Contemporary point of sale (POS) systems come with a wide array of solutions for retailers, small business owners, and restaurateurs. For many people, procuring the best point of sale system for their small business enterprise can seem daunting, however with just a little essential information and education, it can become very easy navigating the vast selection of POS systems to find the best one for your needs.
At first glance, POS systems may appear to have very similar setups and a suite of essential software and features, such as managing credit card transactions, tracking inventory, customer relations management tools, and employee management apparatuses.
Despite their seemingly identical outer appearance and software applications, POS system purchases are a matter requiring much consideration. The importance of POS systems cannot be emphasized enough; it is the essential lifeline and command center of your business operations, managing things such as marketing, accounting supply chain management, employees, payroll, and much more.
POS systems are a dynamic told that functions as a lifeline of your day-to-day operations, empowering you to better manage all areas of your business, including supply chain management, marketing, accounting, and staffing. As such, determining which is the optimum POS system for your needs is an imperative matter.
Before determining which POS system is best for your specific needs, you first need to have a thorough understanding of POS systems capabilities.
Read on below to learn more about many of the powerful elements that POS systems are comprised of.
Streamlined Payments and Sales Transactions
Modern POS systems perform many of the same basic functions found in less tech-oriented electronic cash registers, with the calculation of sales and money as the prime function. However, POS systems far exceed the basic cash register by leaps and bounds. Designed as a command station of sorts, POS systems are an essential all-in-one apparatus that not only quickly and efficiently manages payments and transactions but also performs functions managing inventory, labor, marketing, reporting, and much more.
Marketing and Visibility
Today’s powerful POS systems come readily equipped with software easily enabling business owners to conduct their own marketing campaigns in a powerfully effective manner. Removing the need to hire costly advertisers to run ad campaigns to heighten visibility and bring in customers, business owners can now instead design their own ads and implement their own ad strategies while saving an incredible amount of money.
Cultivating Customer Relations
One of the most desirable elements of any POS system is their software designed to enable restaurant owners to connect with present and potential customers in a wide range of ways. Examples include storing important customer info such as likes, dislikes, and preferences, having the ability to send coupons and advertisements to re-engage customers, and much more.
The POS system essentially provides business owners with the means to reach out to their client base in an informative and non-invasive way to ensure long-term growth and profits.
Staff and Employee Management
POS management software gives you the ability to oversee your entire staff, track performance levels, create efficient weekly and monthly schedules, manage pay, and keep comprehensive business records for tax and government purposes.
Reporting and Analytics Data
Data reigns supreme in our modern world. Informing business owners about everything pertaining to their business, so that they can make well-informed decisions, data and the recording of data are among the most powerful elements found in any great POS system. Giving business owners a birds-eye view of what is working for their business and what is not working, POS systems also provide easy-to-read analytics that informs users to see real-time data at a glance.
The majority of POS systems available on the market all of the capabilities listed above, however, it is those POS systems that have additional capabilities geared towards restaurant owners that make them far more desirable due to their ability to serve a restaurant's owners very specific needs.
Read on below to learn more about the key features restaurant owners should seek out when choosing the premier POS systems for their needs.
The Key Features of an Outstanding POS System for Restaurant Owners
The best POS system for restaurant owners is one that is equipped with an assemblage of onboard tools and software that function to support and enhance your business activities.
The features that best assist restaurant owners are:
Reducing Transaction Times
Regardless if you are a restaurant owner with high-volume sales or a smaller mom n pop enterprise, one of your goals should be reducing the amount of time that customers have to wait. Long wait times can ultimately lead to frustrated customers who simply walk right back out of the door. As a result, restaurant staff understands the importance of greeting customers instantly, ushering them to a table, providing foods and drinks with a brief wait, and finalizing the transaction in a rapid and efficient manner. POS systems require customers to merely swipe their payments cards to be well on their way.
Unarguably, the very best POS systems have an interface that is easy to read, understand, and navigate. Ease in customization is also very important, and with competitors stepping up their business game in new and innovative ways, a restaurant owner must be well-acclimated with his or her POS program to get the most out of the dynamic capabilities available to remain competitive in a saturated market.
Assorted Payment Types
In today’s contemporary times, consumers expect to pay in an array of ways. Restaurant owners have come to realize this, and the majority accept most major credit cards, in addition to a range of digital-oriented payments. Retailers that have not required the technology necessary for digital payments are doing themselves a disservice, as more and more consumers are seeking out establishments that can accept rapid payment to enable them to be in and out without the long and cumbersome waits involved with traditional forms of payment.
Any dynamic POS system will enable a restaurant owner to easily integrate their brick and mortar style businesses with an online store where their customers can browse products, coupons, and conduct research before visiting your actual storefront.
Reliable Hardware and Support
Just as important as all of its many software elements are a POS system’s hardware components. A great POS system should have robust hardware that is sturdy, durable, and of high quality to serve your needs for years to come.
Streamlines Payroll, Training, and Staff Management Processes
Restaurants and businesses of years past spent considerable time on constructing employee regimes, protocols, and training, as well as managing clunky time clocks, and creating paper or board-style schedules for employees. POS systems take all those duties and digitizes them efficiently and effectively which saves restaurant owners time and money, while also enabling staff to further concentrate on the duties before them.
Among the many digitized tasks are the ability to control access and permissions to employees, readily check clocked hours, instantly build schedules, control training regiments and modules, and update databases.
Integrated Accounting Software
Another powerful element of modern POS systems is its ability to function as a source of accounting. Many businesses balk at the cost of hiring an in-house accountant or hiring accounting services at all. POS systems give the power to restaurant owners to have a bird’s eye view of finances, budget, projections, and far more.
Email and Marketing Campaigns
A POS system that provides restaurant owners the ability to run their own email and marketing campaigns is worth its weight in gold. Owners can use these tools to reach out to customers in innovative and informative ways with the goal of bringing them back into the business. Affordable and efficient, POS marketing tools are among the most dynamic of features and can make a business’s client base surge in an unprecedented way.
End of day reporting is an important part of any restaurants operations. Tallying up total sales, taxes, and labor, owners must do this every day to keep a clear and concise picture of finances over time. POS systems help to streamline this process enormously, with its fully-digitized content, business owners can easily compute numbers, figures, and data while comparing total customer traffic against total revenue. Also of great benefit is the ability to measure the overall user and efficacy of marketing tools such as coupons, sales, and programs.
The powerful POS systems of today are fully capable of taking all the most salient information from a restaurant’s data and transforming it into dynamic reports that give owners a clear understanding of the performances of their establishment and its employees, as well as inventory and sales trends.
In addition to accurately forecasting future profits, sales, and more, a great POS system can also provide valuable insights into historical performance for comparison’s sake, thus informing businesses what they need to improve on.
User-Friendly (For Owners and Employees)
Even the most outstanding POS system becomes worthless if none of your in-house personnel knows how to use it. Unfortunately, many POS systems are very complicated to use, with an array of hardware and a dizzying amount of software that can be extremely complex for a restaurant that has relied on traditional and simple cash drawers.
To ensure that your POS system is optimally designed for your needs, make an effort to give it a “test drive” to maneuver its various parts and software. Providers will be happy to teach you the various components of a POS system, and many companies provide 24/7 support to its clients when POS issues arise.
Before finalizing your purchase, make a note of a POS providers customer service policy, the ease of use of the machine, and how adept you feel at maneuvering around the various software and programs.
Before making your POS system purchase, read reviews and reports about the products you are considering.
Take note of the level of accuracy that users report, as well as any significant complaints. This is of crucial importance because when you are dealing with labor costs, sales, taxes, and supply chain management, every misreported dollar can count over time and climate in a large sum of money that is essentially missing.
Owners then have to go through the frustratingly arduous task of going back over months or even years of records to see where mistakes were made without always being guaranteed they will find the answer.
To safeguard against this, you will want to purchase a POS system that is unfailingly accurate and backed by many positive reviews.
While your goal is to obtain a POS system encompassing all of the essential hardware and software you will need to complement your business activities, you also want to ensure that the POS system is affordable and makes sense for you in the long run.
If you are a smaller business, it won't make much sense to buy a POS system that costs tens of thousands of dollars that a major corporation might purchase. Instead, aim for buying the most well-equipped system you can, at a price you can afford.
Data security is a critical issue in today’s contemporary times. No business can afford a data breach that lets their customer’s sensitive financial data fall into unscrupulous hands. As such, you will need to ensure that the POS system you purchase is secure and employs the latest technology to combat hacking, theft and more.
Each time one of your customers uses a financial card for payment to your business, the customer is essentially exchanging their payment information under the assumption that is safe and secure. To keep your enterprise and your customers safe, make security among your top priorities.
Point of sale systems are an essential game changer in today's competitive market. As new restaurants come into existence each and every day, competition between establishments grows fierce, with business owners vying for customers. Many restaurateurs today are purchasing POS systems to make themselves distinct among competitors and using the technology to not only immediately grow their business in myriad ways but also to create sustainable long-term growth well into the future.