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Point of Sale Software For Cafes: Why You Must Get a POS Software Today

by Vinay Goswami

If you are a café owner, you would agree that keeping your customers happy is your No. 1 priority. Customer satisfaction is the main growth driver for any restaurant or cafe business. Being the drivers of a critical metric to measure your shop’s success, customers have to be taken care of every single day. In order to do so, a smooth sales process will come in handy. It will help you achieve a good customer satisfaction score.

Long gone are the cash register days! Your cafe business’ sales can actually come in easy with a simple and intuitive point of sale (or POS) system- an automatic sales tracking solution. In case you already have a POS for your coffee shop, your life is already set, and if not, read on!

Some key pointers to help you understand how a POS can be indispensable for your restaurant have been listed below:

1) POS ensures easier billing cycles

Ease out your complete billing operation and do more in a click! Split your bills, track every transaction and analyze customer data easily.

2) Keep track of inventory and stocks

Your kitchen will never run out of raw material with a robust POS in place. You can add the recipe management feature too!

3) Run a customised loyalty program 

Build a band of loyal customers, especially millennials with customised and automated loyalty programs.

Point of Sale software for Cafes: What all it can do for you?

1) Billing made easy

For those of us who haven’t heard of a POS before, please note that any business selling ‘in person’ will have a ‘point of sale’, abbreviated ‘POS’ very commonly. This system should be in place to handle all face-to-face payments coming from customers. Never used one before? Do not get overwhelmed. We have all sailed in the same boat.

2) Inventory Tracking

Just so you know, according to the Gartner IT glossary, “POS systems use personal computers or specialized terminals in combination with cash registers, optical scanners or magnetic-stripe readers to capture and record data at the time of transaction. POS systems are usually online to a central computer for credit checking and inventory updating. Stay on top of raw materials with real-time alerts and also use the recipe manager to your advantage. Know more here. Alternatively, they may be independent systems that store daily transactions for inventory shopping, until they can be transmitted to the central system for processing.”

3) Grow a loyal customer base

Create your own loyalty program and award points or rewards to your customers as you wish. This will pave way for you to ensure repeat business. You can actually use a POS to convert new customers into regulars. Simply ensure that the loyalty plan syncs up with your brand so that you can carry it out seamlessly both online and offline.

How to know which is the right Point of Sale (POS) for your café business?

Now you know what a Point of Sale (POS) is. But choosing the right one for your Café can be a cumbersome task.

Will, it cost more than a cash register?

Well, that depends on the functionalities your POS will take care of.

Can you afford it?

That will again depend on certain factors like your budget and the features you want to be activated in the system.

Remember, that the potential extra cost of having a POS – your computerised cash register – over and above the old one, would really be worth it if you decide to upgrade your current manual system.

Benefits of a POS system are many. While comparing it with a traditional cash register, we came up with a few juicy points.

  • With a smart Point of Sale (POS), you can create more detailed reports
  • It allows you to carry out inventory management and control as discussed before.
  • It enables Customer relationship management (CRM) in a click
  • It is your go-to marketing tool
  • It comes with integrated omni-channel capabilities
  • It helps you improve accuracy
  • It enables loyalty programs
  • It can allow you to generate gift cards
  • It can easily grow/scale according to your business

Now coming to a traditional cash register, it cannot help you accomplish any of the aforementioned points. Yet it does have some benefits too. Let’s skim through them.

  • If yours is a small sized business, a cash register is a low-cost alternative you can consider.
  • Most models available in the market are easy to use.
  • It comes with fewer components, is portable and is handy.

Clearly, a Point of Sale (POS) is a far more advanced and technically sound alternative.

A Point of Sale (POS) helps you keep up with the espressos and customers, all at once!

The day you actually started thinking about your coffee shop business, your priority list comprised of the espresso machine, quality grinders, and in-shop appliances. The whole idea behind running a successful coffee shop was about things running smoothly for daily profit.

Since times have changed and so have your customers, and assuming that the points above have already been taken care of, a manual cash register will not suffice anymore.

In your plans, a POS for cafe should be of utmost importance. You will be using it the most during your workday, even more than your phone to be precise!

And remember that customers hardly pay in cash anymore. They have grown accustomed to pay with credit or debit cards and receive receipts via emails and text messages instantly.

When was the last time you paid in cash? If you can’t remember, read this carefully. A modern and dependable POS system is inevitable, as without it your coffee business will struggle to complete ordinary transactions.

In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, credit/debit card transactions superseded cash-only transactions back in 2016.

In 2017, a survey on preferred payment mode revealed that out of 1,000 respondents, 40% went with debit cards, 33% chose credit cards, and just 12% used cash. Jeez, that is something!

From all the above data crunching, we now know that you have to smartly handle customer payments and for that, you need a smart system in place to take care of all the work.

Advantages of a Point of Sale (POS) for Café

By now, it is clear that your coffee shop needs 3 key things to run smoothly. Espresso machines, Coffee grinders and a Point-of-Sale (POS) system. But what exactly are its advantages?

  1. Point of sale systems for cafés are faster, easier and cheap when it comes to installation.
  2. Their deployment is generally simple.
  3. A POS for café can eliminate human errors and save good money.
  4. With POS, transactions and execution are quick. This can save crucial time and thereby boost customer satisfaction.
  5. Online or web-based POS for Cafés come with automatic software updates, backups and system reconfiguration. The best part is your recurring monthly bill will actually cover software updates, maintenance, and technical support.
  6. With it, a coffee shop owner can track and manage inventory in real time.
  7. A smart POS can monitor your sales records and alert you before some item goes out of stock.
  8. A POS reduces your paperwork. It automatically generates on-demand and planned reports for analysis. That keeps you on your toes about the health of your café business.
  9. In a POS, you can group your menu or stock items under subgroups as per your business needs and marketing ideas.
  10. Some smart POS systems for Cafés come with an inbuilt CRM or Customer Relationship Manager. You can extract customer records. That saves you time to enter customer details every single time they visit the coffee shop.
  11. With a Point of sale system at your coffee outlet, you can enjoy simplified accounting processes. You needn’t hire accountants and pay them salaries anymore.
  12. In a POS, you can also look up past transactions.
  13. You can also use it to automate ordering for the hottest selling products.
  14. With a POS, authorizing a credit card transaction can be made faster and printing receipts becomes easy. So, the customer gets to receive detailed itemized receipts of items after purchase.
  15. Point of sale systems can reduce user errors as it has built-in checks to ensure correct data entry.

Features that make a difference while choosing a Point of Sales Software for cafes

A POS for cafes leverages internet technology so that your coffee shop can sync with complex and advanced tools. With a POS system that had good features in place, you can record customer sales transactions, store sales data, inventory details and figures. Since the POS software keeps a tab on all sales, it can later streamline various tasks like calculate total sales, tax, etc.

1) Customer facing terminals: As a coffee shop owner, have you considered reaping the benefits of a POS by now? If yes, you will eventually use it and figure out that some of them flip to become a customer facing transformer!

When the terminal flips, your customer can sign, tip or place a request digitally. In a matter of seconds, you capture their data and order precisely to suit their needs. It reduces time to complete transactions and lets you serve and more and more guests during peak hours.

2) In-depth reporting: Your POS’s inbuilt CRM will keep collecting the humongous amount of customer data. This will be used to generate a detailed customer database with time. Such data will let you like the café owner to gain valuable insight into customers.

Your POS will let you segment all these data points and compare data over time for more powerful and targeted marketing campaigns.

3) Easy menu management: Your barista or costa should be smart enough to order a decaf cappuccino with extra chocolate syrup, or a double espresso shot, and whipped crème quickly. Basically, the system’s modifiers should be quick, smart and easy to customize.

In case your café has a seasonal menu or renders special offers now and then, the café POS should let you easily update or add to the menu. This is where a cloud-based smart POS for café steps in. It will let you make changes to your menu in real-time from any device. Additionally, it should mark items out of stock.

Therefore, the capabilities of your POS software can go beyond a minimalistic cash register. You can actually carry out complete coffee shop functions with such a holistic café management system. Your efficient POS for Cafe will automate and handle every single aspect of your business online. In order to understand your coffee shop’s daily run better, we would like to understand what reports you generate daily. Also, do you have any loyalty programs or gift card systems in place at your café?

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