September 13, 2017

14 Features to Look For When Shopping for a Restaurant POS

Having a robust, user-friendly and reliable POS technology partner is key to helping you manage your restaurant, track sales and staff performance, make sure your customers are happy, and ensure consistent business growth.

The right POS system will automate your operational processes and provide live insights into your sales and profitability, which will not only improve your overall efficiency but also help you keep your customers coming back.

Here are 14 must-have features to prioritize when choosing the right POS system for your restaurant.

14. Support

Exceptional customer support is critical to ensuring a smooth transition to your new POS system. Your POS provider should be able to deliver 24/7 hands-on support throughout your installation phase.

Once you go live, you should be able to enjoy 24/7 ongoing support to help resolve any issue as quickly as possible. Plus, unlimited refreshers and training are a great way to help you get the best out of your POS experience.

13. Budget

When determining the budget for your POS system, you need to take into account several factors including the number of outlets, users, customers in your database, and additional modules you’d like to opt for.

For a cloud-based POS system, prices are based on a monthly subscription model with practically no upfront investment, so you simply pay as you go. This makes it far less expensive than traditional POS systems which involve high ownership costs like software licenses, proprietary hardware and servers, and ongoing maintenance and upgrades.

12. Hardware

Your hardware requirement would depend on the size of your business and the capabilities you require. POS systems that run on the cloud are device agnostic, which means, they are compatible with any web-enabled device – be it laptops, tablets or even mobile phones. Unlike traditional POS systems that only work with specific proprietary hardware and come with huge ownership costs.

You can consider using your existing PC or laptop to run your operations, along with additional accessories like cash drawers, receipt printers, a kitchen display screen, and so on. All you need is an internet connection and a browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to get up and running.

11. Integrated Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are a great way to reward your most-frequent customers and keep them coming back.

A POS with an integrated loyalty module not only makes it super easy to run a fun, business-boosting loyalty program at your restaurant but also helps you monitor how your loyalty program is affecting sales, keep track of your most loyal customers and their loyalty transactions.

10. Digital Communication

In today’s competitive restaurant industry, it is super important to stay connected with your customers. And notifying your customers of their delivery order status in real-time, keeping them up-to-date on their loyalty transactions by SMS or email, carrying out SMS marketing to carefully-targeted lists of customers based on reports directly from your POS are a few great ways to do so. The right POS should allow all that and more.

9. Tablet-friendly Order-taking

Having your staff spend more time interacting with your customers and less time jotting stuff down on paper makes a big difference in your customers’ experience.

A great way to achieve this is to have your waiters take orders, process payments and complete transactions directly on tablets. That way, they spend less time making their way back and forth to the kitchen and more time engaging your guests. Plus, you’ll be able to serve more guests in a shorter time for overall better customer satisfaction.

8. Multiple Order-taking Channels

Your POS should support multiple order-taking platforms to generate multiple revenue channels for your business while providing an awesome ordering experience for your customers. It should support walk-in, dine-in, takeaway and home delivery orders, as well as provide an integrated online ordering solution to make ordering on the web and mobile instantaneous and fun.

7. Easy Setup and Management

Set menu, build-your-own, or even multi-lingual — no matter how complex your menu is, it’s important that your restaurant POS makes setting up and managing your menu, as well as your locations and staff a delight.

You should be able to update your menu in real-time, easily add customer requests and preferences to orders with customizations like “extra cheese” or “less spicy”, and if you frequently run special promotions at your restaurant, discount configuration should be a breeze. In addition, your POS should support multiple payment types including cash, card, vouchers and gift cards.

Got more than one outlet? The right POS should give you the ability to replicate your menu, customize location-wise pricing and take orders for any of your outlets all from a central administration.

6. User Access Control

It’s essential to be able to customize access rights and permissions to your system in order to secure your business.

You should be able to easily set configurations in your POS system that allow your staff to access data and perform tasks that only you approve of. For instance, you should be able to permit your cashiers to perform order transactions like create and update orders, however, restrict their access to modify completed orders. That way, you don’t need to be onsite managing your operations nor worry about the security of your data.

5. Home Delivery Management

Customers love it when a restaurant makes ordering-in quick and easy.

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system powering your order-taking and integrated with your POS not only simplifies phone order management but also helps boost your customer engagement. You should be able to take phone orders at each of your outlets or set up a central call center to do the job centrally for all your outlets with incredible ease. An integrated caller ID will prompt customer information of incoming calls on your system which helps your staff engage smartly with the customer.

4. CRM

With an inbuilt CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, you’ll have access to a wealth of customer information at your fingertips; everything you need to take customer engagement to the next level.

You can build a comprehensive customer database with information like customer notes, order history, favorites, multiple addresses and more. So when a customer calls, your staff are equipped with valuable insights to quicken and personalize communication with your customers.

3. Delivery Order Tracking

Keeping your home delivery customers waiting too long for their food leads to frustration, lost business and a negative reputation for your restaurant.

Your POS should give you the ability to track your entire delivery cycle in real-time – right from when your customer places the order to when it is delivered to them. That way you can monitor your order preparation and delivery time, assess driver performance, identify loopholes in your operations in order to minimize customer waiting time and maximize delivery efficiency.

2. Inventory & Food Costing

Knowing your food costs and having complete visibility into your inventory is the key to keeping your business profitable.

The right POS should give you the ability to configure ingredients, finished goods and recipes with visibility into the real-time effect of ingredients on the cost of your menu items.

Your POS should simplify complex inventory processes by allowing you to raise purchase orders directly to suppliers and receive goods against them with incredible ease, do quick and easy transfers of stock between your locations, perform stock takes directly into the system, and effectively manage your wastage. With powerful inventory reporting, you can monitor your stock status at any time knowing that it’s always up to date.

1. LIVE Dashboard & Multi-dimensional Reporting

As a restaurant owner, you have to be in control of the quality of your operations at all times.

Having access to real-time updates on your restaurant performance anytime, anywhere, gives you visibility into several aspects of your business. You can analyze your sales trends, assess staff performance, compare data over time, make informed business decisions and curate customer lists to build powerful targeted marketing campaigns to boost your business.


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