POS Systems for Restaurants: Here’s What You Need To Know

Marketing 21 minute read 28th June 2023

Imagine your restaurant filled with happy customers who don’t have to wait in lines to order and receive food. This vision becomes a reality when POS systems for restaurants enter the picture.

Whether you’re a small café or fine dining restaurant, understanding POS systems can revolutionize your restaurant operations.

Is it complex though? Let’s find it out in this article. You will learn how to choose the perfect POS system for your restaurant and its benefits.

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What Is POS System for Restaurants, and What Are Its Common Types?

Let’s start by learning what a POS system for a restaurant is. They are like the heart and brain of a restaurant’s operations. These restaurant POS manage all running tasks by combining hardware and software.

A POS includes touchscreen monitors, cash registers, barcode scanners, and receipt printers. These work hand in hand with specialized software that manages orders, inventory, and other crucial aspects of the restaurant. Fun fact: POS is short for Point of Sale. With that said, let’s look at some common types of restaurant POS.

Let’s have a look at all the types of POS systems for restaurants:

  1. Cloud POS system. These systems take things to the next level by storing data on remote servers. You can access this data through the internet from anywhere, anytime. How cool is that?

  2. Tablet POS system. They allow your servers to glide through the restaurant, taking orders and processing payments with a sleek tablet or iPad. You can often integrate them with other hardware components like card readers and printers. This makes them a versatile choice.

  3. Mobile POS. These you use mobile devices. These are for restaurants on the move and operate through the cloud.

  4. Integrated POS. This one’s like having a superpower combining various aspects of your operations into a cohesive platform. Think of this as a combination of the other types. Oftentimes, these can integrate with other applications, like WiFi marketing solutions or touchless menus.

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How Do POS Systems for Restaurants Work? A Layman Overview

Now that you know the definition of POS systems for restaurants, let’s talk about how they work. But don’t worry. This will be a straightforward explanation that doesn’t require technical knowledge. So, here it is.

  1. Taking orders: The working of POS starts when a customer orders. The server inputs the order directly into the system using a touchscreen device, tablet, or other input methods. The system records the order details, including items, quantities, and special instructions.

  2. Sending orders to the kitchen: The POS sends the order details to the kitchen. The kitchen staff can then view the order and prepare the food accordingly.

  3. Payment processing: The server enters the payment amount into the POS system. Customers can pay using cash, credit or debit cards, or mobile payments. The system calculates the total and applies it to any discounts or promotions. Then it generates a receipt.

  4. Inventory management: POS systems also help manage the restaurant’s inventory. When a customer orders, the system deducts its ingredients from the inventory.

  5. Employee management: These systems can track working hours, calculate wages, and monitor sales performance. Some systems even allow employees to log in using unique IDs, enabling individual tracking.

  6. Table management: Table management can be tricky if you don use a POS. These solutions assign tables efficiently so your customers don’t have to wait. Moreover, your staff will have a constantly updated overview of the venue.

  7. Menu management: Most POS software packages also let you add and edit new menu items. You can even hide the items not currently available.

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The Best POS for Restaurants That Need Comprehensive Solutions

If you’re wondering about the best POS for a restaurant, this section will help you find out. These solutions are also listed depending on their type, as mentioned previously.

However, evaluate your needs and goals to pick the best POS for your restaurant. Then, pick the one that suits your restaurant the most.

Let’s start with cloud POS. The best choice here is Toast POS. It excels in streamlining order and table management. Moreover, it simplifies check splitting and ensures smooth handling of tips.

Toast’s pricing begins at $69 per terminal, but you can tailor it to meet your business’s needs. However, it charges 2.49% for each transaction.

Regarding mobile POS systems for restaurants, the best choice is TouchBistro. It offers the flexibility of mobile and cloud access. This, in turn, enables you to manage your restaurant seamlessly from anywhere.

But TouchBistro doesn’t stop at the basics. One of its common add-ons is a Restaurant Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The monthly cost of this POS is $69 per terminal.

As for automated kiosks, Ziosk takes the crown. It offers cloud hosting, customization options, and labor cost savings. It can turn you into a quick-service restaurant. Its exact pricing details aren’t readily available, but it might be more expensive.

Last but not least is Lightspeed restaurant POS, the best integrated or hybrid solution. It has a simple interface but includes everything you need for smooth restaurant operation. Again the pricing starts at $69.

Just Starting Out and Need a Simple Solution? 2 Fantastic POS Systems for Small Restaurant

While the solutions above are famous for POS systems for restaurants, small restaurants might find them expensive. Some features might not even come in handy!

So, if you’re starting out and need a POS system for a small restaurant, this section is for you.

Your first option is to use the free trials for the POS systems above. These trials allow you to test the systems and find the right fit for your business.

Consider exploring the premium plans or additional features as your restaurant grows and gains momentum.

But what will you do after 14 or 30 days or whenever the trial ends? Fret not because you’ve got Epos now and Loyverse. Let’s see what these are.

Epos Now is a versatile POS solution for businesses of all sizes. It offers inventory management, staff management, and robust reporting. What’s more? You can avail yourself of the free trial, customizable pricing, and hardware options. It starts at $39 per month, cheaper than other options.

On the other hand, Loyverse is specifically for small businesses like restaurants and cafes. It provides essential features, including customer loyalty programs. It’s great for startups, as basic features are completely free.

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Free Restaurant POS Software if You Are Short on Budget

While using trials first before adding features is a viable option, sometimes you need a completely free solution. We get it! So, if you’re looking for free restaurant POS software, here are two great options:

  • Chromis POS
  • Floreant POS

Chromis POS is an open-source solution that provides features tailored for restaurants. It covers everything from order management and table organization to inventory and reporting.

Moreover, as an open-sourced software, Chromis POS allows customization according to specific requirements. It’s an excellent choice for small restaurants looking to save costs without compromising functionality.

Similarly, Floreant POS is another popular free and open-source POS software. In addition to ordering and payments, it offers gift card management and separate checks.

It also supports multiple payment methods and basic reporting capabilities. Additionally, it has a convenient interface that makes restaurant operations easier.

However, it’s important to note that these POS systems for restaurants may require technical expertise for installation, setup, and customization.

The Cheapest POS System for Restaurant So You Don’t Have To Break the Bank

After exploring the best and the free options, it’s time to look at the middle ground. That is the cheapest POS system for restaurants. This way, you won’t have to stick to incomplete POS or break the bank with the more expensive options.

If you’re running a small to medium restaurant, Square is a great POS system for a restaurant. You can sign up and use it for free. It also has a Plus version for just $29 per month. How cool is that?

What sets Square apart is its flexibility and versatility. Whether you prefer a traditional terminal setup, a cloud system, or a mobile POS solution, Square has got you covered.

Moreover, it offers additional features like loyalty programs and gift cards that may come with extra fees.

However, Square has a payment processing fee. It charges 2.6% plus 10 cents for live payments and 2.9% plus 30 cents for online payments.

So, if you’re on a tight budget but still want a reliable POS, Square is the answer.

Why Should You Use a POS Systems for Your Restaurant? 3 Good Reasons

When it comes to serving restaurant customers, every moment counts. You need to work smarter, not harder, to cater to customers’ changing demands. That’s where POS systems for restaurants come into the picture.

These remarkable systems aren’t just machines. They’re your supportive allies. They have comprehensive features and convenient interfaces that streamline restaurant orders and payments. But that’s not the only thing they’re good at.

The following sections will dive into three reasons you should use a restaurant POS system.

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Streamline Order Management Using POS Systems for Restaurants

Let’s start with the most obvious reason; streamlining order management. POS systems for restaurants replace handwritten tickets and verbal communication. This will massively improve your restaurant operations.

Moreover, a sound POS system becomes a trusted ally in adapting to your customer’s preferences. It allows you to customize your menu items easily with modifiers, special requests, and variations.

But it doesn’t stop there. Your restaurant’s order routing becomes a breeze when you have a POS system in place. It directs each order to the appropriate preparation stations.

This ensures that the kitchen or bar receives all the information promptly. This feature eliminates confusion, optimizes workflow, and helps your team deliver meals and drinks promptly.

Lastly, POS systems provide a wealth of data that allow you to create consumer profiles for your restaurant. Armed with this knowledge, you can make informed business decisions.

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Control Your Inventory and Stock Using POS Systems for Restaurants

Another reason you should use restaurant POS systems is the ability to control your inventory and stock.

With a reliable POS system, you can trust that your inventory records are always up to date. Each sale or order triggers automatic deductions from your inventory. This ensures accuracy and gives you peace of mind.

Moreover, you can automate the generation of purchase orders when your stock reaches a specific threshold. Why do it yourself when you can let your POS system do the heavy lifting?

This automation saves time for your staff, allowing them to focus on other essential tasks.

Additionally, you can take control of your inventory management by setting par levels in your POS system. These levels act as a guideline, indicating the minimum quantity you should have in stock for each item.

When your inventory falls below the set par level, the system generates alerts, notifying you that it’s time to reorder. This proactive approach ensures you never run out of crucial ingredients or products.

But that’s not all. Because POS systems for restaurants also assist you in managing your relationships with vendors effectively. You can keep track of purchases, delivery schedules, and prices while identifying any discrepancies or errors.

Furthermore, with accurate inventory data and control, your POS system helps you minimize waste and optimize your ordering process.

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Enhance Customer Service Using POS Systems for Restaurants

Lastly, we have enhanced customer service on this list of reasons to use a POS system for your restaurant.

Imagine conducting a restaurant survey where you asked your customers what they liked the most about your venue. One of the expected answers should be exceptional customer service.

POS systems play a pivotal role in making this a reality. Remember we mentioned earlier how POS systems smoothly take orders and manage them? Well, no more waiting for handwritten tickets or worrying about communication errors.

Moreover, one of the biggest frustrations for customers is receiving an incorrect order. Thankfully, POS systems eliminate the guesswork. Customers can rest assured that what they ordered is exactly what they’ll receive, enhancing their overall satisfaction.

If you improve your restaurant operation from these perspectives, you will make your venue stand out for its service.

However, there’s more. A POS system simplifies the management of individual preferences. Whether it is dietary restrictions or a particular ingredient preference, the system allows for easy order customization. So, if a guest has a specific request, it will take no time to communicate the order efficiently.

Are POS Systems for Restaurants the Only Software You Need?

POS systems for restaurants indeed take away the hassles of managing orders and payments. However, they aren’t the only software you need. There is additional software to ensure smooth operations and delightful experiences for customers.

For instance, specialized reservation management software helps handle bookings. And don’t forget about online ordering and delivery management software. These cater better to the growing demand for takeout and delivery.

Instead, if you want to learn more about your customer’s preferences and automate marketing campaigns, you need WiFi marketing software.

Beambox is a comprehensive WiFi marketing solution that allows you to:

  • Grow your contact list
  • Gather useful data from and learn about your customers
  • Automate email and SMS marketing
  • Customize your WiFi experience to increase brand awareness
  • Secure your network from most cyber threats
  • Grow your rating on local review sites
  • Manage your online reputation

But there’s more than that. Start your free trial and join 12000 venues using Beambox to grow their business.

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