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What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Point-of-Sale System: Restaurant Edition [part 1]

Oct 14, 2015 | Weekly Articles

If you’ve read our previous blog about the blessings of a Point-of-Sale systems, you may have decided to get one.

 

Congratulations!

To help you on your journey, here’s some advice of what you should expect for basic hardware with your Point-of-Sale system.

You may be thinking “Now I can just build one myself!”

Slow down MacGyver.

You may think you’ll be able to use that sweet old Dell to construct it, DIY style (all you need is duct tape and superglue!), but from all our years of handling POS, we’ve never seen one actually work. Usually they will die, or be ungodly slow. This one product you should leave up to the experts.

 

Bundle or buy separately?

First off, try and go for an all in one POS rather than getting all the pieces separately online from different vendors. It may seem cheaper, but the costs will add up quickly, and there’s no guarantee they will work together.

 

Touch Screen/Computer

These will be a blessing and the most efficient for a bar or restaurant. Touch Screens on Point-of-Sale systems made for restaurant will sometimes have the bonus of quick access to ring up popular items onto tabs quickly. Some will have additional features that allow you to make seasonal menu items.

 

Thermal printer

This is a printer that will print receipts for the merchant and customer, usually next to the touch screen. They are roughly seven times faster than impact printers, also, they will print the second receipt while the customer signs they first receipt. Fair warning, do not put this printer in the kitchen.

 

Kitchen printer (Impact Printer)

Yes you’ll need two different types of printers, if you’ve read our blog about POS nightmares, you’ll know thermal printers are heat sensitive (hence the name “thermal”) and the paper in them will turn black if exposed to lots of heat. The kitchen printer is designed to handle heat, and should the printer used to print off orders for the kitchen to fill.

 

POS Restaurant Software

Any hardware you buy will essentially be useless without the correct software to operate it. That’s also why we recommend buying all these pieces together from the same vendor, since it’s easier to order the wrong software online. Always ask to make sure this is included with your package with the provider you choose!

Now it’s time for the bonus item you may want to consider!

 

Mobile Terminal

Your restaurant may want a terminal that is either an iPad or Windows Tablet that will be portable. These are not good in the kitchen, but useful if you want to have a outside seating area, or a multi floor building; this way your wait staff can fill orders without so many trips to the kitchen. These could also be used so the server could carry and take orders at each table, submitting them as they go. It may be an expensive option, but does speed up the process.

That covers the basic hardware for a restaurant Point-of-Sale system, there’s lots of brands out there, but keep all the above features in mind, and ask if that brand provides all those pieces.

 

Want to talk to a POS equipment expert?

If you’d like to learn more about what technologies steps to take with your own business, or would like a free demo, contact us here.

 

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