How to Choose the Best Donut Shop POS System

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In the wee hours of the morning, you set out to create today's new fresh creations and finish just in time to greet the rush of hungry patrons clamoring for your delicious fried donuts. Covered in colorful glazes and carefully placed in uniform rows their eyes light up as they pick the perfect mix. A dozen prizes to please family and friends and make them a real donut hero. Running a donut shop is a profitable labor of love fueling the workday and school day for millions of Americans.

Because you work hard to build a successful enterprise, you know that the best POS system for your donut shop is one that works hard too. You want the most reliable, affordable and easy to use POS system for food service. You need a point of sale system for cafes, bakeries and donut shops that is flexible enough to do what you want and gives you more control of your donut shop business.

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About Donuts

Donuts are one of life's simple pleasures. Flour and eggs make a dough that is fried to a golden brown. If this the central concept of what makes a donut then they've been part of human history for thousands of years. Archeologists have found evidence of fossilized donuts! Some form of fried dough is present in nearly every culture on the planet, so it's clear we just can't get enough of these kinds of treats. The name likely comes from "dough knot," but because many cultures have a tradition of a fried dough snack, it's hard to establish a direct line from the past to the present. Like all things American, the modern doughnut offerings are an amalgam of many different contributions and ideas.

While the most familiar incarnations of the American style donut are the yeast donut and the cake donut, the wide variety of donuts seen in the case at the local donut shop goes far beyond the basics, giving happy patrons a feeling of choice and control - everyone has their favorite donut!

Whether your preferred spelling is "Donut" or "Doughnut," one thing is for sure, people all over just love these sweet little, fried cakes.

Donut Shop Business

The growth of the donut market in recent years has been inspiring. Independent donut shop owners have found that in addition to classic donuts, adding creative signature donuts to their offering can turn them into a regional hotspot for locals and tourists alike.

Some donut shops seek to appeal to consumer interests in healthier options, such as vegan, gluten-free or with all natural ingredients. These handcrafted gourmet donuts offer a new twist to appeal to those consumers who may consider themselves to have a more health-conscious lifestyle.

Meanwhile, other donut shop owners have found success integrating more indulgent ingredients into the already sweet treats like bacon and sugary cereal, fully embracing the fact that a donut is literally the opposite of "health food."

Riding on the back of overall 5% growth for breakfast food service as a whole, donut shops have experienced a 3.6% rate of growth from 2012 to 2017 according to industry research firm IBISWorld. Donut shops are a 15 Billion dollar a year industry and one of the most affordable concepts for startup entrepreneurs in the foodservice industry.

Indeed, essential kitchen equipment to start a donut business is available for under $20,000, and the ingredients are cheap too. A donut that costs 10 cents to produce and is sold for a dollar provides .90 cents in profit. A 900% markup!

For the savvy entrepreneur, a donut shop business can be sweet indeed.

Choosing The Best POS System

One of the first decisions to make when choosing a donut shop POS system is what type of system has the technology, reliability, and affordability you need for your business.

Electronic Cash Registers - The modern food service industry is a highly competitive business world, so you need the best tools you can get. While you may initially think that you just need a dumb cash register to run a shop what you're missing out on with such an old-style system can cost you a lot of money. You won't find the modern essentials necessary for running a business like inventory management, software integration or built-in labor tracking. An electronic cash register is basically just calculator with a lot of extra buttons!

Legacy Point of Sale Hardware - Then you have PC-based legacy POS systems rooted in technology from the 90's and 2000's. These systems are bulky and although they have better features for business than an electronic cash register they have some additional pitfalls. For example, expensive hard to read touch-screens that need periodic calibration, Windows operating system with a multitude of security holes and clunky software interfaces that look like a computer from 20 years ago - because that's basically what they are!

In addition, legacy point of sales systems are sold through third party 3rd party vendors working off an old-school service contract model. Expect to pay contract fees monthly, annually and anytime you need service. These server-based systems don't have an offline mode, and if the server goes down, you're dead in the water. No matter how long the line is.

Android Tablets - When you're considering a tablet-based POS system you don't want to choose an android based point of sale. What might sound cheaper at first is going to cost you more in the long run. Android's software has nearly twice as many security issues reported as Windows does. And there is a reason that Android hardware is cheap. Manufacturers choose components based on price rather than quality. They "hack" the Android software to make it work and sometimes it doesn't work out that well. The various companies that make Android tablets are notorious for their lousy track record for releasing updates, bug fixes, and OS upgrades. What that means is that an Android tablet is almost considered something that's disposable. You'll find yourself replacing all the equipment in just a few short years.

Another flaw that can contribute to reliability issues is that most Android tablet POS systems are not much more than a web page. That means that when the internet goes down, you’ve got no registers. You can’t process orders, print receipts and you can’t take credit cards payment. When every transaction counts, you can’t afford to deal with a system that’s so dependent on unreliable technology.

iPad POS for Donut Shops

iPad Technology - Unlike cash registers, Windows-based POS and Android tablets, iPad is on the cutting edge of technology. Keeping up isn't good enough. Apple prides itself on innovation, and the tireless team of engineers is continually looking for ways to make iPad better. Whether that means thinner, better battery life, new hardware integrations or something else, iPad retains it's value longer and is an asset, unlike cheap, disposable android tablets.

iPad Reliability - Another difference between legacy and android POS versus iPad POS is reliability. Better quality parts and a stable, secure operating system means that you’re not dealing with the constant security risks inherent in other systems. When it comes to business iPad is everywhere it counts, from airline cockpits to emergency rooms to busy restaurants that depend on POS system reliability to keep everything moving.

iPad Affordability - With all you get from iPad, it’s surprisingly affordable. As such reliable and advanced piece of technology, you won’t find a better business solution at any price. With a brand new iPads now priced under $300 it’s hard to imagine why anyone would consider buying inferior POS hardware based on Android or PC.

The Best iPad POS App for Donut Shops

To find the best iPad cash register system for your donut shop it needs to have the features and service that are important to foodservice businesses like yours. These are the most important iPad point of sale app features to look for.

Inventory management and ingredient costing - It's a numbers game, and that means keeping track of the important costs that determine your success in the doughnut business. Inventory management helps you track stock, so you know when you need to reorder - before it's too late.

You don’t want hungry patrons who expect their usual cinnamon roll to find out you were out of cinnamon today! Inventory management also helps you track waste and control portions. Determine your per-unit ingredient costs and see your per-unit profit to engineer your prices to meet profitability goals.

Sales by Item - You may take a flyer on a new donut concept but to declare it a success you need good business data to help you decide if it's going to stick around in your display case next week. Understanding sales by item, paired with the profitability of each product, shows you where to focus your efforts.

Since day-olds get thrown out at the end of the night the amount of potential loss from overproducing unpopular donut varieties can’t be understated. On the other hand, selling out of popular donut types before demand is met can also be a costly mistake.

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Sales by the Hour - Knowing sales by item is important but so is knowing sales by the hour - by type. This can help you formulate a strategy that extends the active hours of your donut shop beyond an initial commuter rush. It also helps you supply your customers with fresh donuts up to the minute. Using cloud-based technology, you can evaluate stock, inventory and hourly sales on the fly and manage production accordingly. If the maple old-fashioned isn't doing so well today and the glazed are, switch production and go with a glaze instead!

Fast and easy to use interface - You didn't get into the donut business to get slowed down with an overly complicated POS interface that has you hunting and pecking through orders you move fast, and you need an iPad point of sale app for your cash register that moves fast too.

Just a few simple taps and you're taking payment. And easy to use means easy to train staff. There shouldn't need to be a week of training just to pick 12 donuts from a screen. To choose the best POS app for iPad, try before you buy. Look at how easy the system is to use. Is it intuitive or does it come across as clunky and over complicated? You want the easiest to use iPad point of sale that also has the critical features you need to run a successful business.

Simple and free to configure menu - Can you believe that some POS companies charge you to change your menu? Or the system is so hard to make changes you don't feel confident that you pay extra for "menu service." That's just a hassle you don't need.

This is your menu, and it should be just as easy to set up as it would be for you to tell someone what you want. And when you do need help you should be sure that you'll get a live person to walk you through it or help you with the design at no additional charge.

An easy to use drag and drop interface that makes sense and runs without glitches isn’t too much to ask.

Gift Cards - Everybody loves gift cards! They’re a great way to promote your business and donut shop gift cards are perfect for father’s day, employee appreciation, back to school and a stocking-stuffer for every donut lover out there. The best iPad POS app for your donut shop cash register adds gift card features at an affordable rate and lets you create your own gift card graphics or choose from preset designs easily.

Affordable POS App - The best iPad POS terminal is also the most affordable point of sale app for iPad. Not just providing you with tools to help analyze your business choices and save you money but also has a truly low price. No hidden fees. No starting out with a hamstrung version of the app that makes you pay more for the features you expect to have. The best donut shop POS is fully-featured right away, without overpriced add-ons that should be included from the start.

Choose a POS with low credit card fees too. High processing charges are just money you never see, taken from every credit card you process! It's crucial that you do not get locked into a contract with credit card processing. That "free" or "low cost" equipment is going to cost you more in the long run by being locked into a years-long processing agreement! The most affordable iPad cash register system doesn't lock you into a contract and keeps credit payment rates low, so you keep more of your hard-earned money.

POS Service and Support - It's not just about choosing the best iPad POS system for your donut shop, it's about getting the best point of sale customer service, training and technical support that you can too. It doesn't matter much if a POS app says it can do everything in the book. What matters most is one thing - can you actually use it?

The POS system with the best customer service provides unlimited support and training for you and all of your staff members at no extra charge and without a service contract. The best POS company believes that you are their partner, not just a customer, not just a client and not a number. The best point of sale customer service agents are well trained and want to talk to you, won’t waste your time, listen to your concerns and want to help you be successful.

The customer service and tech support agents for your donut shop POS system should never dodge your calls, put you through an endless loop of recorded messages, take a long time to reply to emails or keep you out of the loop when researching developing issues. The best point of sale customer service understands the foodservice industry and the restaurant business and consults with you to develop solutions to your problems, not just find band-aids and workarounds that cost you time and money.

When you're choosing the best POS system for your donut shop, keep this simple advice in mind. Choose a point of sale system based on reliable iPad hardware, which includes essential business intelligence tools, has an easy to use interface, is affordable and provides excellent customer service. Follow these recommendations, and you can't go wrong choosing a donut shop point of sale system for iPad.

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