POS System Buyer’s Guide

An effective restaurant POS system can automate day-to-day tasks and enable your team with the tools they need to provide an amazing guest experience. This guide to POS systems for restaurant chains has everything you need to choose the best POS system for your business.

Choosing the rightpoint of sale system for a single restaurant is hard enough but finding a suitable POS system that meets the needs of multiple restaurants is nearly impossible. With so many choices on the market, it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed.

When pressed, most restaurant chain managers would rather outsource POS shopping to someone else, so they can focus on improving the guest experience. But improving the guest experience is exactly what a restaurant POS system is designed to do. The right POS system will even automate daily tasks like:

  • Payroll and Accounting – Many modern restaurant POS solutions integrate directly with accounting systems and can help automate various aspects of tax preparation.
  • Employee Management – A common aspect of modern restaurant POS systems is employee management features, which helps with everything from creating schedules to making payroll to handling time-off requests.
  • Inventory Management – Modern restaurant POS solutions make it easy to stay on top of your inventory by updating staff on inventory levels and critical item shortages.
  • Competitive Analysis – Many restaurant POS systems provide charts, graphs, and heat maps to compare your sales to nearby competitors, and better understand the health of your business in relation to industry standards.

Moreover, most restaurant POS solutions include modular add-ons and third-party integrations which are a tremendous time-saver for business owners who would rather add modules to their POS as needed instead of replacing the entire system.

If we stopped here, modern POS systems for restaurant chains would still be incredibly impressive, but restaurant point of sale systems are capable of so much more. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on the power of a POS system if that POS system does not align with your business needs.

Restaurant POS System Purchasing Considerations

To truly unlock the potential of your POS solution, you first need to find a solution that meets your business requirements.

Cost and Budget: How Much are You Willing to Spend on a POS System

A restaurant POS system is a business investment. Like any business investment, you need to determine how much capital you are willing to invest. Don’t forget to consider the total cost of the investment including all of the hardware, software, and third-party integrations your need to support your business.

Restaurant Size: How Big is Your Restaurant Chain

In addition to your budget and the cost of the POS investment, you should also consider the size of your restaurant. How big is your operation? Will you be expanding? How big is your staff? These are critical questions to consider as you browse the diverse systems and various hardware components.

Software and Hardware

Before you invest in a new POS system for your restaurant chain, you first need to determine the kind of software features and hardware components you need to operate. The type of software and hardware you need is dependent on the size of your business, and the type of clientele you serve.

Smaller restaurants may only need a tablet, card reader, and cash box, where as larger restaurants may need terminals, receipt printers, tables, barcode scanners, card readers and more.

How To Choose the Right POS System for Your Restaurant Chain

Now that you know what to consider before you invest in a new POS, we can now show you how to choose the right POS system for your restaurant chain.

Types of Restaurant POS System

There are two types of POS systems to choose from. The more traditional on-premise system or the more modern cloud-based alternatives.

  • Traditional On-premise POS System – A traditional system runs on a local server kept somewhere on premises. The parts of the system with which you and your employees will actually interact include stationary terminals with touchscreens where team members input customer orders and process payments.
  • Cloud-Based POS System – A cloud-based POS is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform or web-based point of sale solution that stores data on remote servers. All processing is done in the cloud. Like most SaaS software, cloud-based POS systems include a monthly subscription fee.

Key Restaurant POS Features 2021

Regardless of the type of restaurant chain you manage or the number of establishments under your charge, there are certain features that every restaurant POS needs to be worth the investment.

Business Reporting

Smaller restaurants seldom have the capability to pull reports and/or analyze the valuable data coming out of their kitchens, bars, and dinning rooms. Fortunately, modern restaurant POS systems enable your management team with Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reports like sales by item, employee labor, sales vs. labor costs, and seating performance.

Reporting and analytics features also make it easier for managers to make staffing decisions based on real results, and set employee permissions like payment overrides, inventory adjustments, and sales figures.

Inventory Management

The best restaurant POS systems for restaurant chains enable your team with real-time inventory monitoring, which makes it easier to keep track of inventory levels, avoid embarrassing stock-outs, and keep customer satisfaction levels high.

Table and Reservation Management

If you manage a large restaurant chain with multiple dinning rooms, then you need a POS system with table management and reservation features. This enables you to streamline the dining experience with faster seating, faster table assignments, and other basic functions that need to be carried out promptly.

Contactless Ordering and Payment

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, you might have been able to get away without contactless ordering, online ordering and touchless payment options. Now they are a necessity for any restaurant looking to stay in business.

If you’re looking to improve the guest experience of your restaurant chain, and make life easier for staff and crew, then contact ReSource Point of Sale to invest in a new POS system today.