5 Ways to Compare Best POS Systems for Restaurants
Restaurant point-of-sale systems is a major component of the general operations of a restaurant. Modern POS systems can revolutionize the work environment when properly integrated into the sales operations. A POS system has numerous advantages including ensuring smooth customer sales, increase employee productivity, streamlines reporting and improves general performance across all restaurant departments. A typical POS can take orders, make reservations, manage inventory and improves reporting. Currently, there are numerous restaurant POS systems on the market. To compare the best POS systems for restaurants will involve a lot of comparisons on various features. It may seem that there're a wide range features to-consider, but there are some good ones that you can start with. These include:
1. Inventory tracking
For many restaurants, the most important element of a POS-system is its ability to track inventory. The system should show what's in stock to facilitate sale and restocking. All the transactions should be updated immediately. A POS system that has web based update capability and online e-commerce have added advantage. Some systems have end-of-day or reconciliation capability where all updates are done online at the end-of-the-day.
2. Data collection
Big selling points for restaurant POS lie in their ability to access and collect customer data. There are point-of-sale systems that can track customer addresses, sale trends, busiest times of the day and favorite food. Sales are tracked down by their zip codes as-long-as the customer provides the information. Also, customer counts feature can be used to determine the busiest times-of the day. Re-orders and purchases can be made much quickly basing on these tracked trends.
3. Report generation
Collecting data can be significant as long as it is presented in a usable manner. Good reporting metrics can make all the difference. At-the end of the day, month or financial year a real POS should be able to generate a sound financial snapshot of your business. Sales cash flow should be presented in a manner that makes it easy to make a comparison. Similarly, items stack-up in the store can be checked and cleared quickly by offers and promotions.
4. User friendliness
Restaurant POS of choice should not only be self-explanatory but should be easy to use. In-house programming should enable restaurant owners to be able to change programs, add new menu items and train new users quickly. New prices or pre-programmed sales tax should be modified easily. Inventory should be added easily using the SKUs, pictures/other unique identifiers, depending on the system.
5. Other features
Some say there's no-such-thing as an all-in-one POS-system. Be sure to check for features that can be customized for your restaurant. The POS should be able to be customized to allow for bookings, reservations, and gratuities. A Restaurant is a service-based industry, so appointments are a must. The system should also have integrated credit card processing capability.
As opposed to traditional systems, current POS have mobile options where one can use digital displays or tablets like iPads. Mobile options enable sales people to take orders on the go reducing the need for long queues. A traditional system requires a constant setup that never changes, but there are now options for tableside ordering with some systems.
These are the most commonly used type of POS. They are used as a stand-alone computer terminal at a single-location or networked to form a network. They consist of the primary terminal equipment, screen, scanner, cash box and thermal printer. Others have an additional credit-card machine.
Some POS system is so light that they can run on tablets and Mobile phones like POSLavu iPad POS. The advantage is they are fast to set up, very mobile and take-up less space.
Other restaurant POS systems come as a software package that can be configured on a tablet or smartphone. Vendors may offer a complete POS system integrated with credit card processing software that offers just plug-n-play capability.
Not every restaurant POS can cater for the diverse needs of a restaurant. One should, therefore, consider a necessity for a custom-built POS that can incorporate unique features. Some businesses require scales to be built in their systems while others require specific tax calculation.