Table of Contents
Being a restaurant owner involves more than just serving food; from designing menus and selecting décor to recruiting staff and promoting your establishment, plenty goes into running a successful eatery. Then while discussing the technologies like POS – why not discuss restaurant POS features, which are a must in a POS system for restaurants?
Don’t worry; that will include fast food POS software features too!
For many restaurateurs, navigating the world of technology can feel intimidating, especially when choosing a Point-of-Sale (POS) solution. But don’t fret – with this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to select the best POS system for your restaurant. As we are going to describe 15 must features for restaurant POS Systems.
According to recent research, the international restaurant point of sale (POS) terminal industry was estimated to have been worth approximately USD 16.5 billion in 2021. It is anticipated to increase significantly over the next decade, reaching around USD 44.6 billion by the end of 2031. This growth rate represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8% between 2022 and 2031.
These 15 Restaurant POS Features are Must in POS Systems
Selecting and acquiring a suitable POS system for your restaurant can be a complex task with several options available in the market. Many people tend to postpone their POS purchase decisions until it becomes too late to install and integrate the new system smoothly into their operations.
Therefore, planning is necessary when procuring a POS system. Allow sufficient time for installation, setup, configuration, employee training, data migration, and testing – typically taking up to three to four weeks overall. During the evaluation phase, check whether the POS matches your restaurant’s requirements since each solution may differ.
We recommend scrutinizing specific features like inventory management, order tracking, payment processing, employee scheduling, table management, customer data, analytics reporting, loyalty programs, online ordering, kitchen displays, mobile applications, and customer relationship management.
Here, we present our list of the top 15 indispensable features to help you select a fitting restaurant POS system. Follow them to streamline your hunt for the ideal modern POS systems.
1. Online Orders & Delivery Tracking
With online ordering becoming increasingly popular among consumers, having a robust online ordering platform integrated with your restaurant POS system is crucial. By far the best-known restaurant POS features.
By integrating with third-party food delivery platforms, restaurants can simplify digital ordering for customers while providing real-time visibility into incoming orders.
Integrating with leading delivery aggregator apps such as UberEats, GrubHub, or DoorDash enables easy menu access, dynamic pricing, and automated order confirmations. Digital menus can also include each dish’s images, descriptions, and nutritional details to enhance the user experience. Once an order is placed digitally, the cloud-based POS systems with QR codes, iPad POS, etc – instantly receive the order details, ensuring consistency across channels.
Real-time synchronization of incoming orders eliminates errors associated with manual inputting, reducing wait times and minimizing discrepancies due to miscommunication. Automatic dispatch notifications sent to designated drivers ensure prompt pickup and safe deliveries without any delays. Additionally, live GPS tracking provides customers with up-to-date estimates of their order’s arrival time, fostering transparency and trust.
By incorporating online orders within your restaurant’s existing workflow, your team won’t need additional training sessions to handle extra steps involved with external delivery providers. Instead, employees remain focused on providing excellent hospitality experiences and efficient counter service during peak hours. Consolidating orders across multiple channels reduces confusion and improves accuracy, benefiting your restaurant’s bottom line.
With growing consumer preferences leaning towards convenient and speedy digital ordering options, embracing seamless online ordering and delivery tracking capabilities is essential for staying competitive in today’s fast-paced industry landscape with fast food POS software.
2. Payment Processing
As technology evolves, payment processing has become an integral part of modern retail businesses, especially those in the restaurant sector, where quick turnaround times and cash flow optimization play critical roles.
While discussing restaurant POS features – A small restaurant pos system equipped with built-in credit and debit card processing functions offers significant benefits to merchants, making it easier than ever to accept electronic payment forms.
First and foremost, implementing integrated card processing solutions within your restaurant’s POS system for small restaurants streamlines the checkout process for customers (People use Google pay and Apple pay like fluid!). Traditionally, restaurants have required patrons to physically approach a stationary terminal to settle bills using their credit or debit cards.
Nowadays, mobile POS systems offer far greater mobility, enabling servers to bring portable payment processing right to diner tables. This innovative approach minimizes waiting times for guests who wish to pay and leave, maximizing table turns per hour.
Moreover, when configured correctly, these systems utilize advanced encryption protocols to safeguard sensitive data transmitted during transactions.
Tokenization further enhances security by replacing sensitive cardholder information with unique identifying tokens that can only be decoded by authorized parties.
These layers of protection help prevent fraudulent activities like skimming or phishing attempts, giving customers peace of mind knowing their financial details are well protected.
Another advantage of integrated payment processing is its ability to reduce human error and potential chargeback disputes. As a restaurant manager, it is a blessing that third-party apps to accept payments are integrated with almost all POS platforms.
Since most POS systems now leverage touchscreen interfaces, they eliminate the possibility of incorrect entries caused by illegible handwriting or typographical mistakes. Accurate transaction records generated by the POS system also serve as indisputable evidence against chargeback claims, saving substantial resources spent on resolving disputes.
3. Order Management
Effective order management is an essential aspect of running a successful restaurant operation. Ideal small restaurant POS systems should provide intuitive features that streamline order creation and modification processes for staff members and customers.
Here are key features of effective order management within a POS system for small restaurants.
A comprehensive POS solution should allow you to set up versatile menus tailored to your establishment’s needs. The software should be adaptable enough to accommodate menu offerings, daily specials, and promotions changes. Customizable menus make it easy for servers to enter orders accurately and efficiently, which leads to faster checkouts and improved customer satisfaction.
Order Modification Capabilities
Restaurant customers often change their minds after placing their initial orders. A reliable POS company must facilitate seamless order modifications to avoid confusion and delays. Staff members should be able to update item quantities, swap ingredients, remove or add menu choices, and adjust other parameters quickly and effortlessly.
Pricing strategies are crucial for maintaining profitability for full-service restaurants. Your POS platform must enable accurate pricing updates to reflect current market conditions, seasonal variations, or special promotional events. It should also automatically calculate appropriate subtotals, taxes, tips, and final totals based on menu configurations and applicable charges.
Offering discounts to loyal customers or specific groups can boost sales and promote repeat visits. A capable POS platform allows restaurant managers to create various discount programs and apply them accordingly. Discount rules can be linked to particular items, order sizes, frequency of patronage, or even specific dates and times. Servers should easily recognize eligible discounts upon entering orders, helping streamline customer interactions.
4. Employee Management
A good POS system not only helps in customer management; managing and coordinating with employees is also a part of restaurant management.
Implementing an efficient employee management module within a point of sale (POS) system or accounting software simplifies organizing work schedules, assigning job roles, tracking time worked, calculating commissions, and monitoring overall performance.
By leveraging cutting-edge technology, here’s how an excellent employee management module helps optimize personnel management within a restaurant setting:
With the POS system’s scheduling module, managers can generate dynamic rosters, ensuring adequate coverage during peak hours while balancing labor costs.
User-friendly interface designs permit dragging and dropping tasks to assign team members to desired slots and send notifications for confirmations or approvals.
Tracking employee attendance via traditional paper-based methods is tedious and prone to errors. Biometric scanning or facial recognition technologies embedded as pos software features can eliminate this hassle.
Managers receive real-time alerts whenever someone logs in or out, providing valuable insights into punctuality and adherence to scheduled shifts.
Role-Based Access Control
Limiting access rights to certain functionalities within the POS system prevents accidental misuse or unauthorized actions. Assigning user roles determines what options are visible, editable, or executable based on job descriptions.
5. Inventory Management
Talking about more restaurant POS software features- Inventory Management is vital for any food service business seeking to maximize profits and minimize waste. An advanced point of sale (POS) system incorporating robust inventory control capabilities offers numerous benefits to help achieve these goals.
From automated quantity updates to informed decision-making and resource optimization, let’s explore why a well-designed inventory control module is indispensable for modern restaurants.
Automatic Quantity Updates
As soon as orders are processed using the POS terminals, the inventory control module receives updates regarding sold items’ quantities. These figures are then compared against existing on-hand numbers to determine if restocking is necessary or if surplus supplies require disposal.
Accurate data collection and analysis reduce the likelihood of overstocking, understocking, or stockouts, thereby mitigating financial losses from spoilage or missed revenue opportunities due to unavailable products.
Low Stock Alerts
Timely warnings about the impending depletion of popular items ensure you have sufficient lead time to place fresh deliveries or seek alternatives.
Receiving these notifications helps prevent service interruptions caused by unexpected stock shortages, enabling better preparation and contingency planning.
Manual Wastage Adjustments
Despite accurate forecasting and ordering procedures, instances of lost merchandise from spillages, damage, pilferage, or expired goods will arise.
Integrated inventory control solutions allow administrators to manually input and track discrepancies between recorded purchases and actual remaining stock.
Certain businesses also opt for inventory management software solutions and then integrate it with existing systems.
6. Table Management
Organizing the dining area efficiently requires intuitive table management features that facilitate seamless operations and enhance customer satisfaction. A comprehensive POS solution equips restaurateurs with powerful table management tools to simplify various aspects of running their establishments. Let’s examine four critical components of table management:
Reservation Tracker: Reserving tables directly within the POS system enables easy bookkeeping of upcoming guests for quick-service restaurants, including contact details, preferences, and special requests.
Seat Assignment: Optimizing table layout configurations with the POS system’s seat assignment functionality becomes effortless.
Tableside Ordering Services: Real-time access to order statuses and transaction histories empowers servers to prompt patrons’ attention.
Split Checks: With the help of handheld devices, restaurants can rapidly create, merge, or split bills according to customers’ requirements, ensuring stress-free transactions and expedited cashier processing.
7. Customer Relationship Management
Boosting customer retention and customer loyalty ranks among the highest priorities for successful hospitality ventures.
Harnessing the power of effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) techniques represents an investment that pays dividends for restaurant owners and managers alike. Here are some ways CRM strategies benefit your establishment:
Reward Point Systems
Encouraging returning guests by customer rewards with loyalty points based on purchase amounts or frequency entices clients to revisit more frequently.
Many POS systems have such features which enhance customer experience.
Gift Cards and Virtual Gifts
Selling electronic or physical gift cards and virtual gifts generates additional income and presents new marketing channels to attract potential customers.
Email Newsletters and Promotions
Regular email communications keep subscribed patrons engaged by informing them of exciting specials, events, and seasonal offerings. But for doing so – an internet connection is a must.
Motivating satisfied customers to refer friends and family creates organic word-of-mouth advertising while reducing recruitment costs. Design creative schemes such as small monetary bonuses, complimentary treats, or upgrade vouchers to stimulate further interest.
8. Kitchen Display System
Introducing a well-designed Kitchen Display System (KDS) revolutionizes how frontline staff interact with culinary teams.
This technology integration simplifies kitchen management, reduces errors, and optimizes efficiency for faster service times. Benefits include:
Accurate Ticket Status Tracking
Enabling real-time updates from servers to the KDS eliminates misinterpretation of orders, thereby preventing mistakes when fulfilling tickets. Clear visual indications alert cooks to preparation stages and completion notifications.
Precise Preparation Updates
Automated notifications ensure smooth transitions between kitchen stations. Chefs receive precise timing reminders to begin working on specific items, thus minimizing idle time and maximizing productivity.
Item Availability Monitoring
Keeping tabs on ingredient levels and monitoring depletion alerts help manage inventory effectively. Adjust menus accordingly, reducing waste and ensuring consistent quality across recipes.
With Kitchen display systems implementation, your establishment benefits from enhanced collaboration between departments.
9. Analytics & Reporting
How can we not discuss Analytics under the head restaurant POS features? Unlocking powerful data analysis capabilities equips you to make informed decisions that guide your business toward success.
Through comprehensive Analytics Reporting features, gain insights into crucial metrics, identify trends, and uncover areas ripe for optimization. For seamless experience in any quick-service restaurant here are the key advantages include:
Detailed Performance Reviews
Access through KPI tracking, including average order values, table turnover ratios, server pace, and sales patterns throughout the day/week/month. These statistics empower decision-makers to fine-tune operations and boost profit margins.
Concise Sales Summaries
Receive at-a-glance overviews summarizing daily earnings, best-performing items, and peak service periods. Use this information to adjust menu prices, optimize employee scheduling, and enhance overall guest satisfaction.
Top Product Analysis
Discern which menu items generate the most revenue and popular demand. Capitalize on high performers by offering innovative variations or limited-time offers, encouraging repeat purchases and increased spending.
Busy Hour Insights
Identify peak traffic windows and allocate resources accordingly. Ensure adequate staff coverage during high-demand periods, maintaining optimal service standards without overstaffing quieter intervals.
10. Cloud Backup & Recovery
Cloud backup and recovery are vital in a modern restaurant POS system. It helps safeguard essential data stored on the device against potential hardware malfunctions, software crashes, natural disasters, or cyber-attacks. To store data in the cloud, operators can ensure they won’t lose crucial customer transactions if something unexpected happens to their local servers or devices.
Cloud storage also enables easy data retrieval and restoration in case of emergencies. This allows businesses to quickly recover their databases after a system failure, reducing downtime and minimizing disruptions to operations. As a result, having robust cloud backup and recovery solutions integrated into the POS system provides peace of mind and protects the investment made in technology infrastructure.
When choosing a restaurant POS system, operators should look for vendors that prioritize data protection and offer reliable cloud services. The ideal provider would encrypt all transmitted data using industry-standard protocols, conduct routine backups, and test restore functionality periodically to guarantee seamless continuity.
Implementing effective cloud backup and recovery measures makes brilliant business sense, helping reduce risk exposure while enhancing efficiency and agility in the long run.
11. Mobile Device Management
When writing about restaurant POS features – Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a necessary component of any contemporary restaurant POS system.
MDM facilitates the integration of wireless devices such as tablets and handheld terminals, allowing servers to input orders directly from anywhere inside or outside the venue.
This flexibility eliminates the need for paper tickets, reduces errors caused by manual transcription, and speeds up order fulfillment and other business operations.
By deploying an MDM solution, restaurant operators gain better oversight and control over their mobile devices. This includes tracking usage patterns, monitoring battery life, assigning specific roles and permissions per user, and wiping clean lost or stolen equipment remotely.
With these capabilities, managers can optimize device utilization, prevent misuse or abuse, and increase productivity.
Another advantage of incorporating MDM into a POS setup is improved coordination between front-of-house and back-office teams. Servers with wireless devices receive real-time updates about kitchen progress, dining room status, and inventory levels.
To maximize benefits from MDM, hospitality providers should seek out POS platforms offering built-in support for popular operating systems like iOS and Android.
12. Offline Functionality
While most modern POS systems rely on cloud computing, there’s one essential aspect to consider – offline functionality. Since most POS applications save data to remote servers through the internet, temporary connectivity issues could cause significant operational challenges during busy hours. To mitigate downtime risks, choosing a platform capable of maintaining key functions is imperative when an online connection isn’t available.
When selecting a new POS system, search for those equipped with offline modes to ensure minimal interruption in day-to-day activities. Ideally, these tools should retain sufficient data locally on each station or device for continuous processing until an active network connection resumes.
13. Multiple Location Management
Managing multiple locations presents unique logistical challenges, but a robust POS system can streamline operations and simplify multi-location management. When evaluating potential platforms, look for a solution that offers real-time visibility across all locations. You should be able to monitor performance at a macro level and drill down to individual sites for granular insights.
Examine the reporting capabilities of the POS system, ensuring you have access to detailed inventory and revenue reports for the entire restaurant group or individual locations. Modifying menus and recipes centrally or per-locally can enhance efficiency and consistency.
14. Training And Learning Curve
Training and onboarding employees represent high costs in the hospitality industry, particularly when adopting novel technology solutions such as a restaurant POS system.
As a result, ease of use and comprehensive training support should rank high among your evaluation criteria. Use user-friendly interfaces, intuitive navigation, and built-in tutorials to facilitate employee adoption.
Additionally, opt for POS systems providers offering extensive documentation, video guides, webinars, and live chat assistance. This ensures quick familiarization with various modules, roles, and settings, allowing staff members to start using the system immediately.
15. Pickup Management
Restaurant pickup services are becoming increasingly popular among consumers seeking convenience and flexibility in their dining experience. To optimize curbside pickup operations, specific POS systems offer specialized features like food locker systems that streamline workflows and increase efficiency.
Investment in quality POS systems can benefit a business in many ways. A well-designed POS provides valuable insights into critical operational metrics, empowering entrepreneurs to make informed decisions about prices, sales, inventory management, and revenue generation.
With an excellent POS system, companies can identify potential pricing or cash flow discrepancies that negatively impact their bottom line. Moreover, these systems help organizations adjust their marketing strategies based on shifting consumer behavior, reducing instances of out-of-stock items, and improving customer service.