As the owner or manager of a small restaurant, it can be intimidating to think about all of the point of sale (POS) components that you need. With so many options on the market, what’s the best POS system for a restaurant? Read on to explore the must-have POS system features, from online ordering to front-of-house management.
1. Online Ordering Capabilities
Online ordering went from a “nice-to-have” option to a “must -have” in just a couple of short years. In fact, online food delivery sales are estimated to grow up to $220 billion by 2023 (and comprise 40% of total restaurant sales). And let’s not forget about online orders for in-store pickup, too. Either way you cut it, online ordering isn’t just for the chains; it’s for small businesses like yours.
Be sure to look for a POS system that includes online ordering capabilities. Some POS software may include this feature, or you may be able to simply use a printer equipped with cloud printing technology (like Star’s) to print third-party online orders from services like DoorDash, GrubHub, Uber Eats, and more.
2. Mobile Payment Acceptance
Just like online orders are booming, so are mobile payments. Simply put, mobile payments are those made on mobile devices like smartphones and smart watches. Instead of paying with cash or a credit/debit cards, consumers use their digital wallet to pay for their goods.
To be able to accept mobile payments, your POS system must be equipped to handle NFC (or, near field communication) payments, which are made by a mobile device (or contactless card) being two inches or less from the NFC-equipped card reader. Examples of mobile payment providers are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and select credit/debit cards.
3. Back-of-House Communication
We’ve all been there: you find a restaurant that serves up delicious food but has a clunky workflow that leaves you hungrily waiting for your meal. Avoid being this restaurant by choosing a POS system that features top-of-the-line communication between the front-of-house and back-of-house. What does this look like? It looks like a POS terminal (or online ordering service) that seamlessly communicates to the restaurant kitchen KDS (kitchen display device) and kitchen ticket printer via technology like CloudPRNT. As orders are placed, they’re immediately sent to the cook in full detail. Say goodbye to long wait times and inaccurate orders with the right communication!
4. Front-of-House Management
Efficiently turning tables means higher revenue. Successfully navigating a large party means happy, repeat customers. Clearly, front-of-house management is key, and the right POS system for a small restaurant can help those efforts. Look for a POS system that features click-and-drag layout builders and the ability to see table times and when tables are about to turn.
5. Menu and Order Management
Menus change, and customers’ tastes vary. Your POS can help you navigate that. The right POS system can help you arrange your menu in a way that makes the checkout process faster, as well as let you make real-time updates from anywhere and apply them to every one of your locations.
When it comes to order-taking, restaurant POS systems can help you quickly modify your customer’s order to their exact taste. Have a special discount idea in mind? POS systems can also allow you to create happy hours and more in mere seconds.
Star Restaurant POS Solutions
From online ordering printers to kitchen buzzers, Star is proud to offer POS solutions for restaurants, QSRs, food stands, and more.
6. Marketing Capabilities
One of the reasons people love small restaurants is for their personal touch. Leverage POS technology to take that personal touch to a new level! POS systems for small restaurants can include marketing capabilities including:
- Detailed customer profiles so you can send customized offers
- Loyalty/reward programs
- White-labeled websites and apps that feature your restaurant’s branding
- Custom receipt marketing (available on select receipt printers, like Star’s)
7. Detailed Reporting
If there’s one thing that POS systems have, it’s data, and you can put that to use by choosing a POS system that offers detailed reporting.
Reporting can include:
- Live data and daily statistics
- Sales by category
- Sales by item
- Sales by payment type
- Sales in different shifts
- And more
Right about now you may be thinking there’s a lot of different technologies involved in the best POS system for a restaurant. There’s the software, the hardware, and third-party services like food delivery. That leads us into the next (and possibly most important) aspect of a POS system: it’s integrations.
Save valuable time (and avoid headaches) but choosing a POS system that is integrated with either the software and hardware you already have, or the software and hardware you want to have. For example, if you already have Star printers, choose a POS software that is integrated with Star (hint: there are many). Or, if you know you want to use a certain POS software, be sure that your hardware is integrated with it so that you can set up your system out-of-the-box.
9. Technical support
Support is important – and not just when something breaks! Be sure to choose a POS system and vendors that offer pre-sale support (helping you identify the right solution for your needs), installation support and training, and easily accessible post-sales support (like an online help center and live chat).
Star’s Affordable Small Restaurant POS Bundle
mCP30 with mC-Sound
If you’re looking for an affordable kitchen printing setup, look no further than the mCP30 paired with an mC-Sound kitchen buzzer.
Everything you love about the mC-Print3, with an even lower price tag.
• CloudPRNT for online ordering
A modern take on the kitchen buzzer.
• Discreetly fits inside the mCP30
• High quality sound (89dB)
• 16 pre-recorded melodies
• Records custom user speech
Explore all of Star’s restaurant POS solutions now.
Heidi Orpilla is the Digital Content Specialist at Star Micronics where she creates and manages content for Star’s blog, social media, website, products, and more. Heidi has a passion for writing and has worked in the B2B marketing space for over five years. Prior to working at Star, Heidi worked at a large reseller for six years.