Blog / Business / Restaurant App Development

Point of Sale System for Cafes and Restaurants

  • Rating — 5 (9 votes)
  • by Tony
  • Updated on October 16, 2020
  • Read —
    9-10 minutes
POS system iPad

Restaurant business is the most profitable and yet challenging one. Restaurant and cafe owners have to manage numerous processes and sometimes they do not have either time or resources to do this properly. That is why software optimization is a must for this business. 

Investing in technology such as mobile-based POS system for restaurants can help you manage inventory, workload, employees and improve your marketing. Point of sale systems are perfect choices for cafes and restaurants whose owners want to provide high-quality services, control costs, increase revenue, and make business more productive. 

It is not a secret that some businesses keep using traditional old cash registers or PC-based Point of Sale systems. Although they might have been good enough 5 or 10 years ago, today they just are not suitable anymore. Traditional cash registers and PC-based systems just don’t offer the flexibility and efficiency of iPad-based and Android-powered point of sale systems.

Here are few hints on why it’s important to invest in the POS system for iPad or Android-based app:

  • They don’t require technicians to come and repair them.
  • They have a much lower cost of investment.
  • Point of Sale apps can work remotely and can run on any device.
  • POS apps can have additional functions to help you manage marketing, customers and employees.

Nowadays iPad and Android-based restaurant POS systems are essential for the growth of your business.

Key features of a POS software for HoReCa

Thanks to POS all restaurant visitors can easily complete payment for their meals using their smartphone or tablet. The term mobile POS refers to both hardware (a card reader to swipe the card and make payment or terminal with NFC reader) and software (to complete the payment digitally). Apart from offering a convenient and more ft way to perform transactions, POS should have a set of other advantageous features. Here are the ones we would recommend you to consider:

  1. Offline mode. Sometimes Internet connection can fail you and you will have to wait for hours until everything is fixed. In restaurant business every minute is important, that is why your POS needs to keep functioning even without the Internet connection. 
  2. Security. POS will be used by you and your customers to transfer money, that is why it is important to prevent any security issues from happening. Your and your customers money and identity should be protected. 
  3. Intuitive UI. When you are dealing with an influx of customers, you do not have time to figure out how your POS works and what button you should tap first or next. 
  4. Integrated accounting. It will help to improve financial processes in your restaurant and be in control of the accounting. 
  5. Email invoices. Sometimes customers prefer e-checks instead of printed ones. That is why a feature allowing your POS to send invoices via emails is so necessary. 
  6. Inventory control. Your POS definitely needs a solution for inventory management. This will let your managers be aware of sales, track goods and reduce costs. 
  7. Collect data about customers. To provide better services you need to be aware of your customers preferences. If your POS has a feature to collect and analyze the data, you will be able to satisfy your customers needs better.

Does your restaurant of cafe have POS system with all or some of these functions?

And now let’s proceed to the most crucial options that your business can benefit from if you implement a point of sale system. 

Restaurant Inventory Control 

If you run a small business you know exactly how time-consuming and expensive inventory management can be. Inventory lets you review the current status of the stock so you can restock ahead of time without losing any important ingredient.

With this function you can track all the ingredients you have stocked in the fridge, check expiry date of each item, and have supplier contacts always at hand. You can then share your stock information with suppliers and schedule delivery based on where you’re now. In a couple of taps you will be able to refill your stock almost automatically. This saves a lot of time and money, because you do not waste any food and you can keep serving orders.

In addition, if you have multiple cafes you can create a separate account for each of them. This way you can track several locations at once or even create whole brunches of restaurants in the city.

Employees management and training

Educating new personnel can consume a lot of time because you have to explain all processes, show how routine tasks are being done. But what if you could input all kitchen processes, including recipes and routine tasks once and for all and keep them in one place? This way you, for example, can prepare new waiters in days instead of weeks. 

On top of that, you can edit data and operations on the go. For example, you can change prices, manage discounts and your menu from any device in real time. One more great advantage is that you will be able  to schedule the shifts of your personnel remotely and track their performance by correlating the number of orders and served dishes.This is what mobile POS flexibility really means.

A typical POS system consists of the administration section, as well as waiters and bartenders workplaces. This function ensures that all business information is safe and secure from editing. No one except the restaurant owner can edit core operations and prices.

Reports

A primary must have function any POS system should help you with is a profit/loss table that indicates your restaurant’s performance. It will show you what items are selling best and what have better profit margins. Generating reports will help you make better business decisions. Reports take raw data and turn it into actionable information so you can make better decisions for the growth of your business.

While reporting is important it’s also important that you don’t get too much information that overwhelms you or that’s unnecessary for your decision-making. So, what are the few things that reports can help you decide on?

Maybe you need to know if you should be open on Friday night. Or get a clear understanding of how many employees to have in your business on a Thursday morning. Plus, you will definitely appreciate the information regarding what items are profitable and what are not. These are just a few things that a good reporting system can help you make decisions on. In addition, using a mobile-based Point of Sale system you can access and generate reports from anywhere.

Feel that your business needs a POS to control inventory, manage employees and generate reports?

How Much Does it Cost to Develop a POS System

Mobile and cloud-based point of sale systems are much cheaper than traditional cash registers or PC-based systems because they are hardware agnostic. For example, we can develop cloud-based POS app with a web interface and it will run on any device from a browser window, thus lowering the costs for development and support.

Moreover, by developing your own POS software for iPad or Android you can later sell it as a SaaS solution and get monthly fees. Oftentimes you can even expect for setup fees from restaurant owners to get things started.

Now let’s proceed to the real figures, because without them all this information has no value. If we speak about POS, it will be necessary to do the following:

  • Develop your custom CRM (which costs $50,000 or more depending on set of features and its complexity) or set up integration with the existing one;
  • Synchronize with your ERP (it can cost you $50,000+);
  • Build a mobile application (usually it takes $30.000 or more). 

The total sum of POS incorporation may seem too high at first, but this is an investment in the future of your restaurant. If you do everything right, you will be able to optimize and monitor numerous business processes within your restaurant which will increase your overall performance. POS is a necessary tool nowadays and restaurant oners should not neglect it. 

Need a reliable team of developers to build your POS?

How to Create a POS System

Just think about a traditional POS system you use every day for managing routine processes. And now imagine if we could transfer it to your iPad or Android-powered device. The easiest way to make this is to develop a web based app that will be accessed through the internet browser like Safari or Google Chrome. 

All data will be moved into the cloud as well as the POS system infrastructure.Since the data will be stored in the cloud it will be much cheaper for you to maintain it compared to having a server (or any PC) inside your cafe.This is in fact another benefit of cloud-based restaurant POS app.  Of course, all cloud-based POS systems can work independently and store information on a local device in case of an Internet connection loss.

There are four crucial things you need to consider before starting POS system development as a restaurant owner. So first of all make sure that you: 

  • Identify your future needs. You need to take your time and think whether you are developing a point of sale system that will be able to grow with your business. Forecast the number of franchises you’re going to open, or how many employees you’d like to hire in the near future. This will help us to estimate a future load and a kind of client-server architecture we’ll need to design. This will also affect the maintenance costs.
  • Understand what solution you need. Are you going to use a proprietary hardware or you need a multiplatform solution for easier data access and control? The best case scenario is where you can access and replace the hardware with as little friction as possible. Depending on this choice we’ll pick a right set of technologies. This can also influence the cost of your solution, so make thoughtful decisions based on your restaurant needs. /li>
  • Think about additional options. Will your POS system have additional functions like reporting, customer marketing, inventory, and employee management? It is better to incorporate all crucial features into your POS at once so that this optimization can work for the good of your restaurant from the very beginning. 
  • Consider possible integrations. Are you going to sell POS or integrate with external software services like MailChimp, SalesForce, or any other? If so, you probably need to develop an API, so your product will be much more versatile in terms of connectivity.

Bottom Line

Automation of processes can be really helpful and it helps to boost restaurant business. So if you still do not have a modern POS in your restaurant or cafe, don’t wait up! Just choose the functions you need to automate your cafe business and head start the project!

Using a modern point of sale system alongside with an app you can run your business from just about anywhere. You don’t have to be tied down and inside your business. You can monitor your staff, generate reports from home, or from your car.

Need POS system for your restaurant or cafe?

Tony Tony Sol is the business development manager of GBKSOFT, overseeing the production of all writings for both internal blog and external platforms. He is technical-driven person always looking for new benefits of merging business and software.

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