Operating a restaurant or cafe can be demanding, requiring simultaneous management of various aspects.
From handling customer orders and notifying kitchen staff to overseeing client checkouts, focus is needed. Restaurant employees must maintain accurate financial transactions and deliver exceptional customer service, while managers and owners must ensure smooth operations and restaurant software solutions.
Fortunately, employing suitable software can streamline these processes and alleviate employee pressure. Cafe POS software offers digitalization and automation of numerous tasks, recording crucial data and enhancing communication between kitchen and wait staff.
At our company, we have completed several POS system development projects as restaurant software. In this article, we'd like to share our experience with POS development and implementation, providing you with valuable insights into this matter.
Choosing the Right POS System The market offers various POS solutions suitable for businesses that handle client payments. However, the needs of cafes and restaurants differ from those of brick-and-mortar stores or eCommerce platforms. For restaurants, it is essential to consider POS systems tailored for open table management and mobile and compact ones.
The following are several types of POS systems:
- Legacy POS
- Cloud-based POS
- Online POS
- Mobile POS
- Self-service POS
For restaurants and cafes, consider the development of cloud-based and mobile POS systems. If you operate a fast-food establishment, a POS solution with self-service capabilities may also be beneficial, as it aligns with the growing popularity of such restaurants.
Cloud-based POS is the preferred choice due to its ease of implementation and maintenance. It typically functions as an application accessible through browsers or installed on devices such as smartphones or tablets, requiring an internet connection. The key distinction from traditional point-of-sale solutions lies in data storage. While legacy systems store data on a computer or server, cloud-based systems keep it on the Internet.
With a cloud-based POS, you need not worry about data storage hardware; you can effortlessly synchronize information across different devices, which is particularly advantageous for managing restaurant chains.
Key Features of Restaurant POS Systems POS systems and other software solutions have become essential tools for running a restaurant efficiently. With the increasing popularity of digital wallets, it is rare to find someone who prefers carrying cash over credit cards or mobile payment-enabled smartphones. Thanks to POS development, restaurant visitors can quickly complete mobile payments.
In addition to providing a convenient payment method, POS systems should possess a range of other advantageous features. Here are some key features we recommend considering during POS development:
- Offline Mode: Ensuring uninterrupted functionality even without an internet connection, as every minute is crucial in the restaurant business.
- Security: Implementing robust security measures to safeguard your and your customers' money and identities.
- Intuitive User Interface: Offering a user-friendly interface that allows efficient operation during busy periods.
- Integrated Accounting: Facilitating improved financial processes and better control over accounting.
- Email Invoices: Enable sending invoices via email to accommodate customer preferences.
- Inventory Control: Incorporating a solution for managing inventory to track sales, reduce costs, and optimize stock.
- Customer Data Collection: Allowing for the collection and analysis of customer data to enhance service and meet their needs effectively.
Custom POS Development
Customized Point of Sale development provides flexibility and can be integrated with other software to enhance its functionality beyond payment processing. Each transaction processed through the POS system can be linked to various processes, such as inventory management and employee management. Therefore, enhancing your cafe POS software with additional features and integrations makes it a comprehensive business tool.
Our team can elevate your existing POS system, adding value to your restaurant or cafe. Our business analysts will analyze your processes to identify areas for improvement and growth, while our tech leads will devise the best strategy and oversee development.
So, what additional features can you expect?
Restaurant Inventory Control For small businesses, inventory management can be time-consuming and costly. Inventory control within a POS system allows you to quickly review stock status, ensuring timely restocking without any ingredient shortages. You can efficiently manage your inventory by tracking stocked ingredients, monitoring expiration dates, and having supplier contacts readily available. Sharing stock information with suppliers and scheduling deliveries based on your current needs becomes seamless. This saves time and money, eliminating food waste while maintaining prompt order fulfillment.
Moreover, if you have multiple cafes, you can create separate accounts for each location. This enables simultaneous tracking of several establishments or even the creation of restaurant branches across the city, which might be critical for your restaurant software solutions.
Employees Management and Training Training new staff members can be time-consuming, involving explanations of various techniques and routine tasks. However, with a POS system, you can input kitchen processes, including recipes and everyday tasks, into a central repository. This allows for streamlined training of new waitstaff in days instead of weeks.
Furthermore, you can edit data and operations on the go, such as adjusting prices, managing discounts, and updating menus from any device in real-time. Additionally, remote scheduling of personnel shifts and performance tracking, correlating the number of orders with dishes served, becomes effortless. This exemplifies the true flexibility provided by mobile POS systems.
A typical POS system comprises an administration section and separate workstations for servers and bartenders. This setup ensures the security of core operations and prices, with only the restaurant owner having editing privileges.
Analytics and Reporting A crucial feature that any POS system should offer is the ability to generate comprehensive reports that provide insights into your restaurant's performance. These reports help you understand which items are top sellers and have higher profit margins. By transforming raw data into actionable information, reports empower you to make informed business decisions and drive growth.
While reporting is essential, avoiding overwhelming yourself with redundant information is important. Instead, you should focus on the key aspects that reports can help you decide on. For example, you may want to determine if keeping your restaurant open on Friday nights is profitable or understand the best staffing levels for Thursday mornings. Additionally, insights into item profitability can guide menu adjustments. A well-designed reporting system can help you make these critical decisions. With a mobile-based POS system, you can access and generate reports from anywhere, adding convenience to your operations.
Essential Point of Sale Hardware When discussing POS application development, it's crucial to consider the hardware aspect of the system. The traditional physical devices commonly used in cafes include a monitor, credit card terminal, receipt printer, and cash drawer. However, in today's era of mobility, POS hardware doesn't have to be cumbersome. A smartphone with a POS app installed can easily replace the need for a monitor, and self-service kiosks combine all the necessary devices. Restaurateurs can choose and enhance the most suitable hardware option with restaurant point-of-sale development.
Building your own custom POS software
Considerations for POS Software Development Collaborating with a software development company like COAX is the easiest way to complete POS system development. We offer an entire cycle of development services, providing you with a self-sufficient product ready for implementation. By partnering with us, you can avoid the challenges of creating your own POS system, including hiring and managing a software team, meeting deadlines, and allocating budgets efficiently.
Your involvement in the initial stages of cooperation is crucial. Before starting POS application development as a restaurant owner, there are four primary considerations to keep in mind:
- Identify Your Future Needs: Please take the time to see if the POS system you're developing can accommodate your business's future growth. Consider factors such as the number of planned franchises or the projected increase in employee count. These insights help estimate the future load and determine the appropriate client-server architecture, which can impact maintenance costs.
- Understand Your Solution Requirements: Decide whether you will use proprietary hardware or opt for a multiplatform solution that provides easier data access and control. You should be able to access and replace hardware with minimal friction. The development team will select the correct set of technologies based on your choice. Thoughtful decision-making aligned with your restaurant's needs can also influence the cost of the solution.
- Consider Additional Options: Determine if your POS system will incorporate additional functions such as reporting, customer marketing, inventory management, and employee management. I think it's best to include these crucial features from the start to optimize your POS system's capabilities for your restaurant.
- Evaluate Possible Integrations: Assess whether you plan to sell or integrate the POS system with external software services like MailChimp or Salesforce. If integration is required, developing an API will enhance the versatility of your product in terms of connectivity.
Cost of POS Development The cost of POS development varies based on your business's specific requirements and needs. Whether you need a completely new POS system or want to update an existing one by adding new features or integrating with CRM or other software, each project is estimated individually. The most accurate cost estimation can be provided after an interview with our managers and an assessment conducted by our team.
For mobile POS system development, you will require the involvement of the following specialists:
- Product Owner
- Front-end developers
- Back-end developers
- QA engineers
- System Administrator
- Scrum Master
- Project Manager
Running a restaurant or cafe is a complex endeavor that requires careful management of various aspects. However, implementing the right POS system can simplify operations, enhance customer service, and drive business growth. Cloud-based and mobile POS solutions offer flexibility and efficiency, allowing for seamless communication between staff members. Key features such as offline mode, security, intuitive UI, integrated accounting, email invoicing, inventory control, and customer data collection further optimize restaurant operations. With comprehensive analytics and reporting capabilities, restaurant owners can make informed decisions to improve performance and profitability.
By considering hardware options and collaborating with a software development company, restaurants can create a customized POS system that meets their needs. Effective POS development enhances inventory management, employee training, and operational efficiency. Understanding the key considerations and costs associated with POS software development ensures a successful implementation that empowers restaurants to thrive in a competitive industry.