By Rafi Cohen, Co-Founder, Orders2Me
Depending on how long you’ve been in business, your point of sale system may be in need of an upgrade. Like the counters, tables, chairs and kitchen hardware, your POS system needs a little TLC to help keep things running smoothly. After all, every transaction in and out of your restaurant runs through your point of sale, and it gets almost as much use as a cooktop or oven in the restaurant business.
Additionally, with the rapid advancement of mobile technology and wireless internet, your available options for cashing out and tracking customer orders has never been more robust.
The question for restaurateurs who wonder if it’s time for some POS changes is this: how do you know what to get when you finally upgrade that POS system? In order to simplify your upgrade process, include these five features in your new POS system.
Mobile POS Solutions
The proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices with touch screen interfaces has led to the mass manufacture of high quality, inexpensive POS systems that can be taken on the go. Some point of sale systems in mobile food service locations, like food trucks, can even be run from a tablet or smartphone with wireless internet access via mobile phone networks or WiFi.
No longer do staff and servers have to remain by a counter or cash register during dinner rush, tying up valuable labor resources. All transactions can be conducted tableside, and the customer can even sign for their bill right away without the server having to take and return their credit card. This not only provides customers with superior service and convenience, but added peace of mind that their card will not be skimmed or scanned once out of sight.
RFID/NFC Payment Capabilities
Apple Pay and Android Pay are changing the way everyone pays for goods and services on the go. Forgot your wallet and need to pay for your order? Grab your phone, use the biometric lock or enter a secure PIN code and tap to pay. It’s that simple — and takes mere seconds to accomplish.
When you upgrade your POS system to support these RFID/NFC communication methods, you add a cutting-edge convenience that will become even more prevalent in the next decade than credit cards were in the 90s and early 2000s. Unlike a credit card strip or number, though, the RFID/NFC signal is entirely encrypted so that it is only visible to the receiving device and the sending device, making it next to impossible to steal credit card information or use your RFID/NFC payment methods without your biometric information or PIN.
Best of all, when paired with a mobile POS solution that utilizes iPads or runs on Android OS tablets and devices, RFID/NFC payment options are often already built-in. It’s still a smart idea to verify that you can take payments using these newer secure payment technologies; however, if you are already considering going to a mobile, NFC/RFID makes the decision to upgrade even more beneficial.
Barcode/RFID or Biometric Login for Employees
Providing your employees with a secure way to log in to the POS or to punch their digital time card for hours and tips not only benefits you in terms of tracking hours and keeping everyone running on schedule, but it also makes sure that you are able to closely monitor every transaction your servers and staff process on the POS individually. If a transaction was misprocessed, you can address the problem with the appropriate individual at that time without involving the entire staff.
New POS systems allow managers to assign RFID keyfobs or login cards to employees to use for instant login without a server code or password. Additionally, newer mobile devices, such as the iPad Air and many Android tablets, have a built-in biometric sensor that can accurately store and read fingerprints for security purposes.
One the software is configured, your employees just need to press the designated finger to the sensor to clock in for the day, log on to the POS system or enter an order for their table or customer. No more delayed logins or forgotten passwords — just a swipe or a tap, and everything is ready to go.
Customer Database Options
Upgrading your POS to store customer information (with consent) allows you to track that customer’s ordering preferences, securely remember favorite delivery or take-out orders and recall credit card information when making a repeat order, all of which make the dine-in or order-out experience faster and more convenient.
Online Ordering/Mobile App Integration
Given the shift to online and mobile application technology integration in the foodservice industry, it’s especially important to integrate most new POS systems with an online ordering app or mobile-friendly website that takes orders via the internet. This removes the possibility of human error when entering online orders in the POS system, and makes turnaround times faster for customers picking up or having their meals delivered.
In the end, you are going to need to upgrade your POS system in order to remain competitive with newer and more agile competitors in the restaurant business. Implement these five key features in your upgrade and you’ll maintain your competitive edge for years to come.
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder at Orders2Me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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