The Basics: What to Expect from a Typical Restaurant POS System

Written by  on 03 December 2015

POS Buyers GuideA restaurant POS system has several hardware components that work together to deliver a quick and efficient transactional experience for your customers. Each component has a specific function that can offer many benefits to your restaurant.

The POS Terminal

The POS terminal is the computer which runs the POS system and is often equipped with a touchscreen for employees to enter transactions. Having a restaurant POS terminal offers many benefits to restaurant owners such as ensuring that customers’ orders are taken and fulfilled accurately and in a timely fashion. A touchscreen terminal leverages intuitive menus with a variety of options to greatly improve the order-taking process. Using paper tickets with handwritten orders could lead to inaccurate orders or other forms of miscommunication, and paper tickets can be damaged or lost in the process of fulfilling the customer’s order.

Back Office Computer

Although back office computers can often perform the same functions as the POS terminals in the front of the restaurant, working in the back office provides the privacy needed to pull and analyze business data. Back office computers have the ability to pull sales reports, track inventory, keep tabs on labor and scheduling, and manage restaurant overhead costs all in one system. All of this can be automatically calculated by the restaurant POS terminal based on sales histories, automatically subtracting from inventory with each sale, and calculating labor reports and costs based on employee sign-in and sign-out times (employees can punch in and out on front-of-house POS terminals).

A restaurant POS system with a back office computer will also prevent order-taking POS terminals from being tied up while you are performing management-related tasks.

POS Card Reader

Customers can swipe or insert their cards on your POS card reader. With new EMV chip cards in circulation in the US, choosing a card reader that is able to read EMV cards is another essential function to keep in mind. Having a POS card reader that is integrated into your restaurant POS software and hardware rather than having a separate card reader system will lead to faster transaction processing times and increased software and hardware compatibility, which can enhance customer service and shorten lines at the counter and drive-thru. The best way to ensure speed and compatibility is to take advantage of bundle packages where card readers and POS terminals are provided by the same solution provider.

Cash Drawer

Though many people are using cards, a majority of people still carry cash. Having a cash drawer is still an essential part of the restaurant POS system, and choosing one with the right features can be beneficial to your restaurant’s security. Many cash drawers have electronic and physical locks on them. The electronic lock can only be unlocked when a transaction is entered into the register, which helps with counting drawers because the transactions should match up with the amount in the drawer at all times. The physical lock on the drawer is more useful in the event of a robbery and prevents employee theft.

Receipt Printer

Receipts are the only physical proof that a transaction took place, and they are essential for refunds and accommodations due to an error. The POS terminal decides what information is on the receipt, and being sure it has time, date, location (if applicable), and details of the items ordered is important. Receipt printers will work faster and will be more compatible if purchased in a bundle with the rest of your POS system through your solution provider. Also, if your restaurant POS system card reader doesn’t offer electronic signatures, you will need a receipt printer for customers to sign a copy of the receipt for your restaurant’s records.

Kitchen Display

Once an order is placed on the POS terminal, it is instantly transmitted to a kitchen display system for your staff to see. The displays are customizable with easy-to-read lettering that can speed up order fulfillment and eliminate paper tickets. The kitchen display on your restaurant POS system can show which items employees should prepare first so menu items aren’t getting cold while others are still being prepared. The display can also notify employees when an order is taking too long to be fulfilled, which can be useful for optimizing improvements in your kitchen to increase speed and efficiency.

The hardware components of your restaurant POS system make up the virtual machine that keeps transactions in your business flowing. Making sure they are as compatible and as integrated as possible is key to increasing your business’s productivity and efficiency. Now that you understand each component’s advantages, you can be sure to implement a restaurant POS system that is right for your business.

POS Buyers Guide

Read 395 times Last modified on Wednesday, 20 July 2016 17:16

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