Whether you’re buying a Point of Sale (POS) system for the first time, or looking to upgrade your existing system, the process can be be quite involved. Technology has come so far in just the past few years, that it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options available to you and your restaurant.

Start your search with these questions for a new restaurant POS in order to choose the best possible system, without getting bogged down by decision fatigue.

Does It Play Well with Others?

Your POS system is arguably the most important tool in your entire restaurant – yes, even when compared to your kitchen appliances. However, it’s not the only tool you’ll use every day. Most restaurants also use some combination of employee tracking software, accounting services, and more. Simplify your restaurant operations with a POS system that has the capability of integrating all your solutions.

Your POS provides valuable metrics when integrated with other restaurant technologies. You’ll save the most by choosing a POS that comes with its own Guest Manager, in order to keep the integration of these systems as seamless as possible.

Will It Simplify Inventory Tracking?

One of the most important features of any POS system is the way it tracks your inventory. Controlling food waste is one of the biggest contributors to lost revenue. You should have easy access to all the information you need about your menu items, from a list of bestsellers to an itemized breakdown of your most profitable ingredients.

Choose a POS that allows you to track sales and profits by menu item and by individual ingredient, so you can make intelligent purchasing decisions every time you place an order. Some POS  systems even have the ability to notify you when you’re running low on a particular item, so you can alert guests the moment they sit down, avoiding any possible disappointment (and the negative reviews that tend to follow).

Can It Process Online Orders?

Many restaurants rely on third-party services, like GrubHub or Seamless, to handle delivery and online ordering. These services charge you as much as 15-30 percent per order, and using their services drives traffic to their websites, not yours.

By choosing a POS system that can handle online ordering directly, you save time and money, while simultaneously improving customer loyalty. Integrated Online Ordering (OLO) adds revenue to your bottom line, while adding additional revenue channels on your website and Facebook page.

Connect with your guests directly in order to learn more about them (by saving their order history in your POS), and give them even better dining experiences both in-store and at home. Best of all, you save money on every order, which makes OLO more profitable than ever.

 Is Mobile Support Offered?

The most powerful POS systems on the market provide multiple mobile options. Some of them offer a mobile app for guests to download and connect to your website, while others offer tablet-based checkout for streamlined service in-store.

Empower your servers to take every order with a tablet, and they’ll be able to send each item directly to the kitchen – saving time and money on disposable goods like paper and pens, while reducing human error.

Best of all, this new kind of checkout will impress your guests, improving their experience, and their loyalty to your restaurant.

Is Your Data in the Cloud?

Cloud-based reporting is one of the most exciting features that state-of-the-art POS systems can offer you. With cloud reporting you can track your restaurant’s daily numbers from anywhere, any time.

This means that you’re free to take days off, and even travel without worrying about what you’re missing at the restaurant. Check in on your numbers every day – or even every hour – and make updates to your inventory and your employees’ schedules in real time. Data-backed decisions help you run your restaurant better. Keep your business running smoothly from anywhere, and you’ll be more successful both in your restaurant, and in the rest of your life.

Warner Siebert

@trycakenow | Website

Warner Siebert is the SVP of Sales & Marketing for CAKE, a Sysco company. Hailing from New York City by way of Baltimore, Warner began helping restaurants when he founded BuzzTable in 2011, which was acquired by Sysco in 2013 and rebranded as CAKE Guest Manager.