It’s not only the daily operations that need to be considered when running a restaurant. There are also tasks such as inventory management, sales analytics and tax administration to think about.
Managing these business aspects across multiple applications is enough to give anyone a headache. Fortunately, there are Point of Sale (POS) technologies available to bring these activities into one location. In this article, we explore the best POS systems, so that you can concentrate on the more delicious—sorry, we meant critical—activities involved with running a restaurant in Australia.
What is POS?
‘POS’ is an acronym for ‘Point of Sale’, which refers to the point at which a retail transaction is carried out. POS software is an application that processes the payment made by a customer to a merchant. However, POS platforms aren’t just for retailers.
Why do Restaurants need a POS system?
Restaurants also implement POS systems to manage and simplify activities, such as bookkeeping.
When you consider the number of cash and card transactions that pass through your business every day, it’s easy to see why this type of software is necessary. It streamlines business operations and makes for smoother customer experiences. Every penny of sales is tracked within the system, and communication between staff is simplified.
A POS affords you more time to focus on other critical business areas, such as enhanced customer service and revenue growth.
Which are the best POS systems for restaurant success?
Below, we’ve listed three picks of POS software, based on them having:
- At least 50 reviews with 4+ stars, as rated by Capterra users
- A high search volume in Australia
- An office located in Australia.
Ease of use: 5/5
Loyverse is a free POS app that serves small restaurants, bars, cafes, bakeries, coffee shops and street food stalls. It allows food and drinks operators to manage sales, loyalty programs, and inventory.
Restaurant owners can:
- Receive and manage orders with open tickets
- Manage tables
- Customise and organise the menu items
- Send orders to the kitchen
- Organise staff
- Allow customers to split the bill
- Send e-receipts directly to customers
- Collect feedback, and
- Make decisions based on visual analytics.
It has live customer support, a community board, and video tutorials which makes it one of the best POS systems on the market in terms of usability. Loyverse also enables restaurants to ask for feedback and send e-receipts directly to their customers.
It’s available on tablets and smartphone devices (iOS and Android). The system comes with a range of built-in reports, which can be exported for advanced analytics.
Our take: Loyverse is suitable for businesses with one or multiple restaurants who are keen to increase customer retention, run loyalty programs and boost sales. It runs at its best when serving 10 tables or fewer.
Ease of use: 4.5/5
Capterra reviewers said that Kounta allows for deep customisation, which drives staff productivity and enhances the customer experience.
Restaurant owners have the ability to:
- Build table layouts
- Add products and variations to menus
- Set prices
- Manage taxes and surcharges, and
- Link up payment systems and printers.
It’s available on iPads, Androids, Macs, PCs (including legacy POS hardware) and smartphones.
Kounta has different pricing options available, starting at AUD$60 per month.
Our take: Capterra reviewers reported that the back office system might take some extra work setting up. However, if you are looking for a highly customisable POS that integrates with software you already use, it’s worth looking into Kounta. It connects with a wide selection of add-ons, such as Xero, ActiveCampaign and Ximble. Take a look at what you’re using and see if any of your apps integrate with Kounta.
Ease of use: 4.5/5
The app caters to just about every employee in a restaurant: bartenders, waiters, chefs, and pot washers. The front end allows servers to take orders and submit them to the kitchen without the need to follow several, unnecessary steps.
It enables restaurants to:
- Track sales across multiple payment types (including cash payments)
- Print kitchen tickets and receipts
- Set up menus and add item modifiers
- Manage orders with features, such as open tickets and split tender
- See deposits in their bank account within days.
The POS app for Square is free to use. However, if you need to add hardware into the mix you’ll pay a one-off fee for it. Prices range from AUD$59 to AUD$439.
Our take: Square for Restaurants is intended for people who don’t have much experience with applications. It is designed to be ready to use as soon as it arrives, and so little effort is needed for setup. There are cheaper options, but they may not match Square in terms of support and guidance. Square offers a knowledge portal, a community forum, blog posts and a support centre.
So, which is the best POS system?
No matter what restaurant POS system you select, it will likely have a significant impact on the everyday running of your eatery. If you’re interested in learning more about Restaurant POS tools, there is a full list of user-reviewed options on Capterra.com.au.