Running a restaurant is a tough business. A Restaurant POS System (Point of Sale System) is crucial to the smooth running of your restaurant business.
Diners are looking for an amazing experience from the time they enter your restaurant till the time they leave. Everything from a well-organized and efficient staff, to perfectly prepared and served food is easily achieved when you have a restaurant POS system.
A good restaurant POS system helps you automate all your daily activities so that you can focus on other important things like treating your customers better. So, what exactly is a restaurant POS system? And how does it differ from a traditional cash register? Is it really a worthy investment for your restaurant?
In this post, we will be answering those questions and more, so keep reading.
What is a Restaurant POS System?
POS stands for Point of Sale and it refers to the time and place where a sales action is completed. A restaurant point of sale system includes both the hardware and software that helps manage sales transactions such as credit card processing, receipt printing, and other functions.
A restaurant POS system allows you to streamline your operations, have smoother and quicker communication with your staff members, and keep track of metrics related to sales, inventory, and resources.
This will result in greater profits, revenue, smarter food cost and better customer service while decreasing pressure and customer wait times.
We will now briefly discuss the main components of a restaurant POS system, the hardware and the software.
Restaurant POS Hardware:
The hardware of a restaurant POS system is made to withstand the business of a typical restaurant kitchen. It is sturdy and resistant to wear and tear, making it suitable for rough handling by many different users.
The POS terminal is at the hub of the POS system, and is also sometimes called the touch screen cash register. Using this, restaurant staff can take orders from customers and send them to the respective section of the kitchen instantly, receive payments of bills and tips, manage tables, etc. It is usually available in different sizes depending on the specific usage.
There are also mobile POS tablets available for ether taking orders at the customers’ tables or for speeding up long queues at a takeaway restaurant.
There is also the possibility of installing a kiosk at your restaurant that allows customers to place their own orders. According to the National Restaurant Association, 42% of diners would choose to use a self-serving ordering kiosk is available, so this is a very viable option for you to consider for your business.
Restaurant POS Software:
Once you have figured out the kind of restaurant POS hardware you would like to use for your business, it’s time to consider what software you will be using. The software you choose will function as the brain of your POS and help you run your business more smoothly.
The restaurant POS software will allow you to take orders from customers, accept payments and tips, and also help with kitchen ticket fulfillment and inventory management inside your kitchen.
You will also have to factor in the kind of computers you want to run the POS software on. For example, if the restaurant POS hardware is an Android tablet, you will need an Android operating system to run it. If it is an iPad, you will require an Apple operating system, and if it is a computer, you will need a Windows operating system.
The Benefits of a Restaurant POS System
As we mentioned earlier, the restaurant POS system is crucial to the smooth functioning of your restaurant. It basically exists to simplify your daily operations, especially with often repeating tasks.
A restaurant POS system also acts as a database system for integrating data from customers and your kitchen staff. Studying these pieces of information will allow you to figure out how to further improve your processes and increase profits.
It is imperative that you keep up with the latest trends in technology when it comes to restaurant POS. Let’s now take a look at the benefits of having a restaurant POS system:
The main advantage a restaurant POS system offers restaurant owners and staff is portability of the hardware devices. Before the POS system, staff members would have to deal with large, heavy, and bulky machinery that take up too much space and are not easy to shift or carry around.
POS systems are now available on portable devices like phones and tablets, and work on all operating systems.
Convenience For Waiters And Staff
Restaurant waiters have to shuttle from table to table taking orders from customers. A restaurant POS will allow easy order taking, better customer service, and better business as waiters can make the best recommendations for dishes for customers.
Instant Updates To Kitchen
The kitchen is also instantly updated on the latest orders and can start planning and preparing the meal immediately. This greatly reduces table flip time and order processing time. It is also much simpler to track and manage data.
Your staff will also have to deal with less machinery. This means that you have lesser depreciation costs when it’s time to upgrade or replace machines that are not working properly.
Restaurant POS hardware allows helps you stay clear of too much clutter in your restaurant and keep it looking functional and tidy.
Updates On The Go
You restaurant staff can stay updated on the go without having to go back office and check details on a central computer system.
Cloud Based Database
All information is stored in the cloud, allowing for easy access and integration of data. Staff can be online at all times and update the system from any location. There is no need for a team member to be physically present in the restaurant to make changes in the database.
Low Setup Costs
Unlike traditional systems that have a high initial setup cost, POS systems require a very low investment. You can purchase POS software on subscription based models, which will work out to be easier for you, especially if you are just starting out. You can also stop subscription if you are not happy with the service for some reason.
Automatic Software Updates
Having a POS software can be convenient as new updates are automatically made to your POS system without any hassle.
Since your data is stored on secure and reliable servers, you can rest assured that your data is backed up and safe at all times. This is much better than traditional systems where data is stored on local servers and can be easily manipulated or tampered with.
A cloud POS system allows you to work offline if needed, and saves all your data when your internet is back on. This allows you to save time and all the work you put in so that nothing is lost.
POS systems allow you to install self service kiosks in the restaurant. This will enable your customers to place their orders themselves, getting faster service. It saves your customers time, gives them more control over their orders, and overall grants them a better customer experience. It helps avoid long queues.
Self service kiosks are also good for your business. It helps you cross-sell menu items, and saves you staff, who are now available to do other things around the restaurant. You can also track customer behavior so that you can serve them better.
A POS system give you better integration with other functions such as your kitchen display system, customer analytics, customer feedback, CRM, and inventory management. It is a single software solution for all functions of your restaurant.
Since it is integrated with all other functions of your restaurant, you will find it easier to train your new staff recruits.
Better Customer Profiling
All the data you capture from your restaurant POS system will be very useful in creating a target customer profile for your restaurant business. It will help you understand what your customers really want from you and how you can deliver it to them.
POS systems will allow you to integrate with other systems such as loyalty programs and CRM as well. It will also enable quicker payments of bills and tips.
Facial recognition is also an upcoming trend in POS systems for restaurants. It will allow for better customer service and customer profiling.
As you can see, there are tons of benefits of owning a POS system for your restaurant. It is one of the latest technologies that can boost your business and set you high above your competitors. A restaurant POS system will work in harmony with your other systems and software, and allow your staff to become more well trained and efficient.
You will also be able to profile your customers better, find out what they love, and give them the best customer experience every single time!