How to Choose the Best Cafe or Coffee Shop POS SystemDownload PDF
Choosing the best POS for your cafe
Cafe history is one of quiet talks of revolution in Europe and imperialistic wars fought around the world. All over a beloved caffeinated bean. As the cafe evolved from coffee house to serving light breakfasts from local bakeries, they added more food items like muffins and breakfast sandwiches. A lunch menu wasn't far behind for many cafes as coffee wasn't just a morning drink anymore. Indeed, any time of day people could be looking for their fix. Modern cafes cater to patrons on the go, looking for a boost from a double espresso or a signature salad. The upscale cafe market has captured the interest of millennials by catering to those looking for fresh, simple bites and a well-made cup of joe.
Your POS system is an integral part of your business plan; it's where you take your customer's orders and how they pay. You and your staff will be spending a lot of time using your new iPad POS, so it's better to take the time now to choose carefully, before you're stuck with an out of date or overpriced system that gives you more trouble than it's worth.
Request a POS Demo Now!
The cafe owner’s POS solution
Secure - A secure iPad POS app for bistros and cafes includes a number of features that help you track cash, credit transactions, food, and liquor so that you can reduce "shrink" and have peace of mind. The number one way to keep staff honest is to increase accountability, and the most secure tablet point of sale for cafes lets you do that.
Drawer management - Keeping track of cash is supremely important in a cafe restaurant. The temptation for young or inexperienced staff to mismanage their responsibilities can be mitigated through thorough accounting and periodic auditing of the cash drawer. Notes should be opened anytime money is taken out or put in outside of a transaction. Bank drops, pay-ins, and payouts should be logged, and discrepancies recorded each time the value of the drawer is counted.
Pour Costs and Portion Control - Stock costs cash, and the missing stock is nearly as bad as having cash come up missing. Determining whether that stock is missing because of overportioning, unnecessary waste or outright stealing starts with an understanding of how much is missing. Inventory control in the best cafe POS allows you to track raw ingredients down to the teaspoon and liquid down to the milliliter.
Per-User Permissions - Give only the permissions that employees need to effectively do their job. Discounts, voids, comps and the ability to open the cash drawer or other users orders help you make sure that there is no funny business. If you choose to divide important permissions between different employees or managers, no one staff member has all the access.
Time Clocks w/ Security Images - Because labor is such an expense in the cafe, you need to watch your costs closely. To ensure accountability, each employee must clock in with a secret PIN number and security image to prove they are only clocking in for themselves and not for other staff members.
Reliable - The most reliable POS system for cafes and bistros is built on the bulletproof iOS operating system running on Apple’s iPad. It’s fast, clean, easy to use and just doesn’t have problems. Unlike Android hardware and apps which are all over the map, Apple has high standards for both hardware and software. iPad POS apps can’t even get into the Apple store without additional testing by Apple for quality assurance. You need a POS system in your restaurant that doesn’t lose orders, glitch out, crash or hang. The most reliable iPad POS app will run smooth, work intuitively and be thoroughly tested by the company before it reaches you.
Support - Does the POS company you're looking at have US-based support representatives? Consider how long it takes you to get a real answer or talk to an actual person. Your time is valuable, and when you need answers quick, you deserve them. Otherwise, it costs you money! Do they charge for support on a per-call basis or make you sign up for an extended support contract? If your new manager is scrambling in a busy service and they call for technical help, will anybody be there to pick up the line and calmly guide them out of the weeds? Or will it take 3-5 business days to hear back?
The best POS system customer support listens to you and your staff to get to the root of the issue while providing a quick-fix when required. Because they know about the restaurant business and care about you, they won't give you a run-around or give you the impression they're not listening.
Affordable - When choosing a new POS for your restaurant, make sure pick one with the lowest overall cost, including equipment and credit card processing. The most affordable POS for cafes and coffeehouses gives you tools and functions you need while eliminating headaches and time-wasting by saving you money.
Don’t be fooled by low cost in one area and high cost in another area. Look at the overall cost picture to get a true sense. Do they charge for extra services like support and training? How about menu building? Many POS companies will charge high rates for credit card processing and sell the equipment at a cut rate to entice you into a long contract. There’s nothing affordable about systems that cost more in the long run!
Remote access - What if you didn't need to be on-site to check in on things, to make configuration changes to the system, to monitor inventory, labor, and sales? Would that make your life as a restaurant manager or owner a little easier? With the best cloud-based POS for restaurants and cafes, you can. Up date promotions, change recipes, download reports and analytics all from your internet connected device - phone, PC or tablet. Now that traffic jam or taxi ride can still be productive as you're able to work on the go!
Taxes and accounting - The best POS system for cafe style restaurants help you do your taxes and accounting by exporting detailed reports into any compatible system or software. The ability to interface with many different accounting products means that you're not restricted to using one piece of software or forced to buy something extra. If you choose to use Quickbooks, Microsoft Excel, or other recordkeeping systems, the best point of sale for bistros and small restaurants will have compatible exports and detailed reports to make you and your accountant's job easier.
PCI and EMV compliant - For security, liability, and peace of mind, you need a point of sale system for cafes that is fully PCI and EMV compliant.
EMV is secure technology developed by the credit card companies that includes chip card features. The enhanced security reduces changes of fraud. However, merchants that are not participating in compliance with the EMV standards are subjected to increased scrutiny and may be held liable if fraud does take place.
PCI DSS is a security standards protocol that must be followed by every merchant who takes credit cards. The standards were developed by the credit card companies to reduce identity theft, fraud and to hold merchants accountable for the way they handle sensitive customer data. If your cafe, small restaurant, coffee shop or bistro is not PCI compliant, you can lose your right to process credit cards from any card issuer at all. PCI compliance for you, as a restaurant owner mainly a guideline for how stored customer payment data is secured. The easiest way to reduce your scope for PCI compliance is to not store your customer's raw payment data in the first place.
The most secure coffeehouse point of sale uses advanced P2PE encryption to instantly lock customer data, so it's unreadable - it's then sent to the credit card processor for authorization, where only they can read it, using the secret key to unlock it. The most secure restaurant POS system uses P2PE technology to give you and your guests peace of mind and protects you from fraud and liability.
The cafe manager’s POS system
Easy to train - When your cafe or bistro point of sale is built on iPad technology, and off-the-shelf hardware that is basically "plug and play" setup and training is a cinch.
Labor management - As a restaurant manager or owner, you need to keep a very close watch on labor expenses, or they can easily get out of hand and hurt your business. It's not just about knowing how much you pay your employees for the day, but understanding how sales fluctuate through the day can help you reduce labor cost by sending home people who aren't being kept busy. The best POS system for restaurant management is also a time-clock for employees, tracks labor per-employee and shows you a live update of how much each employee costs you - to the cent.
User Permissions - With per-user permissions for discounts, drawer management, accessing orders, voids and refunds, the most secure iPad POS for coffee shops and bistros gives you peace of mind that when you're not there, the staff is held accountable. Each user is assigned a secret PIN number which they use to log into the system, transactions they authorized are saved under their account to audit at the end of their shift.
Sales analytics - Are you over buying perishable raw ingredients that aren't being sold before they expire? Would you like to know how much more you're selling every third Saturday when you host that art event? Do you think it would be a good idea to track the seasonality of your business in depth so you can prepare financially?
If you've thought about things like this, then you could benefit from a tablet-based point of sale app for cafes that generates detailed reports and sales analytics.
Find out what your superstar sellers are on the menu by viewing sales by category and product. Rewarding members of staff are sales dynamos and knowing which ones need mentoring allows you to improve the overall guest experience and helps with employee retention and skills development.
Inventory tracking - Tracking inventory, menu engineering to reduce costs and eliminating unnecessary waste is a key process for ensuring and maintaining cafe profitability. The best POS system for small restaurants includes tools to help you see where your money is going and how much your menu items cost. Receive inventory, measure waste, and track use of raw ingredients in dishes. When you perform an audit, you can instantly know if there is a problem with inventory in your cafe.
Cloud-based - Because it's cloud-based, you can access your POS data anywhere you have a data connection; at home on your computer, on your cell or tablet on the go. You can check sales, monitor inventory, view time-cards, update menu pricing and more. You don't have to go on-site and enter the management console on the terminals because it's all right here in the cloud.
And because all your data is instantly backed up in the cloud, if one iPad goes down, you can just attach a new one or backup to the system and keep going, or add additional terminals on the fly when you get busy. It's that easy with the best cloud-based iPad POS for cafes and coffee shops.
Request a POS Demo Now!
The cafe employee’s POS terminal
No hunting to take orders - When you’re plugging away at the terminal ringing up orders, you don’t have time to spare. Your customer’s valuable time is on the line and making sure you provide fast, friendly service is how you win back their business. Now imagine you’re stuck with poorly designed POS system - maybe it’s not even for restaurants - and you have to hunt through menus, submenus just to hold the mayo!
Take accurate orders with modifiers - Or you could be using the most user-friendly iPad POS system and have your customer's order entered in a snap and already being made. Half-caff, low-cal, soymilk frappuccino with extra foam, anyone? You can do it easily with forced and unforced modifiers and modifier options that even allow you to upcharge for extras, with just a flick of your finger.
The cafe guest’s POS tablet
Moving through the line - Your patrons appreciate when the line moves quickly. If they’ve just popped in for a lunch break or morning coffee on the way to work, respecting their limited time can be the difference between a new regular customer or someone you never see again. A fast and simple to use POS system means your staff can quickly enter orders at the counter or tableside. Tickets print to the kitchen or bar right away - without leaving the terminal or sending back confusing handwritten notes. Keeping the cash moving into the till quickly with multiple payment options is the best way to keep guests moving through payment. And the best point of sale for cafe restaurants is one that also features a secure offline mode that allows you to store encrypted payment data while offline to process automatically as soon as the internet comes back up.
Payment options - Having a selection of payment options allows your guests to choose the way to pay that suits them. The POS for small restaurants with the best payment options helps you facilitate more payment transactions and higher dollar tickets. Taking cash, check, debit, and credit cards from every issuer is vital. And customers want to know their sensitive personal data is safe on your cafe POS systems. That’s why it’s important to choose a point of sale that is EMV compatible and PCI compliant.
More and more people are looking for the option to pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay and other mobile payment platforms that use contactless payments or tap to pay. Your ability to offer these new payment formats helps you make more, faster transactions. The best cafe point of sale system gives your guests flexible payment options.
Gift cards - Your guests love gift cards. They love to buy them for friends and family, they love to receive them as gifts, and they love to come to your cafe and spend more money! It's well known that restaurant patrons nearly always spend more than the value of the gift cards when they use them. So don't be afraid to offer a bulk discount during the holidays or to the local office or school to use as a bonus or worker incentive. That gift card in the hands of a customer is a constant reminder to come back to your coffee house! Be sure to choose a POS system that has gift card payment features and lets you design a card yourself or gives you pre-made design options to make it fast and simple to get up and running with your own gift card payments.
Choose a POS system for cafes that helps you do more with your bistro, coffee shop or small restaurant. By providing you with the tools and features you need to save money, get things done efficiently and monitor costs, your new iPad point of sale will become a partner, pointing you toward success.