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EPOS software has greatly improved how hospitality businesses deliver customer service and run their operations. But is there one POS system that’s better than the rest? It largely depends on what your restaurant needs…
Lightspeed Restaurant is offering a restaurant EPOS system that aims to cover all hospitality needs, from free live training to custom floor plans and self order menus. With a Kitchen Display System and Customer Facing Display, Lightspeed really aims to add value with its EPOS system. Restaurant owners can even explore business insights and integrate Lightspeed into existing accounting software.
Quick and full service restaurants who want to improve communication between front of house and kitchen staff. Get the whole team onboard with free, live online training, and enjoy a speedy set up process. Additionally, Lightspeed is a great option to test out, as you can benefit from a 14-day free trial.
Lightspeed’s pricing plans start from £59 per month, but a quote is still required and actual prices may be higher than this.
TouchBistro is a restaurant EPOS software that can facilitate tableside ordering, payment processing, table management, staff scheduling, reports, menu management and much more. TouchBistro is a comprehensive system that works both online and offline, but similarly to Nobly, only runs on iPads. TouchBistro also offers 24/7/365 customer support, and is entirely focused on restaurants — in their words, “built for restaurant people, by restaurant people”.
Restaurants that are looking for a large range of features at a mid-range price. With strong customer support and a ton of functionality, the easy to learn order management rounds off a very strong product.
TouchBistro costs between £40 and £49 per month per license, with the price steadily decreasing as the amount of licenses grow. With 10+ licenses, the quote will be custom and potentially even cheaper than £40 per month.
Nobly is one of the highest rated customer-rated POS systems for restaurants. Having been designed for use on an iPad, Nobly is quick and easy to learn — but that’s not to say it is basic in its offering. The system can generate a multitude of analytics reports from your restaurant data and help streamline inventory management. Nobly also supports loyalty schemes and CRM capabilities.
Nobly was made for small-to-medium sized restaurants and bars — so if you fit this category, Nobly’s ease of use and features list may be an attractive proposition. Plus, if you’ve used an iPad-based POS system before, then your staff will find it especially easy to migrate to Nobly.
The price is not publicly displayed, however quotes are provided quickly.
EposNow is an established POS company with a very wide selection of products and services. As a restaurant owner, you can decide whether to use the system with or without the contract and whether to run it on iPads, Android devices or a PC. The restaurant module is effective and the complete system comes with integrated payment processors, online ordering as well as CRM and accounting systems.
Restaurants with who can’t afford, or don’t want to pay for POS equipment upfront. On top of this, a free demo can be requested which can limit commitment mistakes. It’s also a great option for those who are flexible regarding devices, as it’s compatible on Android and iOS. However, due to the lack of features on the standard plan, EposNow may not be the best low budget option in this list.
For the EposNow Software package, the monthly cost is £25, whilst the premium plan is £50/mo which includes telephone customer support and account management. The hospitality EPOS system, which includes the terminal, receipt printer, EposNow Hospitality Software and installation is priced from £30 per month.
Zettle’s point of sale product is exceedingly simple and clear, both in terms of pricing structure and features. Their POS is designed for hospitality specifically, but it’s not the cheapest solution on the market. In exchange for the cost, though, restaurant owners can make use of a wide range of functions, such as staff management and scheduling, stock management, support of multiple locations and customer loyalty features.
Smaller cafes and restaurants that use a limited amount of iPads, to keep things cheap. With no upfront costs and zero setting up fees, this is a good option for smaller establishments that may want to cancel anytime, but can still afford a mid-range monthly price for a comprehensive selection of benefits.
Zettle Food and Drink costs £29 per month, per iPad. The Zettle card reader costs £29 per month too, and charges 1.25% per transaction.
Square For Restaurants delivers the hardware to get up and running (apart from the ipad), and the software to cover unlimited terminals. Both are comprehensive in what they cover and benefit from 24/7 customer service support.
For businesses willing to pay a little extra for a high quality and fully maximised iPad restaurant POS system, including the hardware. More importantly, this is a great option for businesses with multiple locations and terminals, due to the fixed service fee which can turn a costly service into a cheap one in relative terms.
The price of Square For Restaurants is a flat £69 per month, even for an unlimited amount of terminals. Additionally, the card transaction fee is 1.75% for card payments.
The reader kit, which involves the Square reader, an ethernet printer, kitchen printer and a few other features is £399 + VAT. For an extra £100, you can get the Square terminal. There is also a monthly financing option for these.
First Data is predominantly a B2B solutions company, but has entered the POS market with its all-in-one POS system, ‘Clover Station’. Unlike some other POS offers, Clover Station is just one part of a larger ecosystem: Cover Security, Insights, Rewards and Dining are all components to this all-in-one solutions service.
Thanks to its extensive scope, this is more of a restaurant management software solution than a purely POS product. It would suit businesses with the budget to invest in a very comprehensive point of sale set up. The Clover Station has the potential to be very extensive and bespoke, so if your business needs added extras like a display screen for customer engagement, table side ordering and powerful, hardware with app support, then you could consider First Data.
Because there’s a ton of potential integrations, First Data’s service is very bespoke and thus the price is created after a conversation with them.
Tillpoint’s restaurant, bar and cafe POS is a very highly rated and reliable service. The basics are covered, with table side ordering and menu management, along with great cloud-based functionality and bank-grade security encryption. The system works offline, and Tillpoint offer fantastic 24/7 support. The system also has a Kitchen Display System for back of house.
Tillpoint’s POS is versatile enough to fit most businesses in hospitality. But it’s certainly worth keeping in mind the complexity of the system, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Perhaps companies with low staff turnover, and plenty of time for training, are more suited.
The EPOS software itself comes at a monthly cost of £69.
Zonal is family-owned UK business which provides POS technology solutions to hospitality and leisure companies. Zonal are very data and tech orientated, meaning there’s a lot of control and insight on offer. 3rd party integration is unlikely to be needed, as Zonal has most functions covered.
eatPOS delivers POS solutions for both retail and hospitality. With a colourful and intuitive user interface, eatPOS has some simple functionality as well as advanced statistics and stock management.
Aloha’s comprehensive EPOS software can do everything from automating kitchen processes to targeted marketing and streamline multi-location businesses.
Poster positions itself as a cheaper alternative for POS software, yet it still has the functionality to run on both Android and iPads. On top of the cheap prices, there’s a 15 day free trial to benefit from too.
Quadranet is claiming to offer an all-in-one EPOS system that’s a one-stop-shop. But with no SSL for its website and very little detail, Quadranet is a company you may have to get on the phone to just to test out its software.
Jempos is claiming to offer the UK’s first Artificial Intelligence EPOS system. By this, it mainly refers to the AI-backed sales forecasting that you can benefit from, although there are a wide-range of features in general.
Intelepos is offering a fairly highly priced EPOS system, although this is because there’s no software-only package. There is however a weekly payment option to accommodate cash flow concerns.
Iiko software is targeted at food and beverage companies, helping them automate and spend less time on administrative tasks. The software covers all of the basics, along with customer loyalty, forecasting and enterprise management.
Restaurant EPOS systems are a centralised system to help deliver efficient customer service (i.e. speedy payments, order management and promotions), and reduce time spent on tasks (i.e. the system will alert the kitchen instantly of the order).
The POS system can help mitigate mistakes, help manage staff and most of all, it will significantly decrease the amount of time spent on administrative tasks. What’s increasingly common too, is the business insights it can provide. All of your customer and sales data is now centralised, meaning algorithmic forecasts and automated reports can be produced.
POS systems exist in many different industries, so it’s best to have a specialised one for your own business. As well as the typical features provided by popular POS systems (i.e. order entry, inventory management etc) Restaurant POS systems will normally offer the ability to manage tables, customisefloor plans, assist in recipe costing and communicate effectively between front and back of house.What are Key Functions of Restaurant POS Software?
There are several core functions in a restaurant POS system.
Order entry is the recording of customer orders so there are no mistakes, and usually the order is immediately sent to the kitchen.
This is so if you run out of stock, you’ll know about it before you offer it to a customer. This data will be used to purchase supplies.
Recipe costing is essentially the price calculation of dishes using its ingredients. This can help restaurant owners price foods, to ensure a reasonable gross profit margin.
Customer management concerns itself with holding data on the customer. This could perhaps be for loyalty schemes to reward them for their reliable custom.
A tablet-based system means that the software will be responsive to handheld devices, which are useful when walking around a restaurant floor.
Tablets are handheld devices which are usually either Apple iOS (i.e. iPads) or Android. iPads are the more common choice for POS software developers, but often you’ll get the choice to buy the tablet from the POS provider.
Credit card reader:
Credit card readers are the machines that can facilitate credit card purchases. These are often offered by POS suppliers, and will charge their own fee per transaction (anything less than 2% is considered market rate).
A receipt printer is vital to ensure the customer can receive proof of purchase along with the price and tax paid.
Cash drawers can be either independent or purchased by the POS provider. These are vital for managing the business’ cash intake.
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