Once your dream of owning a restaurant has taken shape and you are ready to get down to business, there are few important aspects of operating a business that you must carefully weigh. One of them is choosing a POS system for your restaurant.
Even you are a very small shop, it is difficult or impossible to operate without one. Available in many types and sizes, POS systems help you keep track of your sales and inventory, assist you in payroll and tax preparation, and take much of the bookkeeping off your shoulders. They may also ease the communication between your wait staff and the kitchen, offer insight into your best sales, manage reservations, food deliveries, online ordering, tips and much more.
It is exactly because of this large range of features that you have to carefully select the POS system that responds better to your needs. Remember two essential points. First, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all POS. Second, you will likely not get everything you want from the one you choose. As with everything else in life and business, when choosing a POS for your restaurant, you’ll need to prioritize based on what you need and what you are willing to sacrifice.
So, what is important to you and what POS system is likely to respond better to your needs?
- Is a cloud-based system essential to you?
- Do you need it to assist you in online ordering and to manage food delivery?
- Do you want to gain insight into the state of your business with some smart reporting?
- Do you have a loyalty program and need to track it?
- Is gift card management important to you?
- Do you need handheld devices?
- Is a kitchen display system (KDS) essential to the success of your business?
In addition, choosing a POS system for your restaurant depends on the kind of business you run. Are you a sit-down, fast-casual, fine-dining or a quick-service restaurant? Knowing exactly how you intend to operate is absolutely necessary for finding the best POS. Your best bet is to work with someone who knows how to match the right system to the right business. SimpleTech is a great tool that gets you started in this complicated process.
Here are a few popular POS systems that you may want to consider and that some of our clients in the food industry use.
Comes in three options (Vital Mobile, Vital Plus and Vital Select), so that you can choose the one that works for you. The system is cloud-based, and training is available. Vital Select option is the fastest, full-featured option.
A very popular choice, very good for both small and large businesses. Designed specifically for restaurants. Works with iPad tableside, simple user interface. Not an open-platform system, so you need to use the vendor’s processor, which means less flexibility. Good price.
Similar to Touch Bistro. Easy to use and great customer service. Reasonable price. Great for small dessert shops and large restaurants alike. Less features than TouchBistro, bust constantly adding more. If you choose Toast, you may need to purchase new hardware, which means more upfront costs.
Good choice if you need a kitchen display system. Real-time data back-up gives you peace of mind that your information is safe.
Good open-platform POS, suitable for a variety of businesses, from quick-service and drive-thru to food delivery and table-service restaurants.
Free POS with no set-up or monthly fee. A better option for those with less transactions. Charges 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction.
Good for quick-service restaurants. Fast set-up. Requires no to little training time. Excellent choice for businesses that look for simpler options and do not need extensive reporting or online store integration. Flat monthly fee.
No upfront fee for POS software and equipment. Monthly fee. Also a good choice for retail shops. Supports multi-locations.
All-inclusive cloud-based POS that comes with every feature you could think of. One-time investment, no nickel and diming for features. Used by big restaurant chains across the country.
Finally, if you need a customized POS with no strings attached, visit freeposusa.com and explore the option of a month-to-month service agreement with no start-up cost or cancellation fee, plus free equipment.
If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.
Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.