3 Top-of-the-line Restaurant Point of Sale Software Systems for 2022
What are POS Systems?
A POS system or point of sale system is a software and hardware suite that performs multiple functions, like taking customer orders, generating the bill for those orders, and dispatching them to the restaurant kitchen. If it's a fast-food chain, it's likely that your order will arrive in a few minutes, allowing you to immediately enjoy your meal. This order cycle of computerized sales is known as the point of sales, and it acts as a super-powered cash register.
Pos software is a cloud based system that comes with a user friendly interface where a restaurant's staff manages food orders, tracks them, and prints receipts. It also tracks labor reports, such as employee shifts, scheduling, employee salary, and more. You can track each customer's order history and plan customized incentives with the help of it. POS systems generate real time reports related to sales, and help restaurants achieve future forecasting and menu planning based on those reports. POS systems can be integrated with a restaurant's existing accounting software, as well as with inventory management systems and allows end-to-end tracking of a business.
POS software companies usually offer POS packages that include both software hardware, which together capture the everyday data of a restaurant. There are 7 components to a Pos Solution-
1. POS touch screen Computer- This is the heart of the system which runs the software and is integrated with a cash-drawer and EVM credit card reader.
2. Restaurant POS software- The intuitive software captures and tracks every order. It also provides a comprehensive analysis of the business, assessing profit margins and offering accurate sales reports.
3. Customer-facing display screens- These display screens flash the final bill that needs to be paid by the customer in exchange for the food ordered.
4. Barcode scanner- it is used on pre-packaged goods like soft drink bottles, chips, or other beverages. The barcode scanner scans the codes printed on them and adds them to the bill. You should choose barcode scanner that's light to hold and easy to use.
5. EVM credit card readers- These are small card processing touchpad/swiping machines that deduct money from a customer's credit card. They come with built-in PIN pads, where the customer can enter their credit card PIN and make a purchase.
6. Cash Drawer- This is a metal safe in the shape of a drawer that stores the cash and comes with a locking system. It keeps the restaurant's daily cash earnings safe and is integrated with the computer system.
7. Receipt printer- It's a small printer that generates a receipt of the final bill and contains paper and ink as an added cost.
It is important for the buyer to know that the hardware cost is a one-time payment and costs a considerable amount of money. The payment processing software and maintenance are added monthly costs.
Features of a Restaurant POS System
The features of the best POS systems are listed here-
1. Accurate sales reports- Restaurant pos systems accumulate reports from different payment gateways and produce accurate sales reports. These payment methods come from restaurant orders, app/website orders, and third party delivery apps. Their combined sales reports are generated by the pos system that helps businesses know how much they are earning.
2. Manage invoices- With POS software, all the purchasing bill receipts of your inventory, sales receipts of customers, and other expenditure for the restaurant are stored in data form. With just a touch of a button the software will reveal your expenses in seconds. This tells the restaurant owner how much he or she is spending and how they can decrease these costs over time.
3. Augment CRM system- Point Sale also stores customer information that gathers all its customer data and this data is then put to good use for marketing. You'll know who your loyal customers are and push them to visit your restaurant often by making them feel special through customer loyalty programs.
4. Employee management- Restaurant POS systems manage staff such that their shift timings do not clash with each other. Employee work hours are scrutinized and surveillance and security tools help create transparency in the business operations.
5. Enhanced customer experience- Web-based solutions help to build easy interactions with the customer through instant feedback. This helps know the customer experience with the help of ratings and feedback pop-ups on the restaurant app or on self-service checkouts. Customer grievances can be instantly resolved when management is alerted to the feedback. They can resolve the issue by offering the customer free gift cards or coupons to assuage them. The customer feels valued this way.
6. Automation makes life easy- The best restaurant POS systems are equipped with free online mobile apps and come with cloud based handheld devices that are streamlined with the software. These can be accessed anywhere, anytime and makes way for endless opportunities. Such devices reduce employee training time and make them more resourceful in providing better customer service. A company witnesses improved profits, bringing expansion, transparency, and better customer relationship.
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How Can a POS System Grow a Business?
Restaurant POS systems can manage multiple units of a restaurant globally. This robust system allows transparency and control over inventory management, invoice generation, third party delivery systems, customer relations. It thus makes overall operations smooth sailing. From the front office to the back office, employees can update information in real time using web-based portable devices.
The automation that comes with hardware and software allows the self-service option to its customers to choose the Best Food options and does not rely on waiters for suggestions. Employees use the software to enter data, provide bill receipts and deliver the desired item with just a few clicks.
Analytical reports help in future forecasting and make growth plans based on accurate and realistic data. Any business booms when it adopts technology that helps automate tedious manual tasks. The POS system can do much more than the owner expects and works like a magic wand in solving basic, to big restaurant problems.
Drawbacks of Traditional Point Sale Systems
The traditional POS system is time-consuming, prone to making human errors, requires lots of paperwork, and needs enough space to manage files. It is a cumbersome task where the scope for scalability is limited and the restaurant owner is struggling with daily issues related to overhead costs, managing employee shifts, increased employee attrition rates, accumulating each invoice coming from different vendors, and entering its data manually, and so on.
An employee takes advantage when no surveillance system is in place. They may enter a greater number of shift hours or mark attendance for even those days when they were on leave. This malpractice makes the workspace disorganized, leading to extra money paid to the worker based on attendance marked on the punching card and ends up rolling out inaccurate payslips.
The customer data is poorly managed, with no Data Strategy or incentive plan that can retain loyal customers and give them a reason to come back even with the Best Food on offer. The business thus remains stagnant with lower profits and higher everyday costs.
These challenges can be addressed with the best POS system that provides a detailed report of every transaction made by the restaurant and is capable of storing the smallest of invoices. But, it can still cost the business serious damage if the Point Sale system doesn't have a backup and loses a restaurant's data related to sales, purchase, profit, loss, and payroll statements in seconds, when a problem occurs and the systems shuts down. But today's software companies are back-up ready and chances of such occurrences are negligible.
Even though goof-ups can happen even after implementing a Point Sale system, this eventuality is easily amended as the software company's technical support team is equipped with solutions to all problems. This can't be said for the traditional methods of managing costs.
Best Restaurant POS Systems- No. 1 Plum POS
Plum POS is one of the best Pos Systems for restaurants. It gives you in-depth reports related to restaurant sales and can be implemented in your restaurant business flawlessly within a few days. The training time required for Plum POS is very little, as it comes with a user friendly interface where the system is self-explanatory. It's a feature-rich POS system that can manage sales, invoices, customer relations, customer orders, and its employee cycle.
Plum POS is a cloud based software that can be managed on multiple devices like laptops, mobile devices, iPad, or desktops. The mobile app is a great feature for restaurant employees, who are always on their feet attending to customers.
Plum POS offers three categories to choose from, depending on the size of a business-
1. Essential Station Bundle- Meant for small businesses having a single point of sale register. Small restaurants, cafes, kiosks, and food trucks are best suited for this package. It essentially includes 4 robust systems that include both, software hardware. It has a hardware station, which is a wireless touchscreen display system used to enter order details. This comes with a 2.3 GHz dual-core 7th generation order station base, and an Intel Iris plus graphics 640 cash drawer, a thermal receipt printer for bill slips and networking equipment. The bundle costs $1716, with charges of $59 per month as software and support fee on approved credit.
2. Pro Station Bundle- It is meant for mid-sized restaurant businesses and includes 2 plum stations, 2 thermal receipts, 2 cash drawers, and networking equipment. The Pro station bundle costs $3505 with a per month fee of $119.
3. Custom System- This is meant for the smooth functioning of large restaurants and enterprise businesses that require a robust system and customization. You can choose any number of plum stations as per your business needs. Custom system provides self-service enabled customer ordering tablets and kitchen ordering systems, including kitchen printers and kitchen display screens. It provides a thorough networking system that takes care of all your access points like routers, switches, and wireless access. The custom system does not charge a one-time fee, but works purely on a subscription model. It costs around $888 per month to avail of this service.
A prospective client can try their free version for a month before they make their mind.
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Best Restaurant POS Systems- No. 2 Square POS
Square POS system is an app-enabled software available on Android and iOS smartphones. Square accepts payment options via credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay and offers chip, magstripe, and contactless card readers to do so. Key features of Square POS include online payment processing, inventory tracking, sales reports, digital receipts, Data Strategy, loyalty programs and email marketing campaigns, retail POS for eCommerce, detailed analytical reports, and more.
Square POS easily manages online orders and third party delivery systems and manages a built-in customer directory that tracks customer preferences and feedback after every card use. Daily stock alerts via email notify the manager about items that are running low on stock and keep check on inventory levels through regular reports.
It's a great Point Sale system for small businesses. Square POS software charges no monthly fee like other software, but charges software fees, credit card processing fees, and hardware fees. The customer pays a standard 2.6% + a $0.10 transaction fee for in-person payments. In addition, the Customer Service of this company is prompt and helpful.
Best Restaurant POS Systems- No. 3 Toast POS
Anther great Point Sale system is Toast POS. Exclusively meant for the restaurant and foodservice industry, Toast POS offers tools that are designed to expedite restaurant operations likeonline ordering, takeout, invoices, delivery,contactless payments,gift card purchasing, and more.Toast POS has multiplepayment options like touchpad, credit swiping machines, cash registers, reimbursed loyalty points, etc. Since it is acloud based platform, it is accessible on the go to its users, keeping data updated inreal time.
Its powerful analytics and reporting suite helps save costs, improve time management, achieve targeted marketing, highlights best-selling menus, and much more. Toast POS can create daily specials on its mobile app. Servers can also use the tableside ordering feature and complete faster payments with handheld tablets, known as Toast Go. The app can improve client experience as the POS system can track bar tabs and can get access to drink recipes.
The Toast POS basic plan is free of cost, while its paid services begin at $165 per month. Their growth plan costs around $272 per month.