restaurant POS

A good point of sale system is essential for your restaurant. While it may not be visible to customers the computer system provides communication and ease of use to your workers, and communication is where customer issues start to arise. This article discusses a few of the most popular restaurant point of system, or POS, available on the market today and there advantages.

The Purpose of a POS System

A restaurant POS can serve many roles depending on what you need. Some POS systems extend well beyond the ability to place orders and manage inventory, payroll, and many other processes that make a worker and manager’s job easier. A good POS system can help ensure that the restaurant knows what’s happening and avoids potential issues while not spending huge amounts of time and energy manually doing tasks.

1. Lightspeed

Some consider Lightspeed to be the most comprehensive restaurant point of sale system available for restaurant management. Lightspeed is very flexible and easy to use and offers many features. Restaurants with tableside and counter ordering love the ability to have customers place their own orders at a kiosk, or having servers place orders from the table while talking to the customer. Restaurant management can also receive alerts about ingredients and inventory issues in real time rather than learning they don’t have enough chicken when they are about to run out.

Lightspeed is also well equipped for COVID 19. The menu can be displayed in delivery only online, while in restaurant customers see a table only menu, then pay with contactless methods including phone payments as well as cards that support the feature. The app can also be setup for social distancing and while being mindful of distance rules when accepting reservations.

Lightspeed also offers extensive third party integration with many apps for ultimate flexibility.

2. TouchBistro

TouchBistro offers a very popular iOS iPad app for restaurant management. The app is quite flexible and easy to use along with additional packages for loyalty programs, online reservations, and online ordering.

The most unique part about TouchBistro is that a restaurant can use TouchBistro without the Internet. The app is entirely self contained within the iPad and doesn’t need Internet, though if you wish to accept some types of payments, you can add it separately.

Some say that it’s ingredient management software doesn’t do all of what they expect, but TouchBistro also integrates with apps that do offer more specific ingredient management so you know what to order and when.

TouchBistro works well with pandemic era needs. While it doesn’t have an online payment system, you can easily add one. You can also easily integrate a delivery app or edit your floor plan based on social distancing requirements.

Overall, TouchBistro offers a flexible restaurant POS with adds for those who want. If you have a cafe without Internet, their software might be deal when using a separate payment system.

3. Toast

Toast is a little bit different from TouchBistro and Lightspeed in that it uses Android instead of Apple. Toast offers ToastGo tablets which also allow servers to accept payments on the go instead of bringing cards back to a station. Toast has roughly the same features as many of its competitors in regards to inventory management and has many extra features for an additional fee. One small issue with Toast is that they require use of their payment system and they have an inflexible long term agreement, though their prices are lower than many competitors.

Toast has kept up with COVID and offers many features like contactless payment, a self ordering kiosk, and reservation management with considerations for touch and social distancing. Toast even has delivery drivers at the ready in case you don’t want to contract with places like GrubHub or DoorDash.

4. Revel

Revel is actually made for multiple kinds of business, including restaurants. The best part of Revel is that they offer tracking across multiple locations easily and are a bit more aggressive in prompting servers and customers to try things that push toward customer satisfaction and profit. The software is also capable of helping with digital billboards and menus, online ordering, and can even be setup to be lower key for an upscale restaurant where technology and ordering aren’t the focus.

Revel is also capable of working fully offline so if your cafe or restaurant doesn’t have or offer Internet, you need not worry. Revel is indeed COVID ready with careful consideration for seating arrangements in a color coded manner and self order or at table ordering capabilities depending on local needs.

The software is meant to be custom and is highly flexible. It’s also best used when you have multiple locations since it can help sync up data between more than one restaurant. The only downside is that the best price requires a long term contract.

5. Clover

Clover is fantastic for restaurants that are just opening up. Clover offers their own hardware which is designed to be setup in just a few minutes after deciding on your software and hardware needs. Their software setups range from full service restaurant to quick service. They also offer possibly the best program for new restaurants with a pay as you go plan with no monthly contracts.

They have their COVID base covered with online ordering available in addition to Clover Flex, which allows for servers to have their own tablets and run their own cards, reducing touch points. You can also be aware of your reservations and floor plan design for the purpose of social distancing, all with no contract.

Conclusion

POS Systems are the forefront of restaurant technology, especially when contact free needs vary by restaurant. The POS systems we presented represent the most popular options currently available to help run your restaurant, regardless of the size and capacity. Their capabilities can help restaurant management keep food and service at the core of what owners do instead of worrying about things trackable by software.