Point-of-sale systems have become increasingly important for management functions, inventory control and increasing efficiency in restaurant environments. Successful restaurants need to handle diverse groups of front- and back-of-the-house employees, reduce waste from spoilage and cooking mistakes, handle multiple payment options and configure seating strategies to maximize turnover and profit. Choosing the right restaurant POS systems depends on the type of restaurant, cuisine, operating budget and number of customers.
Management Choices Rely on Many Elements
Choosing an operating system has greater implications than simply handling purchase-card sales, some small, neighborhood-type restaurants might function perfectly with merchant credit-card services, personal computers and manual order-taking and inventory systems. Thrifty restaurant operations might choose simple POS software, use basic payroll services, download free restaurant POS software and make do with classic supervision and auditing by trained personnel.
Larger operations that offer retail products, catering services, food deliveries and drive-through windows can increase their efficiency, eliminate waste, troubleshoot staff problems and provide multiple languages for foreign workers by choosing advanced restaurant POS systems.
- Comprehensive systems, while expensive, save money by handling duties that workers would need to perform in labor-intensive procedures. Restaurant POS systems perform multiple tasks including processing credit-card transactions, taking customer orders and disseminating them to multiple stations, tracking inventory, managing payroll and scheduling tasks, ordering supplies, generating custom gift cards and implementing customer loyalty programs.
- Systems like Adelo For Restaurants can take orders in one language and send them to the bar and kitchen in different languages.
- Restaurant POS systems can operate with minimal iPad hardware, receipt printers and card readers. The new Breadcrumb system offers a strong suite of services that runs on iPads.
- Traditional restaurant POS systems leaders, such as Aloha and Micros, work well for restaurant chains, multiple-department operations or hotels. These systems require substantial hardware and software investments, but custom sales tools, dining-room management applications and advanced accounting and management software help complex operations run more efficiently.
- The greater the number of terminals, the more advanced the restaurant POS systems should be to process multiple restaurant applications simultaneously.
Operating Systems and Hardware Requirements
Owners and managers need to analyze their needs to choose the best deployment scenarios. Hardware requirements vary among different restaurant POS systems, and simple systems might run on portable devices or standard personal computers. Networking multiple cash registers, terminals, printers and restaurant locations requires Windows servers, extensive POS hardware, compatible software and touch-screen computers to realize the maximum benefits of these advanced restaurant POS systems.
Critical secondary features play prominent roles in the success of fine-dining establishments, multilevel marketing operations, chain restaurants and major hospitality destinations. Service details and support prove crucial when implementing comprehensive restaurant POS systems.
Remember that more complex systems require training workers and managers to operate them, so consider how difficult and expensive it will be to educate the staff.
Some restaurants might only need to upgrade their old systems, add plug-and-play modules or consider buying used systems. However, only original clients receive service and support from most software and hardware vendors.
The Right System Often Depends on Price
Comprehensive systems generate unexpected expenses for hardware upgrades, training, terminals and peripherals. Inexpensive systems include QuickBooks POS, Restaurant Pro Express, Adelo, Breadcrumb, and Cash Register Express. Hundred of providers offer full, partial and software-based systems for restaurant management. Even the most basic systems usually require cash drawers, bar-code scanners, printers, car readers, terminals, software, keyboards and mouses.