You’re in a new restaurant/bar. The ambience is great. You order a pre-dinner drink, and you briefly notice that the bar staff are using some pretty snappy touch screen point of sale devices. And they seem to be working. You hardly have to queue (yay!), and because you booked your table ahead, your drink goes straight on your dinner tab. Nice. You approve. You might even wonder what other tricks for improving your evening the system has up its sleeve.

When it comes to dinner, things are not so good. Your waiter is using a snappy POS device, but he seems a bit unsure how to use it. He takes ages to record each menu choice, and has to ask one of your companions to repeat her order twice. And then when it comes to your splitting the bill request, it’s all too hard to manage. Not so nice, and you don’t approve.

We Australians are, by and large, receptive to the use of new technology in the services we receive. We don’t like queuing, and we don’t like lengthy payment procedures, and we are quick to give our approval to technology that relieves us of either. But it’s got to work. If it doesn’t, our goodwill evaporates, and we start wondering about good old fashioned service.  From bold technophile to disgruntled Luddite in seconds. OK we’re probably being a bit petulant, but we come to your venue to be entertained, not to repair our character defects!

No matter how good our POS technology gets, using it competently, let alone to its fullest potential, requires proper training. And using your POS incompetently will result in poor ROI.

In the case of our hypothetical bar-restaurant, the most likely explanation for the uneven quality off service goes something like this: the venue started using touchscreen POS in the bar, and the bar staff were trained in its use as part of the supplier’s contract. When they extended the system to include the restaurant, they had one of the bar staff show the waiters the ropes, but didn’t bother to arrange any formal training.

Let’s look at the issue of training, and how you can use it to get the best out of your system. Why train?

  • There is no substitute for training by a qualified trainer. Our hypothetical barman was training his hypothetical colleague, the waiter, in what got him through his shift – in the bar. The system had food-specific features, like print-to-kitchen, daily specials and table layouts, which the waiter needed to understand, and in which he could only be trained by an authorised trainer.
  • You don’t know what you don’t know. This one is a familiar one to anyone who has used a common piece of software. Take MS Word. It’s easy to use it for years, getting what you need to do done, while being ignorant of features that could be saving you time and money. So making our systems intuitively easy to use is a two-edged sword. Because it’s so easy to master what you know how to get through a shift, however it’s very easy to neglect features that could be transforming the profitability of your venue. You’re paying for them – use them!
  • We are constantly improving POS technology, and extending its functionality. Most users are on an upgrade path that makes these features available to them as they are released. Making the best use of these developments unavoidably requires a short burst of extension training.
  • · Regular refresher training sessions keep your staff current, and ensure that they make use of profit-building features like loyalty programs and upselling that may otherwise be neglected.

At Vectron we believe strongly in the capability of our products to please your patrons and increase your profits. When we deliver a system, we always provide training as part of the package. Because we take the trouble to understand all our customers’ business, our training is tightly focused, but comprehensive. We teach your staff not just what they know they need, but everything they need to maximise the productivity of their work. But that also means that we know that many of our customers, with a little extra training, could be making far better use of our products than they presently do.

Here’s a couple of tips to help existing users get the best out of their training:

  • Plan scheduling well ahead, so your training session causes minimal disruption to your roster.
  • Have your staff list any POS features they find difficult. Communicate these to your Vectron trainer in advance of the training session.
  • Take a moment to explore your system. Note any features that you don’t currently use, or whose purpose you may not even understand. Ask your Vectron trainer to explain them and their relevance to your business.