Restaurant POS systems: The most-asked questions, answered

If you run a business within the gastronomy sector, there’s a strong chance you’ve heard of POS systems. If you don’t already use POS technology, you may be considering it, so we’re here to answer the questions that are more than likely popping up on your quest for better business tools.

In a nutshell, POS, or point of sale technology, is a digital till system that runs on powerful software, providing you with tools to manage and expand your business easily. 

Before investing in or upgrading your POS system, it’s important to do some research, so you know what to look for and what to expect. To give you a headstart, we’ve covered some of the most-asked questions surrounding POS for restaurants, bars, cafes and retail businesses. 

Why should I upgrade to a POS system?

If you’re wondering whether you really need a POS system for your restaurant, coffee shop, bar or food truck — the reality is that POS technology can elevate any type of business, big or small. 

The main reason you should consider kitting your business out with restaurant POS software and hardware is that it can help you maximise sales and profits. This can be achieved through more efficient order and payment processing, as well as having valuable insights into your sales performance — so you can make smarter and more effective business decisions.

When it comes to orders and payments, restaurant POS provides a smooth checkout experience for you and your customers. Some of the best POS systems for restaurants can integrate with popular food delivery platforms like Deliveroo and Uber Eats, so that all of your orders can be viewed and managed in one single place. These integrations also allow you to reach new customer bases and get more orders, so you can expand your business easily. With SumUp Point of Sale, you’ll find all of your delivery, collection and table-service orders listed together in the SumUp POS app, so you’ll always save time thanks to an intuitive layout. 

POS systems also enable you to offer your customers a range of different payment methods, making transactions simple for everyone. With SumUp POS, you can accept payments via cash, chip and pin, contactless, or Apple Pay and Google Pay — so you never miss a sale. Your restaurant POS system can integrate seamlessly with your contactless SumUp card reader, meaning your transactions are synced instantly with your POS software.

When you’re choosing a POS solution for your business, you should always consider data and reporting capabilities, so that you can easily measure performance with just a few clicks. All of your sales data that is processed by your POS system can be packed up and presented in powerful reports, that indicate how your products, services and staff are performing. 

Clärchens Ballhaus, Berlin, Germany.

What restaurant-specific features do POS systems offer?

If you’re still trying to figure out whether they’re worth the investment or hassle, you may be interested in learning how restaurant POS systems offer industry-specific features designed to support your business.

No day is the same when it comes to running a business, and a POS system can keep up with the changes and challenges every day can bring with speed and efficiency. If you need to update menus or add items to your catalogue, you can do so in just a few clicks. With table management features, you’ll always have a clear overview of what’s happening during service, as well as the status of each table and group of customers. These kinds of tools can make every service less stressful. 

As mentioned earlier, restaurant POS software syncs with popular food ordering platforms, so that you can boost sales and reach new customers. Receiving more online orders can reduce in-store queues, too, providing a more relaxed environment for you, your staff, and your eat-in customers. When it comes to payments, you’ll have more flexibility than ever, with the option for your customers to split the bill by amount or by item, before paying via multiple different methods for one order.

If you choose to start using a POS system, you’ll also notice that its reporting capabilities can be tailored to restaurant-specific metrics. This means that while your POS gathers all the important info you need, you can focus on the more exciting stuff. POS systems can record how well products are performing, which menu items are usually ordered together, which ingredients are running out of stock, and much more. You can even keep track of your staff’s sales and shifts with ease. 

How much does a POS system cost? 

Restaurant POS systems can vary greatly in cost, depending on the provider, number of terminals, and the features and integrations you choose to use. The cost is also split between POS hardware and POS software. 

You’ll usually pay a monthly fee for your POS software license, with prices ranging anywhere from €30–€120. Your average hardware costs cost up to €1,500 depending on what extras you include in your POS bundle, such as scanners, printers, cash drawers and iPad stands. 

What if I plan on expanding my business?

If you’re planning on opening multiple branches of your business, or you’re just unsure of what the future holds just yet, POS systems are great for adapting to how you grow. 

With most POS systems, you’ll only ever pay for what you’re using. You can choose which features and tools you’ll add on or switch off as time goes by and your business changes. Flexible POS providers will offer a core POS package, which provides you with all of the essentials you need to get started. You’ll then be able to build on to your base hardware and software setup as your needs change. 

Scaling your business can also be made easier with good-quality customer support, which your POS provider should offer. With product info, demos, and technical support, having top-notch support just a phone call away can make these business transitions smoother and take off some pressure. 

If you’d like to find out more about SumUp Point of Sale, you can explore its full range of features here.

Aaron Nevin