Point of sale

How the Right POS System Can Eliminate Costly Restaurant Manual Errors for Small Businesses

Sahana Ananth
July 9, 2024
1 mins

Table of Content

Imagine you're putting together an order on a busy day, only to realize later that you received the wrong info—ouch! And it’s just one of those frustrating, manual errors that can cost your restaurant a lot.

While you might think the good old pen and paper is a pocket-friendly option, the reality is far away from what it seems. This method comes with multiple pitfalls that can absorb your profits. There’s a risk of misplaced orders, miscalculated bills, and stock discrepancies. What’s more, these eros not only waste your time but also sway your customers away over time!

If you’re also looking for solutions to these restaurant manual errors, this is the right place to be! This blog will show how switching to a modern POS system can help you bypass costly manual errors while preserving your revenue!

Common Manual Errors in Restaurant Operations

Manual errors in restaurant operations can stem from simple oversights in your daily tasks. Here are some of the most common slip-ups:

Inventory Mistakes

Manual inventory mistakes usually involve counting errors, misplaced items, and incorrect data entry. They can lead to inaccurate stock levels and operational inefficiencies. There could be different types of inventory mistakes:

Reordering Issues

Not having the right tools to manage inventory leads to overordering or underordering. Overordering can result in excess stock that might go unused before expiring. Underordering can cause popular menu items to run out, leading to lost sales.

Excessive Food Waste

Many restaurants struggle with food waste due to poor inventory tracking. Without proper technology, it's easy to overestimate how much food you need. This could lead to spoilage and unnecessary waste.

Inadequate Data Analysis

Manual inventory management often involves human error in counting and data entry. This process is time-consuming and also lacks real-time updates. Understanding inventory trends and turnover is essential but challenging without a unified system. 

Order Errors

Manual order-taking in restaurants is ripe for mistakes, which can quickly sour a customer's experience. When you keep orders on paper, it's common for things to get lost in translation—misreading handwriting or mishearing over a noisy dining room. 

These slip-ups can lead to wrong dishes, delayed orders, or even missed orders. The fallout? Frustrated customers and potentially lost business. Frequent order errors can tarnish your restaurant's reputation and may lead to negative reviews.

Pricing Discrepancies

Pricing discrepancies in restaurants often occur when you manually enter prices into systems. There is a high chance of mismatches between what should be charged and what is billed. For instance, your staff might forget the new prices during seasonal promotions. They may end up charging old rates. 

The Role of POS Systems in Reducing Errors

Point-of-sale systems use advanced tech to track your sales and ensure that pricing errors or missed charges are a thing of the past. This helps you keep your finances in check and ensures customers get a fair deal every time. 

These systems streamline the process of recording transactions right when they happen. This immediate data capture minimizes common errors like miscounting or misrecording sales, which often occur in manual setups. 

POS systems take the guesswork out of inventory management by automatically updating stock as items sell. They help you avoid overstocking or running out of essentials. Plus, features like barcode scanning and digital receipts cut down on human errors, making everything run smoother.

Use This Ultimate POS System Checklist to Reduce Manual Errors and Streamline Your Restaurant's Operations

      Order Management
  • Handle dine-in, takeout, and delivery orders.
  • Allow for easy customization of orders to meet customer preferences.
    1. Dual Pricing
  • Automate price adjustments for promotions and happy hours.
  • Adjust for customer segments or event-based discounts.
    1. Payments
  • Support multiple payment methods and ensure secure transactions.
  • Integrate with online payment systems for digital orders.
    1. KDS Integration
  • Link POS with kitchen displays for real-time order accuracy.
  • Streamline communication between staff to improve service speed.
    1. Inventory Management
  • Monitor and automate stock levels to avoid shortages.
  • Use data to optimize ordering and reduce waste.
    1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Analyze customer data to personalize marketing and promotions.
  • Collect feedback directly through the POS system.
    1. Loyalty Programs
  • Manage rewards and track loyalty points through the POS.
  • Provide real-time loyalty status and personalized offers to customers.
    1. Employee Management
  • Track staff hours and roles, manage payroll, and incentivize performance
  • Control access to sensitive operations based on staff roles.

Benefits of POS Systems

POS systems offer a multitude of benefits for businesses:

Automated Inventory Management

Automating POS system inventory management is a major plus for restaurants. Here's how it works- when new products come in, just scan them and enter the amounts, and boom—they're logged into your system.

This real-time tracking lets you know exactly what you have in stock, ditching the guesswork and slip-ups of counting by hand. And the best part? Every time you make a sale, the system updates your inventory levels. It keeps everything smooth and accurate.

Digital Order Management

Are you managing orders manually? That can lead to mix-ups and missed sales, especially when things get busy. A POS system makes things a lot more easy for you. 

  • You can use a POS system to check on every online or in-store order. Such systems log and update every order in real time to keep you updated. 
  • A POS comes with the option to set up low-stock alerts. Using this feature, you can rest assured about never running low, as the system updates you whenever your stock hits the bottom line.  
  • Such systems optimize your orders. When customers request items out of stock, the POS system can keep track and prompt you to notify customers upon availability.

Accurate Pricing and Billing

A POS system ensures every price tag in your store is spot on. Here's how it works: whenever you need to change prices, whether for a sale or an update, you do it once in the system, and it automatically adjusts everywhere—on every product and in every transaction. 

As a result, you can rest assured that the cashier will charge the correct price every time without any human error. You can let the system handle the total, addition, and taxes and apply discounts automatically.

Improved Employee Efficiency

With features like inventory management and order processing all integrated into one system, your staff can shift their focus from tedious manual tasks to providing top-notch service. Here's how such systems enhance efficiency:

  • Quick access to information: Employees can pull up product details, check stock levels, or process returns with just a few taps. This speed means they can serve more customers more effectively.
  • Streamlined operations: Everything is managed through one system, from handling promotions to updating inventory. This integration means less time figuring out logistics and more time engaging with customers.

Enhanced Reporting and Analytics

With its advanced analytics, a modern POS system gives you the scoop on all your transactions. It shows you why some products fly off the shelves while others linger or why your sales soar some days but not others.

For example, if you spot that a certain item is a hit during the holidays, you can stock up early to meet demand. Or, if something isn't selling as well as you hoped, you might roll out promotions or discounts to boost it. This kind of insight is invaluable for staying on top of your game.

Additionally, the analytics from a POS system give you deeper insights into your customers' buying habits. By examining their past purchases and preferences, you can craft marketing campaigns that resonate with their needs, making your efforts more effective. This tailored approach not only feels more professional but also boosts the impact of your promotions.

Customer Relationship Management

Point-of-sale (POS) systems can enhance how you connect with your customers. By integrating features like loyalty programs and detailed customer profiles, a POS can personalize interactions based on past purchases, making every customer feel special. 

For instance, when a regular visit is made, the system suggests items they might like or offers discounts tailored to their preferences. This personalized service improves the customer experience and boosts retention—86% of restaurants leverage POS data to refine loyalty strategies.

Choosing the Right POS System: 7 Features to Consider in a POS System

Let's guide you through selecting the perfect POS for your restaurant. Here are the top 7 features to consider that can help streamline your processes and improve your customer service:

Easy Menu Management

Your POS should make it easy to update the menu on the fly. This feature will allow you to quickly mark items out of stock or update pricing during busy shifts. It ensures your menu reflects real-time changes without restarting the system.

Inventory Management

Inventory management is a must-have in any POS system. It keeps track of your stock in real time. A sophisticated POS system has real-time tracking tools that help you keep a precise tab on your inventory levels. 

Loyalty Programs and Integrated Gift Cards

Modern POS systems should support digital loyalty programs and gift cards. It enhances customer retention by simplifying how guests use and manage their rewards. POS software with loyalty program functionality can increase ticket size by up to 46%.

Employee Management

Combining essential operational tools into one platform can simplify your administrative tasks. A POS that includes employee management features such as payroll processing, scheduling, and communication can streamline your HR processes and improve staff coordination.

Payments and Processing Fee

Payments and processing fees are what you pay each time a customer purchases. It's important because these fees can add up and affect your bottom line. When choosing a POS system, look for one with clear, low fees. This will help you save money and simplify budgeting.

Hardware Solutions

A POS system with good hardware is essential because it affects how smoothly your operations run. Look for hardware that's reliable, easy to use, and matches your business's size and style. Good hardware can speed up transactions, reduce errors, and improve customer experience for your restaurant.

Integrated Online Ordering Platform

The ability to integrate online ordering directly into your POS system is more important than ever with the growth of digital dining options. This feature allows you to manage orders more effectively. It does so while keeping track of customer preferences and maintaining control over your branding and customer data.

Cost Considerations for a POS System

When estimating the budget for a new POS system, you must remember to include hidden costs and additional expenses, as there could be many.

To start, if you need your POS system to sync up smoothly with other tools you're using—like your accounting software or CRM—you should be aware that there might be additional costs for those integrations.

Then there are the add-ons. Things like loyalty programs or email marketing tools can bump the cost considerably. Even text messaging features could add more to your monthly bill than expected. And remember, if you're planning on having more than one register, you might face additional fees for each—these could range anywhere from about $10 to $40 per register each month.

Also, keep in mind the costs for ongoing support and training. You may occasionally need support from your vendor for upgrades or to fix issues, which can inflate the total cost of owning your POS system.


The challenges with restaurant manual errors can impact your daily operations and threaten the longevity of your business. Understanding these common restaurant problems and adopting a modern POS system can help address potential difficulties. A POS system prevents common mistakes like misentered orders and inventory mishaps and enhances business efficiency. 

Ready to upgrade and improve your restaurant's efficiency? Check out OneHubPOS for a reliable, feature-rich POS solution that fits your business needs. 

How do I figure out how much to charge for food?

Pricing is a balancing act! You need to cover your costs (including the food cost per portion) while offering a price point that feels valuable to your customers. Consider factors like competition, target audience, and the overall dining experience you create.

What tools are available for tracking food costs?

Food cost calculators are great for initial estimates, but consider restaurant management software for ongoing success. This software tracks inventory, automates cost calculations, and generates reports to identify cost-saving opportunities.

Can I use a food cost calculator for different types of cuisine?

Absolutely! Many online food cost calculators can handle various cuisines. Look for tools that consider ingredient types, portion sizes, and even regional pricing variations.

How often should I calculate food cost percentage?

Consider your food cost percentage your restaurant's financial fitness tracker. It's the total cost of recipe ingredients divided by your total menu sales. Ideally, calculate this regularly, like weekly or bi-weekly, to monitor profitability and adjust pricing or portions as needed.

What is the standard costing model?

The standard costing model is like a recipe for consistent pricing. It uses historical data and market trends to predict ingredient costs, allowing you to budget, purchase, and maintain profit margins even when prices fluctuate.

What is food cost per portion?

Food cost per portion is the actual cost of creating a single serving of a dish. It considers all ingredients, including spices, garnishes, and even waste!  This number helps you understand your profitability and set menu prices effectively.

Sahana Ananth
Director, GTM - OneHubPOS

Sahana is a seasoned GTM leader with a passion for building startups. She excels in crafting GTM strategies for tech products, driving revenue growth.

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