Catering POS software is an essential part of hospitality management. If you look at any successful food franchise, you’ll find their system is optimized with a restaurant POS system.
But if you’re new to POS, the jargon, hardware, and software options can be confusing.
Let’s discuss what to look for in POS software and hardware, and factors to consider when making your final restaurant POS system choice.
What is Catering POS Software?
Catering POS software, also known as restaurant POS software, is a type of point-of-sale software used predominantly in the hospitality industry–by catering companies, bars, and restaurants.
The point-of-sale system takes care of menu management, payment processing, and accounting processes without much outside help. Advanced POS systems also feature built-in online ordering software and CRM software, as well as table-tracking features for real-time updates and management.
All in all, catering POS software manages the entire purchasing and payment portion for the catering and restaurant industry.
Benefits of Using a Restaurant POS System
You’ll find catering management software in most restaurants and catering venues, and with good reason. Some of the most common benefits include better customer service, more payment mobility, more ordering options, and easier transactions.
All of these benefits help restaurants increase their revenue while saving time and resources.
Better Customer Service
The best restaurant POS systems improve customer services on two fronts: easier ordering and menu management, and loyalty rewards.
A POS system streamlines the ordering process. Customers can order and pay for their products quickly and easily, whether through online ordering or in-store purchasing.
It also helps that most POS points have easy-to-use and super-fast features. Users can complete an order quickly and with minimal hassle, which improves their shopping experience.
Many catering software options also feature loyalty programs, cash-back services, or discount cards. This is a great incentive for customers to come back to your brand.
Increased Payment Mobility
Modern catering management software continues to grow, with more and more options presenting cloud or web-based menu management and online ordering options.
Quick-service restaurants can take advantage of this increased mobility by adding POS software to devices carried by the servers themselves, allowing for more efficient online ordering and table management.
The best restaurant POS systems feature task automation features. The POS system will take care of in-person and online ordering while also managing the accounting, table availability, restaurant inventory, and reporting and analytics.
More Ordering Options
A restaurant POS system, especially one that can integrate with multiple devices and software, offers more ordering options.
With advanced catering management software, ordering options could include:
- Online ordering
- Kiosk ordering
- Traditional payment ordering
More ordering options will naturally lead to more customers and more revenue.
Probably the biggest benefit of catering management software is the ability for both employees and customers to easily order their food.
The easy user interface, increased ordering options, and online payment mobility will impress everyone who uses the system and encourage further use.
Best Restaurant POS System Features to Look For
There are many good catering software on the market. However, not all POS software will have the same features.
Let’s take a look at some of the POS software and hardware basics you should look for when choosing a restaurant POS system.
Restaurant POS System Features
Keep in mind that you don’t need all of the below features. Instead, browse through the features and use them as a guide to finding the right POS system for your restaurant.
- Online ordering: Online ordering is an important part of modern consumerism. The POS system should be able to handle online ordering by itself or through integration with online ordering software.
- Payment processing: The restaurant POS system needs to accept both credit and debit card payments. It should also support other cardless transactions, especially as modern payment becomes more and more cardless.
- Order management: Whether it's in-person or online ordering, the restaurant's POS system should manage orders in real-time. The POS system must track sales, optimize orders, and integrate with delivery and inventory management.
- Menu management: Menu management is especially important for online ordering. Combined with inventory management, the POS software should be able to track stock and menu items' availability.
- Inventory management: A restaurant POS system with built-in inventory management will keep track of stock and stock trends. It’ll also manage reordering and food costs.
- Table management: Table management will help you manage busy nights. This restaurant POS system feature will manage reservations, scheduling, walk-ins, and availability.
- Delivery management: To optimize online ordering, you need delivery management. This POS system feature will manage the delivery process from start to finish.
- Sales reporting and analytics: A restaurant POS system needs sales reporting and analytics. This is the only way to effectively track sales, prevent mistakes, and prepare for future in-person and online ordering trends.
- Cloud-based: A cloud-based POS system will free up your staff and empower them on the floor. It also makes management a lot easier if the catering management software isn’t tethered to one centralized point.
- Integration options: Catering software with open API, third-party integrations, or a brand software ecosystem are easier to manage. They’re also more powerful. With these features, you can seamlessly integrate your POS system with other restaurant management software.
Restaurant POS Hardware
Hardware options can be a little trickier. Some big POS system distributors offer catering software kits, which include all the hardware you’ll need. Others require you to buy the hardware components separately.
If you are buying separately, here are the hardware options that will improve catering management. Always check the hardware compatibility with your restaurant POS system before purchasing.
- Payment monitor: The POS system payment monitor should be easy to use and straightforward. Modern touchscreen terminals are the easiest to use for self-service and cashier pay points.
- Order or customer display: The POS system should come with or integrate with your customer display so that clients always know what they’re paying for. It also makes the payment process much easier.
- Payment terminal: Your POS system and payment terminal need to support the same payment options, especially as cashless and cardless payments continue to become the new normal. If your payment terminal only accepts physical card payments but your catering software accepts touchless purchasing, you’ll lose out on sales.
- Mobile POS system: A POS system that supports mobile devices or offers a mobile alternative will free up employees from the central payment terminal and increase catering and restaurant efficiency.
Restaurant POS Considerations Before Purchase
Before you commit to any one POS system, consider the following catering software issues.
Which Is Right for You: Cash Register or POS System?
While POS software can be a little expensive, it’s important to remember that you are paying for a fully integrated POS system that will manage almost all of your restaurant's sales and inventory.
However, if you are a small catering or restaurant business that only needs to manage payment processing, you can opt for a traditional cash register instead. Upgrade to catering software when your business revenue increases.
Make Sure It Is Restaurant POS
There are POS system options for almost every industry. That’s why it’s important to make sure you purchase a restaurant POS system and not another type. A restaurant catering system will have food industry-specific features that you won’t get with other, more general POS system options.
Employee-Friendly POS System Features
A fancy POS system won’t outshine a generic catering POS system if employees can’t figure out how to use it. Prioritize a user-friendly interface and training over advanced POS features.
An efficient restaurant POS system can have a big impact on your restaurant management. From online ordering to table and inventory management, POS will free up time and resources better spent elsewhere.
Browse the best restaurant POS systems and use the above guide to find the features you want to add to your catering management.