Buyer Guide to Restaurant POS Systems

Restaurant point of sale systems, or “POS systems” are computer-based programs that help food service establishment’s record transactions. So, why would you invest in a POS system over a cash register? Of course, the basic functions of these point of sale systems is to record transactions, but many POS systems have the ability to print checks, send orders to your kitchen and process credit cards. Not only this, but POS systems offer improved customer experience by speeding up transactions by 44%, according to an IBM study. Many restaurant POS systems are touch screen terminals that work to assist your wait staff in managing the back-end procedures of each customer order.

The type of restaurant you operate directly impacts the primary features needed with your POS system. If you own and operate a sit down restaurant you will likely need terminals that manage the whole dining process within a workstation, from order taking to check printing. However if you operate a fast food restaurant, your point of sale systems may handle one task per station. For example, one POS terminal may record the transaction, and then send that data over to the next stations terminals for credit card processing and payment.

POS systems have two primary elements, hardware and software. Hardware is the basic computer, display, and often includes anything from cash drawers to credit card processing card readers. Proper hardware is particularly emphasized with quick service restaurant POS systems especially because it’s often necessary to have advanced touch screen displays to coordinate orders.
However, with advanced hardware it’s necessary that your software is programmed to use it. POS software can be customized to give you reports on everything from average order revenue to most popular menu items. Because each restaurant is distinctive, these POS systems will likely have to be customized to sync up with your current operations.

A restaurant POS system is a big purchase decision, requiring extensive research and price quote assessments. This guide overviews some of the most common terminology associated with restaurant POS systems and give you insight in to the benefits of purchasing a restaurant POS system.

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