Whether you currently have a restaurant point of sale system or are looking to get your very first POS solution, most buyers already know what they want or expect the product to do. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 POS features on wishlists across North America. Does your list match?
10. Data Backups
We’d like to believe that we’re positive people, but there’s something to be said about planning for a negative scenario. After all, no one considers a person who purchases a first aid kit is a pessimist do they? Imagine, a break-in at your restaurant. The thieves steal your POS terminals. All of your historical data is gone – or is it? The Datastore performs cloud-based off-site data POS back ups which make disaster recovery easier. By backing up your point of sale software, you can be up and running again in no time!
This seems so basic doesn’t it? As time goes on, tech products get “sleeker” meaning thinner, they have “better resolution” meaning more sensitive screens, and their more “affordable” meaning more fragile. So in a fast paced environment, a little water, a drop, a bit of heat, could take your beautiful new tech toy, into an overpriced paper weight. It is imperative that you choose the right devices to suit your business. Sleek terminals, custom designed for use as a restaurant point of sale system are typically most durable. The average lifespan of custom restaurant POS terminals can be up to 11 years. Mobile devices have a shorter lifespan but can undoubtedly extend their shelf life if cared for correctly for restaurant technology use.
8. Ease of Use
Every POS system provider says their system is easy to use and user friendly. Of course. But what does that even mean? The best point of sale system must be intuitive for all users on numerous levels. For servers, it must be quick and accurate as you navigate through the system. Changes and orders must be processed swiftly and efficiently. For Bartenders, the POS system must be a clear communication tool, using it to report their inventory, receive detailed order information and the ability to submit orders, often times to the other side of the restaurant at the touch of a button.
Finally, for managers. The top restaurant POS systems should be intuitive for reporting above all. Revenue reporting, labor management, inventory – all of these are features that management must have the ability to easily access, smoothly.
Continuous evolution is important. It is a fundamental component of successful software. Point of sale software is no exception. When searching for the right POS software to fit your needs, a key question would be how often they upgrade their software and hardware. Upgrades, new features, and overall program evolution is a necessity in the hospitality industry as customer trends evolve, as efficiency improvements continue, and therefore, the software must grow with you.
6. Offline Mode
In the event that your internet connection goes down, having your POS system automatically switch to offline operations is key. This mode allows your system to access offline data that is stored locally to take orders and process transactions.
As previously mentioned, easy access to reports are important. But the quality of the reports are key. Having a POS system with a fully integrated reporting system built into your system can pull necessary information, compile the data, and give accurate analytics on business revenue, labor costs, food and beverage margins, and so much more. Ensuring that your point of sale software comes with that functionality, is a key tool to running a profitable business and protecting your bottom line.
Could you imagine, a hospitality POS software that was developed just for your restaurant? It’s a real thing you know. There are customizable point of sale systems available and often, these are the ones that receive the highest customer rankings. With a customizable POS system, you can make your POS system work, for your needs and focus.
Restaurateurs are included in the process of developing their own program to fit their business. Creating your menus, setting system functions, security permissions, layouts, everything is in the user’s hands to make POS software the most effective for their daily use.
3. Technical Support
The average restaurant manager is not an IT specialist. So it’s always good to select a POS system that offers technical support. That being said, read the fine print. Restaurants are not a 9 – 5 business so it’s imperative that technical support can be accessed at any given time. Look for a 24/7 support system this way, you know you have someone to call at the end of the night if you’re a nightclub or bar, before dawn when you’re opening for breakfast, or right in the middle of the dinner rush when nothing seems to be going right. It’s also useful to have a support contract that ensures you have the most up-to-date software at no additional cost, warranty and access to the best software support services.
Every restaurant has it’s own custom set of wants, needs, expectations. You have your preferred accounting software, you want a robust reservation and waitlist program, you want to use a specific credit card processor. A successful POS solution should be able to offer you a plethora of options for functionalities you want to see in your complete system as well as the ability to integrate your current programs to your new POS system. This sits high on our list, because we recognize how easy it is for customers to use our software when everything connects to it, and how cumbersome it could be if the programs don’t pair together.
1. Customer Experience Enhancements
Ultimately, your end goal is to satisfy your customers, and have them leave feeling appreciated. Find a POS system that enables amazing customer experiences. A customer-focused POS system should have numerous customer management tools. Imagine a POS software that holds your reservations, collects your waitlist information in a organized manner, and gives your hostesses the information to know if customers are returning loyal customers with customer information.
Your staff run and move through your restaurant like a well oiled machine. Imagine if you had a point of sale software that only increased efficiency, and assisted in decreasing costs that bleed into net profit. Tools such as Kitchen Videos eliminate lost tickets or misunderstood modifications. Servers can command their section with the touch of a button. The restaurant mood can be enjoyable and settled, as servers can be efficient, getting the same information from any terminal in the house, send orders to the bar, the kitchen and update information for hostesses in under a minute, without ever having to leave her terminal station.