales Activity: Gives an overview of purchases, returns, and more at any selected period of time.
- Profit Margin Report: This will show you which products or services are making the most profit and which are losing you money.
- Sales by Employee: This enables you to see which employees are superstars, who need more training, and which teams are handling the majority of work.
When pulling these POS reports, you should keep track of a few crucial analytics:
- Sales Totals
- Daily Sales
- Sales by Section, Table, and Category
- Takeout Sales
- Discounts and Voids
- Employee Sales by Item
So what should managers decide based on sales reports? Review your staff’s success and sales; this will help you identify which servers are making the most sales and are succeeding at upselling menu items, along with which table and section are the most profitable. From this information, you can determine who your best staff is, what sections they should be working in, and reward their hard work accordingly. On the flip side of this, you can also identify which staff members are making the most mistakes, handing out discounts, or missing out on tips.
Additionally, your sales reports can help you learn about different aspects of your restaurant, such as how much of your business comes from online ordering compared to in-house orders. Use that data to promote better revenue streams, such as by getting direct online ordering software or your own fleet of delivery drivers.
2. Transaction Reports
Transaction reports help you keep track of your restaurant’s sales and payment methods. You should be aware of your restaurant’s sales numbers and how payments are being received at the point of purchase, whether by credit cards, gift cards, or cash payments. Running any of the following reports will provide visibility into your daily activity:
- Payments and Refunds: A list of cash and card payment totals and refunds.
- Payments by Section: Sales details by payment type and by section.
- Credit Card Payments and Refunds: Individual credit card payments and refunds, dates and times cards were used, order numbers, authorization numbers, the amount paid, and card tip amounts.
- End-of-Day Reports: X (end of shift) and Z (end of day) reports that give you an overview of your daily activity.
- Financial Comparison Reports: Compare month over month or year over year to know how your business stacks up against previous periods.
- Weekly Performance Indicators: Track your business’ most important key performance indicators (KPIs) in one report.
These reports can help you make business decisions that will help your restaurant grow. By understanding your customers’ preferred payment methods, you can upgrade your tech. You can also see patterns in refund causes and make changes to avoid them, find out customers’ payment patterns to set card minimums, analyze card usage to decide how many credit card readers you need to meet demand and determine seasonality by looking at historical transactions.
3. Inventory Reports
Inventory reports are as vital as transaction reports because they ensure your stock levels align with your sales volume. With current supply chain obstacles, knowing what items are nearing minimum levels gives you extra time to place orders or make menu adjustments based on product availability. The following reports can help you keep your inventory levels on par:
- Inventory List: A list of each inventory item you have in stock.
- Inventory Valuation: Know the total cost of all your on-hand inventory and understand the actual value of your greatest assets.
- Menu Item List: A list of your menu items, their menu prices, and what they cost to make.
- Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): How much items cost your restaurant versus how much they sell for. Ensure your cost of sales never exceeds your revenue by monitoring the cost of goods sold.
- Sales by Menu: A detailed look at sales listed by menu categories (i.e., appetizers, drinks, entrees, etc.) and menu (i.e., lunch, happy hour, dinner, etc.).
- Product Mix Report: Know your top-selling items from your worst-selling items to keep on top of inventory needs.
- Sales Item Totals: A report of all menu items, how many times each item has been ordered, the total gross revenue of each item, and the number of returns and voids per item.
- Low Inventory Totals: A report highlighting menu item inventory counts and their corresponding “low inventory” warning setting.
- Modifier Sales: Which modifiers (e.g., avocado, extra bacon, etc.) customers request and how often, plus how much revenue they generate.
These reports can help you make informed business decisions, such as knowing when it’s time to order new supplies, identifying best sellers and dishes that need a sales boost, understanding your profit margins on items to inform menu pricing, and knowing which modifiers to add.
4. Employee Reports
Labor is one of the most expensive operational costs for businesses, with labor costs for some businesses accounting for as much as 70% of the organization’s total operating expense. Many restaurants in the U.S. report that labor costs account for about 30% of their total spend. Keeping a pulse on your staff is another critical component of successful business management. Determining which employees are performing best and removing opinions from the equation to make data-driven decisions is essential. Here are a few examples of reports you can run to manage your employees better:
- Payout Reports: Keep tabs on money that leaves your register, whether it’s a refund or you’re transferring funds to the bank.
- Labor Reports: Ensure that labor costs never outweigh sales as the minimum wage increases across the country.
- Payroll Reports: Ensure that your POS system can track all of the data you need, from clock-in and clock-out times to payroll hours.
- Employee Shifts and Hours: See how long team members worked, how many shifts they worked when they clocked in and out, and how much pay and tips they accrued for working those hours.
- Tips: Get a detailed look at cash tips reported by staff members, credit card tips, and how much of those card tips have been paid out to staff.
- Deleted Items: Identify which staff members deleted items, the number of times they deleted items from the order screen, the total number of deleted items, and the value of those items.
- No Sales: Get a report that shows how often the cash drawer is opened using the “no sale” button.
Using employee POS reports, you can determine if you are staffing too many employees on your least busy days, who your best-performing employees are, and whether you are scheduling them on your highest-traffic days. Sales data can help you determine your busiest days and top-selling employees, so you have the right coverage every day. You can also use POS reports to understand how much you owe front-of-house staff in tips or calculate your tip pool.
5. Customer Reports
On the other side of the equation of staff reports are customer reports. These reports are full of data points that can also help drive your decision-making. Using POS reports will allow you to track all of the following and more:
- Sales by Customer: Know your most loyal customers from the occasional shoppers. Get data about what your customers ordered on each visit and takeout order, including time of visit, the staff member who served them, items ordered, cost of items, and gratuity.
- House Account Balance: Keep an eye on the IOUs, whether you take deposits for big-ticket items or give VIP customers a carte blanche.
- Customer Loyalty Program Report: Get a better understanding of your customer’s buying habits and see how they engage with your brand. Get data on how many points they’ve collected, what kind of rewards they’ve redeemed, and how much they’ve spent.
Using these POS reports can help you better understand buying habits to create more personalized and effective marketing campaigns. You can send personalized marketing offers to customers they won’t be able to resist, such as offering a freebie to a customer who hasn’t visited you in a while or sending customers who typically dine at your restaurant an offer for their first online order.
6. Auditing Reports
Creating audit reports for the government is a tedious but necessary process for businesses. Knowing how products and cash move through your business is a surefire way to keep auditors at bay. Here are some essential auditing reports that every restaurant and retail owner should be generating:
- Tax Details: Not all products and services have the same tax rate. Getting a detailed breakdown of sales tax and revenue classes is crucial for keeping track of your finances and staying compliant with government regulations.
- Till Transaction Summary (Till Management): This report allows you to know every void, discount, and transaction that transpires at the point of purchase. It ensures that crafty employees aren’t ‘hiding’ money or engaging in fraudulent activities.
- Open Ticket Detail: Before it’s in the books, know the details of every open ticket and what you can expect to close. This report helps you track your orders and identify any discrepancies before they become larger problems.
7. Loss Prevention Reports
Loss can be the invisible killer of small retailers and restaurants. Most of the loss isn’t apparent unless you’re tracking the data. That’s why restaurants should be generating the following reports to prevent loss:
- Audit Trail: Keeping a data log of activity and pertinent information about daily business events is essential for monitoring all transactions and ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.
- Refund Detail and Reasons: This report lets you know how the refund was issued, who performed the transaction, and why. It helps you keep an eye out for any red flags and identify any suspicious transactions.
- Discount Detail: Ensure that managers aren’t taking advantage of their user permissions with generous discounts at your expense. This report helps you track discounts and identify any irregularities.
By generating these reports, you can keep an eye out for irregularities and identify trends as they happen or recognize patterns over time.
The amount of reports that a restaurant’s POS system can generate is enormous. However, by focusing on these essential auditing and loss prevention reports, you can manage your restaurant to its fullest potential. Running your restaurant efficiently and effectively requires the right tools, and a POS system from NCC can provide you with the reports you need to make more informed decisions. Contact a local reseller to implement NCC’s POS solution and take control of your business’s financial management.