Guide to Retail and Restaurant POS

Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Blog, Point of Sale | 0 comments

A Guide to Retail and Restaurant Point of Sale Systems

Are you having problems managing your company financial statements? Are you tired of manually taking inventory? Do your eyes hurt from trying to read the handwriting of your cashiers, servers or managers?  Read this article carefully and understand how to make your business life easier. Leave those labor-intensive, tedious, and time consuming tasks behind because a robust POS system will take care of them for you.


What is this System?

A POS system utilizes a computer instead of a cash register in goods exchange transactions. Basically, a point of sale system can handle transactions such as inventory, printing receipts and invoices with facts about the transactions, and it can also handle card payments.  A point of sale can be utilized by retail stores, restaurants, hospitals, hotels or any establishment that requires payment transactions.


Retail Point of Sale System

For the retail industry, their POS is rather complex and less standardized compared to that of the Restaurant POS industry. For this system, it usually consists of a monitor, cash drawer, printer for receipts, scanner for barcodes and inventory, debit/credit card scanner, and of course a computer.  More advanced systems have all-in-one units with touch screens. A retail POS system is capable of handling sales, returns, gift card transactions, exchanges, layaway and loyalty programs. Most systems also can handle advanced features such as promotional sales and multiple forms of payments. In some retail environments, there are a number of POS units available on the floor in various locations for actual checkout while a back office computer handles the inventory and other financial aspects of the business. The back office “brain” all-encompassing machine is also capable of producing sales reports, trends, and cost analysis. You can see this kind of system in supermarkets and malls where there are multiple cashiers using this system.


Restaurant Point of Sale System

The restaurant point of sale system is simpler and a more versatile system compared to retail. This is because in the restaurant industry, the point of sale’s main function is to track orders, print checks, receipts, customer orders and financial reports. These systems are usually used by big fast food chains and sit down restaurants and bars / nightclubs; however they are also commonly used in café and quick service environments. For fast food chains, you might have noticed that the cashiers have headphones; this headset system is actually an additional feature for the restaurant point of sale system to allow the employees to communicate easily.  Similar devices are also available for the kitchen including, impact printers to deal with heat and customized kitchen display units.


The POS Industry

Point of Sale does not only provide easier financial transactions but enhances the overall management scheme of a company.  It is advisable to choose wisely when selecting a particular POS system especially when picking the software and reseller / servicing company.  Most companies provide trial software as well as interactive demos; restaurant POS expert like Dinerware have many online demos and videos that restaurateurs can check out.  Other major players in the restaurant POS are Micros, Aloha and Harbortouch.  For the retail industry the choices are much more diverse with larger merchants creating their own customized solutions.  However, many smaller merchant have had success utilizing Intuit’s POS and Apple’s Checkout.


Because there are so many different companies that provide point of sales software and systems, as a buyer, you really can design your own system to suit your own needs.  So what are you waiting for? There is a system out there that would help you with all the cumbersome work; you and your company deserve it.  The system may cost a little in the short run but it will definitely make your life easier and provide you more time to do other tasks in the long run.

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