Find the best Restaurant POS Systems
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Linga rOS System
Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) solution for restaurants suitable for full-or quick-service restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotel restaurants, cafes and more. Key features include floor management, custom...Read more about Lightspeed Restaurant
As restaurant manager, bouncing back and forth between incoming inventory shipments, taking orders, tracking each order, and making sure each dish on each table is billed appropriately—among many other restaurant tasks—can be challenging.
Doing everything manually is essentially the equivalent of juggling dozens of playing pins at a time; you are bound to drop one, or even several.
Fortunately, there are tools like restaurant POS systems and other related POS software that can help automate restaurant tasks such as inventory management and online ordering for restaurant managers.
To help you understand how restaurant POS systems and software can help, and what features it provides, we have prepared this guide. Here’s what we'll cover:
What are restaurant POS systems?
Restaurant POS systems help restaurant owners enhance the customer experience and streamline business operations relating to sales, cash flow, food inventory, and bookkeeping. Additional features include payment gateway, order management, analytics, and table reservations.
Some restaurant POS systems also provide advanced features, such as food costing and a built-in marketing suite to help restaurant owners with budgeting, as well as creating and executing outreach campaigns. Most restaurant POS systems and software can also be used by other food and beverage businesses, such as cafes, food trucks, and bars.
Common features of restaurant POS systems
When comparing restaurant POS systems, it's important to understand the functionality included in each. Here are the most common features of restaurant POS systems:
Ensures that orders, including any special modifiers, are easily, quickly and correctly entered and received by the bar and/or kitchen, while enabling split checks.
Helps monitor inventory use and costs while tracking portioned items to determine food costs. Produces management reports to help detect theft and over-portioning while setting thresholds for minimum product counts and assigning automatic reordering.
Helps determine the monetary value of each batch and/or serving of a menu item to determine the actual costs and profitability for each dish.
Track customer purchase histories and follow up with targeted offers to valuable customers through email and text messages, while allowing for “opt outs” of future offers. Often supports a loyalty rewards program to build lucrative relationships with loyal customers.
Provide an enhanced customer experience by reducing the amount of ordering and payment time. Servers have the ability to send an order directly to the kitchen while customers can input tips on the iPad and sign their names on the spot.
A Restaurant POS reporting and analytics dashboard detailing orders, deliveries and sales (Source)
What type of buyer are you?
Whether you’re a pop-up or food trailer, single location or multiple location restaurant, there’s a type of restaurant POS system for every restaurant business.
Small restaurant business: If your operation consists of a single location, be it a fixed restaurant, a rotating pop-up, or a mobile food trailer, you'll be best served by a basic restaurant POS system. You'll be fine with limited hardware and fewer advanced features.
Midsize restaurant business: If you operate a high-volume, growing restaurant with one to five locations, you'll want a restaurant POS system that offers advanced features. These include reporting and analytics, inventory control and maybe even online ordering capabilities.
Large/enterprise restaurant business: Managers and operators of more than five locations should look for a restaurant POS option with advanced dashboards and analytics and multiple location management.
Pricing and purchasing options
POS systems for restaurants typically cost between $49 - $150 per month per terminal, while hardware costs can be as high as $1,000 for tablets, printers, network infrastructure, and cash drawers.
A big determinant of restaurant POS prices are the deployment options restaurant owners choose. The two primary options are:
Cloud-based POS software: These types of restaurant POS systems are typically charged on a subscription pricing structure, and priced on a per-terminal, per-month basis. Many vendors offer discounts to businesses that pay annually. Ideal for small or medium restaurants.
On-premise POS software: This is typically priced by the number of licenses and/or terminals required. Most of these systems require a large upfront fee for the right to use the software in perpetuity (rather than a monthly or annual subscription). This is better suited for restaurant businesses with five or more locations.
Market trends to understand
Increasing touchless payment methods: Several restaurant POS system providers are giving restaurant owners the ability to create a secure and touchless payment environment as a result of COVID-19. Options include using a fully PCI and EMV compliant pay-at-the-table device and/or the scanning of a QR code to launch a payment process that’s encrypted and touchless.
Growing gift cards as a revenue channel: As dining rooms across the U.S. are forced to close or operate at limited capacity, restaurants have had to turn to gift cards as one of their lifelines to generate revenue. The International Card Manufacturers Association predicts that the pandemic could see an increase in digital and contactless gift cards.