Restaurant POS systems have come a long way. Along with the rest of the restaurant operations, the POS is in the midst of digital transformation.
Soon the restaurant industry will be 100% data-driven. And the sales data generated by your restaurant ePOS software plays an important role in that transformation.
For your tech ecosystem to run seamlessly, it is essential that your POS system has APIs that provide clean rich data your other applications can understand.
After all, a modern restaurant ePOS does more than add up the sales numbers. It also enables F&B purchase forecasts, profit calculation, P&L updates and menu engineering.
Even if you don’t see the point of investing in an advanced point of sale system right now, rest assured you will certainly do so when you decide to expand your restaurant business, improve operations or simply eliminate gut feelings from your strategic decision making.
If by now you’re reaching for your wallet, hold on one more sec. Do not take the choice of a new ePOS system lightly because it will affect your business from top to bottom.
The right choice of restaurant software will give you a competitive advantage, sure, but make the wrong decision and your clunky, outdated pos software will set you back for years.
But you needn’t worry.
In this article, we’ve listed everything you should know to choose the right restaurant POS system.
What is a Restaurant POS system or ePOS?
A restaurant point of sale system, POS, or ePOS, processes the transactions that happen in a restaurant. Until recently, POS systems tended to run on local servers based in the restaurant. At their simplest, till systems would only add up bills, take payments, and tell the owner how much money they took each day.
A modern restaurant POS does much more. It links to wireless handheld devices to take orders and payments. It is able to handle rich data points and far more complex calculations. Current restaurant POS software integrates with other restaurant applications like online ordering, table reservations and loyalty systems.
And that is only the customer-facing side of a modern restaurant point of sale system. In the backend, restaurant POS systems integrate with platforms like accountancy systems, payroll software and restaurant inventory management software.
In other words, a modern restaurant POS is spread out around the restaurant. The data is no longer stored on local servers but in the cloud. It can be shared in real-time across locations and be accessed by managers on multiple devices.
The decentralized, data-sharing nature of the restaurant POS opens up possibilities to massively improve efficiencies and scalability for multi-outlet hospitality businesses.
How Does Restaurant POS Software Fit into Your Tech Ecosystem
Your POS plays a central part in your tech stack. It handles the customer-facing side of the business. If you want to avoid clunky data silos, your restaurant POS software should integrate seamlessly with your other core systems.
A typical restaurant tech stack might look something like this:
- POS system with the primary goal of revenue optimisation
- F&B management platform, like Apicbase, for food cost control & BoH operations
- Labour management system with the primary function of workforce management
- Accountancy software with the main function of monitoring finances
- BI to dig deeper into the numbers
6 Vital Features of Restaurant POS Systems [How to Set Your Tech Ecosystem Up for Success]
So you’re looking to invest in a new restaurant POS system, and you want to make sure the software supports your expansion goals, is able to handle future tech (that you’re not even aware of right now) and integrate with the other software solutions in your restaurant tech ecosystem?
Great, look no further. There are six things your new restaurant point of sale should be (or have):
- Open APIs
- Flexible integrations
- Solid reporting tools
Let’s go over them in more detail.
1. Cloud-based vs. Server-based Hospitality POS
Traditionally, POS systems were installed locally onto a server in the restaurant. This meant that all the data was stored locally. If the connection to the internet was lost, it was never a problem.
However, it also meant the system had to be installed and maintained by expert technicians at great expense. And it limited the scalability of systems as new hardware would have to be installed at each location.
Modern POS systems are cloud-based, meaning that all the data is stored remotely and can be accessed by multiple decision-makers on any device at any location.
With a cloud-based POS, updates and new features can be rolled out quickly and painlessly throughout your organisation.