You may have become a restaurateur recently and are wondering if you should install a restaurant point of sale system. A point of sale system, or POS system for short, is a kind of computer system used to manage customer sales and other business functions much more efficiently than had been possible in the past.
Most decent sized retail stores have a point of system. If you have been checked out at a store by a cashier using a computer, you have witnessed a POS terminal that was part of a POS system. POS systems are also commonly used in restaurants and have lead to a lot of innovation in how they operate.
Restaurant POS systems perform much of the same functions as retail POS systems. They are often used to check out someone when they pay for their food. A cashier will probably implement a POS terminal that includes a cash drawer, a hard-drive, a monitor, a credit card swipe, and a printer to produce receipts. Also much like retail POS systems, they will be able to record data from each meal purchased to later produce information needed for accounting purposes and business analysis.
However, restaurant point of sale systems can be tailored to meet the specific needs of any restaurant. One important innovation developed through the use of these POS systems is the ability of the staff to communicate with the cooks in the kitchen as quickly as possible. An order for a meal rung up on a register at the point of sale or even entered by a waitress waiting on customers who have yet to pay can be quickly sent to a display or print-out in the kitchen. This display or print-out will tell the chef exactly what was ordered. Furthermore, it can even give her recipes or instructions on how to prepare the dish. After receiving the order, the cooking staff also has the option to communicate back to the previous point of sale terminal. For example, a chef could press a button to recall an order for a dish she has ran out of ingredients for.
POS systems have also literally revolutionized the fast-food business. In many fast-food point of sale systems, the system not only covers sales inside the restaurant and orders sent to cooks, but it also includes the drive-through window. In this kind of point of sale system, orders are sent to the kitchen, not only from cash registers for patrons inside the restaurant, but also from POS terminals ran by drive-through window operators. The amount of communication needed to be performed through these kinds of complex POS systems has also been made more efficient by the use of wireless systems. Theses systems not only allow the drive-through operator to communicate with the driver outside, but also to send the order to the cooks in the kitchen.
Restaurant point of sale systems can also do much more and can be tailored to the needs of any restaurateur. However, these systems can be expensive to install and maintain, so they are perhaps best suited for busier restaurants only.
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