In the past, POS hardware was expensive to maintain and clunky. They operated on a closed network internally, so it wasn’t possible to move it around. Although some restaurants still use this type of hardware, there are many other POS system options available today. You can get cloud-based systems and different types of hardware to make your restaurant operations more efficient.
POS stands for Point of Service. It refers to the hardware and software that help restaurants with transactions and workflows. In the past, they could send orders to the kitchen and ring up customers. Today, they can perform many more functions. The POS hardware is whatever physical object is used for your functions. One example is an iPad. Take a look at seven pieces of hardware that your restaurant needs.
1. POS Terminal
You absolutely need a POS terminal to run your software, as you can’t run your system without it. This is the digital interface that your employees use to manage all of the transactions in the restaurant. Your POS terminal can be one of any number of devices, including a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop. It just needs to have an Internet connection.
The most current POS terminals use touchscreen tablets that are wireless, light, and mobile. Your servers can take them to tables to take orders, and the screen is large enough to display everything the server needs to see. It can be a costly part of your POS system, so it is important to choose the best one for your restaurant. The top two choices are the Android and the iPad. The iPad integrates more easily with POS software, and they provide a better user experience. The interface is easier to use, so many people choose the iPad with the IOS software.
Another important piece of hardware is your printer. There are always customers who want printouts of their receipt, and you have the option of printing other items such as order tickets. There are different types of printers, from thermal printers for receipts to impact printers for kitchen tickets. This type of printer transfers ink mechanically, so the heat in the kitchen doesn’t impact it. They are loud and durable, and they hold up in a kitchen.
3. Barcode Scanner
Barcode scanners are important for restaurants if they sell other items besides the food on the menu. They can scan pre-packaged foods and merchandise, as well as anything else that has a barcode. When you use a barcode scanner, it will scan a barcode on a product to add the item to the total sale. It is connected to the POS system, so it can reflect the sale in the inventory as well as the sales. It is important to make sure that any barcode scanner you buy works with your POS software.
4. Payment Terminals
The technology for payment terminals has been changing rapidly in recent years. Most of them used to be set up so that customers could swipe the magnetic strip on their card to pay. The payment terminal was able to read the customer’s information and run through the transaction. Next, credit card companies started producing cards with a chip, and payment terminals allow users to insert the chip so that their information could be read.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many customers wanted to use a contactless method to pay. Many restaurant owners obliged, and it is becoming more of a standard. New payment terminals allow customers to tap their credit card on the terminal, and the information is transmitted by radio frequency antennae to authorise the purchase.
Mobile wallet payments require NFC technology so that the chip in the terminal can communicate with the mobile wallet to exchange encrypted data. This type of payment method is fast, and it is what customers want in the restaurant business. There are other benefits as well. It is faster for processing payments, and there is a lower risk of fraud. In addition, the transaction fees are lower. The key is to make sure that you clean this type of payment terminal properly.
5. Kitchen Display Systems
Another crucial piece of POS hardware is your kitchen display system. It is mounted in the kitchen on a monitor or a tablet, and it shows all of the digital order tickets. When your servers take orders, they will be displayed on this screen. You have quite a few options. You could use tablets that are the same as the others in your restaurant, or you can buy kitchen display screens that are an ideal size so that everyone in the kitchen can see it. They are also designed to handle the heat in the kitchen.
When you have a kitchen display system, you no longer need tickets that are handwritten, and servers won’t need to yell out the orders and hope that the kitchen gets it right. Some kitchens use the kitchen displays along with a printer so that they can print out an order ticket to avoid mistakes.
6. Internet Router
Your POS system won’t work without the Internet, and your router will keep all of your hardware devices connected. You need secure connections that are wireless. If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to access the cloud, which is where your POS software is often stored, and your devices won’t be able to work together. Routers come in different sizes and offer different coverages, so you need to make sure that you have one or more routers that seamlessly connect all of your POS devices.
7. Cash Drawer
Your cash drawer can be connected to your POS terminals with Bluetooth or a USB. The most important feature is that your cash drawer can lock securely so that it can’t be broken into.
Rethink Your Hardware Choices
Your hardware is important to your POS system. It is important to make sure that all of your hardware is compatible with your POS software so that it works well together. Make sure that you purchase devices that are user-friendly and durable. Keep in mind that these devices are designed to help your restaurant maximize and simplify processes so that it runs more efficiently.