How to find a POS System for the Food Truck

A vector illustration of people in food truck festival

Table of Contents

Why Would You Use A POS System Whatsoever?

Because the legendary and traditional providers of quick, satisfying grub to builders and remote work crews, food trucks (as well as their cousins, bustaurants, food carts, and kiosks) have been in existence forever. However, during the last couple of years the standard food truck is growing in recognition. Nowadays it is not unusual to determine hordes of individuals wait for hrs for one taste of the authentic falafel or Parisian-style savory crepe. Food trucks have grown to be both a social networking phenomenon along with a chic place to go for hipsters and foodies nationwide consequently, many ambitious entrepreneurs and chefs are forsaking brick-and-mortar eateries and sinking everything they own right into a food truck business.

It isn’t surprising that a lot of people want to obtain the experience, thinking about that Americans are forecasted to invest nearly $1 trillion at food trucks this season, however, many new food truckers are sadly to ocean with regards to really building a effective business. Financing a truck, purchasing the proper permits, marketing, ordering inventory – they are overwhelming tasks. So overwhelming, actually, that individuals forget to consider the significance of a efficient point-of-purchase (POS) system. Others consider purchasing POS software, but figure that it is unnecessary because of the small staff typically required to operate a food truck. Good ol’ paper and pen should work fine, they reason, I’m able to write lower orders on the legal pad and tally everything up in the finish from the month. Why must I throw away cash on fancy POS equipment?

Why indeed? Well, to begin with, it’s the twenty-first century. We have cars that drive themselves and nearly sentient phones. Paper and pen might have labored well previously, however in our technological age customers expect something better (and thus will the IRS, for instance). Furthermore, if you are sticking with old ways and staying away from POS software to remain ‘off the grid,’ you need to take a step back and think just a little. Managing a mobile restaurant isn’t the the obscure niche profession it was once food trucks are mainstream now, and definitely around the government’s radar. This method may permit you to temporarily keep the transactions underneath the table, but John Law is likely to meet up with you ultimately. With no accurate records and meticulous bookkeeping that the POS system provides, you can finish up losing your truck as well as your livelihood together with it.

POS systems will keep onto your nose clean, however they assist in other, more tangible ways too. They are utilized to assist with cash and card transactions, generate receipts, manage employees, clock time, count inventory, and simplify bookkeeping. Thinking about how effective scalping strategies could be, if you are searching to save cash, skimping on POS software/hardware may really be counterproductive. With no good system in position, you’re prone to spend your time on menial tasks and forget inventory and funds. Additionally you improve your chance of being cheated by employees.

Exactly What Do You Need From The POS System?

Food trucks give a unique service. As a result, they deserve unique POS systems, specifically created for the requirements of a mobile restaurant. Heavy-duty POS software is ideal for sit-lower establishments, however for many food truckers a complete-featured product is just overkill. Its not necessary to handle wait staff, in the end, or coordinate seating plans, or boost communication between your kitchen and also the diner. It’s essential to consider that which you don’t need from the POS system, and it is essential to think about precisely what you do need. To achieve success like a food truck owner (and steer clear of opportunistic robberies) you have to so that you can store cash efficiently having a secure and well-designed register. That stated, we reside in an more and more cashless society, if you shouldn’t lose out on business – especially in the more youthful generations – it’s also wise to have a great way to process credit/an atm card, accept mobile payments, as well as allow people to pay with less conventional means, like PayPal. Make certain that the payment processor/card readers isn’t determined by a web connection and could queue up payments even if disconnected from Wi-Fi.

With respect to the size and success of the business, it’s also wise to you should consider features like reporting and inventory management. Reporting tools are specifically important. The meals truck existence might be great – place lower in which you want, stay as lengthy as you would like, and proceed to greener pastures – but profits for that mobile food industry are notoriously low experts estimate a profit of just 10%. By analyzing sales reports along with other statistics, a higher-functioning POS let you know why, when, where you’re loss of blood money, which help you improve your income so that you can continue truckin’. Some POS systems even integrate directly with social networking (like Twitter), which help they are driving your marketing too.

POS systems is often as fundamental as you would like these to be, and ease is paramount to some well-run food truck. However, when selecting your software, don’t result in the mistake of going too simple, or else you will lose out on some amazing, time-saving functions which have the possibility to transform your company. Before registering for a POS service or purchasing software, think about these questions:

  • Would you like to have the ability to create invoices?
  • Are you able to rely on getting Wi-Fi in each and every location you park your truck?
  • Are you issuing coupons or gift certificates at any time?
  • Would you like to generate a customer loyalty program or rewards system?
  • How would you be handling tips? Would you like to give customers the choice to include electronic gratuities?
  • Would you communicate orders verbally together with your prepare/sous chef, or do you want to have the ability to print tickets?
  • What size may be the company serve? Would you like the opportunity to instantly calculate different tax rates?
  • In the event you give employees the opportunity to clock out and in? Would you like to have the ability to track orders by worker?

If the solution to these questions is absolutely, you need to locate a high-functioning restaurant POS (like Revel, for instance) that has been especially created for use within food trucks. In case your initial response to the questions ended up being to scoff or consider how lazy people could be, i then counsel you to stay using the simplest POS system you’ll find, or simply make use of a payment processing program like Square. Not everybody may benefit from bonus features like the opportunity to issue coupons, but they may be effective tools when used correctly.

POS Hardware Basics

Regardless of how advanced or sophisticated your POS software programs are, it isn’t worth anything unless of course you will find the right hardware. Really! Consider it- even when your POS system could speak with customers and take orders (all while walking a tightrope and cracking wise using the folks lined up) it wouldn’t be particularly helpful should you didn’t possess a working register, a card scanner, along with a receipt printer. Sure, people might originate from miles around to determine “The Amazing POS” perform a classic stand-up act and perform dying-defying stunts, but when they’re not buying your gourmet hotdogs while they’re there, then what’s the purpose?

Just like POS software, the POS hardware you’ll need depends positioned on the dimensions and success of the business. Obviously, there’s a couple of basics every food truck owner should purchase, presuming you aren’t doing all of your bookkeeping having a Magic Marker along with a notepad or taking cash underneath the table (don’t!). If you’re utilizing a merchant processing program like Square instead of a POS system, then all you actually need is really a mobile phone (an iPad or iPhone, for instance). For additional traditional software, whether it provides a standard all-in-one touchscreen or perhaps is aimed at modern restaurant iPad POS systems (probably the most popular choice with food truckers), you’ll require a cash drawer along with a card swiper or, preferably, some kind of mobile card readers. Receipt printers aren’t an absolute must have – the number of individuals need to help keep records of the taco purchases, seriously? – however they comes in handy. Inevitably, you’ll have a minumum of one uptight customer who requires a receipt and it is angry whenever you hands them a sticky note.

Keep in mind that any equipment you purchase needs so that you can endure the sometimes harsh atmosphere of the food truck. I understand I’m preaching towards the choir about this one. Nobody knows much better than a food truck owner/chef how hot, greasy, and usually disgusting it may return there. Keep in mind the ubiquitous oily film that covers your clothes and hair may also cover your iPad and card scanner, so make certain to purchase protective covers/pads if at all possible, particularly if the food is mainly fried. For additional recommendations on selecting appropriate POS hardware and becoming the very best deals you are able to, take a look at my blog here.

Final Ideas

The meals truck industry could be a hard mistress, so have every chance to begin around the right feet. Choosing the proper POS system and hardware can often mean the main difference between becoming the following Roy Choi or watching your truck be repossessed. No matter whether you’re hawking calf’s liver or caviar, whether you’re around the busiest street in San antonio or on the lonely road somewhere within the Midwest you cannot succeed unless of course you’ve got a viable strategic business plan and also have organized, grounded, and built-your food truck around the strong first step toward a competent POS system.

POS software provides you with the choice to record and look at data, accept a number of payment types, coordinate your Twitter campaigns, and manage the employees. Over time, trust me, several things are simply more essential than getting hipsters to blog regarding your food or staking the best automobile parking space. Consider getting going, discard that pad of paper as well as your ballpoint pen, and look for our website for reviews of the best iPad, restaurant, and retail POS software around. Best of luck for you all, and could the gods of street food be around you.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington is really a author, editor, and native Oregonian who resides in the gorgeous Willamette Valley together with her husband and 2 young children. When she’s not writing or testing software, she spends her time studying early twentieth century mystery novels, looking blankly at her iPhone, and continuing to keep her kids given, dressed, and comparatively uninjured.

Julie Titterington

Julie Titterington

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