What is the best POS system for restaurant and retail?
How to choose the right POS for your business needs and budget?
10 common limitations of many retail and restaurant POS systems
There are lots of reasons business owners look for a POS system. For many, it’s because their existing one is hindering and holding back their business.
Here are common POS problems and challenges that owners of all types of retail and hospitality businesses face. Do some of these sound familiar to you?
Issues servicing customers
- Delays in processing payments, no split bill option
- Won’t work if the internet or phone line is down
- Can’t be used on shop floor or at tables
- Doesn’t sync with loyalty programs
Can’t tailor solution to needs
- Not designed to meet unique retail/hospitality requirements
- Too expensive to customise
Unable to manage inventory
- Doesn’t report if an item is in stock
- Won’t track or move inventory between stores
- Can’t make stock orders
Isn’t e-commerce compatible
- Can’t switch or expand to online sales
- Doesn’t sync online with in-store data
- Need to pay more for e-commerce compatible POS
- Missing out on accessing a global customer-base
Difficult to learn and use
- Complicated interface
- Requires extensive training
- Hard for new staff to pick up quickly
Few or no helpful real-time reports
- Doesn’t report how staff are performing
- Can’t track high and low selling products
- Unable to measure sales and promotions
Doesn’t scale with the business
- Can’t add features as the business grows
- Get charged more to add or customise features
- Can’t reduce features when required
Incompatible with other hardware
- Doesn’t sync with accounting system, computers, printers etc
- Can’t be accessed on mobile devices
- Not available 365 days a year
- Not Australian-based support staff
Lack of security
- Insecure payment and customer data
- Can’t limit employee permissions and access
The good news is that the best POS systems for restaurant and retail businesses include features that provide answers to all of these issues. Plus, solutions to many other needs specific to hospitality businesses and retailers of all sizes – both street front and online.
Retail businesses – how should an advanced POS help?
If you’re opening a retail shop or e-commerce store, or already have one or more established businesses, a comprehensive retail POS can be a big advantage.
Depending on the type of business you’re running, and your unique circumstances, you’ll have different priorities and needs. Here are some of the most common and powerful ways a POS can help retailers.
Empower in-store sales assistants
- Able to carry POS on an iPad, smartphone etc
- Instantly provide information to customers
- Close sales and take payments on the floor.
Check and order stock from the floor
- Staff can stay with customers on the floor
- Service on the phone or live chat if your business is online
- See item sizes, colour and alternatives out the back of the store
- Check different stores or order from suppliers.
Run promotions and track sales
- Set up pricing rules, dates discounts, etc
- Monitor their performance in real-time
- Dramatically boost your ROI.
Control and manage e-commerce with ease
- Built-in e-commerce option at no extra cost
- Integrate with your existing e-commerce system, if required
- Track offline and online sales together and separately
- Reduce inventory automatically
- Control everything from one POS.
Hospitality businesses – how should an advanced POS help?
Provide better and faster customer service
- Table-side orders are sent directly to the kitchen or bar
- Kitchen display systems to empower chefs
- Staff don’t need to wait for an open terminal
- Eliminates ordering mistakes
- Cut down on the time it takes for customers to get their orders
- Queue busting function to move orders around
- Options management
- Label printing with options, ingredients on cup, tick boxes, etc
Simplified, more accurate payments
- Split or combine bills
- Tip on-screen or off, before, during or after payment
- Flexible payment options
- ‘Happy hour’ pricing
- Tab management
Reports to help you serve, manage and save
- Create different logins for your staff
- Manage staff scheduling reports
- Monitor sales numbers and performance.
- Track shrinkage and wastage
Stress-free stock management
- Track items from supplier to customer
- Run your shift without worrying about margins
Important POS features for any business
While these should be top of your priorities list, there are many things to consider that will have a big impact on how well and cost-effectively you can do everyday business.
In any business, the POS you choose for your restaurant or retail business should be able to:
Adapt to every business size
- single store or venue
- multiple venues across a city, state or country
- e-commerce site
- international franchise
Take all types of payments securely
- Cash, credit card, cheques and mobile payments
- In person, phone and online payments
- Secure payment and customer data
Help you manage the entire business
- Add unlimited number of products, customers and users
- Manage multiple stores and registers
- Access prices, discounts and stock levels
Create long-term customer loyalty
- Give customers more reasons to keep returning
- Personalise offers and create special deals for customer groups
- Look up a customer’s sales history while in store, on the phone or using your website
Access live reports from anywhere, 24/7
- Identify best performing hours, products and more
- Set-up and measure new sales strategies
- Cut strategies that aren’t working, based on facts
- Track stock movement errors and reduce the risk of shrinkage
- See staff performances so you can reward them or provide training where it’s needed
- Get sales summaries and transaction logs
Keep private information safe
- Secured within a cloud based POS system
- Ability to control staff access levels
- Unique passwords or pin numbers
Allow you to trade when the internet goes down
- Works even if your internet connection drops out
- Process downtime sales through mobile devices
- Stores information for all transactions made while offline.
Be easy for anyone to use
- Quick to setup and learn
- Simple to train new staff
Work with every device and system
- To avoid unexpected extra costs
- iPad, Android, Mac, PC
- Printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners
- Your accounting system
Come with an Australian support team
- Local expertise who understand your business and market
- Available 365 days of the year.
The business and security benefits of a cloud-based POS system for restaurant and retail businesses
Cloud computing is everywhere, but what is it? Cloud simply means storing and accessing data and programs via the Internet instead of on your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet.
Cloud technology has made its way into the POS industry and is replacing clunky cash registers and complex older POS systems. Here are some reasons why:
It costs less
- Available at a subscription price with little to no upfront costs
- Software updates are automatic so less IT expert help needed
- Mobile devices are cheaper than fixed POS terminals
- Accessed by a web browser so no need to invest in expensive equipment
Manages more, from anywhere, even offline
- Run the POS software on a computer, tablet or phone.
- Staff can take payments table side, in-store, etc
- Email or send the receipt to the customer’s phone instantly
- Manage your business from anywhere in the world
- Works offline when the internet is down too
Easier to use
- Any staff who can use the web can operate it
- Any glitch is solved by the provider
- Avoid traditional IT consultant costs.
Access live information 24/7
- All POS data is automatically saved in the cloud
- Track sales in real time
- Update prices and place orders
- Get real-time reports
- Data is stored in multiple servers that have robust security.
- Can only be securely accessed with right credentials
Data is never lost
- Even if a PC, tablet, mobile is lost or crashes
- Don’t have to worry about theft, accidents or running out of storage space.
Question checklist to ask yourself when choosing a POS system for your restaurant and retail businesses
In this guide, we’ve looked at the POS challenges and needs of retail and hospitality businesses – and how a comprehensive POS can help.
Using this information in your research can help you find the best POS system for restaurant and retail that works for your business, while saving you a lot of money and effort in the process.
In addition, there are some questions to ask yourself to help make the right decision:
- Why do we need a new POS system? (What problems will it overcome, and how will it help us be more successful?)
- Do we currently have access to all of the information we need to make smart business decisions?
- How safe is our current POS system?
- Could a mobile, cloud-based POS help us improve customer service and sales conversions?
- How much time and effort do we currently spend on inventory management and stock taking?
- How important are promotions and loyalty programs to the business?
- What other features would be useful, even if they’re not imperative right now?
- Where is the business now, and where are we headed over the next few years?
- Do we/will we ever run both a physical and online store, and do they need to sync?
- What other systems do we want to integrate with? (Now and in the future)
- How many registers, stores and locations will we be operating?
- How much can we afford to pay for a POS?
- Do most of our staff have any/much technical knowledge?
- Will we want local support available every day of the year?
Question checklist to ask a POS provider
A good POS provider can help you answer some of the questions on the previous page. In addition, there are also important questions you’ll want to ask them to ensure they can provide the product, service, security and support you need.
- Is your POS designed for retail/hospitality industry needs?
- Can your system integrate with my existing software?
- Does it work with mobile devices?
- Can it adapt as my business grows and will it cost more?
- Will it take all types of payments securely
- Will it manage loyalty programs and promotions?
- What type of reports does your system produce and can they be customised?
- Can I access live reports from anywhere, 24/7?
- Where is the data stored and how secure is it?
- Will it work when the internet goes down?
- How easy is it to learn and use?
- Do you offer training and support?
- Is Australian-based support available 365 days a year?
- Can we do e-commerce with your POS and will it sync with offline data?
- How frequently is your product updated and are those updates free or paid?
- Will the system connect my multiple stores?
What to do next – 3 step action plan
- Decide what you need (using the self-question checklist)
- Compare POS solutions (using the provider question checklist)
- Ask for a demo of the POS you’re interested in
Like to know more about our cloud-based, mobile POS solution?
To discuss how we can help you, our very competitive prices and booking a no obligation demo, contact the POSable team in Sydney:
- Phone: 1300 88 00 48
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cloud-based, mobile, cost-effective and easy-to-use, it gives businesses of all sizes the power to:
- accept more types of payments
- focus more time on customer service and sales
- automate unprofitable administration work
- gain a real-time picture of business performance, anywhere 24/7
- avoid expensive POS software and integration on-costs
- adapt POS to their business needs rather than the other way around
And ultimately, become more far competitive in an increasingly competitive business world.