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What is restaurant POS software?
Restaurant point of sale (POS) software offers POS solutions for the restaurant and bar industries. This software facilitates ordering, billing, reporting, accounting, table tracking, and receipt printing for restaurants and bars. Hardware such as computers, monitors, and printers is often included in the purchase price of restaurant POS systems.
The benefits of restaurant POS software
- Streamline ordering and operations. A central restaurant POS software system for all servers - with the ability to automate tasks like splitting checks - can save time, headaches, and decrease order mistakes, resulting in fewer unhappy customers.
- Increase revenue opportunities. Adding online ordering and table reservation capabilities through restaurant POS systems means even more people can access your product, resulting in increased sales.
- Improve customer service. Tracking loyal customers and offering perks like discounts and anniversary gifts with loyalty cards can turn your best customers into evangelists for your restaurant/bar.
Typical features of restaurant point of sale software
- Order management: Process customer orders and generate bills digitally, making it easier to track sales and catch mistakes.
- Separate checks: Generate separate bills for meals and combinations of single items within a larger order.
- Online ordering: Accept and process customer orders received online (e.g., food delivery apps and websites). Even if you don't employ delivery staff, these third-party services will order, pick up, and deliver the food, generating more sales with little additional work.
- Delivery management: Manage order deliveries from start to finish, ensuring on-time customer delivery.
- Table management: Input your floor layout and manage bookings, orders, and bills for all tables. Ensure servers are assigned to the correct tables.
Considerations when purchasing restaurant POS software
- Consider the big picture for your restaurant. When evaluating restaurant POS systems, consider looking for a solution that not only manages a single restaurant, but also simplifies ordering and table management for an entire chain of restaurants/bars. Look for systems that streamline inventory or deliveries across multiple locations, and consider integration capabilities with other restaurant management software. Shortlist products that not only meet your current business needs, but support future expansion.
- Make ease-of-use a priority. No matter how sophisticated your restaurant software solution might be, it's only as powerful as the people who use it. Make sure the restaurant POS software you choose is easy for employees to use, and that you have someone on staff to manage the new system and train others to use it effectively.
- Check to see if the POS is designed explicitly for restaurants. A lot of general POS systems bill themselves as suitable for use in a restaurant. While it's true that many add in restaurant-specific features, depending on your needs, your restaurant may require a tool built for your industry from the ground up.
Relevant restaurant POS software trends
- Wearable technology makes POS purchases seamless. Wearables like Disney's Magicband may seem relegated to expensive experiences for now, but wearable computing will soon change how restaurants interact with customers and accept payment. Imagine restaurant POS systems that can tell which customers are in which seat at which table, and charge them for their food individually and automatically without a single credit card passing hands. According to our research , 54% of small and midsize businesses are using or plan to use wearable technology within the next one to two years.
- Self-service kiosks cut down on labor costs and misheard orders. We're already starting to see this model in high-tech airport eateries, but as minimum wage costs rise the attraction of self-ordering kiosks will drive higher adoption. One associated benefit for restaurant owners is the elimination of miscommunication between customers, servers, and kitchen staff; Orders can be sent straight from the customer to the kitchen, increasing efficiency and reducing mistakes.