Restaurant POS Systems – A Guide To Buying And Pricing
Do you have questions about restaurant POS systems?
When you’re opening a restaurant, or trying to make sure your current one is running at its best, you might be thinking about which POS system is best. In fact, you may never have tried POS systems at all.
Whether you’re wondering if a POS system is right for you, if you can afford one, or which one is best, we’ve got your answers. In this guide, we’ll show you how the right system can change your restaurant for the better. Keep reading to learn more!
What are Restaurant POS Systems?
A POS system ( Point of Sales) refers to the system that allows customers to make payments for services or goods. Many stores and shops have POS systems. However, restaurant POS systems also meet the unique needs of restaurant workers and customers.
These systems typically include a touch screen, a payment terminal, and any other hardware and software necessary for payments.
Most restaurant POS systems do much more than just ring up sales at the end of the transaction. They help business operations run more smoothly, give a more positive customer experience, and help employees do their jobs better. The POS system might include extras such as a loyalty or points program, or inventory and labor management.
Let’s take a closer look at the positive ways a POS system can impact different aspects of your business.
1. Front of House
The “front of house” is what the customers see most – servers, bartenders, and seating areas. This is your one and only chance to make a real impression on your customers. Many of them will even forgive a restaurant for a subpar meal if the rest of the experience was great.
As a restaurant owner, you’re probably constantly thinking about how to give this great experience. You hire the right staff, design your menus carefully, and decorate the restaurant. But have you considered how your POS system can help?
With a great POS system, your servers and bartenders can take complicated orders without ever making a mistake. They can easily communicate special requests for the bar or kitchen. If something is 86’d, they’ll know right away. And they can easily review an order before sending it off to the kitchen.
With this streamlined accuracy, your servers are free to spend more time engaging with the customers, and can provide great service faster. This eliminates the extra work caused by incorrect orders – servers won’t need to do extra to make up for mistakes.
A great POS system is easy to learn, user-friendly, and keeps the front of the house running smoothly.
2. Back of House
Your customers don’t see what happens in the back of the house, but this aspect is essential to running a restaurant. You want the customer to enjoy the finished product without any issues, and a good POS system can help make this happen.
A POS system eliminates issues caused by confusing or incorrect orders, or even bad handwriting. With these systems, menu options are already programmed in, so a server can’t sell something that’s not in stock or make a modification that the kitchen can’t do.
The orders will instantly be sent electronically to the kitchen, so they can work on the orders in the order they were received. A good POS system transmits orders quickly, sends orders to the right place (such as the bar or the salad prep area), and might even have a multi-language function to overcome language barriers.
3. Restaurant Management
Restaurant POS systems also help with the most behind-the-scenes aspect of a restaurant: running and managing it.
Some POS systems can be accessed by a manager from anywhere, so you can see what’s going on even when you’re miles away from the restaurant itself.
These systems should also let you program sales, special events, limited-edition menu items, and other things to make your restaurant stand out. If you’re thinking of growing your restaurant in the future with new options like take-out or delivery, make sure your POS system can support those changes.
The best systems allow you to make all those updates yourself, from anywhere, without needing to contact customer support. User friendliness is key in a great POS system.
How Do POS Systems Work?
As you can see, these systems are critical if you want to streamline your operations and move away from the outdated pen and paper systems. However, you might be wondering just how these systems make restaurants run so well.
This technology is made up of hardware and software that keeps things running well. Payment terminals, touchscreens, and tableside terminals might be part of the system, but each system is a little bit different. Sometimes the software is in-house, while other systems are cloud-based and can be accessed from anywhere.
Ideally, the system you choose won’t just manage your sale, but will streamline and integrate every part of your business. This makes your job easier, your employees’ jobs easier, and your customers happier at the end of the day.
How Much Restaurant Point of Sale Systems Cost?
One of the best things about restaurant POS systems is that they can save you a lot of money in the long run by eliminating mistakes and streamlining operations. But how much will you have to pay to get started?
There is a wide range of prices. You can spend anywhere from a few dollars a day to tens of thousands in a year on your POS system. The amount you spend should be tied to your restaurant’s income: don’t spend any more than one to four percent of your annual revenue on the POS system.
In-house software tends to cost about $600-$1000 per POS station (and you’ll almost always need multiple stations). Cloud-based software is usually a little less expensive, at about $60-$300 per station.
You’ll also need to pay for the hardware, which might include touchscreen monitors or portable tablets. Stationary touchscreens are more traditional, but also more expensive than tablets.
Give Restaurant POS Systems a Try
No matter what kind of restaurant you run, these systems will benefit you. They’ll save you money, make the job easier, and perhaps most importantly, keep your customers coming back.
Trying to make the right choice for your business?
Check out our guide to POS systems and their prices, or start comparing prices below.