chefs and team working in kitchen

We hear it all the time – “My restaurant is small. Why would I need a POS system?” Don’t worry if you’re one of those who have repeated this like a mantra because it’s all too common. But it’s also a misconception.

The truth is, any size business can be more efficient, more productive, and more profitable when using a POS restaurant management system. The key is getting a scalable POS that can grow and adapt to the ever-changing needs of your restaurant, and the food industry at large.

So, it’s a shiny new cash register?

No, no, NO! Cash registers are what our friend Alton Brown would call a “unitasker,” meaning it’s effectively a one-trick pony, offering sales records and reports, and little else. A scalable POS takes this rudimentary data and applies it across a wide range of algorithms, giving you detailed analytics of profitability and loss, purchasing gaps, and customer feedback.

More importantly, restaurant POS systems are automated, so your staff spends more time focusing on customer service, and less time on manually entering data into a series of spreadsheets.

bartender tricks for serving guests

What is this “scalable POS” you speak of?

Gone are the days when a business needed to buy specific software for specific purposes. In the past, owners used accounting software for finances, time management software to handle staffing and rudimentary POS software to handles sales.

Today, restaurant POS systems are actually misnomers since they’re actually all-encompassing business management platforms that allow you to oversee all areas of a restaurant within one user-friendly interface, from payroll and sales to mobile customer loyalty programs. They are designed to handle as many (or as few) areas of a restaurant as you need, in a completely automated fashion.

Scalability comes when your business grows, and your needs grow with them. Whether you’re adding menu items or expanding to three new locations and online sales, today’s POS systems are optimized to work seamlessly as things evolve. Performance data can be segmented as deep as you want to dive while remaining fully integrated, so you can make smart decisions across all facets of your business.

With all this connectivity, the POS is likely to break, right?

POS systems are connected, and yes – because of internet issues – you can sometimes get disconnected. But unlike cash registers, they continue to operate through server downtime, saving all entries locally, and syncing them back to the server once you’re back online. Your information is safe and is never lost.

(And, if the power goes out, don’t worry – it’s all backed up, too.)

Restaurant POS inside bar

I still think we’re too small to buy a restaurant POS

We get it, really. Investing in a POS system isn’t an impulse purchase. But it is just that – an investment. And like all good investments, it stands to pay for itself in relatively short order, as its efficiency and wealth of data lead directly to profits.

Regardless of your restaurant’s size, a fully fleshed POS allows staff to work quicker, payments to process more easily, and business-wide analytics ensure you’re aware of what’s working (and what’s not) well before it negatively affects your bottom line.

And as you enjoy restaurant growth, a scalable POS is fully capable of keeping pace every step of the way, allowing you to see comparative data that lets you adapt to different neighborhoods and audiences without slowing you down.

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.