What to Look for in a Point of Sale System?

July 23, 2018

In many hospitality businesses, the point of sale (POS) is often overlooked or taken for granted. Having the right point of sale system in place could mean that your business thrives, not just survives. From the humble cash-till, to $100,000 custom systems, POS systems come in all shapes and sizes. But what POS is best and how can your business benefit from having the right one?

In truth, the days of the cumbersome and stationary cash till are slowly being put behind us. Most of the top POS systems out there have predictably gone the digital route. iPad based POS systems, in particular are proving to be the fastest grower. This trend is hardly a shock, iPad based POS systems have the advantage of drawing on the modern user’s familiarity and comfort with mobile apps, plus they make point of sale fully mobile, touch screen and user-friendly.

There are a host of really useful POS systems out there today that are affordable, easy to implement and super versatile, giving you all the functionality of a cash till in the traditional sense, but also providing you with tools that could empower you as a manager or business owner and change the way you run your business for the better. In the world of restaurants and hospitality in particular iPad based POS systems take the form of complete venue management systems that are used to perform all the functions of running a restaurant like accepting payments, table service, placing orders, communicating with the kitchen etc.

Here are some key things to consider when looking at a point of sale system:

Usability
Let’s say that you have a new staff member, or you are new to a point of sale system yourself. How long would it take you to get to grips with the process and implement it? How long would it take you to train someone on it? As with everything in business, time is money. The nature of business doesn’t allow for tedious systems requiring hours of training or complicated day-to-day processes. Ideally, A point of sale system should be intuitive enough for a complete ‘newbie’ to start working with it straight away with minimal guidance. For general use, you would expect the system to be relatively self-explanatory with useful and informative prompts where needed so you could just dive straight into it without worry. But, remember, while some of the better POS systems will definitely allow for this kind of seamless integration, other systems still have a way to go. So, choose wisely.

Speed
As far as speed goes, once again, time is money! If your point of sale system is browser based, you may have significant delays in being able to place orders or performing other functions. Another point to be aware of when it comes to browser based systems, is that they can become a little inconvenient if the Internet goes down, effectively stalling operations. A native app, like Meza or Vend (one that is installed straight onto the tablet), will provide you with more reliability so if your Internet or electricity goes down, you can still operate.

Reporting
How can a point of sale system help you with perfecting your menu, you may wonder? The point of sale is the channel through which all of your business will flow, this means all of your orders and timings. With Meza, for example, the in depth reporting capabilities can provide you with valuable information on how your business is performing. How much revenue is a certain dish generating? What are your busiest times? Where are the most popular places to sit? You can use this information to fine-tune your business and make it more profitable. For example, you may find that certain dishes are actually making you lose money instead of gaining it. Drop the things that aren’t worth your time or money to offer, it probably means customers don’t like it, and if they don’t like it, why would you offer it? Meza’s fully customisable backend even extends to the iPad itself, where you can edit your menu on the go.

Staff Management Capabilities
Have you ever had to deal with a staff member who you know hasn’t been pulling their weight, but you didn’t have the data to back it up? A modern point of sale system should provide business owners with the capacity to keep an eye on staff, their performance and hours with minimal hassle. In Meza’s case, each staff member has his or her own four-digit pin. This means you can use the internal reporting to see how many people they have served and when. Staff management is much easier when you have numbers to back you up.

In summary, POS systems have come a very long way in the past few years, no longer just acting as a platform for basic over the counter transactions. Modern Smart POS systems are going for the “do-it-all” approach, and are steadily becoming an integral component in running a modern business. The key, of course is going out there and choosing the right one for you.

Take a look at the features that Meza offers and see how we can help your business succeed.