Times are tough right now, especially for business owners. Thankfully, it seems like the light at the end of the tunnel might be slowly approaching, as some states have begun to reopen post-COVID-19. This is great news for businesses and entrepreneurs that have put off their dreams due to the global situation.
While regulations vary state-to-state, restaurants are one business type allowed to open their doors at a limited capacity. For those entrepreneurs who waited to open their restaurant, now is the time to really prepare for a grand opening.
Deciding on a concept, location, and food ideas are some of the first steps in starting a food service business, but there are a lot of smaller tasks that come afterward, one of which being the purchase of operations equipment. This includes not only your stoves and refrigeration solutions, but also your computers, security, and point of sale software, which what we’re here to talk about today.
What is a POS System?
From ensuring there’s sufficient inventory to putting together monthly sales reports, running a restaurant calls for a wide range of administrative, management, and marketing skills. However, with owners working on tight margins and manage a lot of moving parts, manual methods of tracking, processing, and recording become increasingly inefficient. What’s more, due to the nature of such tasks, owners tend to miss out on other more significant opportunities to expand their business.
A point of sale system is a great tool that makes sure all the operations are running smoothly while ensuring customer satisfaction. According to the Grand View Research, the global POS terminal market in 2019 accounted for $69.0 billion and is expected to reach $125.9 billion by 2027. It is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 7.5 percent from 2020 to 2027.
However, finding the right POS is no cakewalk. To help you out, here are the seven must-have POS features to look for in a system.
- Reliable Hardware
Due to the relatively higher upfront cost associated with opening a business, many restaurateurs end up buying just the minimum amount of necessary hardware. So, if one piece of equipment in the restaurant decides to shut itself down, it would mean an extra burden of the staff as well as operations. If this were to happen during peak hours, the restaurant’s profitability would be drastically affected.
Technology improves a restaurant’s efficiency. Thus, investing in reliable and easy-to-use hardware is one of the most important restaurants POS features for 2020.
- Inventory Management Tools
Real-time inventory updates are crucial for restaurateurs. It helps them better understand their data and make smarter decisions on reorder and menu profitability. Inventory management tools integrated with a POS system gives a new level of insights into how wastage, over-portioning, spillage, and theft cut into the bottom line.
After all, managing your stocks is the first step to the success of your store, isn’t it?
- Easy Integration
The difference between running a business and running a successful business lies in POS integration. Now, the importance of POS integration is that if done correctly, your POS software with all the other tools used in the restaurant makes the operations more streamlined, and data collection happens in real-time, helping you make smarter decisions.
Strong integration of a high-quality POS system is thus vital to make the kitchen, ordering, and transactions operate smoothly. If a POS system claims to have easy integration, it should offer helpful tips and tools like training sessions, whether virtual or on-site, guided onboarding with visual cues, or on-call customer support.
- Data Analytics
Numbers don’t lie, and that is why data analytics are essential to gain better visibility into your restaurant’s functioning and to improve a weak bottom line. All-in-one restaurant POS system serves as the collection point for all reporting. Such kind of visibility enables the restaurant owners to adjust their menu based on past sales, shift employee scheduling to busy times, and reduce waste through accurate inventory practices.
- Cloud-Based Architecture and Remote Access
A cloud-based POS offers greater flexibility, frictionless customer experience, and cleaner data. However, the most important benefit is the ability to access data and run your back office from anywhere and at any time. Furthermore, the data is not stored on your devices but in the cloud, making it highly secure.
- Built-In Security
Security is one of the most critical issues that all restaurateurs must consider when choosing a POS system. Though most managers think that their well-trusted team wouldn’t take advantage of the POS system, they must consider internal security. Making sure your POS system comes with in-built protection will prevent any future mishaps that might affect your restaurant’s profitability and lead to severe damages.
- Customer Service Availability
Similar to the features discussed above regarding easy integration, every restaurant must have responsive and supportive customer support offered by the POS provider. This is especially valuable with cloud-based POS systems. With profitability at stake, your POS should never go down during peak hours of the week, but if it ever does, there should be a backup option until everything is completely resolved.
Some cloud-based POS systems offer onboarding sessions or training and have developed offline models. Thus, even if the internet goes down, the system will switch to offline mode and continue running uninterrupted. If the problem persists, the best restaurant POS providers will offer technical support online or over-the-phone at any hour.
What’s Your Next Step?
Selecting a POS system can be an overwhelming process. However, upgrading to the right POS software can go a long way in taking your restaurant to success. Though restaurants come in many shapes and sizes, and each one has its own set of needs, the above-given list of features is for every restaurateur—from quick services to fine dining.