Choosing the Level of POS That Is Right for Your Restaurant

Oct 23 2015

Starting a Restaurant Restaurant Technology POS Systems

When shopping for a POS System, it is important to first consider your business needs. Choose a POS based on what you need for operations as well as what you need for back office analysis. For example, if you are a hot dog vendor, pmix analysis is not a primary concern, but if you are a bar with hundreds of tequilas, pmix is paramount to your operations. By determining the POS features that your restaurant needs, you can select the appropriate level of POS. After that, you can refine your criteria by establishing the hardware, software, integrations, pricing, and support that you require from your POS.


Cash Register
A cash register is a way to collect simple sales information and payment. This is appropriate for smaller, basic operations that may only have a handful of items or a single employee utilizing the register at a time. The business that uses a cash register should be relatively ‘uncomplicated’ in terms of products and processes. If you think that you fall into this category be cautious that you are not oversimplifying your business or your business needs. If you choose a cash register, consider whether you need additional systems for processing Credit Cards or other daily activities. Note that a higher level POS with more data intelligence never hurt a business.

Light POS
Smaller businesses may only need an entry level POS. A light POS may not have the whistles and bells like sophisticated splitting items, advanced orders, loyalty integration, the ability to accept online or future orders, or even time and attendance. If your business does not need this data to meet your sales needs, then a light POS may be the perfect solution.

Full POS
A full POS is appropriate if you have multi-unit restaurant chain that needs to be programmed from a centralized source for consistency and control of new menu items, prices, and promotional items. A full POS may have full bells and whistles like accounts receivable, gratuities, revenue centers, surcharges by order mode and even integration with video monitoring. If your restaurant needs are complex, a full POS may be the ideal solution for you.

From a back office standpoint, don’t assume that the quality of the data is better for analysis because it has the most features. Find out what back office solutions your potential POS integrates with. If they are not integrated, this may be an indication that they are new to the space (which may be associated with greater risk) or that they have insufficient data for analysis.

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Megan McIntyre

Megan McIntyre

Megan has been with Ctuit since May 2011. She has a broad range of expertise in the hospitality industry with over 15 years of experience involving customer service, COGS, client relations, event coordination, marketing and promotions. Megan holds her MBA in Sustainable Business Enterprises from Dominican University of California.