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How to Choose the Right POS System for Your Restaurant

If you are planning to open a restaurant, you need to take care of financial and inventory accounting and find a way to manage staff. Every restaurant owner encounters chaos, so it is imperative that they use a Point of sale system.

Ideally, the accounting system should be introduced from the very beginning, but this doesn’t mean that it’s too late for a restaurant that has been working with massive stationary cash registers for the last ten years. Today, most restaurant template owners use a POS system to control their finances, sales, inventory, and business in general. But are all of them equally good?

To figure out what features perfect restaurant POS system should have, we collaborate with Poster POS.

What Does the POS System Do?

pos system

  • Inventory accounting helps to avoid unnecessary purchases, make inventory checks, and exclude theft in the restaurant;
  • Financial accounting lets you control all restaurant income and expenses, opening and finishing cash shifts, collections, transactions, etc.;
  • The sales reports show which dishes are more popular than the others and the amount of sold items. You will be able to analyze the data and sell even more;
  • Quick order taking allows to send tickets to the kitchen right after the waiter or cashier took the order;
  • Detailed menu helps with ingredients accounting and dishes creating. The chef sets up a menu only once, and other cooks work according to the instructions without his participation.

There are many more functions, like a loyalty system, discount-based programs, receipts printing, etc.

POS System Types

We can divide POS systems into two categories: expensive stationary monoblocks and mobile cloud applications for tablets and laptops. The first option is mostly about old school players. Massive stationary systems are more expensive to introduce and serve in the future. In addition to paying rent, purchasing equipment, food supply expenses and salary for staff, you will have to spend a tidy sum to the point of sale system.

Most often the software choice is limited only by Windows. You will need specialized equipment and a large server to keep all the data (someone may try to hack your server, pull out the hard drive, etc.). The access to the data will be possible only from the PC or laptop with installed owner program. So, if you don’t want to invest a lot of money in automation and manage your business remotely at the same time, think about cloud POS systems for restaurants.

Cloud POS Systems for Restaurants

Mostly, mobile point of sale has two main parts: a front-office for waiters and cashiers and a back-office for restaurant management. Ideally, POS system vendor should offer owners compatibility with different types of operating systems at the same time (Android, Windows, IOS). This will let you save on equipment at the very beginning of your business. All you need is to install a POS app previously downloaded from the market. Unfortunately, because of putting limitations, not every POS system vendor meets this target, for example, offers Android or iOS only.

As for the back-office, it's very convenient to run the management console from any browser. Just log in to the system and be aware of everything that is happening in your location. If this process becomes longer (requires additional applications or support by a specific operating system), it won’t be convenient anymore.

Point of Sale Features

Reliable offline

Unstable Internet shouldn’t affect the POS system work. For example, Poster saves all the data to the register (iPad or Android tablet) until the Internet is restored.

Receipts and tickets printing

Most of the cloud POS systems can print receipts and tickets to the kitchen or other stations. It will be a significant advantage if you also print on the receipt - the restaurant logo, a wish, a nice prediction, advice of the day, a Wi-Fi password or any other additional information that increases the loyalty of your guests.

Instead of printing tickets to the kitchen, you can place screens with incoming orders so that cooks can see them. Buy the way, guys from Poster offer the KitchenKit—a special program for kitchen screens. Orders appear on the tables faster, guests are more satisfied, and the restaurant makes more profits.

Payment method variations

Most people can’t imagine their lives without card payment, that is why having a terminal is the must for every restaurant. Have you ever notice that a guest which paying with a card usually orders more? And as a result, the average check of the restaurant increases too. If the POS system doesn’t provide different payment methods, then some transaction won’t be count and shown in statistics, reports, cash shifts, etc.

Management console features

Detailed reports

At least, every restaurant owner needs to have an ABC analysis, that shows the most profitable menu item, which dishes have high food cost, etc.

Financial and inventory accounting

We mentioned this feature earlier. Not all POS systems boast convenient storage with supplies, planning, and detailed financial accounting. Inventory accounting is a must-have feature that helps to prevent theft in the restaurant. If you always carry out supplies through the POS system, then you should make the inventory checks in the same place. To see where the shortage is, you need to compare the actual balance between the book one, which is calculated by the system.

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Loyalty programs for quests

They help create promo campaigns (1 + 1 = 3, business lunches, happy hours, etc.) and reward customers for their loyalty to your business. The more features your system has, the less additional services you’ll need. There are two types of loyalty systems: discount and bonus. By building up loyalty cards, you motivate your guests to spend more. For example, they can pay part of the bill with bonuses or reduce the total amount.

Low stock alert notification

Set up reminders for a low stock and get notifications by email or SMS and you will never run out of products and miss the time of food supply. This is a huge benefit!

Always pay attention to the reputation of a POS system vendor. Ask for different opinions, read other clients comments or talk to one of them personally. Try to find a vendor that works without intermediaries, as the communication process will be much easier, and you will get help and answers. Many companies offer a free test period during which you’ll understand how the system works and if it is suitable for your business. We recommend that you check out Poster POS and see all the benefits for yourself.

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P.S. In case you didn't know this, a few years ago Shopify released it's POS hardware for small retail stores.


An experienced marketing specialist, traveler, and lifestyle blogger. In the rapidly changing and constantly growing digital world, it's important to keep an eye on innovations in the field. Follow me on Quora and Facebook for the latest updates.

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