Cloud-based restaurant POS systems have gained significant traction in the industry in the past few years. They’ve made it easier for startups to access a reliable POS system that doesn’t require proprietary software or hardware, which has enabled them to compete with big restaurant players.
Furthermore, these systems are accessible anywhere with an internet connection, making it easy for busy restaurateurs to manage their operations.
However, not all cloud-based POS systems are built the same. Different integrations, hardware support, and additional features result in different price points. Considering all these factors can become complicated.
To help you decide, we’ve listed 8 essential POS features you should consider.
Must-Have Cloud POS Essentials
The following factors are standard components of any cloud-based POS. The best ones will take it a notch higher and offer innovative features.
1. Device-agnostic Software and Hardware Compatibilities
The best cloud-based POS shouldn’t require proprietary hardware. It should be able to run on any device without installing any additional software. This will help streamline costs and increase reliability, ensuring that your system is accessible and running all the time.
Also, choose a modular system where certain features, like label printing and third-party delivery management integrations, are optional add-ons features instead of required modules you need to pay for.
2. Simplified Contactless Ordering
These days, customers expect contactless ordering to be available from restaurants through QR code ordering, digital menus, and self-ordering kiosks. A forward-looking POS system will have these features.
Customers should be able to order from the convenience of their smartphones and restaurants should be able to send these orders automatically to the kitchen with minimal server contact. They should also be able to manage payments conveniently from their devices.
3. Real-time Inventory Updates
Reliable inventory management is one of the benefits of using a cloud-based POS. It reduces the errors made in manual inventory counting and the time-consuming process of manual reconciliations.
Most cloud-based POS systems provide real-time inventory updates, allowing managers to see which items sell out the fastest so they can adjust their purchases accordingly. You can also create preset thresholds and configure the system to send automatic SMS alerts for low-stock items. Some will even allow you to send automated purchase orders.
Look for a POS system with a flexible inventory management system that’s accurate and automated, but still makes room for manual adjustments.
4. Automated Reports Generation
The best cloud-based POS systems let you generate real-time reports automatically. This will give visibility to your operations and help identify challenges before they grow out of control.
Some even take a step further and integrate with third-party apps like your accounting software and mall reporting systems to automatically generate and send reports. This lets your staff focus on what they do best – delivering excellent customer service.
5. Seamless Third-Party Delivery Integration
Delivery has become an integral part of a restaurant’s operation, even in a post-pandemic world. Managing multiple third-party food aggregators and your dine-in and takeaway orders can be challenging.
Leading POS systems allow you to integrate multiple channels into a single system and sync all their orders, so your kitchen doesn’t have difficulty keeping up. This reduces errors and drives efficiency, so you get to serve more customers faster.
6. Advanced Food Label Printing
Online food delivery will account for 21% of the total restaurant market by 2025, so restaurant owners should not fall behind. They need to be able to invest in systems that allow them to dispatch orders quickly and efficiently.
The best POS system takes time to innovate food label printing, with options like cloud label printing and linerless label printing. Cloud label printing allows you to print labels remotely from any device, while linerless label printing ensures you can print stickers of varying sizes.
These innovations are designed to save time, cut costs, and increase efficiency.
7. Intuitive Usability and Flexible Performance
Before adopting any new system to your business, it’s important to evaluate its actual interface and how seamlessly it fits into your day-to-day operations. The right software should improve speed and accuracy, not result in frustratingly slow and erroneous transactions.
When considering a POS system, always look for intuitiveness, responsiveness, online-offline functionality, and on-the-go access. Another great feature to have is dark mode-light mode display options that can adjust with your restaurant’s ambient lighting.
8. Consistent Updates and Ecosystem Expansion
The restaurant industry is constantly changing, and a reliable POS partner has a track record of constant innovations that are offered in a timely manner. The best ones will even introduce features before they become an industry standard. Developers should also release consistent product updates to ensure you have the latest product version.
When online ordering became a trend, traditional POS scrambled to keep up while software-based POS rolled out downloadable and easy-to-install updates. When you choose a POS system known for its innovation, you can be assured that you have the right tools to future-proof your business.
Choose the Best Cloud-Based POS for Your Future
One of the many advantages of cloud-based POS is adaptability and accessibility. When looking for the best POS provider, go for one that provides timely updates, is device-agnostic, releases innovative features, and helps streamline your processes.
While many systems can get the job done, only the best ones will help you grow your business to new heights. Take the time to research, book demos, and apply for free trials to find the best solution for your business.