A Point of Sale (POS) system is indispensable for restaurant operations. Taking advantage of cutting edge POS technology for the growth of restaurant business and providing best customer service has become necessary to keep up with the competitors amid growing customer expectations. POS softwares makes it easy to manage and automate restaurant operations like inventory management, online reservations, recipe management, table management, menu engineering, kitchen display, food costing, order taking system, loyalty programs & memberships, staff management, billing & invoice generation, call center and report customization among host of other day to day tasks. A good POS system can reduce the hassles of manual work and subsequent errors.
Choosing the right POS system is therefore absolutely vital. It can be a game-changer for your restaurant business.
Following tips will help you make the well informed decision while selecting the POS system.
1) Assess your restaurant requirements
Choose the POS system for your restaurant based on specific factors such as scale & type of restaurant, inventory sources, number of staff, menu, locality and customer demographics to name a few. For example, a small take away food outlet might prefer a cheaper and portable LitePOS system, with features such as easy billing, split check, happy hour pricing, inventory management, customer & vendor contact management, menu engineering, discount management. On the other hand, a large scale or multi-location restaurant could prefer a cloud based hospitality solution with advanced features for easy coordination among various outlets, vendors, customers and staff with specific user permissions located in different parts of the world.
You should also consult your staff or department heads for any special POS feature requirements. A good POS system is usually customizable to the specific requirements of your restaurant.
2) Make it customer oriented
A restaurant is nothing without loyal and returning customers. Make sure the POS system you choose gels well with your customer’s needs. An ideal POS system should make it easy for customers to place the order, request special or customizable dishes, split the bills, reserve the table and manage discounts & loyalty cards. The right POS system will eliminate customer waiting time and long queues.
3) Choose easy to use and easy to train POS interface
The best POS interface is the one which is simple, intuitive and user friendly. Nowadays most POS system will allow you to provide specific user roles and permissions for your staff. An easy to train and user friendly POS system will eliminate the cost of long and complicated training sessions for your staff. With the easy training and intuitive interface you should be able to quickly deploy the POS system.
3) Choose Flexible, Versatile and scalable POS:
A POS system should allow you to-
- Enter any number and combinations of items/particulars along with discounts, taxes, users and vendor or customer contacts.
- Email, create pdf files or print sales receipt, price quotes and invoices with single click.
- Keep a check on your expenditures, payments and receivables through analytics and auto generated reports.
- Easily re-edit or re-print the receipt and mail them to your customers or manager.
Cloud based POS hospitality solutions are recommended over windows based POS systems for easy scalability. POS that requires a server is old technology and is appropriate for small take away joints and mom & pop shops. Go with a cloud-based system if you want real-time reporting, online ordering, table reservation & payments, and remote menu management. Among hardwares, Android hardware is usually less expensive and more versatile than iPads.
4) Decide your budget
Migrating from one POS system to another can be difficult and cumbersome. It is therefore suggested to choose the right POS system with a onetime investment. A reliable and high quality POS system should be given preference over a cheap POS system. Decide your budget in accordance with the long term business goals. Traditional window based POS systems are slightly cheaper than cloud based POS systems, but if you are looking to expand your business the high tech cloud based POS system is the future.
5) Ensure service and support
Make sure to choose the POS system with proper support and service warranties from manufacturer. Top POS companies offer staff training, easy to understand product manuals, software & hardware installation support and timely call or email support. It is also a good idea to ask for regular software updates and new features to be made available at affordable prices.