Choosing the Right Point-of-Sale System for a Restaurant

Whether you operate a chic downtown restaurant, or you’re part of the farm to table movement, you have special needs when it comes to the systems and solutions. This is particularly true of your point-of-sale system. Restaurants have a very unique set of requirements when it comes to a POS system.

Break Out of the Old Mold

Once upon a time, you had two clear choices. Your diners could stand in line to pay for their meal at a fixed register, or your waiters could take the guest’s payment and process it. Neither is particularly streamlined, and both are evidently labor intensive and time consuming.

With the first example, your guests were forced to sometimes stand in very long queues after their meal, when they’d rather be conversing with family and friends, or getting on with their life. This approach also breaks the customer cycle, leading to a fragmented experience.

If you opted to have your waiters handle the payments, then you forced your guests to wait longer. Basically, the waiter had to bring the bill to the table, the customer had to decide how to pay, and then tender payment. The waiter had to come back to the table to pick up the card or cash, and then go to a fixed register to process everything. Then, he or she would have to return with the change or the credit card slip for the customer to sign off. It's tedious and time consuming.

There Are Better Options

With the advent of mobile technology, new point-of-sale solutions for restaurants have arisen. There’s no need to put your customers or your staff through such a drawn out, frustrating process described above.

The right point-of-sale system can offer a number of benefits, but you’ll need to know what to look for in an ideal option for your business. Here are just a few of the capabilities you can consider:

Tableside Ordering: While some national chains have rolled out an tableside ordering coupled with traditional waiters, most haven’t. However, this is something that should be considered. for instance, your guests can order from a custom menu right at their table, with the order sent to the kitchen tagged with the time and the table number. All your waiters have to do is serve.

Preference Tracking: Loyal customers are your bread and butter. It makes sense that you should be able to track their preferences when it comes to meal types, unacceptable foods (vegetarian or vegan eating preferences, for instance), drink types, dessert preferences and more. The right POS system can help here by giving you significant insight into each returning customer’s habits and preferences.

Online Ordering: What if your customers want to enjoy your fare, but don’t have the time to actually sit in the restaurant? Online ordering is the answer, but it can be complicated and costly to build a custom solution that integrates with your POS system. ideally, the right POS system for restaurants should come with online ordering capabilities out of the box.

Splitting and Transferring: Restaurant customers can sometimes have complex needs when it comes to payment. Perhaps it’s a large group and the bill needs to be split multiple ways, or perhaps guests need to be transferred from one table to another. The right point-of-sale system not only helps here, but ensures the utmost accuracy, which guarantees a better customer experience and encourages them to return.