As a restaurant owner, it’s hard to tell which POS system is worth your time and money. Here’s a list of what to consider before buying a POS system.
Tips for Choosing a Restaurant POS System
Even today, many restaurants use simple cash registers as their point of sale. When they were first invented in 1879 by saloon owner, James Ritty, he did so as a means to reduce theft from the bartenders he hired and track his funds. Now, technology has evolved significantly, and POS systems are more than just registers; they allow restaurant and bar owners to do so much more than track their daily sales.
Today’s restaurant Point-of-Sale (POS) systems have been revolutionized by innovative technology. Restaurant POS systems now operate to help your entire restaurant, from the Front-of-House (FOH) to your Back-of-House (BOH) staff.
Without a POS system, there are tons of blind spots you don’t even know you have. As such, they are an essential tool for restaurant owners today.
What is a POS System?
A POS system is used to automate payments from customers, monitor sales, and issue receipts. It sounds like a simple job, but the setup can work differently depending on whether you sell through delivery apps, a physical storefront, or both.
Today, POS systems are entirely digital which means you can check out a customer wherever you are. All it requires from you is a POS app and an internet-enabled device, like a phone or tablet. And because POS systems are continuously developing, modern POS solutions also come with inventory management, data analytics, and CRM (customer relationship management) capabilities.
7 Things to Consider When Choosing a POS System
To keep up with the new trends in the restaurant industry, you start with having the right POS system. Here are 7 functionalities you want to look so that you pick the right one for your restaurant.
1. A Cloud-Based POS
Traditional POS systems used to be server-based. As a result, they often experience data loss and system crashes, creating downtime in your restaurant operations. For updates, the old POS system also requires a lot of manual work.
You want to choose a cloud-based POS system where the information for transaction processing comes from a cloud server. Having a cloud-based POS solution opens up many advantages, such as:
- Simplified Operations: A cloud-based restaurant POS system eliminates a lot of manual and time-consuming tasks that are present in traditional POS. For example, on a cloud-based POS, you don’t have to be physically present to access the system since you can make changes online, giving you remote access to data.
- Flexibility: Cloud POS systems adapt to your needs and budget, and offer regular updates. You also eliminate the risk of data loss even when you lose internet connection because once your connectivity is restored, the devices communicate with the cloud to re-sync.
- Functionality: You want to have a cloud POS written in modern, cloud-native programming languages. That way you have the ability to customize it and do everything you need in one place, from inventory management to employee management.
2. Offers Data Analytics
Having the ability to analyze the progress of your restaurant is vital to achieving success. It helps you see if you’re profitable or falling short, so it’s essential to choose a POS system that can give you real-time reporting and analysis on your device.
Access to analytics allows you to make the right decisions at the right time because you can easily track sales trends, direct costs, and inventory levels. For example, you’ll know which of your menu items sell best at what times and days and which sections of your menu are the most profitable. You will also have a better insight into your labor costs, food costs, and the flow of customers.
3. Includes Restaurant-specific Features
When choosing your restaurant’s POS system, you have to consider investing in one that is built for F&B, one made for retail won’t have all the functionality a restaurant needs. And it must have features specific to the type of restaurant you have. Doing so ensures that it’s working to help your business function better and smoother.
Just remember that operating a Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) requires different things compared to running fine dining. Take the time to look for a restaurant POS with the restaurant-specific features you need.
4. Allows Remote Data Access & Control
You can’t be physically present at your restaurant 24/7, but with a traditional desktop-based system, you’re essentially tied to the register. That means you need to physically go to the restaurant just to input schedules or menu changes, especially during the weekend.
A good POS system is one that can give you access to your data from any location using any device. So whether it’s menu updates, resolving scheduling conflicts, or managing payroll issues, it’s better to choose a POS that will let you handle it all in real-time—wherever you are.
5. Streamlines Inventory
If you want to keep your margins safe and reduce food costs, ensure that the POS system you choose has features that make inventory management more effortless. For example, you should be able to track your ingredients and products through your POS quickly. In addition, if you have real-time access to your inventory, you’ll be more knowledgeable about your inventory and avoid wastage.
It also helps in notifying you when to place an order or when to cut back on reordering certain items to prevent overstocking of product shortages.
6. Provides Speed
No matter what kind of restaurant you’re running, speed is key. You only have so much time to maximize revenue opportunities and offer the best customer experience possible. That means you don’t want to be operating multiple tools and software to perform individual tasks. So, having all your operations on the same platform streamlines the entire process and will yield higher results.
Choose a restaurant POS system that consolidates your primary operations, such as:
- Online & Delivery Orders
- Stock & Inventory Management
- Kitchen management
- Reporting & Analytics
- Employee Management
7. Easy Software Integrations
Lastly, look for POS software that allows for easier integration with other software. This means that your POS system can seamlessly partner with other restaurant management software, like apps specifically meant for labor management, customer loyalty, etc.
If you’re looking to switch from an old POS system to a modern one, make sure that you check if the new system allows data integration. This is crucial because a POS system that’s open to integration enables you to feed the old data onto it, ensuring that previous data is safe and you have everything in one place.
Choose a solution that has features such as:
- Accounting Integration: This allows you to push data into your accounting software and generate sales and receipts while eliminating manual errors.
- Payment Integration: There are several modes of online payments available today, so it’s important to choose a system that can accept payments from different sources like digital wallets, GCash, Maya, etc.
- Online Orders Integration: With more and more online ordering portals you can take advantage of today, it’s worth choosing a system that easily integrates operations from these portals and automatically updates them to your POS system.
Choosing a POS System That Suits Your Needs
Today, having a cash register is no longer enough to keep up with online trends within the restaurant industry. Restaurants need modern POS systems to streamline operations and maximize their revenue. This is especially true when running multiple restaurants because you can’t be in all locations at once, but you can be if you have a cloud-based POS that allows you to access data remotely.
Optimize your restaurant operations by investing in a POS system that enables you to track sales trends, manage inventory, and automate restaurant management all in one place, like Mosaic Solutions.
Remember, investing in a POS system that suits your restaurant’s needs and within your budget is important. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re happy to share our insights.
Start your restaurant journey with Mosaic Solutions’ POS software solution and so much more. Contact us today!