If you’ve been thinking about opening a restaurant, you have a lot to consider, everything from menu options to where your restaurant will be located. However, turning a profit should be your biggest priority. After all, profits play a critical role when it comes whether a business succeeds or fails. As such, you may want to put some thought into the type POS (point of sale) system you will be using in your restaurant. If you weren’t already aware, there are two types of systems, retail-specific and one designed with restaurants in mind. These systems, according to the National Restaurant Association, represent the most critical component of a restaurant’s infrastructure. Because POS systems are used daily, they can help establish buying patterns. This means that restaurant can use the data retrieved from these devices to add or remove menu items based on sale figures.
When it comes to the checkout process in a restaurant, it is markedly different from that of a retail establishment. In the restaurant business, transactions are not completed as quickly as they are in the retail sector. Also, the user interface on a retail POS system is very different from what you would find in a retail space. Restaurant systems are equipped with menus and graphics that provide a cleaner user experience. This streamlines the checkout process and communication between servers and kitchen staff. Retail POS systems are driven by numbers and product information, which makes them a must-have when it comes to managing inventory. That said, both systems are great for their respective industries. However, as a business owner, it is your responsibility to choose the right systems for your business needs.
Having detailed a few software differences between retail and restaurant POS systems, let’s take a moment to focus on hardware differences. In a restaurant setting, it is very common to see and handheld POS systems; these devices make the server’s job much easier by allowing them to collect tips and provide customers with a receipt. However, this type of functionality is not necessary for retail. Instead, the entire transaction is processed in one central location.
What Features are Available on Restaurant POS Systems?
- Although not as sophisticated as retail systems, restaurant POS systems are capable of managing restaurant inventory, usually based on weight and quantity. This is great in that it allows restaurant operators to better keep track of food waste and spoilage.
- With everything being done online these days, businesses must keep pace with their online customers, restaurant-specific POS systems allow them to do just that. Several studies have shown that online order, including those made with mobile devices, will reach $38 billion by 2020. This means that time to have the right infrastructure in place is now.
- Table layout is very important to a restaurant’s bottom line; restaurant-specific POS systems can help servers identify tables that haven’t been tended to in a while, which improves their workflow and keeps customers satisfied.
In making your decision, remember that the system you choose should be one that aligns with your industry and, more importantly, it should be a good fit for your business.