Best Point of Sale (POS) Systems
A Point of Sale (or POS) system is critical for most of businesses that look to process sales of any kind in-person or online with customers. As a merchant, it’s likely that you’ll need to compare POS systems and find the best POS system for you and your business. It doesn’t matter if you own a restaurant, a bar, a grocery store or open a retail business – you will probably have to use the best Point of Sale software that fits your needs. It’s important that you find a system that manages multiple checkout points, streamlines your transaction process, and makes the transaction experience easy for you and seamless for your customer. This will help you to increase sales and free up more of your time as a business owner to focus on creating a better experience for your customers (which will also grow your business). Finding the best POS system for your business is definitely something you should take into consideration when planning your next steps. A quick research and comparison can help you save a lot of money. There are some POS companies that specialized in POS system for restaurants like TouchBistro. Others are better for retail POS software like Shopkeep, and some POS systems are customized for bars or grocery stores.
What is a POS System and how can it benefit your business?
A POS system is a combination of both software and hardware that streamlines transactions and business processes for merchants. A POS system helps your restaurant, bar or any other business you own, analyze sales data, maintain a sales history that will help you order smarter for future purchasing trends, price your products accurately, control inventory, track usage, and so much more. POS systems for restaurants or for retail businesses are created to have multiple checkout points and a wide range of data analysis capability that make running your business easier. There are different kinds of POS systems in the market. Most of the Point of Sale systems have the basic features that every business needs. If you want to go to the next level with your business, it is important to buy POS systems that has more value to your business. Comparing between different POS systems will help you find the right one for your business, whether if you need a POS system for a bar, open a restaurant or own a retail business.
Many businesses require a POS to operate efficiently including retail companies, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and more. Essentially, any business that sells a product (whether that’s t-shirts or lasagna) needs a POS system to track sales data, inventory, and overall business success.
Regardless of your type of business, as mentioned above, it’s important to compare POS systems and find one that meets your unique needs and requirements.
3 Best POS Systems for Restaurants
As a restaurant, your POS system needs are unique. It’s especially important for you to track inventory – or food – that could potentially spoil. Alternatively, you would never want to run out of anything that your customers have come to know and love your restaurant for. Here are the three best POS systems for restaurants:
The TouchBistro POS system is iPad based software that is customized specifically for restaurants. Their cloud technology offers “speedy and reliable” system services. The cloud technology they use also gives them the flexibility to use their POS system across multiple locations to track inventory, sales trends, and more. Interestingly, their POS system doesn’t require an internet connection – meaning that your POS will never crash due to an internet outage.
TouchBistro POS was awarded the best restaurant POS in 2016. This is in large part due to their excellent POS system model, but also because they have the best iPad POS system available, as well. Their iPad POS system is also cloud-operated, and gives restaurant owners the flexibility to keep a low-maintenance, streamlined POS system readily available. In general, TouchBistro POS is good for both big and small restaurants. However, they work best in a setting where their mobile check-out integration for tablets and phones can be used. That means that restaurants where customers stand in line, or coffee shops, will benefit from these features. It’s important to note that they run exclusively on iPads – which could be a major drawback for a business who works with non-Mac products. TouchBistro offers 24/7 customer service, as well as a free demo to new users. However, long wait times have been reported.
Revel POS is an international company with offices in Australia, Italy, Lithuania, and London. They’ve worked with big-name brands such as Smoothie King and Cinnabon. Because they’re a larger POS software company, they offer constantly expanding features and endless upgrades or integrations that make it easy to customize their system for your business needs.
Revel POS is unique because of their expertly designed customer-facing display. This makes restaurant transactions with a customer much easier, and eliminates miscommunication. Their POS systems offer a wide range of capabilities that are ideal for restaurants – such as payment flexibility, mobile payment processing (perfect for on-the-go restaurants), online ordering or mobile ordering options, CRM services, loyalty program capabilities, accounting integrations, employee management, payroll, and more. Of course, they also pride themselves on excellent security – something that’s a critical component for POS systems.
Revel POS has a wide range of add-ons and features that specifically target those in the restaurant or quick-serve food industry. Their systems work best with larger businesses and chains as they have a multiple-location feature. If you’re a small business, Revel POS may be too involved for your needs – and you could find a less costly option elsewhere. Because they are a larger company, their customer service offerings have received rave reviews. They also have several systems in place as fail-safes to assist you with answering questions or troubleshooting.
Toast is a custom designed POS system specifically for restaurants. Their design is intended to combine and streamline front-of-house and back-of-house processes. They offer a wide range of POS systems and options, making it that much easier for you to tailor their system to your needs. They have a unique table POS system that incorporates features such as tableside ordering, easily accept payments, and more. This helps you to empower your employees to provide an excellent customer experience – and it makes keeping your records in order that much easier.
Users should note that Toast is a startup with a very specific user focus or target market. Although their software has the capability to service large and mid-size businesses, they’re better suited for small sized restaurants, bard, and quick serve businesses. Their customer service offering is amazing – and they specifically have representatives guide you through the setup and education process. Their hands-on training is different from essentially every other POS company in the industry, and they have integrated customer service into every level of their platform – making it easy to access them should you need to.
3 Best POS Systems for Retail
As a retail business, you require different POS capabilities than a restaurant or a bar would. Luckily, these three companies have created POS systems specifically for your business types.
Shopify is a Canadian-based e-commerce company. They run an e-commerce based website building software, and have many various plugins and systems that streamline the e-commerce process. Shopify POS works especially well for restaurants because of their all-inclusive POS system. They are primarily an iPad and iPhone based POS system that accepts multiple forms of payment.
Their POS app makes it possible for you to accept payments, update inventory, or complete transactions from anywhere – giving you the flexibility to sell wherever you want! They also have online shopping cart integrations, all of which connect to the same data analyzing, user-friendly back end system. This makes keeping track of inventory, sales history and trends, and more much easier on you as a business owner. Shopify also offers users the ability to create a seamless online store – giving them even more selling capability. Users who run an e-commerce based business will find that this system is a perfect fit for their needs. However, if users are more interested in running an in-person retail store, or if they work with PCs instead of Mac products, this system may not work for them.
Shopify POS does have both a help center as well as several methods of customer support: a support team, a library of video tutorials, webinars, and an online community where you can seek help from other users.
Vend POS is tailored to fit a retailer’s needs. Like many POS systems, Vend operates on the cloud. This means it works offline, which is ideal if you don’t have a strong internet connection or are selling on-the-go. It also can be integrated with iPads, Macs, or PCs – another nice feature. In fact, this feature could be their optimal selling point – as other POS systems only offer integration with Mac or PCs, not both. Their online store creation tool helps you to add products, fill orders, and track sales. Their hardware options come in a wide variety of bundles so you can pick which works best for your business. They also accept multiple methods of payment – from credit cards, to debit cards, to gift cards.
Vend POS caters specifically to retails who have a multi-store platform. This is ideal for stores with multiple locations, specifically those who are looking for a way to continue growing their retail business. However, if you’re not necessarily looking to grow, Vend POS may have too in-depth of a software for you and you may not use all of their features. Vend POS is usually right for retail stores including fashion boutiques, homeware, electronics, and other in-person retail experiences. They do offer an online platform, but if most of your business is conducted online, you may consider an online-first POS system instead, like Shopify POS.
ShopKeep is a unique POS company who works best with small retail businesses, quick-serve food stands, and bars. This is because their system is simple, and their iPad integration software makes it easy to maintain a POS system while on the move. ShopKeep’s best feature is that they have the lowest integrated payment processing rate – which helps retail store owners keep their money when they’re selling. This is a major selling point for this POS system. They aren’t as easily integrated to multiple devices, though, as they are primarily iPad-friendly.
ShopKeep doesn’t have an extensive plan to assist businesses with multiple locations or growth – which can be an issue if your retail chain has multiple stores or an online platform in addition to your in-person store. They do, however, have excellent customer service and have generally received excellent reviews from sites such as Merchant Maverick.
Should you use a POS system as a bar or grocery store?
POS systems make life easier for many businesses – and this absolutely includes bars and grocery stores. POS systems for bars are similar to the POS for restaurants, and POS systems for grocery stores are like the ones for retail business. Having a software that help you to better control your business, even if it is a medium or a small business, is vital for managing it properly. Without the right tracking of your transactions and inventory money will be lost quickly. Tracking your inventory is just as critical – especially because of the high costs you experience, high volume of customers, and wide range of products that are being sold. A POS system for a bar or a grocery store can help you stay organized, remind you to order inventory, and track sales trends so that you’re always ahead of the curve. Bars and grocery stores are both very cyclic businesses. During certain days of the week their sales spike, and during certain times of year they’re especially busy. Inventory is also very seasonally-dependent. This makes it even more crucial to use a POS system for a bar or grocery store.
Compare POS systems
When you are comparing Point of Sale systems, it’s important to find the one that is going to work for your business and one the fits your needs. There are many of them out there. It’s on you the do the research and compare between the different POS systems. If you managing a restaurant, find the best POS system for restaurants. If you own a bar, compare the best POS system for bars. The deeper you dive into your research, the chance of finding the best POS system for you business is growing. So, finding a system that caters directly to your retail or food service business will help you to provide a better customer experience, make data tracking and ordering easier, and streamline your processes to increase sales and grow.