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Point of Sale (POS) equipment is the computer-based order-entry technology many restaurants use to capture orders, record data, and display or print tickets. Restaurant servers, bartenders, and cashiers can all use POS systems to easily enter food and beverage orders.
The POS acts as a cash register as well as a computer. In fact, the POS system can consist of multiple stations, including credit card terminals, receipt printers, display screens, hostess stations and sever stations. Having a restaurant point of sale software system in paces can add some convenience, accuracy and save time in busy stations.
Choosing the Right System
According to Food Supply Warehouse, you should purchase a POS system for your specific restaurant type, especially if your operation has any special requirements. However, the software can typically be configured to your exact operation specifications such as your restaurant menu items and prices.
When choosing the right POS system for your operation, be sure to consider price and quality. Before you buy, make sure you know your business volume and system needs so you know your money is appropriately spent. POS software can cost $2,000 or more, and the terminals themselves can be up to $5,000 per station.
Extra features and add-on options like digital displays or hand-held terminals usually add dollars as well. Warranties can add yet another yearly cost. Always ask for price quotes, including all hardware, installation, software upgrades, and support before deciding if a POS system is for you.
Hardware & Software
Make sure you purchase both the hardware and the software for the POS system. Hardware includes the touch screen monitor to place at the point of sale—usually at the service counter, behind the bar or at the waiter station. Hardware also includes any necessary network servers, customer display equipment, kitchen display systems, even portable terminals, and handheld devices.
Software to track data includes all the programs you need for the point of sale, back of the house financial and inventory reports, gift card capabilities and even customer self-service. Software can even use labor data to help you create employee schedules, making a tedious task less time-consuming. Make sure that your POS software allows you to retrieve your financial information in detailed, coherent reports, ideally on the back of the house (BOH) terminal where you can properly analyze the information.
A POS system that is confusing or requires extensive training may not be worth the hassle. Not only will it frustrate employees but also it will slow down speed of service for customers. Also, be sure the orders are easy to read and understand. In a busy kitchen, there is no time for mistakes.
Don’t forget to check and see if your pos system comes with technical support. It is not a matter of if there will be a problem, but when there will be a problem with your POS system. Hopefully, the problem will be minor, but just in case, it helps to know that you have experienced technicians available to help in times of crisis.