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Types Of POS Systems

What is a POS System?

A POS system is synonymous with POS terminal.  However, a POS terminal is the electronic equipment performing the sales transaction and processing the credit card payments.  Used in most storefront businesses, a computer terminal combined with the POS software helps to manage everyday sales transactions and operations.

Here we can go through the types of POS Systems below:

1. Restaurant POS Systems

Why is a point of sale system needed for a restaurant?  The primary reason you need a point of sale for a restaurant is to accept cash and credit card payments.  In addition to receiving payments, you need to be able to track all your financial and tax data.  Most POS solutions like the Harbortouch restaurant POS have reporting features built-in to monitor your transactions by date, time and type.  But that’s only the beginning of the awesomeness.

There can be hundreds of features that can streamline your operations and make your restaurant more efficient.  For instance, most restaurant POS systems allow you to put in an order and send the request directly to a kitchen printer reducing errors in the kitchen and increasing staff and food prep efficiency.  Another benefit would be tracking inventory and food usage.  You can also follow payroll with built-in time clock feature.

The main drawback of new or proprietary business software is there can be a slight learning curve involved when figuring out new technology.

2. Bar POS Systems

Although there is software designed specifically for bars, most point of sale systems used by restaurants can also be an excellent solution for bars. A fast, efficient and reliable bar and restaurant POS system, like Harbortouch Bar & Restaurant, can mean the difference between success and failure in the bar and restaurant business. Particularly for busy bars, your system needs to have speed functions and features for quick order input and fast check out.

The quicker you’re able to process a transaction; you’ll have happier customers and generate more revenue for the business.  Most iPad-based systems fall short for bars in this regard because they rely solely on a fast and stable internet connection and internet speed can be unreliable or go down sometimes.  Also, iPads can be finicky and require constant updates for the iOS and for the app itself, so carefully consider your options before you put an iPad system in a busy bar environment.

The features to look for in a nightclub or bar system would be bar tab management, customer management, employee management, inventory controls, recipe features, easily reorder drinks and express check out.  For the reporting side, you’ll want to see your labor costs compared to sales, product reports, and all your sales and tax reports.

3. Retail POS Systems

Retail point of purchase (POP) systems is primarily for retail environments.  So that means you would most likely never use restaurant software for a retail shop and vice versa.

Some software or Apps on the market claim to be cross-platform, but that doesn’t mean you should ever use them.

Retail businesses can have some particular requirements and features that other programs will not have.  They can have retail shop features such as color and size matrixing, inventory tracking, employee commissions, gift registry, customer database, layaway, and purchase orders.

Also, a retail POS system, like Harbortouch Checkout, may include a digital scale or barcode scanner for weighing or scanning items respectively.

Retail technology has developed to such a degree that you can get nearly any report you could ever desire, with the right point of purchase software of course.  Specifically look for reports such as detailed sales reports, customer reports, vendor reports, and inventory reports.

4. Small Business POS Systems

A small business point of sale system could come in many shapes, sizes, and flavors.  Search small business POS systems online, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a battle over the latest product of the week because they’re hundreds, if not thousands.  Most of the new small business technology is app based and on mobile platforms.

Remember I mentioned earlier under bar systems, that it’s probably not the best idea to use a cloud-based system?  Well, in the case of small business, we’re going to cut tablet apps some slack.  That’s because most of the mobile small business systems are designed to be light, flexible and cost-effective.

If you’re not processing an enormous amount of volume and speed isn’t as critical (like in a restaurant or bar), then a mobile POS could be just the answer to save you some money.  Additionally, a lot of these apps can very feature rich and have everything you need without spending thousands on a “traditional” touchscreen POS terminal.

As examples, an iPad or tablet is perfect for environments like a small retail shop, little restaurant, yogurt shop, boutique store, cafe or coffee shop.  Places where you need quality features and functions but where a cash register may not be enough to get the job done.

5. Salon and Spa POS Systems:

Nail salons, hair salons and spas all require a particular set of POS options due to the nature of the business. Options like an online appointment calendar, appointment reminders, customer database with details for a previous haircut or nails styles, retail functionality, inventory management, online employee scheduling, and employee management are all vital to have.  So not just any software system will do.

Nail and hair salon POS systems can sometimes crossover for other business types like barber shops, gyms, fitness clubs, beauty schools, massage parlors, pet grooming, tattoo parlors, to name a few. That is because these other business types will especially require an appointment calendar and may need retail functionality with inventory control, and not every software program has those features.

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