From giant, gold-plated art deco cash registers to taking payments via mobile phone, the way merchants process payments has changed substantially over the last 150 years. A large and growing number of food establishments and restaurants are making the switch to mobile POS devices, citing greater flexibility and reliability than counter-bound systems.
Making the Switch to a Tablet-Based POS
Point of sale options for the iPad are among the most widely used mobile payment systems and it continues to gain in popularity. StartUps UK, an online magazine for new and emerging entrepreneurs, says there are three primary reasons for switching to a mobile POS: cost, customer service and environment-friendliness. Of course, merchants should always be eager to adopt any systems or practices that improve the quality of customer service, but until recently, the POS system was rarely part of the equation.
Mobile POS allows businesses to mount the iPad-based system at the front counter, but employees can use them throughout the food establishment or restaurant. This means an employee won't have to leave the customer to check prices or gather additional information. He or she can use the tablet to verify that information, such as the cost of the menu, to compare costs of different dishes, and answer additional questions on the spot. Customers have a more positive dining experience knowing that wait staff are always on hand to provide the information they need quickly and without fuss.
Cost and scalability are also important considerations when evaluating a switch to mobile POS. Start-ups and emerging restaurants can't always predict projected growth as accurately as they'd like. Their efforts can boom overnight or take several years to grow and develop, making it hard to allocate funds for infrastructure improvements, including POS. A cloud-based mobile POS system costs considerably less than a traditional electronic unit and the price includes the cost of the device and the subscription so planning for growth is easier and cost-effective. POS apps are designed to be scalable so it's fairly easy to integrate data from other branches or stores as they're added to the system.
The POS Benefits Both the Environment and Business Strategy
A tablet POS is good for the environment for several reasons. The most obvious is the reduction in paper and printed material. In restaurants, servers can take orders electronically cutting down (or possibly out) the need for order pads. What's more, the orders can be sent directly to the kitchen terminal cutting down on incorrect orders and other expediting errors. Customers also have the option of receiving email copies of their receipts.
Small Business Trends notes one of the best reasons to adopt mobile iPad POS is for the range of analytics it can provide. No more struggling with unwieldy Excel spreadsheets and graphs to track sales and inventory, almost all Android and iPad POS apps have solid reporting packages that can provide nearly real-time sales figures. Beyond mere totals, mobile POS systems also let you filter by a variety of categories letting owners and managers drill down for the best information to help develop and refine your business strategies. Additionally, since the data is stored in a cloud-based system, merchants can keep doing business even when the Internet connection is down.
The buzz about mobile iPad POS is not just hype. It's a flexible and robust system for running nearly every aspect of a business from inventory to sales, marketing and expansion. State of the art systems, in addition to helping customers also provide them with a sense of security and trust that they are doing business with a tech-savvy company that puts customer service and data security first.
Nicole Bryan is the digital content writer for Sterling Payment Technologies, a payment processing company based in Tampa, Florida. Sterling is a payment processor that offers solutions that help grow their customers’ businesses more profitably and efficiently.