For any restaurant in the US, its point of sale (POS) system is its heart and soul, in fact, forty-one percent of restaurants have or will start using server handheld tablets to improve the guest experience. However, a restaurant POS does more than just order-taking.
A POS system can effectively manage your billing, marketing, stock & inventory, analytics, etc. It is difficult to imagine a restaurant running smoothly without a POS system or with one that lags!
A good POS system can work both online and offline making sure that the data remains intact and the restaurant never stops.
To make the task of choosing the accurate POS system simpler, we have highlighted the key characteristics you’ll want to consider when making your selection.
Things To Consider While Choosing A Restaurant POS Software
The benefits of POS mobility aren’t the only reasons why countless restaurant operators are upgrading their systems. The growing need to accept new payment methods, including chip-and-pin cards and e-wallet apps, etc. are also top of mind for restaurateurs.
There’s no shortage of reasons why restaurant operators in the US want to migrate from a legacy system. But while doing so there are certain features you need to ensure are present in the restaurant POS system.
These characteristics make the operation task easier and will help run your restaurant seamlessly.
1. Should Be Cloud-based
Traditional POS systems are server based which are often prone to data loss and system crashes, resulting in downtime. Feature upgrades also become extremely tedious in the case of a traditional POS system, involving a lot of manual work.
In a cloud-based POS system, the information for transaction processing comes from a cloud server. Having a cloud-based solution provides substantial advantages in simplifying the operations, providing flexibility and functionality.
- Simplifying the operations: It helps in simplification as setting up a computer network is a time-consuming task and requires heavy maintenance. Installing a cloud-based restaurant POS system will help eliminate that.
- Flexibility: Cloud POS systems adapt to needs and budget, and offer regular updates. Also, they keep your data intact even when you lose the internet connection and once connectivity is restored, the devices communicate with the cloud to re-sync.
- Functionality: Check for a cloud POS that is written in modern, cloud-native programming languages. This will make the POS more functional as the system would be more compatible.
According to Hospitality Technology’s POS trends report, sixty-one percent of restauranteurs in the USA said they want their next POS system to be cloud-based.
2. Should Provide Robust Support
Restauranteurs in the US often complain about not having adequate customer support from the POS service provider. Look for a POS system that has a strong industrial hold and is capable of providing excellent technical support.
The quality of a restaurant POS system can be determined by its after-sales service. As a user, you shouldn’t have to deal with bad customer service experience.
The support quality should be top notch so that when you require help, there is someone to help you with the issue and help resolve it.
3. Should Provide Mobile Analytics
Analyzing the progress of your restaurant is very important. This helps you understand if things are running smoothly at your restaurant. A POS system should give you an option of real-time reporting and analysis on your mobile device.
A mobile device is something that everyone has quick access to; hence, it becomes essential to have a feature in your POS system that allows you to manage and view reports on the go!
It should give you an option to create custom reports as everyone has different needs and wishes to see different reports.
For a manager, viewing the reports related to performance, sales, etc. is more important, and for a chef, it is more important to view the reports related to the inventory. Having the ability to view custom reports according to needs helps cancel any extra noise, as people see only what they want to.
The POS system should be very efficient, and there shouldn’t be any discrepancies in the reporting.
4. Should Have The Restaurant-specific Features
Every POS is restaurant specific and has features that make the operation task easier; therefore invest time and look for a POS that is specific to your restaurant type and will help your restaurant function better.
A person operating a QSR has different requirements as compared to a person running fine dining. Look for a restaurant POS that has the restaurant-specific features. If you are running a bakery look for a restaurant POS specifically created for facilitating bakery operations.
5. Should Be Open To Third-Party Integrations
If you wish to switch from an old POS system to a new one the most critical factor is to check if the new system allows data integration.
A POS system which is open to integration will allow you to feed the old data onto it. This makes sure that the previous data is not lost and you have everything intact in one place.
Data integration allows you to combine data from several different sources and use them in one place.
It helps build your restaurant’s data warehouse which allows you to perform analysis based on the available data. Features to look out for are :
- Accounting integration – Accounting integration allows you to push the data into accounting software and generate sales vouchers and receipt without any manual errors.
- Payment integration – With several modes of online payment options available today, it becomes very important to look for a system that allows you to accept payment from different sources like digital wallets, Apple Pay, etc.
- Online orders integration – There are several online ordering portals you can team up with these days; hence, it becomes crucial to look for a system that easily accepts orders from these portals and automatically updates them into your POS system.
- Cloud telephony integration – This is again an essential feature to look for in a POS system. It allows you to accept orders through a phone call now, the catch here is looking for a system that automatically transfers the call to the next available line whenever the first phone line is busy. This ensures that you don’t miss out on order even on a busy day! Also, a good POS system should be able to identify the orders that were placed through a phone call.
6. Should Provide End-to-end Management
It is always better to have a restaurant POS that provides end-to-end management instead of having multiple tools and software that perform individual tasks. For example, there are many restaurant marketing tools and Loyalty Programs available in the market, but unless they receive the data from the POS, they would not be able to yield much results. Having all your operations on the same platform streamlines the entire process and generates much higher results. Some of the main operations that your restaurant POS should be able to facilitate are –
- Order taking and billing
- Table reservation
- Online ordering
- Stock and inventory management
- Base kitchen management
- CRM & Marketing
- Loyalty Programs
- Customer Feedback Management
- Reporting and analytics
Here’s a handy restaurant POS checklist that would help you choose the right restaurant technology for your business.
The US is the largest market worldwide in terms of consumer restaurant spending which has encouraged people to open more restaurants in the USA.
The restaurant owners are always on a lookout for beating this tough competition and making their restaurant known for quick service and best food. While maintaining the food quality is up to you the service quality can be increased using an excellent restaurant POS system.
We hope the points mentioned above would make the work more comfortable for you and help you find a restaurant POS system which would help you manage your restaurant more systematically.