The Definitive Guide to Restaurant POS Systems

A restaurant can make use of umpteen opportunities to offer a great dining experience to guests from the moment they enter the restaurant till they make an exit. The opportunities include keeping an equipped team of staff ready, preparing the food expeditiously and ensuring the smooth running of restaurant operations.

This can be made possible by using a restaurant POS system that is effective, trustworthy and reliable. Such a system automates your everyday tasks and creates a lot of time for you to focus on creating great customer experiences. If you are still wondering what a restaurant POS system is, this blog is meant for you.

What Is A Restaurant POS System?

POS is nothing but Point-Of-Sale. It refers to the time, place or the point at which the sales transaction is completed.

Functions Of A Modern Restaurant POS System

  1. Streamlines internal operations
  2. Connects various restaurant personnel
  3. Ensures smooth running of restaurant operations
  4. Keeps automatic track of sales, labor and inventory metrics

By performing the above functions, a POS increases restaurant revenue, profits and customer satisfaction. On the other hand, it reduces employee turnover, errors in order taking, wait time and overall stress levels.

Restaurant POS Hardware

A restaurant POS hardware is designed to   handle the busy schedules of a restaurant. The POS terminal forms the center of this POS system. It is usually referred to as the touch screen cash register. Restaurant POS hardware handles food ordering, sending the order to the kitchen, customer payment, table management and much more. Some restaurant POS systems also provide hand-held devices like POS tablets that facilitate servers to directly intimate the kitchen about orders and accept payment (along with tips) at the table. If yours is not a restaurant that serves food at the table, the mobile tablets will enable cashiers to accept orders in line.

Restaurant POS Software

Software is necessary for any hardware to run. Restaurant POS software helps run the business more efficiently by enhancing both front-of-house (order acceptance, payments and tips) and back-of-house (kitchen ticket completion, detailed report generation and inventory management) operations.

Why Should A Restaurant Have A POS System?

There are several reasons for a restaurant to make use of a reliable restaurant POS system. Here are the primary benefits for the business.

Streamline Operations

A restaurant POS system is like a hard-working personal assistant who takes care of tasks like order taking, inventory management and report generation. With the automation of such boring tasks, the staff can concentrate on more vital issues like improving customer service and enhancing the dining experience. It reduces manual processes thereby decreasing the possibilities of human errors.

Greater Accuracy 

With a POS system in place, the chances of orders being taken wrong or incorrect bills are almost nil. It is like a superpower that ensures everything is accurate and error-free. Order entries are made at lightning speed and inventory tracking automated ensuring that the restaurant operations are being carried out with high efficiency.

Enhanced Customer Experience 

A business grows only when customers are happy. A restaurant POS system can take customer experience to the next level by bidding adieu to prolonged wait times and confusing payment options. It hastens the ordering process and offers flexible, easy-to-use payment options. Customers who leave the restaurant will always be happy and satisfied, also waiting eagerly to make their next visit.

Business Insights 

A restaurant needs a POS system to acquire real-time data on sales, inventory levels and customer choices. By analyzing this data, the restaurant owner can make informed decisions about reinventing the menu, finding staffing solutions and designing the overall business strategy. 

Better Staff Management 

Managing staff is a herculean task not just in the restaurant industry but in every human resource centric business. This task can be made easy by using a restaurant POS system. Using a restaurant POS makes staff schedule management and their performance tracking easy. When a POS system is in place, the restaurant owner can be assured of being perfectly staffed to handle any number of guests and achieving high staff performance. It takes just a restaurant POS system to encourage the staff, make them happy and productive too.

Floor Plan Adjustment

Since restaurant revenue is dependent primarily on table service sales, a flexible floor plan is necessary to run the front-of-house in a smooth manner. If a POS system is used, adjustable floor plans can be made use of. Such changes are also reflected in real time. Thus, the front-of-house staff always remain informed about the status of the adjustments made to the dining room.

Takeout, Delivery And Order Ahead Services 

Since the onset of the pandemic, restaurants have shifted their style of operation to a great extent. For ages, restaurants earned revenue by serving as many customers as possible or by charging more for the dishes served. But when Covid-19 brought with it severe lockdowns, restaurants started following the direct-to-consumer mode of business by embracing online sales. The industry has witnessed a tremendous rise in mobile platforms and websites that allow customers to fulfil online orders. Such platforms integrate with restaurant POS systems and facilitate selling to patrons from a distance, provide great customer experience and most importantly, keep their revenue for themselves.

Cashless, Contactless Payments 

The pandemic contributed to accelerating a trend that was beginning to catch pace in the industry – mobile checkout and contactless payments. Payment processing is not available in all POS providers while most of them offer mobile payment terminals and contactless card readers.  When this facility is in place, servers can meet customers at the table and accept payments instantly. When customers do not have to wait in long lines to make payments, the customer experience is enhanced.

Manage Multiple Branches Using One System 

A good restaurant POS system is equipped with multi-location capabilities. This potential is important if you wish to open restaurants in multiple locations or are thinking about franchising the business. Your POS system must allow you to check sales data of each location and provide high-level insights across all the locations as well.

Improve Marketing Strategies 

A POS system allows the restaurateur to conduct numerous social media network and industry marketing practices using intuitive dashboards to boost audiences and increase revenue. It also facilitates the usage of SEO tools and metadata customizations that increase the strength of the website transparency.

Choosing A Restaurant POS System

You can never find a restaurant POS system that is a one-size-fits-all solution. Since several options are available, it is certainly difficult to find the best restaurant POS system that suits the unique needs of your business. Make sure you do sufficient research by reading through scores of POS reviews. Spend time attending multiple product demos to compare the options available before you.

Analyze the features of every POS system including pricing, payment processing options, customer support, third-party integrations, etc. Create a strengths and weaknesses chart for every POS provider which makes comparison easy.

This blog would have helped you understand the nuances of a restaurant POS system and the right way to evaluate it. Choose the one that fits your business and take the next step towards digital embracement and progression. For further assistance in restaurant website building and digital marketing, get in touch.