6 Things to Look for When Buying a POS System for Your Restaurant

Revel Blog | Kelly Hogan | July 28, 2022 |


With so many restaurant point of sale (POS) systems on the market, how do you choose the right one for your business?

A POS system is an essential part of business, especially at restaurants and retailers. As the name suggests, restaurant POS systems handle monetary transactions for goods and services exchanged, but today’s POS also has more extensive business management capabilities. 

A cloud POS system enables the computerized tracking of sales, cash flow, inventory and more. It can simplify transactions and accounting activities in any establishment. Read on for a closer look at key features and benefits of a restaurant POS system.

Why are Restaurant POS Systems Necessary? 

A restaurant POS is a centralized system that handles all business transactions and helps you manage your business with ease. 

When it comes to billing and receiving payments, modern POS systems can efficiently accept different payment methods: cash, credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, ApplePay and more. 

Also, you want to make sure that the restaurant POS software your business has can protect sensitive business data and your customers’ information from potential threats. 

While there are many available options today, some restaurant POS systems will be a better fit for your business than others. Here are things you should look for when buying a POS system for your restaurant.

1. Speed in Restaurant Management Software 

Weekends and mealtimes are hectic for a restaurant. When people visit your dining establishment, they want to be served quickly and efficiently. You should thus get a system that enables you to provide fast service and maximize employee efficiency. 

The technology used in the restaurant ordering system should have an intuitive interface to support speedy transactions. Having restaurant software that has an intuitive user interface allows employees to quickly learn the POS system and enter orders in a timely manner. 

Cloud-based POS systems can support handheld devices that send orders straight to the kitchen management system while also storing customer

information in the cloud. With mobile order takers, restaurants see table turn times improve because servers spend more time with guests and less time entering orders and modifications on a terminal. When applicable, mobile order takers can also help keep lines flowing so you never risk losing a sale due to wait times.

Cloud POS systems for restaurants are ideal since they can make updates on the fly. In case you ever run into connectivity issues, you will want a POS system that has an ‘always on mode’, where your POS can run offline or on a local network, allowing swiped payments to be taken offline and automatically queued and processed when your connection comes back. In addition, you can control the amount of offline transactions to mitigate the risk of offline payments.

Also, having a POS system that upgrades its software on a regular basis is essential to reduce delay and increase speed. With a cloud POS system, updates are easily made across establishments in a matter of clicks. Cloud systems greatly simplify the upgrade process compared to legacy POS counterparts that run on on-site servers.  

2. Ease of Management in a Restaurant POS System 

As with all new systems, you’ll need to train your staff to use your restaurant software. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to find a system that is intuitive enough for your employees to manage and understand, but also sophisticated and flexible enough for your business to be able to grow. 

The best POS for a restaurant is able to do both. Having a familiar user interface, like an Apple iPad, helps decrease training time for employees. They are usually already accustomed to the look and feel of an iPad, which makes navigating the POS easier. 

To add another layer, having a cloud POS system, such as Revel Systems POS, gives great flexibility and growth for your business. You will want a POS that has an open API and can integrate with restaurant management software solutions that give your business the agility to adapt to the demands of consumers and an ever-changing marketplace.

3. Inventory Management Integrated in the Restaurant POS 

Of course, if you are truly seeking the best POS system for restaurants, find one that has an integrated inventory management solution.

Inventory is vital for restaurants because it is the basis for the service provided, and supplies come in daily. Inventory changes constantly and can be used up on the same day. Keeping track of ingredients and restaurant supplies in real-time will help you manage your inventory and finances better. You will know when supplies are low, which will give you ample time to re-order or know if you are being wasteful or uncover opportunities for greater inventory efficiency. 

Data insights from inventory management may also impact how you stock items. Sometimes, a restaurant loses money because it keeps buying inventory even if they still have a lot left due to poor tracking. Inventory management helps keep stock organized and make items easily traceable. You can track past years’ sales numbers and get results to further fine tune your inventory and ordering process. Also, you can keep your business updated in real-time with automated count updates and stock alerts that will generate purchase orders, so inventory is always available when you need it.

4. Employee Management in the POS Software 

Aside from inventory management, restaurant owners can use restaurant POS systems for employee management.

Scheduling shifts, days off, and emergency absences can be a head-scratcher. Many HR processes can be done through the employee management feature of the POS system, from monitoring productivity to tracking total hours worked. The system will streamline all procedures and cut down on administrative hours.

5. Restaurant Ordering System 

Online ordering  was already on the rise pre-pandemic and accelerated in popularity in 2020. In fact, the growth rate for online food ordering and restaurant delivery has been more than 20% over the last five years and it continues to climb. Online food delivery rates are expected to grow to more than $220 billion by 2025, which translates to about 40% of total restaurant sales for the industry. 

You can maximize profits through online ordering. An excellent point sale system should strive to have a native online ordering solution that is integrated with your restaurant POS and allows your business to control the online consumer experience from end-end. Also, a native online ordering solution allows you to keep your data and own all your profits. User account data for online ordering stays with your business as well as all the profits you make from each order. 

Online ordering can go hand-in-hand with delivery management in restaurant point sale systems.  This gives your customers flexibility to choose between pick-up or delivery when they opt not to dine on premises. 

A native, integrated delivery system allows customers to track every order in real-time as their favorite dishes route directly to their home and easily assign orders, estimate delivery times, and track drivers on the road as drivers fulfill each delivery. Even better, you can pull critical delivery insights to improve overall operational efficiency.

6. Reporting for Restaurant Management 

A restaurant point of sale also offers crucial operational insights by way of monitoring and providing useful key performance indicator (KPI) reports.

Sadly, about 80% of restaurants fail before their fifth anniversary. For this reason, restaurants must leverage tools that help them keep track of KPIs like sales leaders, labor costs, and the cost of inventory, among other factors.

KPIs can also shed light on employee performance, a major quality measurement for a business rooted in hospitality and quick service. Knowing your KPIs will help improve your day-to-day operations while allowing you to forecast future business scenarios. These insights will help you make informed decisions accordingly. 

The Best POS System for your Restaurant Drives Sales

Finding restaurant POS systems can be daunting because they significantly affect your restaurant’s performance. They streamline every operational aspect, from employee management to inventory management, and online ordering to delivery management. However, not all POS systems are created equal when it comes to these solutions.

Always look for a versatile POS system that can handle everything you need. You need a POS system that caters to your restaurant’s needs and is flexible enough for future growth. 

Revel Systems can help you scale your business with ease through a cloud-native POS system. In fact, Revel pioneered the iPad POS system restaurants need to be agile and effective for a demanding client base. Revel’s POS helps restaurants handle transactions, manage inventory, improve service, and more. Request a demo today!