Restaurant POS (Point of Sale) systems are a key part of your restaurant operation. They help you keep track of all the sales in your restaurant but do much more than simply collect payments. A good POS system is essential to running your restaurant with maximum efficiency and making sure all the money that should make it to the bottom line gets there.
A restaurant POS system is not a small investment and it is kind of like buying a car- there are many options, many models and a complete range of choices. You can get everything from a do it yourself pieced together used system to a ready to go out of the box full fledged super system and everything in between.
A POS system generally consists of the following parts:
Depending on the size of your operation, you can have multiple of all of those pieces. For example, you could have a touchscreen station in the bar, at the hostess stand, several in the dining room and another at the takeout station.
If you are going to have multiple locations, you can get a system that will tie them together and send all the info to central reporting point. The software can either run on the computers themselves (like when you install a program on your home computer) or they can be "hosted" which means accessing them through an Internet connection and using everything online like the way you use Facebook.
Your options in buying a POS system are that you can buy the hardware (touchscreen, computer, cash drawer, printer) separately and then install POS software or you can buy the hardware and software together from companies that sell the complete units together with the software already installed.
You can get simple POS software that really just tracks sales or you can get softwre that also tracks food cost, labor cost, takes reservations, tracks tables by server, schedules employees and downloads everything to Quickbooks at the end of the night.
We are working on this page now and should shortly have links to all the different POS options as well as reviews of each so you can better determine for yourself what type of system will work best for your concept.
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