What is a POS?
Point of Sale (POS) is a software that gives customer the ability to make payments in exchange for goods or product and is developed for platforms like iOS, Windows or Linux. Nowadays, POS is so much more than this as they are sometime even referred as retail management systems.
All that there is to know about POS
- Why have a POS system?
Owning a food truck can be a dream job for some enthusiast, and finally when you own one, you do not want it to fail. You want to make sure everything is just like you imagined when you dreamt about this venture. Keeping that in mind, you should also know about the potential problems you can face with not having a POS system.
A POS system can help you in organizing your business. It can aid you in analyzing your data, processing coupons and gift cards for your loyal customers and managing payments in a way, a cash register never can.
It has happened to a lot of us that we ordered something else, the waiter heard it differently and delivered us something we never asked for. To keep this simple, a POS system allows the customer to select their order by themselves. It goes straight to the chef who can easily follow the instructions and deliver what we asked for.
Another problem that can arise is the payment system. A customer wishes to pay with their PayPal or any other card, but you don’t have a system that can accept payments other than cash. This issue can be solved by a POS system that can accept not only cash, but other forms of payments as well.
- Benefits offered
by a POS
- An efficient way to run your business
It is a less time-saving solution to your problems as it provides you with tools that can heavily speed up your tasks.
- Easy to use
In the present day, everything is in digital form and so is a POS. With a feature loaded POS on your fingertips, you can easily run your business with ease.
- Can accept payment in different forms
An ideal POS can accept many forms of payment as many customers do not use the same means of payment, some use cash while others use chipcards, NFC or even mobile payment options like Apple Pay, Android pay etc.
- Eliminating human error
A POS system eliminates the human error thus increasing accuracy of the data. You don’t have to punch in every little detail, every number by yourself, the POS does most of the work itself.
- Simple accounting
There is no need for you to go through hundreds of receipts as a POS system stores everything in the system for ease of accounting.
- Quick service
It makes shopping less frustrating for the customers by speeding up the checkout time and leaving a good impression with them.
- Detailed receipts
POS provides much more details to a customer than a traditional paper receipt e.g. item details, its price, the money you saved with the coupon etc.
- What to look for
in your ideal POS system?
- The set-up cost
When selecting a POS, it is necessary that you keep in mind that a POS system needs a compatible hardware to run. Make sure you have suitable hardware, if not, you should consider the additional cost of purchasing new hardware.
- A POS with user friendly interface
As the target audience of this software system does not have a good know-how of the technology they are buying, it is necessary that the interface should be simple and easy to use.
It should offer reporting option and produce sales reports in real-time. The POS system should also have powerful data analyzing capabilities run these operations smoothly.
This feature can save you time and the need for having someone do all the functions like managing your customer data, accounting information and sales figures which are now stored in one central system and can be accessed anytime
With cloud storage feature, you can access your data online whenever you want and it also provides a safe and secure place for data to be stored.
- Customer support
With your business heavily dependent on a POS system, you need an excellent and efficient customer support from the manufacturer of the system. It can be easy to install and operate, but there are times especially when your system is down for which you need quick and effective costumer support.
- Payment Processing
It can be expected that you are able to process payments in the forms other than cash like credit cards, PayPal etc.
- Offline mode
It should also be able to offer you all the features in the absence of an active internet connection as you can reach a spot with your food truck with poor internet connectivity.
POS systems available in the market
Square is a POS (point of sale) software that is designed to run on a tablet or a phone. It is available on Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. It is a feature-loaded software with a powerful interface along with integrated payment processing system that also happens to be free.
Square offers online payment processing, sales reports, inventory and digital receipts,
analytics information and with its add-ons feature, it is everything you need in a single POS. It can work even if there is no internet connectivity. When offline, it stores the record of transaction and other data on a local server and whenever there is an active internet connection available, it uploads and syncs the data with the cloud storage.
à la carte add-ons so that everything you need is on one platform.
Square POS has no subscription fee but it does charge a minimal fee with every transaction that is made. With offering competitive rates, Square POS is suitable for owners who have restaurant or any other business in multiple locations.
|Offers both Android and iOS compatibility||Not ideal for big companies with huge transactions|
|Suitable hardware options to select from||Requires regular updates|
|Can work without an internet connection||Sometimes transactions are slow|
|Pricing is simple||Not suitable for high risk industries|
|Good customer support||Processing fee can be high|
A cloud-based POS system, Revel POS offer you with functionalities like inventory management, customer management and social media management. Moreover, it provides the owner with custom POS solutions for the service, entertainment, grocery, restaurant and retail industries, with real time tracking of order history, customer lists, sales figures with payment and sales summaries. It is best suited for restaurant and quick-service businesses like a food truck.
Revel states that it can bring, “Added value to your business, from generating more revenue, to improving efficiencies, to delighting your customers.”
It is an iOS-based software with a simple and easy to use interface. It provides a must POS solution to those who are interested in its full-service suite. If you own a well established business like a restaurant, bar, pizza joint, or even a retail establishment, and you are comfortable with affording its high up-front costs that may look expensive first, Revel can be a good answer to your business problems.
Still, if we consider the initial set up cost, it might not be the best solution for small businesses that are still in their early phase.
|Extraordinary reporting||Complex set-up|
|Easy-to-use interface||No free trial|
|24/7 customer reporting||Infrequent glitches|
|Powerful and customizable system|
A POS that supports tableside ordering, custom and custom restaurant layouts, sales report, bill splitting, and an unlimited number of order and cash register printers, TouchBistro POS is suitable for any business especially related to the food industry that is looking to cut down costs and increase efficiency.
An iOS-based iPad restaurant POS like TouchBistro can also work while offline as it uses the local Wi-Fi to communicate with the cash drawers and printers but this also means that TouchBistro does not provide cloud storage feature. So, if it is not a major turn off for your business, TouchBistro might be a good option for you.
|User interface is simple and easy to use||Customer support is below average|
|Works for any type of restaurant||Base app is pretty basic, requires add-ons|
|Cost effective||Not cloud-based|
|Easy to use and customizable||No menu import feature|
|Works online and offline||No chip card swipe|
- Toast POS
Toast POS is an android based POS software and it is one of the most user-friendly systems available in the market. It is especially built for user in food industry.
It offers many notable features including highly secured cloud data storing capabilities. It also has a payroll integration feature which makes it easy for the owners to manage the payroll of their staff. Moreover, it allows you to update the online and in-house menu and fulfil all the orders from their tablet.
With its ‘pay at the table’ feature, payment options have become very easy for both the customers and the owner by printing receipts or emailing the details directly from the tablet. In addition to this, the customer receives loyalty points every time they make a transaction and these points can be redeemed afterwards.
|Customer management||Additional cost for feature and add-ons|
|Customizable loyalty rewards||Customer service has mixed reviews|
|Personalized webpage||Mixed reviews about overall functionality|
|Android based||Mandatory Toast credit card processing|
|User friendly||Pricing may look pretty high|
|Many integration options||Payment processing nonflexible|
ShopKeep is an iOS-based POS system with a very simple and easy to use interface. It a powerful POS software that offers features like sales data, employee management, and order management at a very reasonable rate.
It is a cloud-based POS system which provides you with features like multiple payment accepting options, print kitchen tickets, split checks and take custom food orders. With ShopKeep, you make different type of order menus for different times of the day.
The one feature that makes it stand out from the rest is its inventory management. ShopKeep offers you detailed inventory management down to the individual ingredient which is a great feature for people in food truck business who have limited space as they can order and store ingredients according to the sales.
ShopKeep also offers you a detailed real-time reporting feature that allows you to know the products that are selling the most and even the information about sales data by the hour.
|Can use any processor||No API|
|Strong and detailed inventory management||No multi-location support|
|Smooth checkout process||Inadequate financial supporting|
|Weight-scale support||No free trial|
|Tipping support||Increased cost with add-ons|
|Easy-to-use interface||Occasional bugs|
As it is a food truck business that we are talking about, of the above-mentioned POS systems, Square and TouchBistro seems to stand out from the rest.
Square POS offer many features including cloud data storing capabilities. It has no subscription fee that can be a good thing for newly established businesses. Square POS charges a minimal transaction fee with every transaction that is made on its system. But it requires an active internet connection to work and upload data to its remote servers.
On the other hand, TouchBistro is specifically made for the food industry and offers features accordingly. Unlike Square POS, it does not require an active internet connection to work as it uses a local Wi-Fi to function.
In the case of a food truck, it is not a sure thing that you will be able to have an internet connection all the time. So TouchBistro might be a good option for you.