Restaurant Point-of-Sale Systems: What to Consider
Restaurant POS systems are a vital part of your restaurant’s operations, whether you operate a cafe, food truck, quick-service restaurant, or full-service restaurant. However, they can also be one of the most confusing things to buy. That’s because there are so many options out there, and each has its own unique set of features and capabilities. If you’re considering updating your current system or starting from scratch with a new POS provider, here’s what you should consider.
Your Restaurant’s Needs
There are many benefits to upgrading or updating your restaurant POS software. Updating can help you gain more control over your business and make it more efficient through modern technology. The right system may also help reduce costs and increase profits.
You should ask yourself a few questions before making a decision:
- What do I need my POS system to do? Are there specific features that I require?
- How much time will it take to learn how to use the new software? Will this be an issue for my staff?
- How much training is provided by the company after onboarding? Do they offer customer support after purchase if needed?
- What is the payment processor, and are there credit card processing fees?
- Is there an upfront price or free plan for a limited time?
- Is it customizable? Can I add on features later if I need them?
- Can I adjust permissions?
If you’re considering updating your restaurant POS software, we recommend choosing one with an intuitive interface for maximum ease of use. That way, both employees and customers can easily navigate through the screens on their own.
POS Features to Consider
- Integrations with existing POS hardware, if applicable
- iPad compatibility
- Online ordering
- Payment processing
- Hardware options (receipt printers, mobile POS units for tableside ordering, or additional POS terminals)
Cloud-Based POS Systems
Cloud-based POS systems are a great option for restaurant management. They offer many of the same benefits as traditional POS systems while offering more flexibility and scalability—making them easier to manage and more cost-effective in the long term.
You’ll need internet access for your POS system to function properly, which means no going offline. If you’re in an area without a reliable internet connection or wireless service (such as remote regions or rural areas), this may not be the best choice for you. Some POS systems have offline modes in case of a loss of internet connection.
Accepting and processing payments is vital. Fortunately, it’s possible to choose the most effective payment processing and credit card readers for your restaurant. There are four primary methods of accepting payments: cash, checks, and debit cards; credit cards; loyalty programs; and mobile wallets.
Mobile Ordering and Contactless Payment
It’s also crucial to have a POS system that can support mobile ordering and contactless payments. These ordering systems can increase sales by allowing customers to view their orders online ahead of time, whether they’re picking their order up from the counter, getting it delivered, or utilizing curbside pickup. You can also use mobile ordering as an extension of your restaurant’s marketing strategy by offering discounts or other incentives through these channels.
Customer Loyalty Programs and Gift Cards
When you have a loyal following of customers, loyalty programs let them know you appreciate them and can build a relationship with your patrons. You can do this by offering loyalty programs that allow customers to earn points for purchases, which can then be redeemed for rewards such as free food or drink items. This will give the customer an incentive to come back to your restaurant again and again!
Another way you can reward your loyal customers is through gift cards. While they might take up valuable space in your POS system, they’re worth it! Gift cards help spread the word about your business by enabling friends and family members to experience what makes your establishment so special — without any prior knowledge of your establishment.
Online Ordering Capabilities
Online ordering can be a great way to increase sales, especially if your restaurant targets customers who are too busy or too lazy to come into the store. It’s also an excellent way to reach new customers who may not otherwise have discovered your restaurant if they’re not local.
Takeout and Delivery Features
For restaurants and other food service businesses that offer takeout and delivery, having a POS system with these features is essential. These include:
- Order and pay online. Customers can place an order on your website or mobile app, then pick it up at the restaurant. You can also allow customers to pre-order their food in advance, so they don’t have to wait when picking it up or for delivery.
- Delivery tracking. Customers want to know where their food is at every step of its journey from your kitchen to their door. A POS system makes keeping track of orders easy by providing real-time updates as deliveries progress through different stages of completion, including estimates of arrival times based on location data gathered by GPS devices paired with those orders.
Menu Management Tools
One of the most important considerations for your POS system is how you will manage your menus. Menu management tools are essential for small businesses because they help you track what items are in stock and what needs to be ordered. These tools can also help you create a menu unique to your restaurant by allowing you to customize it based on customer suggestions and feedback. With sales reports, you can track what is selling the most and what items your staff should upserve.
Inventory Management Capabilities
In addition to a front-of-house management system, Manage your inventory with the help of a POS system. A POS system will be able to track your inventory and manage stock levels, as well as provide full visibility into how much product you have on hand and how much it costs. With inventory tracking, you’ll always know what products are selling, what they’re selling for, and how much money you’ve made from each item sold.
With a POS system’s inventory management features, you’ll never risk running out of a menu item again.
Pineapple POS Has Your Solution
Whether you’re a veteran in the restaurant industry or opening a new restaurant, Pineapple POS has the best restaurant POS system for you! We have partnered with SkyTab POS by Shift4 to offer an all-in-one restaurant POS solution with table management, employee management, and full front- and back-of-house features. If you’re interested in a new POS system or want to upgrade, contact Pineapple POS today!