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Choosing a Point of Sale System

Choosing the best POS system for your restaurant is a key decision to make in 2019.

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Established restaurateurs see the benefit of moving to tablet-based point of sale systems, and may need help deciding which is the best iPad POS system for their restaurants.

For restaurant startups, it’s a requirement to implement a mobile POS system with enhanced business intelligence right from the beginning, so it’s important to do your homework.

This guide aims to help restaurant owners learn how to choose a POS system.

Determine The Features You Need

The first thing to do when considering which is the best restaurant POS for your business, is to establish which features make up your “needs fingerprint”, based on your unique requirements.

If you are starting your first restaurant or upgrading from a much older system, you should consider speaking with other restaurant owners to get advice about what POS features they use, and what features they wish they had. New features are being added to POS systems all the time, so you want to be aware of the current technology, and how it can help your business.


When you know what your needs are, it’s time to make a detailed list.

By creating a full list of your “must-have” features, you can make the task of determining the best POS system much easier. Eliminating POS systems which do not meet your qualifications simplifies the amount of research required

Consider the following when creating your needs-list are:

  • System Reliability

    The best POS system will be based on Apple’s iPad. iPad has proven itself to be a stable, secure platform that is highly resistant to cyberattacks and data leakage.

    Additionally, Apple’s customer and technical support is widely considered to be the best in the tablet market. This makes the iPad and Apple products in general a favorite in the fast paced business world. With this in mind, choose an iPad-based POS system from a company that provides a similar standard of reliability and support.

    When considering reliability, find out what happens to the POS system when the network goes down. Will the POS still be able to process payments? Will your staff be able to take orders? The best iPad POS system for your restaurant has an intelligent offline mode that keeps everything working even when the internet is unavailable.

  • Trustworthiness

    Ask the following questions to determine the trustworthiness of the iPad POS system you are considering. What is the reputation of the POS company among your friends in the industry? How well does the tablet POS manufacturer understand the restaurant business? How do they treat their customers after the sale? How reliable is their hardware? What happens when something breaks?

    How safe is your customer's’ data? Have they ever had any data breaches on their systems? The best POS system will implement point-to-point encryption (P2PE), an immediate encryption of the customer’s card data, making it impossible to hack. Protecting customer data protects your reputation as well.

    A company’s trustworthy reputation is an important indication of what to expect as their client, when things go wrong. Dedicate some time finding out about who you’re dealing with and what others have to say about them. One way a company can prove itself trustworthy is by having simple, low-cost pricing without hidden fees. Another way is by providing free customer support when you need it.

  • Easy Guest Billing

    How do your customers like to pay for their order? Today’s customers expect to be able to pay in a way that suits them — and using a variety of payment forms such as cash, gift card, credit card, Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Mobile POS systems allow tableside payments, simplifying the check and speeding your guests on their way.

  • Taking and Making Orders

    Is the POS system easy to use when taking orders? The best restaurant POS has an intuitive and logical layout, so that errors are reduced. Staff and management don’t have to spend a lot of time training if the system is easy to use. And if you change your menu on a regular basis, you want to be sure that it’s a painless process, that doesn’t cost extra..

    An iPad POS system with bluetooth peripherals takes advantage of the latest wireless technology to allow you to easily print receipts.

    Would you like to speed up your flow by allowing your kitchen staff to see orders live, so they can begin a table while it’s still ordering? The best iPad POS system for restaurants will.

  • Back Office, CRM, Management and Analytics

    When choosing a restaurant POS system, keep in mind how you run your business. Do you want to track inventory and monitor ingredient costs? Knowing your most popular dishes helps you understand your customer’s preferences.

    Do you want your POS to include labor management tools for clocking in and out? Tracking employee hours from within the app lowers unnecessary labor costs.

    The best POS system also allows you to take online orders, reservations and manage seating arrangements according to a customized floor plan.

    Detailed reports simplify accounting and an effective dashboard mode allows tight monitoring of key metrics, easily on the fly. With cloud-based technology, you can access from anywhere, with any internet connected device &— even your own phone.

After you have completed your needs-list, start eliminating unsuitable and outdated POS systems.

Which POS systems have the hardware reliability, features, support, reputation, CRM, and smart pricing that you need for your business to be successful?

Keep your list in mind as you research, Remember to check the dates of articles you find online, to make sure they are up to date. You want to be sure you’re reading the most current information.


Now that you’ve narrowed it down, try before you buy.

Scheduling a product demo is just the beginning, but it is an important first step. Contact the manufacturer to confirm that their systems meet your standards, and eliminate them if they don’t. You don’t have to settle for anything missing key features!

It’s also important to understand the true costs involved in implementing a POS system. What are all the charges? Do they have a complex system of determining rates, such as a tiered pricing? Do they charge you based on number of users, number of orders, number of menu items, number of support calls etc.? These kinds of contracts can make discovering the true cost difficult to know for sure, until you’re faced with the bill. You’ll want to avoid this by choosing the best restaurant POS system with simple pricing and low cost.

Show the POS system to your staff. How do your managers like the app? Is it easy for them to change the menu, monitor costs and other tasks they’ll be performing? How do the servers like the ordering system? Are they able to easily make substitutions, split checks, clock in and out?

How do you like the back-office tools? Are the reports easy to read? Does the dashboard contain the information you want? Are the features clear and easy to access?

And most importantly, is the POS system helping you reduce costs and make better decisions?

Evaluate the iPad-based restaurant POS system in the real world. Understand what happens when things go wrong, and how the POS company handles it so you know what to expect down the road.

Deciding which is the best restaurant POS for you, is an important decision that should be done carefully. You and your employees will use the POS system you choose every day, and it will be an integral aspect of your business.

If you’ve followed the steps in this guide, you can confidently judge for yourself what the best restaurant POS system is for your business!

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