5

Why your café needs a POS system

Perhaps you’ve been running your café successfully with only a pen and paper for years — and it works. Have you been using an old-fashioned cash register without any issue? Maybe an older POS system did the trick.

While there are many ways to successfully go about something, there are certain ways to improve the efficiency of your business and work in a streamlined fashioned. A modern, cloud-based POS system could help you manage your business day to day, so you can focus on growing and delivering exceptional customer service.

How can a cloud-based POS system help your café or bakery grow?

Create your ideal setup
Take payments wherever you are! With integrated credit card payments offered by POS systems like Lightspeed, you can print customizable receipts and finalize bills from your iPhone or iPad — in your café, terrace, market stand, kiosk or even food truck.

Lightspeed adapts to your way of running things. Take orders at the counter or table with an iPad or iPhone/iPhone touch, or create a more traditional counter setup.

Offer superior service and get to know your customers better
Give your customers the freedom to pay as they prefer. Depending on your payment processor, you can take cash, debit, credit card — even Apple Pay!

A POS system that allows you to print customizable receipts also allows you to build closer relationships with your customers. You can include anything you like on your receipts, such as QR codes linking to your website or Facebook page, or messages about upcoming specials.

Make well-informed menu and business decisions
Update your menu based on the information you gather from your POS. A cloud-based POS system with reporting features lets you track inventory, determine top sellers and analyze profits, giving you the tools to make the business decisions needed to move forward.

Don’t worry about losing information
With a cloud-based POS system, you’ll always have access to your menus, reports and sales data. Lightspeed POS also offers back-up 4G/LTE and offline server solutions to ensure you don’t run into any issues.

Link the front-end and back-end staff
When orders are taken on an iPad or iPhone, they’re sent directly to the kitchen (or anywhere else you choose), ensuring orders are completed quickly.

Save space with a modern POS
Lightspeed Restaurant’s POS doesn’t take much counter space — a printer, cash drawer and an iPad or iPhone are all you need to take orders and run your business.

6

How Restaurants Can Benefit From Self-Service Kiosks

Order, pay and seat yourself without talking to anyone. This is common in European and Asian quick service and fast casual restaurants, and now Americans are catching on by using self-service kiosks.

Kiosks are electronic ordering systems that provide a touchscreen menu for guests. Kiosks integrate directly with your point-of-sale (POS) system, making order processing extremely easy.

Take Panera Bread for example. The restaurant chain started to modernize their customer experience in 2014 by releasing Panera 2.0, a self-service kiosk featuring online payment, customized ordering, links to the loyalty program, and more. This year their CEO plans to replace all cashiers with kiosks.

While there are reasons economically that make this a good change, we’ll focus on the benefits that a kiosk can bring to a restaurant. In the right environment, Bepoz’s kiosks could:

  • Increase Revenue – Some restaurants claim to experience anywhere from 10 to 30% increase in revenue when implementing a self-service kiosk. This happens because every customer receives suggested upsells during the ordering process. They can also receive lists of the best menu items first, as well as any specials.
  • Increase of Accuracy – Guests feel like orders are more accurate because they are directly involved in ordering, and that perception can help improve a restaurant’s overall customer service.
  • Eliminate Long Lines – A set of kiosks can help speed up the check out process by offering guests multiple places to order.
  • Reduce Labor Costs – Since kiosks replace cashiers, this helps to reduce labor costs.
  • Focus on Expediting – Employees can spend their focus on creating and expediting the food. This can also increase the output of food delivered.
  • Showcase Promotions – Guests can view the newest menu item, special prices/discounts, as well as participate in a customer loyalty program.

The Truth About Cloud-Based vs Standard POS Systems

You’ve most likely heard of “the cloud.” In its simplest definition it’s the place where data is stored.

When evaluating any type of point-of-sale system, you have the option to store data in a main computer that’s perhaps linked to several checkout terminals, or you can store data in a main computer off-site hosted and maintained by a third party service. This is called a cloud-based POS system, and they are increasing in popularity.

When most people think about cloud-based point of sale systems, they think of a system that have a virtual web back end for management and reporting. Most of these systems run in IPads or Android tablets. For the sake of this article, this is type of cloud system we will be addressing. Many of these systems have a very low cost barrier to entry. Is it really worth following the trend of moving away from a standard POS system to use a cloud-based one? Although there can be some advantages to the cloud, here’s the truth about making the switch that you may not have considered.

Data Ownership

Your agreement with many cloud point of sale software systems includes verbiage that makes the Point of Sale Company the owner of the data, or at least gives them full rights to your data to sell it to third parties. It is the rule and not the exception among cloud-based point of sale companies to sell your data.

Speed

Many of today’s cloud systems are running on tablets with low memory requiring constant communication with cloud services for continuous operation. In side by side tests performed by many business owners and dealers, traditional on premise systems simply outperform cloud-based systems regarding speed of service, and speed equals money in typical businesses. This makes sense considering that much of the data required to operate these systems is in the cloud and not on location. Also, the consumer grade hardware used for many of these applications is not built for speed in a commercial environment.

Reliability

Because most cloud-based point of sale systems are based on consumer tablets without multiple ports necessary for reliable operation, peripherals like printers, barcode scanners, cash drawers, etc., as well as network communications are typically run on Bluetooth or Wifi. This becomes the Achilles heel of these systems. These wireless technologies simply cannot match the reliability of a traditional wire to keep your business running. After all isn’t running your business what this is all about?

Security

The cloud moves computing workloads off-site and mobilizes data on rented space on a giant server. Most cloud-based POS systems maintain private cloud systems that are typically in several geographic locations. A traditional POS system is housed in a back office where you manage your own in house security and data back up. If you use a cloud-based system you have to depend on others, meaning you have to trust who you are using to make sure they are providing high-end security and back up services.

Internet Connection

Using a standard POS system does not require an internet connection, but using a cloud-based system does. If your internet goes down, chances are your business goes down, and you could be missing out on sales. However, there are some cloud systems that can store some internal memory. This memory can store some transactions until you can get back up online, but who wants to take this chance?

Also, what happens if you have a system that is dependent on communication with other stations in the network? Such is the case in table service restaurants where a table stored on one station may need to be recalled at another. In this case, a simple network outage could take the business down, or at least leave it crawling at a snail’s pace. No one can ever predict how long an outage will be.

Cost-Effectiveness

When you consider the just speed of service and the possible down time risk that comes with a true cloud-based point of sale system, the costs can easily mount up to cost much more than the price of simply operating a standard system.

So if you’re considering moving to a cloud-based POS system make sure you consider security concerns, internet connection, reliability, speed, data ownership, and cost effectiveness. The truth may be that a standard POS system is still the better choice for your business. Many people want a cloud-based system until they get one.