POS or Point of Sale is a hardware and software system used by restaurants to track sales, flow of cash and inventory. Managers can also use it as a tool for customer relationship management and employee management.
What is a POS System?
Traditionally, a point of sale system was a billing software that restaurants used to ring up customers' bills and generate a receipt of payment. It helped a business accept customer payments and track sales. But now, a restaurant can use the POS system to handle restaurant management in its entirety. A POS software can look after inventory management, payment processing, customer relationship management, and produce analytics, sales reports and forecasts.
The software can also handle third party applications like those that manage online ordering, table reservations and loyalty programs. A modern POS program is an end-to-end solution that can help a restaurant reduce time consuming manual labour and simplify operations.
POS Software + POS Hardware
A POS system like PlumPOS can easily take over all the important functions of restaurant management, running the establishment single-handedly. It can be set up to handle inventory management, staff management, cash management, order and table management, and payment processing. A compete POS solution includes POS hardware and POS software.
The POS hardware central to a restaurant POS system-
1. Interface to register transaction details The POS systems need an interface like a cash register, a monitor, tablet or mobile POS application, so that details of customer transactions can be registered.
2. Cash Drawer This is a necessary component to store cash, receipts, cheques, and payment slips.
3. Printer A printer is used to print out customer receipts and daily reports of sales POS transactions.
4. Card machine A card machine can help process payments made by debit or credit cards. It needs the appropriate software to handle the payment and a strong internet connection.
POS Software for restaurant management-
1. POS system for payment processing One of the main functions of a POS software is processing payments. The different payments methods a POS system can accept are cash payments, debit or credit cards, and contactless payment like Google Pay or Apple Pay.
2. Inventory management Point Sale software can help keep tabs on the inventory, and connect your sales data to inventory, to track low stocks.
3. Reports and analytics A POS system can generate sales reports to give you data on your earning and profits in order to help you make better business decisions.
4. Employee management A POS system can be integrated with an employee management app, or comes with inbuilt tools to track employee work hours and shifts. It can also be used to grant access to certain employees to perform particular tasks, like order management.
5. Customer relationship management (CRM) The CRM tool of a POS system gives you access to customer data, like purchase history, contact numbers and email addresses. This can help you personalise your campaigns and promotions for regular customers.
6. Receipts and Tips Generating receipts makes it easy to issue refunds. In addition, a tool to add tips at checkout saves customers the hassle of leaving a cash tip in appreciation for good customer service.
A restaurateur today has a lot to worry about—multiple sale points, growing competition, rising cost of food and labor. . .
Thankfully, there’s a solution at hand:- the POS system. It’s software that can handle every aspect of a restaurant’s operations. This article tells you all about it.
What POS Can do for the Front of House
The front of house at a restaurant is defined as the place where customers receive service and interact with the staff. It includes the waiting area, bar, dining room, restrooms, and checkout counter. An efficient POS system can streamline work at the front of house in these ways-
1. Order management A restaurant POS can track online ordering and manage orders from third party delivery apps like Grubhub in real time, so that the kitchen staff know the time they have to prepare the order.
2. Floor management A POS system has tools for floor and table management, so that a restaurant manager is updated about available seating in real time. It also provides accurate wait time for future reservations.
3. Reduces order errors With modern POS solutions, wait staff can take orders on mobile devices. These go directly to the kitchen display system (KDS). It also helps the wait staff know which dishes are sold out in real time and enables them to offer the guest alternatives. Most importantly, it eliminates mistakes in orders that arise from human error.
4. Bill payment A POS system can help staff split the bill between customers and keep tabs on bar orders.
5. Help with customer retention A POS system can help create loyalty programs and customized marketing campaigns for repeat customers. It can also collect customer data to predict customer trends and preferences.
6. Track staff performance A POS system helps you track how much your staff is selling, how long they spend at each table and which staff can better handle busy shifts. It also gives you the option to course-correct staffing decisions.
What POS Can do for the Back of House
The back of the house is a part of restaurant management customers never see, yet it's the most crucial aspect of running a restaurant efficiently. Here's a list of back of house tasks that POS software can help with-
Optimize menu and prices- A POS system can help calculate food cost percentage and contribution margins. This can help you fix optimum menu prices for maximum gains. The data gained from POS reports can help you optimize your menu design, and influence how a customer can spend more at your establishment. It does this by offering specials on slow-selling items, suggests items for upselling, or discounts for shifts that don't receive much traffic, such as weekday lunches.
Track and reduce employee theft- A restaurant POS can track all ordered items. Tallied against inventory, this help reduce employee theft and unauthorized discounts. You can set up the system in such a way that only certain employees have access to certain functions.
Inventory management - A Point Sale system tracks inventory in real time, and connected with sales data, issues alerts when stock runs low.
Analytics and reports- A POS solution can create insightful and actionable trend reports and sales forecasts. These enable an operator to make timely and necessary changes to the operation.
Staff- The kitchen, accounting and payroll departments are part of the back of house. The POS system can help track productivity of every employee and calculate their salary even across multiple locations. It can plan employee schedules.and improve communication between the front of house and the back of house.
5 Ways a POS System Can Bump up Profits
A business POS system like PlumPOS is a powerful tool that can manage a restaurant efficiently. A top-of-the-line restaurant pos system can help any restaurant maximize gains, whether it's a quick service or full service restaurant. Here's how a good POS solution can help push up profits-
1. Get paid for sold items- Done manually, a waiter may forget to add a dish to the final bill, which can affect profits. But a good POS system will prevent errors in billing.
2. Prevents Theft- A POS system can help prevent theft by tracking inventory which, in turn, helps increase employee accountability. With each item recorded and rung up while placing an order, any discrepancy is easily caught out. You can also track transactions via CCTVs.
3. Optimize turnaround time- Turning tables quickly can maximize sales. The more efficient the table and order management, the quicker you can process customer orders and complete the checkout and billing process.
4. Loyal Customers- A patron will return if a restaurant offers a good customer service. Repeat customers ensure consistent cash flow. Adding loyalty programs to its offerings also helps draw back customers who have stopped visiting the establishment.
5. Improves Accuracy- Menu and bar item pricing can be preloaded into the POS system. This reduces errors when ringing up customer tabs. A good POS system will increase productivity and communication, reduce thefts and waste, thus maximising profits.
It may be hard to believe, but POS software can multiply a restaurant’s profits.
Want to know how? Read this article to find out.
5 Best Restaurants POS Solutions
If you are in the market for a good POS solution that will grow business for your restaurant, here's a list of top options for you.
1. PlumPOS- PlumPOS is an exceptional POS system that can simplify online ordering and delivery, create promotions and loyalty programs, offer self-ordering and contactless payments and inventory management. The app is available for purchase on Hub Works, a one-stop shop for restaurant management solutions. 2. TouchBistro- This POS system offers menu and table management, payment processing, cloud based reports and analytics, inventory management and technical support. 3. Square- The software provides free and paid POS options and offers features such as table and menu management and payment processing. Add-on services like payroll and loyalty programs are included in the paid options. 4. Revel- This POS software offers integration with bar management software and provides features like inventory management, employee management, customer relationship management and reporting and analytics. 5. Toast- This POS software is well known for its loyalty program features, but also provides features like order, table, and menu management, reporting and analytics, guest feedback and payment processing services.
A good POS system like PlumPOS can cost upto $1,700 for the POS hardware and $300/month for the software per terminal. There are several free POS software options in the market, but they have long contract periods or strings attached. How much a POS system costs depends on factors like the size of business, inventory size, number of registers required, and so on.
Customization and extra features also add to the cost of a POS system. Payment processing tools are not included in most systems and can bump up the cost. POS hardware also plays a deciding role in the final billing, as is the decision to buy an Android or ipad pos system. It's important to consider all these factors before settling on a POS software system.
Your know a good POS system can help stem your restaurant’s losses. But you can’t decide on the right one.
This article rounds up the best POS software in the market today to help you make the perfect choice.