Once per week I go to the sandwich shop within my neighborhood for any publish-hike meal. The very first factor I’m welcomed with in the register is a stand-mounted iPad running a slick point-of-purchase (POS) application. If you’ve used one of these simple systems before, you realize they’re altering how a food service industry operates. And when you’re opening a cafe or restaurant in 2015, you’re most likely searching to have an iPad POS solution for the staff.
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Standard POS versus Restaurant POS
A fast Search on the internet on “iPad POS” will produce many more pages of results. There’s an abundance of options, and we’ve reviewed most of them the following at Merchant Maverick. While you find the correct solution for the food service business, you might be wondering in case your search ought to be restricted to restaurant-specific apps, or maybe a far more standard POS application will offer you exactly the same functionality in a better cost. If that’s the case, you’re in luck—I’m going to tackle this from the couple different angles.
With this study I’ll be evaluating three standard POS systems, and three designed particularly for restaurants. The conventional POS apps are Shopkeep, Vend, and iConnectPOS. Representing center category are TouchBistro, Ambur, and Lavu.
The prices structures for iPad POS apps vary between companies, that make an across-the-board comparison difficult. To help keep things simple, I’ll compare a moderately priced standard application (Shopkeep), towards the least expensive from the restaurant apps within this study (TouchBistro). Here’s the way they break down:
Notice the way the improvement in cost increases while you scale up. The disparity is much more dramatic with other restaurant apps. Lavu’s plans have starter charges up to $2,495 for 3 terminals, which doesn’t include the price of licensing ($149/month plus $20 for every additional terminal). Ambur’s one-size-fits-all prices plan will save you cash with time, however the beginning fee of $999 continues to be hefty.
From the hardware perspective there’s no real distinction between center POS apps and also the standard ones. These operate on an iPad, and the opportunity to interface with 3rd party peripherals is available overall.
Do restaurant POS apps offer more functionality than standard ones? Indeed, they are doing. Online ordering, component-level inventory management, table and floor management, and the opportunity to accept tips are features the restaurant apps obtain that are missing from standard ones. However, the conventional apps do include some of the helpful restaurant features like the capability to split checks, a kitchen area display system, and the option to help keep orders open during the period of meals. This means when you use a fast-service restaurant just like a cafe or deli, you might not require the functionality that is included with a cafe or restaurant POS, and you’ll just opt to choose a typical system like Shopkeep.
One factor to bear in mind using the greater-priced restaurant POS systems (Lavu and Ambur) is they offer 24/7 technical support. Compare that towards the least expensive system within this study, iConnectPOS, which only offers 8am-6pm support Monday through Friday. That does not exactly mesh using the hrs on most restaurants. If you go searching for a less expensive solution with limited support, a method crash on the Saturday night puts you in the proverbial creek with no paddle (or the opportunity to take orders digitally).
So, are restaurant POS systems an easy method to visit? This will depend on which size business you’re running. If you’ve got a small operation just like a cafe or juice bar, you are able to most likely pull off a less expensive, boilerplate POS app and reduce your cost. However, you ought to be ready for extra configuration and the lack of helpful features. Also, possess a plan b in situation the system bricks, because support choices are limited. For anybody searching to deploy a POS system at a complete service restaurant having a wait staff, I’d recommend spending the additional money on a higher-finish solution. The problem you save will cost it.