By Rene Artz

Point of sale (POS) is key to hospitality profit

POS can be reviewed for sales by the hour to set daily rosters.

It can also be reviewed by the quantity of items sold to set daily PAR levels and determine what is selling, or not.

These and other POS reports are readily available through a modern system like POSBOSS.

The key is your interpretation of the data.

In this post, I will show how to interpret sales by hour to help your bank balance grow.

A consistent customer experience

Do you post the same labour schedule day after day or week after week? If yes, then you may be compromising customer experience through peak times.

Repetitive rosters may also lead to labour costs above what business sales can sustain. Without regular measure, it can easily be both.

Leverage sales per hour to set both start and finish times that reflect your key sales periods. Then review for busiest times to build a yardstick for a consistent customer experience.

For example, you could aim to staff part-time front of house servers at 10x their pay rate in sales per hour. In this case, if you paid $20 per hour for front of house staff, your yardstick may be 1 front of house server for every $200 in hourly sales. Review for service level and adjust to suit.

Build a yardstick for staffing throughout your operation. Now put this into a staffing chart.

Staffing charts are a handy visual table that shows managers how many staff are required for each job position, dependent on a given level of customer sales. This will become your rostering benchmark for service.

Review POS sales by hour every other week, then adjust your roster using the staffing chart to maintain a consistent customer experience.

Ideal labour cost

Think of ideal labour cost as the intersection of the lowest number of labour hours for the highest level of customer service.

When sales or guests per labour hour are too high staff will feel harassed, customer service can fall apart, and ultimately your profits will disappear with a falling guest count.

Your first step in rostering is to maintain a benchmark for consistent customer experience. This should be driven by a regular review of your POS hourly sales and staffing chart. The second step is to balance your roster costs against sales, is it near 30%?

To help contain payroll costs aim to staff at 2/3rds full-time and 1/3rd part-time and casual.

Target a 36-hour work week per full-time employee as this allows flexibility for retaining key staff when rostering through low or seasonal shoulder periods.

It also works when part-time staff are not available, working an extra 8 hours on a 36-hour week is more easily accomplished than on a 45-hour week.

Check your payroll against sales shift-by-shift with the aim of getting payroll near 30% of sales.

Another way to contain payroll costs is through cross-training. This way front of house can turn to back of house duties should hourly sales be lower than forecast. And back of house can leave their aprons when customer numbers spike or are busier than planned.

Hourly sales per day is just one of many POS reports. Learn to interpret this key report to deliver a consistent customer experience and maintain payroll costs.


Measurement is key to any business, equally important is interpreting what the measurements are telling us and being able to make a change.

All modern POS systems can track menu items for sale price, cost price and units sold. And these three data points are the holy grail to unlocking hospitality profit in menu sales.

Learn to take a measure and profit from your POS today.

If you would like to understand what drives hospitality, get in touch with René Artz, Business Development Manager at Mathieson Chartered Accountants Ltd on 027 66 44 943.

Mathieson Chartered Accountants Ltd
“your tax and Xero connected business advisers”

ph: 03 307 6455