You can easily find hundreds of POS systems out there. A lot of iPad based POS solutions have been entering the market and the numbers of those systems keep on growing. It is not that simple to choose the best POS system for your restaurant. You need to look for one which has great customer support, match your budget and has features that are suitable for your business.
You should know exactly what you need in a POS system. It is helpful for you to narrow down your search. The following points will help you narrow down your choices. You simply need to test out each POS system on your end. This process is much similar to buying a new car. You can narrow down your choices by model, make, and all bells and whistles before taking test drive. With this guide, you can narrow down your options and choose the best restaurant POS system.
Before getting into research and falling for Lamborghini of POS systems, you should know about your affordability. It helps you in many ways. First of all, you can narrow down your search and it also keeps you from overspending and going hypnotized on the shiniest toy. Along with price of POS system, also consider other costs like monthly support charges, license fees, and cost of hardware you buy with it. Here’s the list of average costs to consider –
• Usually, the one-time license fee for locally-installed POS system costs around $1000 to $2500 one time. License fee is not charged on web-based POS systems.
• Also consider the monthly support fees for locally-based POS system, i.e. around $25 to $100 per month. On the other side, support fee for online POS systems charge around $50 to $200 per month.
• Locally-installed POS is a traditional form of POS system. For those POS systems, the hardware costs around $2000 to $4000. If you want to buy hardware bundles for online POS, add around $450 to $1500 to the cost.
• Avoid cancellation fees and long-term contracts. It is often wise to stay available for your options.
Locally Installed or Web-Based
Are you looking for a system which stores data and updates the same on cloud server, or do you adopt old-school method of housing your data and updates on a PC in house? Each option has its pros and cons.
So you have narrowed down your options by budget and whether you need local or cloud server to store data. Now you have to decide on the basis of features of each system. Now you can rank features between “must have” and “would be great but not needed” to choose the best possible system. The key here is to find a POS system which has all the ‘must-haves’ for your restaurant POS. Here’s the checklist to know the features which are very vital –
QuickBooks Integration – This feature is offered by most of the vendors. But all of them don’t provide real time integration. You will need to export in some cases and import some kind of IIF or CSV file.
Online ordering – Some POS systems can accept online orders in-built but some are integrated with third-party solutions like Seamless, Eat24 and GrubHub.
Online Reservations – Like online ordering, some POS systems come with this ability in-built while others are integrated with OpenTable.
Floor/Table Management – Most of the robust POS systems offer this feature. Be sure to ask about table/floor management if it is must have.
Ingredient level Inventory Management – Suppose you are running pizza parlor offering different types and varieties of pizza. Do you need inventory tracking for each ingredient? Some systems are going to provide real-time inventory tracking to keep track on what you use the most and when it comes to place order. Some systems also offer features to send purchase order from it.
Credit card processor – Find out the processors integrated with POS. This is important as all POS systems cannot work with credit cards. If you have a credit card processor already, be sure it will work. If not, you have to conduct all of the credit card sales out of POS system which is not an efficient way.
Accept mobile payments – Ask the POS vendor regarding compatibility with NFC and EMV. With all those mobile wallets entering the market, you really want your POS system to accept those payments. You need to be ready because EMV liability has been effective since 2015 in the US.
Accept tips – You may want to look for iPad POS system which actually improves tipping.
• Ability to split checks or keep open tabs
• Ability to print at the kitchen
• Ability to sell items by weight
• Employee time card management
Different businesses have different needs. You should ensure to reference list of key features which are designed for your unique needs.
A lot of restaurant POS systems come with free trail. You can get the most of this opportunity and see how simple it is to use. You can run it in live environment like a test drive. Ask employees to be the part of this trial run. It will help you find out if it is easy to use and understand. It might help you deal with potential problem areas.
It’s the importance of test drive. You need to look into every nook and corners to try all those features and run every scenario you want. Be very clear about what you will get before buying it.
Best POS systems for your business
There are some POS systems which will help your restaurant. You may visit their pages to learn more about each system. All of those are iPad POS systems. It seems to be the technology of future. Suppose servers taking order on an iPad which sends order to the kitchen and checks customers out at table rather than walking credit card to processor.
• Ambur POS
Take your time to do your own research before making decision. We hope you know better as to what to look for. Spend time researching for options to save more in the long run. You will have the features and systems which can meet your unique needs well.