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Selecting A Restaurant POS System

by Aji Abraham

Here are some features and tips to consider when selecting a POS system for your restaurant. There are a few key functions that you will need to evaluate when selecting the proper system. Each system has its trade-offs and you will need to select the proper system for your restaurant’s individual needs.

Image From Sunrise POS

Image From Sunrise POS

The following functions should be considered prior to purchasing a POS system:

1. Employee time clock & tip tracking abilities: A great system can not only track the hours that you employees worked, but also have tip reporting features. Calculating the tips earned is mutually beneficial for the staff as well. It helps to file taxes later on and follow any IRS regulations.

2. Order entry: The system to enter any orders must be simple enough for the waiters to enter each order in a timely matter. Also, the order entry must be able to handle more custom orders. Order entry can take place on a computer, iPad, or other devices dependent upon the POS system that you choose.

3. Back-end kitchen functionality: After the order is placed, the chef or staff in the kitchen will need to view the order on a screen or it will need to be printed. More advanced systems will be able to divide the order between the stations in the kitchen if need be. Also, a more complex system will not only maintain the inventory and have spoilage reporting, but also make sure an entire table’s dinner is all ready at the same time.

4. Payment systems: Not only should a POS system have the ability to generate checks or tabs, but it should be able to process credit card payments. A more advanced system will even have the option to add a gratuity or the amount suggested for a tip.

5. Menu & recipe management: A POS system can help maintain back office functions as well including the actual menu management. The system will be able to track prices of dishes. Some systems will even have a marketing capability to select the actual layout or design of the menu as well. Recipe costing is another added feature that a POS system may include. Recipes can be managed based upon the inventory of ingredients. You can also draw reports that include the profitability after considering any additional costs such as labor.

6. Booking, reservations, & seating: Along with taking reservations, your system should also help to manage the seating for the waiters. Some more expensive restaurants choose to have pagers that light up for guests when their table is ready. This would be an additional feature included in the reservation management part of your POS system.

7. CRM or Customer management features: A lot of new POS systems will have additional features as mentioned above. Email and newsletter features are great to improve a restaurant’s marketing. Sending offers special offers and coupon codes to your database of customers may help you get that extra boost!

8. Website integration features: It is extremely useful to any restaurant of any size to be able to integrate your online orders from not only your own website, but also third party sites such as Grub Hub, Eat 24 Hours, or Seamless. This may not be an immediate plan, but as a part of a second phase it would be helpful when you have a larger percentage of sales coming through online channels. Always plan for the future and growth!

With any system that you choose to deploy, you should make sure to choose one that will easily be scalable to your business. The system should be able to become more complex as your business shifts and grows. The POS system that you choose should also have the ability to keep up with current technological trends in the market. This means mobile capabilities available within a POS system may give you a competitive advantage. The heavy initial price tag may balance out after a few months of continuous profit. Coming up in our next blog, we’ll share with you a “Buyer’s Guide” for purchasing a POS system and inform you of some of the biggest brands in the restaurant industry.

The iScripts NetMenus online restaurant ordering software can be integrated with your current POS system. If you want more information about purchasing our software please send an email to sales@iscripts.com or you can visit our site to check out the demo.

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