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Choosing the best restaurant POS for your restaurant is no easy task. It needs to be carefully thought out, based on your restaurant’s current needs, while keeping in mind how you want to scale your business down the line.

Having a checklist can help you cross off the most important features and elements a POS system can bring to your restaurant. While the items below are just a very small portion of what’s available in modern restaurant management platforms, consider this your “must-have” starting point, on your journey to crafting a restaurant POS system ideal for the needs of your business.

Having a checklist can help you cross off the most important restaurant POS features.

1- Ease of use

Restaurant POS systems are designed to make your staff’s lives easier. However, if your POS system requires 15 manuals and an advanced calculus degree, getting your staff to adapt isn’t going to be easy. When building a POS solution for the needs of your restaurant, consider the following:

  • How quickly orders come in
  • The flow of the restaurant floor
  • How many items are on the menu
  • Average turnover time

You can add about 1,000 other common variables to this list. Each restaurant is unique, and a restaurant POS system needs to reflect that. A highly customizable, simply laid out entry system is key to keeping business moving at the right pace, while also being accessible to new staff members.

2- Data, data, data

As simple as the POS system interface should be for operators, the backend needs to offer the depth of detail necessary to gain a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace. Garnering customer data, inventory information, and countless other metrics will allow you to adjust ordering, staff appropriately for each shift, and determine the right strategy for optimal success on your busiest nights.

Your POS system shouldn’t just gather data, but also organize it, and even automate decisions based upon it. From automatic ordering of low-stock items to optimized seating arrangements, your POS effectiveness is only limited by how deep you’re willing to dive into the data.

3- Scalability

Like most restaurant owners, you probably want to see your business grow. This isn’t exactly a newsworthy headline. However, once you start scaling operations upwards, will your restaurant POS capabilities scale to match?

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In other words, are you going to outgrow your POS system, forcing you to upgrade all over again in just a few months or years?

To get the most out of your cloud-based POS system, you want to find one that has the ability to automatically upgrade software, add features and apps, increase data collection, and remain optimized for the lifespan of your equipment.

And when your equipment ages, you need a POS provider that includes hardware upgrades as part of your plan, to ensure you never lose key performance or functionality due to failure.

Features you may not currently need might become paramount once you expand your restaurant’s offerings or open a new location. Your POS needs to accommodate this, as well.

Scalability is something that is often overlooked by newcomers to POS systems, but something that is indispensable when productivity and profitability increase.

Again, the above three checkpoints are but a fraction of the things you’ll need to assess. But once you do, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your chosen POS system is one that will streamline and improve all aspects of your restaurant operations.

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Written by   |  
Brad Bortone is a writer, editor and content marketer, published in areas ranging from content strategy to music reviews, and seemingly everywhere in between. Brad's love of the food industry began during his tenure with Johnson & Wales University's web team, writing countless pieces about - and enjoying countless lunches from - the school's esteemed culinary program.