EPOS for Restaurants & Pubs – What are the best options?
If you search epos for restaurants, you will find so many different systems on the market that it’s hard to make a decision.
So if you researching till systems and epos for restaurants or perhaps a pub here are a few tips..
How do you want to take orders & payments from your customers?
This is important when considering epos for restaurants as it dictates how complex your set up is and what type of epos & card machines you’ll need:
- Take orders & payments from table – The usual way is to use a pad & pencil, or some people have moved to tablets, but then you need a tablet & a card machine & you’ll need to charge lots of devices. The better way of doing this is to opt for a smart card machine that can also run the epos software via an app. That way you can take orders at table, print from the machine, send orders to bar & kitchen & take payment on the same device. It communicates with the till screen at bar and also kitchen printers, to save time & make things easier. This is a good option for bigger businesses or ones with outside space
- Take orders at bar / serving area – With this option you may be able to save money by just using a simple epos card machine that takes orders & sends them to printer, then takes contactless payment on the same device. These are half the price of a usual till system, so if you don’t need really advanced epos features then it could be a good money saving option.
- Take orders via QR code scanning – This is a good way to reduce costs of service. Let customers scan a QR code on table & orders direct to your till. Quicker service, lower cost & more sales. This can also be used together with the table service options above to ensure you don’t get any walk outs. Orders just drop into the same Epos system marked as web order from which ever table it came from.
How will you manage orders between the kitchen and the bar?
This probably is driven by the layout of your business. If your kitchen is right next to the bar you may want to print all together at bar and pass orders through. But others may want to split drink / food orders & send direct to printers or screens.
Most Till Systems & EPOS for Restaurants & Pubs allow you to split orders and pre code products to allow this, which saves time when busy.
- Punch orders into till – This is the traditional way & you can set it to send orders to a kitchen printer or screen
- Send orders directly from hand held devices – This is possibly an easier way than all trying to use the main till system at the same time. Orders can be sent to kitchen directly from the machine & drinks orders straight to bar
How large is your restaurant or bar as this will affect your epos set up?
- Small compact places with no outside space – A simple till system with card machines is probably the easiest option. For busier places you may want a 2nd screen to make it easier for staff and sometimes android tablets can double up as a cheaper option than another epos screen.
- Bigger venues / Outside space – The epos hand held devices work best here to cut down on staff time running in and out to use the bar till and place orders. With these devices they can take orders, send to bar / kitchen & then take payment all at one time. Or tab for later payment & add orders if needed on each table. QR code ordering may also be an idea here.
Are you tech savvy?
It’s worth asking yourself this if you don’t have a tech savvy team. The newer devices are great, but are obviously more complex than a pad & pencil. It’s sometimes best to keep things simple if this is the case & just opt for a simple epos screen at bar and some card machines
How do you manage tips?
There are various options here and newer epos systems can definitely help.
- Do it via the card machine – This can get complicated & is more difficult to track via the epos system as works separately to it
- Use the epos system – usually they can now track tips, split bills & help in the billing process, so best to work out how you want to manage tips & track them.
Are your staff reliable?
With separate non connected card machines you can get a difference between what the epos system tracks & what the card machine takes. Accidents happen! This is due to double entering of amounts on devices. There are a few solutions to this
- Use a connected card machine – This will only charge what the epos system tells it to, so no double entering of amounts and little room for error
- Use the epos card machines. The epos software on the actual device tells the card machine how much to charge and it can also manage tips.
Epos for restaurants – How much do you want to spend?
Always a tricky one to answer. The cheapest way is to buy the hardware & lease the software monthly. This gives you flexibility as most software licences are 30 days and if you go with an android system then you can switch software at any time.
- Bigger complex businesses – You probably need to spend a few thousand on hardware to ensure a decent system, but don’t pay up front for the software.
- Small / Medium businesses – These days there are some pretty decent brands that are lower cost and reliable like Sunmi & Imin. The hardware shouldn’t cost more than £1,000 depending on your set up. And if you prefer to spread the cost, you can lease equipment with most people. Or at least part buy and part lease to bring costs down.
- Small businesses – Often the software will come free with an all in one epos card machine, so worth looking at these.
If you need any help or advice on choosing the right system, then feel free to give us a call on 0203 985 9080. We have systems & clever card machines to suit most hospitality businesses.
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