Point of sale. A term of many meanings – it’s an action, it’s hardware, it’s software. Much like the word ‘phone’: action (making a call), hardware (iPhone) and software (iOS).

Every time a new iPhone is released the hype and obscene pricing is justified by the software – which, with every new release, offers more advanced features to make your life easier, or enhance it in some way. 

Which is exactly what point of sale software does for your business. But with so many POS options (Kounta by Lightpeed, Square, Impos, etc.) How do you decide which is the right fit for your business, your venue and your staff?

Five key features of POS systems

To start with, most of today’s POS systems should include these five features:

1) Ordering and workflows
2) Payments
3) Sales reports
4) In-built inventory
5) Integrations

The question then becomes how different POS systems approach these features, how detailed or basic they are and, most importantly, how do they support your day-to-day work.

Ordering: operations & service

It’s no longer about keying in an order, it is about facilitating workflows. Your POS system should streamline front of house and back of house operations. This includes:

– Sending orders straight to print
– Easy modifiers (e.g. no bacon) to prevent miscommunication between FOH and BOH
– Table management and layout to improve customer service

Payments: quick, easy and error-free 

This is especially important for venues like cafes where during busy hours, every second counts. And with that much human traffic, making mistakes is only human. This is where a good POS system helps your business and your staff. Your POS system should:

– Sync to your EFTPOS so your staff don’t have to key in the price manually (the minimal contact also makes it COVID Safe)
– Offer flexible payment options and easily accommodate requests like split bills
– Automatically apply surcharge and promotions based on time, day, etc. 

Sales reports: customisable, fast & automated

Sales run in the veins of your business, and sales should be the heart of your POS system. A well connected POS should be able to collate data and produce insights into your business so that you can make decisions based on numbers rather than hunches.

Some key sales POS features include:

– Customisable one-click reports: Lunch vs. Dinner, Takeaway vs. Dine-in, MoM, etc. 
– Sales analysis where raw data is interpreted into actionable insights
– Live sales reporting app so that you can make be across your sales no matter where you are

In-built inventory: reduce cost of goods & increase margins

Effective inventory management makes a huge impact on both costs and time. Next to labour, the cost of goods is one of the biggest expenses in running your business. Having inventory management built into your POS system can significantly cut costs and increase margins. It helps you to:

– Monitor costs and maintain margins by tracking fixed costs down to the last cent
– Manage supplier contacts so you can automate purchasing and order to par
– Track wastage by getting full visibility on the reasons behind wastage and associated costs

Integrations: connecting with other management tools

Different POS software offers different tech integrations. So when you’re selecting your POS, the two questions to ask yourself are: what are the tools/software that I currently use? What tools do I need to grow my business? Below are four key integrations and their benefits.

– Accounts: you can save hours in reconciliation when your POS and accounting software communicate directly
– Delivery: if your volume of deliveries has grown, consider a POS that integrates with your delivery platforms so you can manage online orders directly from your POS
– Marketing: manage loyalty programmes and trigger promotions straight from your POS
– Employee management: roster staff based on sales trends for busy and quiet periods to prevent under and overstaffing

Free e-Guide

And that is just the beginning of what an efficient and capable Point of Sale System can do for your venue. Download this Free Ultimate POS e-Guide to learn more.