When selecting a POS system for your restaurant, it’s essential to consider the features that will help streamline your operations and enhance the customer experience. Modern restaurant POS systems are full of features and functionality that can be customized to fit your exact needs. But, that also means it can be tough to sift through all the options and make the right choice for your restaurant business.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common features of restaurant POS systems, and then provide some examples of the top POS systems available.
Common Features of Restaurant POS Systems
Efficient inventory management is crucial for controlling costs and ensuring optimal stock levels. A robust restaurant POS system should provide real-time inventory tracking, allowing you to monitor ingredient usage, track stock levels, and automate purchase orders to prevent stockouts.
Advanced systems may offer ingredient-level tracking, enabling precise inventory control and waste reduction.
Comprehensive sales reporting capabilities allow you to gain insights into your restaurant’s performance. Look for a POS system that offers detailed reports on sales by item, category, time period, and location. These reports can help identify top-selling items, analyze trends, and make data-driven decisions regarding menu offerings, promotions, and pricing.
A POS system with built-in customer management features enables you to capture and analyze customer data. This includes tracking customer preferences, purchase history, and contact information. With this data, you can personalize the customer experience, offer targeted promotions, and implement loyalty programs to drive customer retention.
Efficient communication between the front-of-house and back-of-house is crucial for maintaining a smooth workflow. Look for a POS system that offers kitchen communication features, such as kitchen display systems (KDS) or order routing capabilities. These features ensure that orders are accurately transmitted to the kitchen, reducing errors, improving order fulfillment times, and enhancing overall efficiency.
A reliable POS system should seamlessly handle various payment methods, including credit/debit cards, cash, mobile payments, and gift cards. It should also provide detailed payment tracking, enabling you to reconcile transactions, generate accurate sales reports, and easily identify discrepancies.
Beyond standard sales reports, advanced reporting features offer deeper insights into your restaurant’s performance. These reports may include labor cost analysis, menu engineering, employee productivity metrics, and more. Advanced reporting helps you make informed decisions, optimize operations, and identify areas for improvement.
Data security is critical for protecting sensitive customer information and maintaining PCI compliance. Ensure that the POS system you choose offers robust security measures, such as data encryption, user access controls, and secure payment processing.
Regular software updates and compliance with industry standards are also crucial for maintaining a secure environment.
POS systems that integrate loyalty program management can help you foster customer loyalty and increase repeat business. Look for features that allow you to create and manage loyalty programs, track reward points, and offer personalized incentives to loyal customers. Integration with customer management features ensures a seamless loyalty program experience.
By considering these common POS features, you can choose a system that aligns with your restaurant’s specific needs and goals. Each feature plays a significant role in improving operational efficiency, optimizing sales, enhancing customer satisfaction, and driving long-term success for your restaurant.
Examples of Restaurant POS Software
When exploring different POS providers for your restaurant, it’s essential to consider their specific offerings and differentiating factors. Here are some examples of popular POS providers in the industry and key aspects that set them apart. And, as an added bonus, each of these POS solutions integrates seamlessly with SynergySuite restaurant management software. You can see the full list of SynergySuite’s Point-of-Sale Integrations here.
Aloha, developed by NCR Corporation, is known for its robust and feature-rich solution that caters to restaurants of all sizes, from small establishments to large chains. It offers comprehensive functionality, including order management, table management, kitchen display systems, and loyalty program integration. Aloha’s strength lies in its scalability, flexibility, and its ability to handle high-volume operations.
Toast is a cloud-based POS system that is highly regarded for its user-friendly interface and focus on the restaurant industry. It offers a range of features such as menu management, online ordering, inventory tracking, and customer analytics. Toast is known for its strong integrations with third-party services and its dedication to providing a platform that supports the unique needs of restaurants, from fast-casual to fine dining.
Clover POS, developed by First Data, offers a versatile solution suitable for a wide range of businesses, including restaurants. It provides an extensive app marketplace, allowing users to customize their POS system with additional features and integrations. Clover is recognized for its sleek hardware options, robust reporting capabilities, and its ability to handle both front-of-house and back-of-house operations.
Oracle Micros is a comprehensive POS system tailored for the hospitality industry, including restaurants and hotels. It offers a wide range of features, including order management, inventory control, kitchen management, and CRM capabilities. Oracle Micros is known for its enterprise-level scalability, making it suitable for large restaurant chains and multi-location establishments.
Heartland provides a restaurant POS solution that focuses on simplicity, reliability, and affordability. Its system offers features such as order management, tableside ordering, and customer engagement tools. Heartland differentiates itself through its transparent pricing model, attentive customer support, and a commitment to delivering a straightforward and intuitive POS experience.
Brink, developed by ParTech, offers a cloud-based POS system specifically designed for the hospitality industry. It provides a range of features such as order management, kitchen display systems, online ordering, and loyalty program integration. Brink stands out for its robust reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing businesses to gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions to improve operations and profitability.
PixelPoint, developed by PAR PixelPoint, is a flexible and customizable POS solution suitable for various restaurant types. It offers features such as order entry, table management, delivery management, and extensive menu customization options. PixelPoint’s key differentiators lie in its ability to cater to unique restaurant requirements through customization and its compatibility with diverse hardware options.
Simphony, developed by Oracle, is an enterprise-grade POS system suitable for large restaurant chains and global hospitality operations. It provides extensive functionality, including order management, tableside ordering, inventory control, and customer management. Simphony’s key differentiators include its centralized management capabilities, enabling businesses to efficiently control and monitor multiple locations from a single platform.
Appetize is a modern, cloud-based POS system that caters to a variety of food and beverage businesses, including restaurants, stadiums, and entertainment venues. It offers features such as mobile ordering, self-service kiosks, and robust analytics. Appetize differentiates itself through its sleek and intuitive user interface, mobile-first approach, and its ability to handle high-volume transactions seamlessly.
CBS is a provider of comprehensive POS solutions for the hospitality industry. Their POS system, known as NorthStar, offers features such as order management, tableside ordering, inventory control, and labor management. CBS differentiates itself by providing tailored solutions and extensive industry expertise, ensuring that their POS system addresses the unique needs of each restaurant client.
These are just a few examples of POS providers in the market, each with its own set of strengths and differentiators. When evaluating potential providers, it’s important to consider factors such as the specific needs of your restaurant, the scalability of the system, ease of use, integration capabilities, ongoing support, and pricing structure.
Carefully assess these aspects to determine which POS provider aligns best with your restaurant’s requirements and goals.
A Restaurant POS System Works Best with Quality Restaurant Management Software
There are plenty of features built into modern restaurant POS systems, but even the best system can’t satisfy all your restaurant management needs. A quality POS system is a key component in gathering sales and financial data, managing inventory, and driving purchasing decisions, but it’s still just one piece of the puzzle. You can get the most out of your restaurant POS system when you pair it with a world-class restaurant management software.
A restaurant POS system and restaurant management software can work together to create a comprehensive solution for efficiently running and managing a restaurant. By integrating your POS system with a proven and efficient restaurant management software like SynergySuite, you’ll place your restaurant business in a prime position to maximize your profits and reach new heights.
Check our integrations page to see if your restaurant POS system already integrates with SynergySuite. The good news: every POS system listed in this article already has a built-in integration with SynergySuite, so we’ve got you covered!
To learn more about how SynergySuite can help you make the most out of your POS system, request a demo today.