How to Choose the Best POS System for Your Restaurant

So, you’ve decided to make your life easier by implementing a POS (point of sale) system into your hospitality business.

There’s no doubt about it - it’ll save you time and money in the long run. This is the right decision for you and your team and you know you won’t regret it.

But now you need to figure out what POS system is right for you.

The point of sale (POS) system is the most important, central piece of technology that you could own for any hospitality or restaurant business.

An effective POS system can make your life (and the lives of your staff) a lot easier on a daily basis. With the right system in place, you’ll experience:

  • Streamlined communication between the kitchen and front of house
  • Accurate sales reports in real-time
  • Hassle-free transactions
  • A better-managed inventory
  • Increased security measures
  • More loyal customers
  • Easier labor management

Key features to consider when choosing your POS system

To get the most of your investment, you want a POS system that meets your specific needs and requirements.

There are so many options on the market, it’s easy to get buried under a lot of amazing-sounding features - but how many actively benefit your operation?

Consider what recurring issues keep your restaurant from running as smoothly as possible. Make of a list of these issues and prioritize them. A spreadsheet is useful for keeping track of what’s important to your specific restaurant or hospitality operation. You can use it to gather data, prioritize the features you need to create a more efficient business. With the right POS system in place, you can run a more profitable and organized operation.

With that in mind let’s look at what factors and features you should consider when choosing a POS system for your restaurant or bar.

In our 55+ years working with restaurants and bars, we’ve found the following are the features most businesses find the most helpful:

  1. Touchless ordering
  2. Online ordering
  3. Real-time reports
  4. Tableside ordering
  5. Greener kitchens
  6. Inventory control
  7. Human resources management
  8. Level of support services
  9. Training in how to use your POS system for the best results

SCORECARD: How to Choose the Best POS System

This handy Excel document allows you to compare your notes at a glance.

1. Touchless ordering and payment

Fututre POS QR Code Payments sample receipt

The arrival of the global COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the need for secure, touchless, ordering and payment processing to the top of the list for most hospitality and restaurant organizations.

How do touchless systems work? A QR code  is used at tables and on receipts for ordering and payment. For table service QR codes are placed at each table and are used to scan items to open a check or tab. The touchless process is completed when a QR code is added to the receipt. The customer scans the code and can add a tip, pays, and receives an electronic receipt.

Paying at counter service operations is just as easy. Select the OR code payment option, then the customer scans the code and can pay with apple pay, google pay, or credit card.

When considering a hospitality or restaurant POS system look for touchless options and if they are included in the system or if is it an add on. Review if there are associated fees or costs and how the touchless process integrates with other features such as your loyalty program.

2. Online ordering and delivery

If you have a lot of take out orders, a streamlined online ordering and delivery system is essential.

When your customers place orders online these providers send the order details directly to your POS system. It works the same as it would if they were being served in your restaurant, except the meal is flagged as delivery or collection.

Once the order is prepared there is a ticket outlining the customer’s details including the time it is to be delivered or collected by the customer.

So what’s important when selecting an online ordering system?

  • Integrations with numerous third-party providers, such as Takeout7 or ItsaCheckmate. These providers allow customers to place orders with DoorDash, Uber Eats, GrubHub, etc.
  • Easy for your customer to place order
  • Percentage each third-party provider charges per order

3. Real-time reports straight to your phone

Point of sale systems work by pushing data to the cloud - which means that sales reports are a whole lot easier to access on the go.

You get your restaurant’s reports, in real-time, straight to your phone, tablet or any other mobile device. Many systems on the market have a dedicated, custom app that sends data straight to your phone, making the reports you care about most easy to find.

This is a brilliant feature if you (or your staff) need to make any operational decisions while being away from the business.

Along with being able to access this data away from the business, POS systems also keeps all the data backed up in the cloud. So, if an unexpected issue crops up, your data is safe and secure. If a fire happened at your restaurant and your POS equipment got damaged, at least you know that your data is safely backed up in the cloud.

Be sure to ask about:

  • How it works with multiple locations
  • Report details
  • Security features

4. Tableside ordering

A growing trend in POS systems is the ability to integrate tableside ordering and payment into your business - which is incredibly effective in busy restaurants and bars.

It allows your servers to record customer orders, send the orders to the printers and even sort out credit card payments - all without the need to leave the table.

Many models include an onboard printer which is perfect for printing out checks your customers request.

This feature enables your servers to wait tables faster, decreasing your service time and improving customer satisfaction. Most options aren’t device specific, working with both Android and IOS - meaning you can use any tablet you like to perform these tasks.

5. Greener kitchens

For sustainability-focused restaurants a paperless kitchen is an important consideration.

With some POS systems, you can completely replace work order printers, which consume a lot of paper and ink, with kitchen display systems. These display systems save you on costs as the paper and ink can cost a lot to continually restock.

These systems are fitted to suit any kitchen environment and are common in quick service environments. Table service restaurants should also take advantage of this technology and use it to help their business grow.

Instead of an order being sent to a kitchen printer, the item goes straight on a screen for prep.

As soon as the item has been prepared it can be bumped off the screen so the kitchen staff know they can move on to the next item.

Some POS systems offer a more sophisticated way of displaying the orders. They have a more in-depth analysis of the item such as the specific time it will take to prepare and deliver.

This helps you ensure that products are getting out to your guests on time - leading to greater customer satisfaction.

6. Inventory control

Businesses lose thousands of dollars in profit when they don’t handle their inventory control correctly. Reducing unnecessary waste is the difference between success and failure in the hospitality world. A robust restaurant POS inventory control system reduces waste and saves money.

Look for a POS system that is equipped with the ability to track the number of items being used in a restaurant.

For example, if a cheeseburger on your menu includes a bun, a beef patty, a slice of cheese, three pickles and a quarter ounce of ketchup then a POS records and takes note of this. Every time a cheeseburger is sold in your restaurant the system takes these ingredients out of your inventory.

This makes inventory control a whole lot easier because you can simply display how many units of each ingredient were sold and how many you should have left.

An inventory control system that tracks your inventory purchases from your vendor with the use of third party applications like Avero, PeachWorks, Compeat, or Restaurant365 help streamline the process and keep tighter controls.

7. Human resources management

A good POS system helps you accurately monitor when your employees are clocking in and clocking out.

A POS system helps you prevent any early clock-ins and late clock-outs with schedule maintenance saving money on labor in the long run.

Online labor management apps take this feature to a whole new level by allowing your staff to organize their shifts online. Using the app they can request time off, trade shifts, check their hours, and so much more.

This type of system is more efficient, saves you money and gives your employees a more comfortable way of organizing their schedule. A happy staff improves your employee retention.

8. Level of support services

When choosing your POS system you want to make sure that you have all the support you need when it comes to the correct installation and ongoing running of your system.

Restaurant POS systems offer different levels of support including phone, email, chat, forums and documentation. If having phone support is important to your operation make sure that is an option. Also, consider different levels of support and potential add-on fees.

Some support programs limit who can request support and how often. If you have a management team look at what limits may be placed on communicating with customer support.

At FPOS Group, we help you get started the right way with a customized set up and installation. Each restaurant is unique and one restaurant’s specific needs will vary from the next. Because of this, we'll test all your hardware and software in our offices to make sure your POS system is running smoothly.

Our team is QIR certified by PCI-DSS standards and we make sure your system operates securely. And we offer local on-site and remote support services and in-depth POS training, so you know all about the system you’re working with.

9. How to use your POS system for the best results

To maintain your new working efficiencies and keep your business lean and profitable, you’ll want to keep up to date with the latest POS system innovations and updates. Getting professional training periodically helps your team learn the best ways to use your POS system effectively.

Review what kind of support and training is available once your installation is complete. Any good POS system has a lot of moving parts and features and getting guidance on how to use your system to get the best ROI is critical.

Does the vendor you’re considering help you use your system once the installation is complete?

The FPOS Group team offers unrivaled aftercare and support for our clients. Even after the hardware is installed we are on hand to make sure your system continues running effectively and efficiently. And help you use your POS to improve your business operations and bottom line.


SCORECARD: How to Choose the Best POS System

This handy Excel document allows you to compare your notes at a glance.

Here at FPOS Group we’re here to help you sort through the details to find the best
POS solution for your restaurant or hospitality organization.

Reach out with a phone call (330) 645-6623 or schedule a demo.