ipad emv pos

This article originally appeared on PointofSale.com

A decade or two ago, to become a restaurant owner, when you thought about managing payments, things might have felt a bit simpler. Perhaps back then all you needed was a cash register to accept payment for your famous burgers or fish tacos.

These days, most of your guests don’t carry cash… and your servers might not even know how to balance a cash drawer at the end of the night, forget about using it during a busy Friday night shift.

But you can’t really blame them. It’s estimated that by 2023, the mobile POS market will be valued at $48.77 billion. There is no doubt about it, restaurant point of sale systems of the future will be replaced by iPads (or some other type of handheld device) that’s for sure. But many restaurateurs are still unsure about this shift in technology.

“Should my servers really be walking around with iPads in their pockets?”

To answer that question, you really only need to look at the features and benefits that thousands and restaurateurs are seeing with iPad restaurant POS adaption.

Here are 17 features an iPad restaurant POS can offer you.

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Whether it’s your staff, your guests, or smoother operations all around, your restaurant POS is a pretty big deal. The POS is the central nervous system of the restaurant. It captures your orders, routes them to the right places, secures payments and even delivers rich restaurant analytics.

Staff Must-Haves

Restaurant staff need to be able to quickly determine inventory, fire the right items at the right time, modify things easily, and know when something has been 86’d. They also want to be able to easily communicate with one another during and after the shift, and manage tabs and checks.

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An iPad restaurant POS can help with these features.

  • 1- Real-time inventory monitoring allows for BOH employees to automatically 86 items and alert servers –  that’s FOH and BOH communication streamlined and guest happiness optimized.
  • 2- Shiftnotes allow you to alert your staff to important messages directly in your restaurant POS.
  • 3- Check/tab management in an iPad POS means that staff can find a check by swiping, searching by tab. Plus they can split checks fast and easily.
  • 4- Item notes allow for communication from the FOH to the kitchen to take place easily right within the iPad POS. After all, a food allergy is important information for everyone to have.
  • 5- Shift notes and a logbook built into the iPad POS make communication seamless and right at everyone’s fingertips.
  • 6- Check and tab management: your servers move at the speed of hospitality, which means searching for a check, searching by tab and spliting everything easily is a huge bonus
  • 7- Tip adjust… because adding tip to the check without the card, especially with EMV compliance, shouldn’t disrupt anyone’s flow.
  • 8- Offline Mode means that when the WiFi goes down, service doesn’t. Best-in-class iPad POS systems allow staff to continue to create checks, send orders to the kitchen and capture credit cards despite interruptions in internet.

Guest Must-Haves

Enhancing the guest experience should be the job of your restaurant POS. And with these iPad POS features, your guests are certainly much happier.

  • 9- Split checks, split items, split it as many ways as the guests at the table want with an iPad POS.
  • 10- Tableside service is essential to the guest experience and with an iPad POS taking orders is not just easy, but leaves less room for error.
  • 11- Signature on screen makes getting the check a breeze. Plus, no need for a printer at the register, which saves you money. Let your guests sign on screen to expedite check-out.

Operational Must-Haves

Running a restaurant is a bit like putting together a puzzle. iPad restaurant POS is intuitive. An intuitive restaurant is smoother. A smoother restaurant brings back more guests.

These iPad POS features make your operation smoother.

  • 12- Menu templates make adding your menu to your POS shouldn’t feel like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
  • 13- A virtual logbook in the iPad POS means you can get a recap of staff feedback, task lists and answers to staff and management questions so the restaurant can plan an even better shift tomorrow.
  • 14- Menu customization and menu search means that you can revise your menu, build courses and automatically fire items with a quick tap.
  • 15- Labor reporting and management is a breeze with an iPad POS that gives you insights that make it easier to understand and manage labor costs, scheduling, and productivity.
  • 16- Marketing and campaigns are easier than ever since your restaurant POS software is typically built right into your iPad POS. Now, you can really know if Restaurant Week was worth it.
  • 17- Restaurant analytics and reporting comes built into best-in-class iPad POS systems which means restaurateurs get a real-time view of sales trends and performance rather than digging through complicated reports.

The Benefits of an iPad Restaurant POS

At the end of the day, the features are only as good as the benefits, of course. A cloud-based or iPad POS system offers benefits that many restaurateurs feel they “can’t live without.” If you’re in the position to evaluate a restaurant point of sale system, and an iPad POS is in your consideration set, be sure to look for these benefits.

  • More mobility since the system operates on tablets (such as an iPad) rather than fixed stations.
  • Consumer-friendly devices that are faster to train on and easier to use.
  • Automatic updates, with new features and capabilities that don’t need changes to hardware configurations or equipment.
  • Remote access to reporting, settings, and even menu information.
  • Tableside service with modern payment types such as signature on screen and mobile payments.
  • Live updates of restaurant performance (i.e., sales, comps, voids, checks, etc.) available through a browser or a native mobile app.
  • Regularly updated with top-tier encryption and security.
  • Offline Mode – a modified level of functionality that allows you to keep you plugged in, even when the web isn’t.

These benefits are rapidly leading more restaurants to adopt cloud-based POS systems over legacy systems. However, some restaurants may hold back based on common myths about cloud-based point of sale systems.

Bottom line: lower upfront costs, enhanced security, and features and benefits that your staff, management, and guests will all love? An iPad restaurant POS can offer you more than you thought.

Written by

In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time… and she’d own all the shoes her heart desired. When she’s not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to “Long Island”. Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence’s historic Federal Hill.

  • kdavis

    Most of the things in this list all POS systems can do, mobile or traditional. The problem with these mobile systems is that they have poorly executed solutions in many cases. Having to use several different apps just to get the data you need is unacceptable for a restaurant owner. Sure they look like they are cheaper but in reality they cost you more over the life of the system. They lock you into a contract using their hardware, their software and their processor which you have no choice but to accept their rate (bad rates at that). Its deceptive and there are better solutions out there. I’ve been to many sites that continually have issues with the mobile software or tablets that go down… Ultimately if you are looking for a system you need to talk to a Point of Sale professional that will listen to your needs and recommend solutions that fit you.