Choosing the Right POS for Your Coffee Shop

Some days your coffee shop can feel as chaotic as the interstate–especially during the morning rush hour. Having a reliable point of sale (POS) system that works as hard as you do is essential to creating a great customer experience. With the rapid advancement of technology, fast and convenient payment processing options are an expectation for most coffee shop goers. 

Whether they found you passing by on a whim or they’re a dedicated regular—all roads lead to the POS. Read on and learn how to choose the right POS system for your coffee shop’s unique needs. 

Identify Your Needs

Before deciding which POS system is best for your coffee shop a little bit of research can go a long way. Not every coffee shop is the same, so do your future self a favor and take the time to evaluate your coffee shop’s specific needs. The process of choosing the right POS system can be overwhelming at first, but assessing your internal needs beforehand will provide clarity as you make your decision. Ideally, you’ll find a point of sale system that not only makes sense for your coffee shop, but adds value to your business for years to come. 

Start by identifying your coffee shop’s current pain points. What are some areas of your current operation that could run smoother? Do you need faster payment processing? Does your current set-up lack customer facing screens to track their rewards? Consider all the areas of your coffee shop that could use a facelift. 

During the research stage, it can be helpful to ask your staff for input on your new POS system. They can provide useful feedback about the areas of your coffee shop in need of improvement.

Be sure to take into consideration your future needs as well. What is the desired trajectory of your business? Are you planning to open new locations, expand your current space or add new items to your menu? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you’ll need a POS system with the ability to grow and evolve right alongside your business. 

Evaluate Cost 

Tight budgets are a common reality for many coffee shop owners. Be sure to tally up your current expenses before deciding how much you can allocate toward a new POS system. Traditional cash registers are a more affordable option for businesses, but they don't offer the same long term value of intuitive hardware and software included in modern POS systems.

While no one likes the term ‘expensive’, it’s important to remember that your point of sale system is an investment that will likely transform both your business and your customers' experience. Having integrated features like employee management, sales reporting, and loyalty marketing tools can add a significant boost to your bottom line over time. 

Coffee shop owners should expect to spend between $800-$1250 on a POS system. This will typically cover the cost of your POS stand and other beneficial hardware such as a customer facing loyalty screen, card reader, cash box, and receipt printer. 

Choose Your Features

Just like coffee shops, no two POS systems are the same. To find your perfect match, consider which features will be essential to your business. Listed below are some valuable characteristics to look for when choosing your future POS system. 

  • Fast and reliable payment processing: The point of sale is a critical part of every shopper’s journey. At checkout, your customers want a trustworthy and timesaving experience. Having a POS that accepts all forms of payment, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, without unnecessary fees can significantly impact queue management. No customer wants to wait in line for 30 minutes for a single cup of coffee, so a fast and easy to use POS system will be your greatest ally. 

  • Loyalty marketing: The only thing harder than gaining a new customer, is creating a loyal one. Selecting a POS system like SumUp's upcoming POS + Loyalty offers the benefit of an integrated loyalty program. Introducing a loyalty program into your coffee shop can positively impact your customer retention and increase average spend per visit.

According to Forbes, 77% of consumers say they are likely to stay with a brand that has a loyalty program. POS systems with this feature can share updates, send out reminders, and offer individualized rewards incentives that help you grow your customer database with each transaction. 

  • Reporting and insights: Some POS software will provide detailed sales reporting and allow you to easily export the data to your records. You can discover new insights about your business from helpful dashboards tracking information like your daily, weekly, and yearly gross sales, total collected cash credit, top used discounts, average order duration, top grossing categories and much more. 

Having access to insights like these minimizes guesswork, so you can make more informed business decisions and maximize your profit. 

  • Inventory management: Your menu is the heart of your coffee shop. With a  feature like this you can accurately keep an up to date record of your stock. This is crucial to making sure you stay ahead of the game and your customers never have to substitute for their first pick. 

As an added bonus you can usually export your inventory stock levels at any time to a printable spreadsheet to help determine ordering needs.

  • Employee/customer management – Streamline your business with simple employee and customer management. You can track customer information, create multiple profiles for your team members, manage scheduling, payroll, and productivity— all from your POS system.

Choosing the right POS system for your coffee shop can feel overwhelming but transactions with SumUp are easy. To get paid seamlessly and securely, SumUp has coffee shop owners covered. Discover how we help small businesses like yours by visiting

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Alexis Porter