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Harbortouch Offers 4 Tips for Effective Menu Design

You can dish out the greatest eats in town, but your customers won’t know all you have to offer without an engaging and easy-to-read menu. The professionals at Harbortouch, the United States’ leading point-of-sale (POS) system provider, say every great menu contains a few key elements, from dynamic design to succinct, informative dish descriptions. In addition to enticing customers, a well-designed menu can improve efficiency and accuracy, a boon for diners and staff alike. Here are their tips for an effective menu design.

4 Menu Design Tips

1. Be Creative

Many restaurants are successful because they offer something unique. Stand out from the competition by being creative with your menu names. Many diners order based on the item names, rather than reading descriptions. Get inspiration from local sports teams or landmarks, and include succinct but clever descriptions, says Harbortouch.

2. Make It Readable

While creativity is a boon when it comes to names and descriptions, don’t get too carried away with fonts. It’s important your menu is legible, so avoid overly-slanted or cursive fonts and small sizes. Also, consider color. Shades of red, yellow, and orange tend to evoke hunger and positivity, says Harbortouch. Pick a few complementary colors and use these throughout the menu for a cohesive and appealing look.

3. Consider Length and Layout

Just as you can have too many cooks in a kitchen, you can have too many choices on a menu. Experts recommend a two-panel layout as it provides plenty of options for customers but not so many they may feel overwhelmed and have a hard time deciding what to order, explains Harbortouch.

Ensure it is organized as well. Don’t try to highlight every item. Instead, select a few house specials to highlight, one or two in each section. Incorporate bold section headers for groups such as beverages, entrees, appetizers, desserts, and kids’ items, advises Harbortouch. Be sure to identify what modifications can be made as well, such as dairy substitutes, gluten-free, or vegan and vegetarian.

4. Use High-Quality Photos

Quality is better than quantity when it comes to photos, explains Harbortouch. Depending on the type of establishment you operate, you might want to use a few high-quality photos of certain popular and attractive dishes. There’s no need to have a photo of every dish, as this can look cluttered. Instead, use the ‘rule of threes’ – things arranged in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered groupings. Three is often the magic number in everything from photography and graphic design to menu design. Hire a professional photographer, take high-quality photos, and remember the rule of thirds when it comes to design and layout.

More on Harbortouch

Harbortouch has served more than 400,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free POS program is regularly featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue.

Harbortouch Suggests 4 Small Town Business Ideas

While some people move from their small hometowns to a big city in pursuit of their dreams, others find their dreams a little closer to home. Opening a small business in your hometown gives you the advantage of understanding the environment and needs of your community better than an outsider.

Also, small towns are becoming increasingly popular, meaning the time to invest is now. Harbortouch, one of the United States’ leading providers of point of sale (POS) systems, has helped hundreds of small businesses over the past 20 years. Their team is here to offer four small-town business ideas.

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4 Small-Town Business Ideas to Consider

Restaurant or Cafe

Restaurants and cafes are great choices because people always need to eat and drink. Also, these establishments offer a place for visitors and residents to meet friends for a drink or meal.

Whether you open a fine dining establishment or a cozy coffee shop, make sure your business meets a demand that isn’t being met in your small town. Check out the competition, if there is any, and see what you can offer that they don’t. Also, consider the demographics of your town. Younger people, for example, may want a space to hang out, drink coffee, and work or read during the day, while older adults may prefer a more traditional restaurant setting.

Food Truck

Food trucks can either be a counterpart to a brick-and-mortar eatery or a standalone venture. Food trucks are beloved by customers for their convenience and fast, delicious eats. Mobile fast food is particularly great for small towns since you can move your truck to meet people wherever they are. Whether it’s outside an office complex or local college, or at events, such as festivals and parades, your mobile business can take you there.

However, before you start making moves, be sure to check your city’s rules regarding food trucks to see where they’re allowed to park before setting up shop.

Bakery

What’s more comforting than the smell of freshly baked bread or pastries? Everyone loves a bakery with quality homemade baked goods and lovely cakes for birthdays, weddings, and other special occasions. For many people, bread is a staple of daily life. Providing all the essentials, like rolls and loaves, croissants, and muffins could have you on your way to a profitable small business.

Salon

If you enjoy working with people and have a knack for beauty, a salon may be the small business venture for you. Everyone needs a haircut or beard trim once in a while, which means you’ll always have potential customers. You can also offer additional services, including manicures and pedicures, or even salon services like facials and waxing. Keep in mind you may need special education and certification or licensure to perform these jobs.

More on Harbortouch

Harbortouch has served more than 400,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free POS program is regularly featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue.

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Harbortouch Offers 3 Cost-Effective Marketing Tips for Busy Business Owners

Whether you run a taco truck or a nightclub, small boutique or multi-location food chain, you’ll need to market your business to attract new customers – and keep them coming back for more. Marketing is not only essential for boosting profits, but it can also help you network and forge partnerships with colleagues and your community. The professionals at Harbortouch, one of the nation’s leading providers of point of sale (POS) systems, understand that for busy business owners, marketing isn’t always a top priority. However, they say it should be. With over 20 years of business under their belts and countless repeat customers, they know what it takes to succeed. Here are three budget-friendly marketing tips any business can use.

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3 Tips for Basic, Budget-Friendly Marketing

  1. Get Social
    According to Statista, by 2021, there will be approximately 3.1 billion social media users around the world. Social media, which includes platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, is one of the best ways to connect with specific demographics for a low cost. These platforms are free to join and offer flexible options for free and paid promotions. To make the most of social media, research which platforms your target demographic(s) use most. For instance, Boomers are more likely to use Facebook than Instagram. Also, make your posts creative, unique, and authentic. Post marketing content sparingly, while sharing interesting articles, cute or funny pictures, and other engaging content the rest of the time.
  2. Build a Website
    These days. the majority of consumers research products or brands online before making a purchase, even if they are in-store. This means having a website is not optional, even if you don’t have online selling or scheduling capabilities. Domains can be purchased for a relatively low annual price and templates are available to help you get started. Be sure to include all of the basics, including location, hours, and contact information, as well as an About Us page and pages to describe your products and services. If your business involves appointment-setting, reservations, or retail, consider integrating these aspects into your website to make shopping and scheduling easier for customers. Be sure to keep your site updated and include engaging imagery, video, and easy-to-read text.
  3. Get Listed in Business Directories
    In addition to your website, be sure your business is listed in business directories, such as Google My Business and the Better Business Bureau. These sites, like social media sites, are free to register. Your community may also have a business directory with which you can list your contact information and network with other businesses. Again, make sure the fundamentals are listed, including your business contact information and address, a description of what you offer, a description of your company, and links to your social media accounts and website.

More on Harbortouch

Harbortouch has served more than 400,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free POS program is regularly featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue.

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Harbortouch Offers Tips for Fantastic Customer Service

Customer service, or lack thereof, can make or break a business. Harbortouch, one of the nation’s leading point of sale (POS) system providers, knows this well. Based in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the company has been in business for over two decades, earning a gold-star reputation for exceptional customer care as well as first-class products. The Harbortouch team offers a few tips on how to keep customers happy and coming back for more.

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4 Tips for Better Customer Care

  1. Hire Wisely
    Hiring an all-star team is the first step to ensuring great customer service. Whether you’re in retail or food service, excellent customer service skills should be a fundamental hiring qualification for front-of-house and customer-facing staff. When deciding between two potential candidates, select the one who’s most personable and positive. While experience is great, it isn’t everything. You can train someone in particular skills, but you can’t necessarily make someone more friendly or authentic.
  2. Promote Positive Speech & Body Language
    Teach your staff to be conscious of their body language and speech. One of the simplest but most important aspects is to maintain good eye contact. Also, ensure your employees guide customers to find items, rather than simply pointing them in the right direction. Encourage employees to answer the phone within two rings and with a standard greeting in a pleasant tone. Remind them that even over the phone, people can hear a smile! Likewise, ensure staff is visible and available to help when customers are around. Few things are more frustrating for a customer than not being able to find help when they need it.
  3. Ensure Everyone Is On the Same Page
    Make sure your staff is on the same page regarding your business’ policies about returns, exchanges, coupons, and layaway procedures. Being consistent provides better customer experience and enhances efficiency. Train employees to inform customers about the return policy during their interaction and consider putting the return policy on the bottom of your sales receipts.
  4. Invest in the Right Technology
    Technology can greatly enhance your business on every level, from marketing to customer care. One potential way to step up customer service is by administering a customer satisfaction survey through a platform such as Survey Monkey. You can also offer your staff customer service and sales training opportunities, such as online courses or webinars. Investing in a solid POS system with software tailored to your business needs is also helpful. For example, your POS system can enable you to administer a customer loyalty program to incentivize repeat patrons.

More on Harbortouch

Harbortouch has served more than 400,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free POS program is regularly featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue.

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Harbortouch Discusses 3 Ways Technology Is Changing the Dining Industry

Technology has revolutionized business, from cloud storage to mobile apps and AI-assisted admin to e-commerce. New tech solutions are constantly improving the experience for business owners and staff as well as consumers. The foodservice industry is no exception. However, as an industry, foodservice is comparatively slow to adopt new technologies compared to some of its counterparts. If you’re wondering how technology could improve your foodservice business, read Harbortouch’s insight below. 

 

How Technology Is Changing Foodservice 

 

  1. POS Systems 

Point of sale (POS) systems of today are lightyears ahead of the cash registers of yesteryear. These systems, which include hardware and software, are the backbone of any restaurant. POS systems can be used to do everything from taking and tracking orders to managing inventory and analyzing customer data.

 

  1. Mobile Ordering 

The future is mobile. Today’s consumers appreciate the convenience of having everything at the palm of their fingertips. Tableside ordering can benefit consumers as well as staff members, streamlining the ordering process for enhanced accuracy and quick turnaround time. 

 

Employees, for instance, can utilize tablets to take orders tableside and immediately transfer the request to the kitchen. There are also several options to integrate web-based or app-based ordering to your eatery if you are a fast-casual business.

 

  1. Online Ordering and Reservations

With online ordering growing 300% faster than dine-in spend, adding this additional revenue stream should be a no-brainer for any restaurant owner. Online ordering offers customers the ease and convenience of making their selection from anywhere. The customer saves time by not having to wait at the table or in line for their order to be completed. Likewise, online ordering and reservations can boost your team’s efficiency by allowing you to better plan ahead. Online ordering can also be paired with delivery options, which may be carried out in-house or in conjunction with services such as Uber Eats or Seamless. 

 

 

More About Harbortouch 

In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program was featured on the hit TV show, Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.

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3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a POS System According to Harbortouch

Point of sale (POS) systems are crucial for any brick-and-mortar business, from bars and restaurants to retail shops. A manager’s right-hand man (or machine), POS systems can help streamline various aspects of an operation, from customer service to inventory management and marketing to business analytics. However, not all POS systems are created equal. There are several models to choose from, each with software and hardware designed to perform specific functions and suit particular businesses. For instance, a restaurant POS system is different than its retail counterparts. To determine the best kind for you, you’ll need to consider a few factors.

Types of POS Systems

POS systems are divided into four main categories: restaurant, quick-service, retail, and salon & spa. Each has its unique functionalities to suit that particular business type. For instance, restaurant POS systems may include tableside ordering, table layout, online reservations, and tracking raw goods. Quick-service POS systems have some of the same features as restaurant systems, but with the addition of items like delivery and self-ordering kiosks. Retail POS systems have features such as product matrixes for managing stock that comes in an assortment of sizes or colors. Like restaurant and quick-service systems, they can also include online ordering and mobile checkout. Salon and spa systems may include appointment scheduling and booth rental as well as online booking.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a POS System

1) How will it impact the customer experience? The POS system shouldn’t just make your job easier; it should also make the customer experience better. Consider how the system will capture customer data, manage, and store it. You’ll also want to take into account the system’s customer loyalty program (or lack thereof) and whether or not you can easily accept coupons and set up special promotions. For those in the hospitality industry, also consider if the system offers tableside ordering, online ordering, or mobile checkout.
2) Can the POS system manage day-to-day operations? The POS system should also help you manage behind-the-scenes action. This includes inventory management, employee management, and vendor management.
3) How will the POS system support my business now and in the future? Whether you aspire to expand your small business into an empire or are content with being a mom-and-pop corner store, think of how the POS system can support your goals now and in the future. Consider aspects such as reporting and analytics, multi-store functionality for managing multiple locations, e-commerce integration, customer service, and usability and interface (is it easy to set up and train employees?).

More About Harbortouch

In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch* has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers*. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program was featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.

Harbortouch* – https://www.harbortouch.com/
Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers* – https://certifiedconsumerreviews.com/harbortouch/

POS Reports Every Restaurant Needs According to Harbortouch

Goal-setting is key to success, whether it’s a personal goal you’ve set for yourself as a manager or a milestone you’re keen to achieve as a business owner. It’s challenging, however,  to reach any goal if you can’t measure your progress. 

 

Without data, it’s difficult to understand what’s happening, what’s working and what isn’t. Subsequently, without this insight, you can’t make educated decisions on how to move forward. Fortunately, your point of sale (POS) system can provide you with the reporting and analytics tools you need to succeed. The team at Harbortouch, the nation’s leading POS system provider, is here to explain what POS reports every restaurant should have. 


Sales Reports 

As the name suggests, sales reports present data on sales. While the details can vary from one POS provider to another, generally a sales report should allow you to track sales over a period of time, the number of guests, table turn time, and sales by server. 

Product Mix Reports

Product mix reports provide a more in-depth view of sales. These reports include data on sales by item, category, and department. 

Inventory Reports 

Inventory reports tell you what ingredients you have in stock and which ones are running low. These reports provide insight into inventory valuation to tell you exactly how much you have on-hand. 

Labor and Employee Reports 

Labor reports provide insight into how your staff is performing and the cost-effectiveness of your team members. Many POS systems include scheduling and management features to help you better manage employees. 

 

Exception Reports 

Exception reports allow you to keep tabs on employees. They show voids, refunds, and discounts given by each individual staff member.

X and Z Reports 

X and Z reports are a part of routine operations in any restaurant. They typically include information on the individual total sales, along with a cumulative total, and the number of guests served. Cash tips and credit card gratuities owed to the employee are also tracked along coupons or discounts applied. X reports provide shift details or current register information, while Z reports are printed at the end-of-day for bookkeeping purposes and end of day reconciliation. 

Payment Reports and Gift Card Reporting 

POS reports should also provide insight into the types of payments processed, such as gift cards, cash, credit, and debit cards. With this information, you’ll know how much cash you have on-hand and how much money you’ll have in your bank account once credit and debit cards settle.

CRM and Loyalty Programs 

Customer relationship management (CRM) is the tech you can use to manage relationships with your patrons. This is typically connected to a customer loyalty program, which is included in many point of sale systems. If your POS system has a CRM capability, you’ll be able to see the customer’s average check price, their last visit, their favorite items, and special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. You can use this data for more effective marketing and sales strategies. 

 

More About Harbortouch 

 

In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program is frequently featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support. 

Harbortouch Explains How to Choose a Restaurant POS System

Point of sale (POS) systems are key to operating a successful business. Amid a changing economy, evolving consumer habits and dining trends, and growing competition, it’s increasingly important to take advantage of every opportunity to improve your operation.

Choosing the perfect restaurant point of sale system for your business is a great first step. Harbortouch, the nation’s leading POS provider, offers this guide to help you make an informed decision.

Harbortouch

What is a Restaurant POS System?

POS systems streamline the sales process, providing efficient payment processing solutions. They allow merchants to accept credit and debit cards, or even mobile payments. Point of sale systems can also provide analytics and insight and improve tasks such as accounting, employee scheduling, and marketing. However, POS systems aren’t one-size-fits-all. You’ll need a restaurant POS system designed for your particular business type.

Types of Restaurant POS Systems

Full-Service Restaurants

If you offer a full-on dining experience, your POS system should reflect that. Advanced capabilities like online ordering, reservations, and table management should all be part of the point of sale package. Also, consider one with tableside ordering capabilities as well to enhance the customer experience with increased accuracy and speedier serving times.

Fast-Casual Restaurants

Fast-casual restaurants require many of the same features listed above, with a few nuances. For example, you may want self-service kiosks or pay-at-the-table functionality to facilitate orders during peak hours. Kitchen Display Systems (KDS) can improve workflow and accuracy as well.

Quick-Service Restaurants

True to the name, quick-service eateries prioritize convenience and speed, as well as quality.

In this case, you’ll need a POS system to enhance speed and enable you to quickly process orders and payments to keep the line moving. Self-service kiosks are another great solution to utilize here. These POS systems can also be integrated with your digital menu boards, making it easy to update daily specials.

Bars and Nightclubs

bar and nightclub POS system must be able to take the heat of a lively and sometimes-hectic environment. It should automatically facilitate happy hour pricing and specials and enable you to preauthorize a tab so you don’t have to hold onto customers’ cards. You may also want a system with a liquor control system that measures inventory by bottle weight, or an age verification tool to ensure you’re not selling alcohol to minors.

Pizzeria and Delivery

Restaurants that deliver require a few special features. For one, you’ll want caller ID, so the customer’s contact info and order history populate automatically when they ring. The POS system should also have mapping features and directions to help drivers reach a customer’s home quickly. Inventory management and menu customization are also essential.

More About Harbortouch

In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program is frequently featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.

Why Every Restaurant Should Have a Customer Loyalty Program According to Harbortouch

Harbortouch Reviews

“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.” The theme song to the hit TV show Cheers sums up how many diners, including the staff at Harbortouch, feel about favorite eateries. When you consider the probability of selling to an existing customer is much greater* than the probability of selling to a new one, it makes even more sense to emphasize customer retention in your business strategy. A customer loyalty program is one way to go about it.

Benefits of restaurant loyalty programs

Repeat clientele isn’t the only benefit you’ll reap from incorporating a loyalty rewards program. You can also increase profits significantly. Check out this report and calculator by loyalty program vendor Fivestars* for an estimate of how much a loyalty program could boost your bottom line.

You can also use a loyalty program as a platform through which to survey members. You could ask questions about the menu, for example, or see if they are likely to recommend your business to a friend or family member. This information can be extremely valuable in improving your offerings and operations, resulting in happier customers and more long-term success.

Shopping for a loyalty program

If you’re ready to set up a loyalty program, check with your POS vendor* to see what they have to offer. Programs with multiple options and intuitive opt-in methods (like email and phone number) are best.

For instance, try to find a program that offers points-based rewards as well as special promotions and coupons. Ensure the sign-up process is quick and painless. When speaking with your vendor, ask what analytics tools are available as well. Your loyalty program can be a fantastic way to glean insight into customer’s preferences and behaviors. This is a great basis for future sales and marketing strategies.

More About Harbortouch

In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch* has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers*. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program was featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.

much greater* – http://blog.biakelsey.com/index.php/2014/04/03/biakelsey-and-manta-joint-report-smbs-shift-priority-to-customer-retention/
Fivestars* – https://www.fivestars.com/businesses/loyalty/
POS vendor* – https://pointofsale.com/find-a-pos-reseller/
Harbortouch* – https://www.harbortouch.com/
Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers* – https://certifiedconsumerreviews.com/harbortouch/

Harbortouch’s Advice on How to Choose a Restaurant POS System

Point of sale (POS) systems are key to operating a successful business. Amid a changing economy, evolving consumer habits and dining trends, and growing competition, it’s increasingly important to take advantage of every opportunity to improve your operation. From enhancing efficiency and reducing waste to cutting costs and boosting customer satisfaction, a Harbortouch POS system can provide the foundation for a more successful future.

What is a Restaurant POS System?

Point of sale systems streamline the checkout process, providing efficient payment processing solutions. They allow merchants to accept credit and debit cards, and provide data and analytics for the purpose of making smarter business decisions. However, POS systems aren’t one-size-fits-all. There are many types to choose from, each with particular features to suit different kinds of businesses.

If you operate a restaurant and/or bar, you’re going to need a point of sale solution designed specifically for your industry-a restaurant POS.

POS Systems for Different Types of Restaurants

To narrow your choices, an excellent place to start is by identifying solutions for the specific type of restaurant you operate.

Full-Service Restaurants

Your restaurant provides great food and dining experiences, and your point of sale system should reflect that. To begin with, the POS system should enable you to take reservations and orders over the phone or online. Table management is another essential feature for full-service dining, enabling you to seat guests quickly and turn tables faster.

Consider a restaurant POS that gives you the option to add Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS), so wait staff can leverage tableside ordering. This increases efficiency and gives customers a convenient, fast, and secure way to pay at the table.

Restaurant POS systems designed for fine-dining also include a coursing feature for perfectly-timed meals. In fact, the right POS system supports every stage of your guests’ dining experiences with exceptional service.

Fast-Casual Restaurants

Fast-casual POS systems require many of the same features as a full-service restaurant solution, with a few particular nuances. For instance, you can add table kiosks for self-ordering menu items or pay-at-the-table functionality.

You may also want to capitalize on the growing online ordering trend. You can do so by integrating online orders with your Kitchen Display System (KDS) for a streamlined workflow and improved accuracy. Your POS system can also print receipts and labels.

Quick-Service Restaurants (QSR)

Customers choose your quick-service eateries for convenience and speed, as well as the food. Your restaurant POS system needs the power to quickly process orders and payments so you can keep the lines moving. Self-service kiosks are a great way to do this and maximize revenue during peak hours.

POS system designed for QSR will also include integration with digital signage. Digital menu boards are an excellent way to present your menu offerings in an easy-to-read format, and they’re easy to customize for special promotions. Using your POS system, you can accurately and consistently update menus and menu displays-an especially important feature if you have multiple locations.

Bars and Nightclubs

Point of sale software for bars and nightclubs is especially demanding. During the day, a POS system in a nightclub sits dormant. However, at night it sees more action than Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. You need a POS system that can take the heat.

Your bar and nightclub POS system should also automatically facilitate happy hour pricing. And speaking of drinks, a nice-to-have bar feature is a liquor control system that measures inventory by bottle weight or a pour monitoring system that measures stock used per pour. Your POS system will also provide secure cash management.

Bar POS systems will enable you to preauthorize a tab, so you don’t have to hold on to the customer’s credit card, and you can verify the card and confirm there are funds to cover the tab in advance. These systems also include age verification processes to ensure your business is complying with the law.

Pizzeria and Delivery

If you own a pizzeria – especially one that offers a delivery service – your business has a few unique requirements that don’t necessarily fall into the QSR or fast-casual category.

For restaurants offering delivery, your point of sale system should integrate with caller ID, so the customers’ contact information and order history are automatically populated as the call comes in.

A pizza POS system should also have directions and mapping features so all your drivers can reach a customer’s home in a timely manner.

Lastly, your POS system needs to accommodate the unique menu items and numerous combinations your customers can order, for example, toppings on a half or whole pie. It also has to help you manage inventory and raw goods, so you don’t run out of those favorite toppings.

Restaurant POS Software

Restaurant POS software is the operational hub of your business. Features include accurate order entry-even with modifiers-easy menu and price changes, upsell suggestions, split checks, tabs, and easy tipping. POS software designed for restaurants will also equip your business with tools that help you manage a profitable business:

  • Inventory Management

Your POS system can track inventory based on orders and notify your wait staff when it’s time to 86 a menu item. Restaurant POS systems can monitor expiration dates to reduce waste, and generate purchase orders when stock runs low. The right inventory management system can also streamline stock counts and monitor activity to help you pinpoint sources of shrinkage and food waste.

  • Employee Management

Restaurant POS solutions make it easy to manage both front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) employees by tracking hours, sales, and shift performance. Your staff can use their IDs to clock-in and clock out on POS terminals, and you can receive alerts if an employee’s schedule includes overtime. Your point of sale system reporting feature will give you insights into shift reports for easy cashout and overall employee performance and the impact on revenue.

  • Kitchen Display Systems (KDS)

Add efficiency and accuracy by transmitting orders directly to the KDS. This capability eliminates the problem of lost tickets or orders prepared incorrectly due to illegible handwriting. Your system can assign parts of the order to the appropriate food prep station, so all items are ready at the same time.

  • Loyalty Rewards and Gift Cards

Manage your loyalty rewards program with your restaurant POS and make it easy for your customers to earn and redeem rewards at any of your locations or online. Your point of sale should also have the ability to issue and accept gift cards – an excellent way to increase brand awareness and revenue. According to the National Retail Federation, gift cards continue to top the list of the most popular gifts, with restaurant gift cards ranking as the most popular.

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Use your POS system to manage your customer database to create target email campaigns with relevant offers and messaging. You can also use this tool to entice customers who haven’t visited your restaurant in a while with a special offer. Analyzing data from your CRM will also reveal which marketing campaigns are most effective, showing you the path to the highest ROI.

Restaurant POS Hardware

Once you select your restaurant POS software, you need to choose hardware that’s purpose-built for reliable use in a busy (and sometimes harsh) restaurant environment. Touchscreen POS terminals enable quick order entry, ruggedized tablets for tableside service won’t need replacement after a drop or a spill, and an impact printer produces tickets that won’t fade in a hot, humid kitchen.

POS hardware also includes payment card terminals, cash drawers, and receipt printers for efficient checkout. Additional POS hardware and peripherals can provide added-value, such as tablet stands, barcode scanners, scales, kitchen monitors, customer displays, and kiosks.

The Restaurant POS User Experience

In an industry with a higher-than-average employee turnover rate (more than 70 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) it’s vital that restaurant POS software is simple to learn so new employees can work independently sooner rather than later. Excessive training time will eat into your profits so make sure your POS system is user-friendly and intuitive.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing A Restaurant POS

In addition to evaluating restaurant point of sale features, also consider how it will integrate with your business operation. Ask these questions:

  • If it is a cloud POS system, does it have offline capabilities? Can I use it as part of a hybrid local server-cloud system for business continuity?
  • Is the price within my budget? Are there additional costs I will need to budget for as I use the system?
  • Does it integrate with accounting software or other restaurant back-office software?
  • Can I access the system and reports so I can manage my business from any location?
  • Can I add new functionality and will it scale with my business as it grows? Is a point of sale app the right choice for my business?
  • Can I accept all types of payment including EMV, contactless and mobile wallet payments?
  • Is it PCI compliant?

It’s also wise to evaluate the POS system provider. Work with an established company like Harbortouch that has experience in the restaurant industry and an exceptional track record of customer service and technical support. Harbortouch’s reviews, for example, are a testament to the many satisfied clients nationwide.

The restaurant POS you choose can impact your business’ efficiency and profitability for years to come. Take the time to carefully evaluate your options and make a choice that will provide your business with the greatest value and ROI.

More About Harbortouch

In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program was featured on the hit TV show, Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.