Restaurant POS Systems: A Guide to Point of Sale Features And How to Choose the Right One
Updated: May 15, 2020
Running a restaurant is not just about dishing out the best food. A great deal of logistics go behind it, like how to collect payment, who’s in charge of the accounts, or managing your inventory to keep ingredient costs at a minimum.
That’s where a Point of Sale (POS) system – a digitised system used throughout the restaurant industry to manage the business operations – come in.
In a nutshell, here’s what POS systems can do (Spoiler: They do more than just collect payment. A lot more.):
1. Simplified ordering process:
A mobile POS enables you to take tableside orders digitally. No more hurriedly scribbling each table’s order on a notepad and then struggling to read it when you’re manually punching it into your cash register (“Does it say ‘salad’ or ‘steak’?”).
And, with a mobile POS, orders can be automatically relayed straight to the kitchen. This not only eliminates errors, but also speeds up service.
2. An all-in-one payment system:
A POS system acts as a credit and debit card processor. If you’ve ever had to deal with the good ol’ cash register with separate systems for each type of payment processing, you’ll definitely know how much trouble is saved simply by integrating all of your payment methods.
And because a POS system also tracks every cent of your sales, doing your accounts just got way, way easier!
3. Track activity in your restaurant:
The data from your POS reports can point you towards a treasure chest of ways to better your restaurant operations.
Know your busiest and slowest times of each day? Go on to schedule shifts more effectively.
What are the most popular dishes on your menu? Use these nuggets of information to come up with promotions.
And the back-of-house has plenty to gain too. Modern restaurant POS systems are designed to count even individual ingredients. Tracking your inventory and food usage becomes much easier, especially when you have multiple deliveries from different suppliers to manage.
4. Manage your manpower:
If you’re a F&B business owner in Singapore, you’ll know this: with so many part-time employees, it’s not uncommon to have to switch shifts around all the time.
Not fun. What’s worse is trying to keep track of who’s worked when and for how long.
Some POS systems are also able to act as a time clock and record when your employees clock in and out, which makes preparing payroll a whole lot easier.
5. Create strong business reports:
Make use of the comprehensive business reports that your POS system is able to generate. Your sales tax statements. The profit and loss statements.
At the end of the day, you’re a business, and you want to see the dollars rolling in!
6. Value-added features
InspirePOS offers simplified multiple language support, which is great for restaurants that see a high amount of tourist footfall.
Butleric can complement your marketing plans – powerful loyalty features such as social listening helps to engage your customers, even after they’ve stepped out of your restaurant.
Edgeworks even offers recipe management, which is great for restaurants thinking of scaling.
We could go on, but there are just too many to list, so make sure you’ve done your research!
Choosing the right POS for your F&B business
Consider what your needs are, and don’t go straight for the Lamborghini of restaurant POS systems. Every option is priced differently, so you don’t want to be paying for a whole suite of features that you have no use for. For instance:
If you’re a small F&B establishment…
If you’re a husband-and-wife team managing your own sandwich stand, you clearly wouldn’t need a POS system to manage manpower because it’s, um, just the two of you.
Consider a basic, cheap POS system just so you can take credit card payments; or if you want to start out cash-only, then you might not even need one.
And even if you choose to start out without one, it’s still a good idea to figure in the cost of having a POS system into your budget. After all, the goal is to grow your business so that you’ll eventually need a POS, right?
If you’re a new restaurant…
Tons to do to catch up with the big boys!
That’s why it’s all the more important to Identify your business strategy – for example, if you’re going big on online marketing, pick a POS system such as Butleric that offers social listening, so you can listen to what customers are saying online about your restaurant.
If you’re a restaurant that’s been in business for some time…
What was cutting edge when you first opened your restaurant doors might not be able to keep up with the demands of your business today.
But since you’ve already been in business for some time, the good thing is that you’re already familiar with your pain points – use this insight to pick a POS system that solves all of these problems.
For instance, one of the most common issues many F&B restaurants face is the labour-intensiveness of managing their inventory and constantly being either under or over-supplied with ingredients. Butleric integrates with F&B procurement platform Zeemart , which means you’ll have a clear view of your inventory levels, updated in real-time as orders flow in.
If you’re a chain restaurant…
Bear in mind that if you’re looking to migrate to a new POS system, there could possibly be a huge change in the way you handle your operations since you’re running on such a large scale. For instance, the new system might integrate with your existing software (accounting, inventory, etc) differently from your old system.
That said, there are long-term benefits from adopting a POS system that can provide additional features, such as managing loyalty campaigns across all your outlets. Your best bet would be to engage a consultant to guide your business strategy.
Technology in restaurants
Picking the right POS system takes a whole ton of burden off your back, so you can focus more on the best part of running a restaurant: Feeding your customers well!