The restaurant industry has evolved dramatically. Most dining establishments use point of sales (POS) systems instead of a pen, paper and cash register.
POS is an integral part of restaurant operations because it serves as the hub where everything merges, including sales, customer management, and inventory. This system is an absolute must for all restaurant formats because of the invariably changing expectations in modern diners’ eating habits.
But with the latest tech innovations, the traditional server-based POS terminals are now being replaced by cloud POS because of its convenience and efficiency. The best iPad POS can significantly increase operational efficiency, enhance table turnover rate, and lessen order taking time.
Though most early adopters swear by the efficiency and convenience this technology offers, others remain sceptical. Here are the perks of shifting to an iPad restaurant POS system, along with the essential features to look for when implementing such technology.
Perks of iPad POS
Besides being cool, iPad POS offers the following benefits to restaurants.
1. Significant cost savings
In any business, cost is a huge factor. A server-based POS system is big and more expensive than an iPad POS. It comes with enormous hardware and involves an installation fee and maintenance charges. Moreover, data can be lost once the system fails or crashes, which means additional reinstallation costs.
Conversely, an iPad POS is more affordable despite having a monthly fee. The initial cost is also significantly lower than its traditional counterpart.
2. Easy setup
Setting up an iPad POS system is easy. It only requires
- an iPad;
- a cloud-based software;
- and a credit card reader usually provided by the card processor of your POS provider.
Once it’s installed, you and your staff can use it right away to assist customers and get their orders. Your employees may not be well-versed with laptops and computers, but it’s highly likely that they’ll know how to operate mobile phones.
An iPad or tablet is easier to run and more convenient for everyone. More importantly, an iPad POS system is a training-free POS software in the UAE that does not require intricate technical knowledge and training.
3. Streamlined sales process
An iPad POS system allows you to be mobile, which is a real sales booster.
Instead of directing customers to the cash register to place their orders, you can take their orders and even process their payments at their tables. You won’t have to deal with diners getting tired of waiting in line, or worse, abandoning your restaurant. You can even designate an iPad tablet per table so diners can order and pay without the need to speak to servers.
4. Reduced service time
Service time can be reduced significantly because waiters don’t have to run to and from the POS and tables. This is very helpful if your restaurant is fully-booked, customers have concerns about their orders, and you only have a few employees.
5. Better customer experience
Though table billing is among the beneficial features of a POS system, iPad tablets make the billing process faster and more efficient. The server can bring the device to the customer’s table for direct scrutiny, which can translate into a better experience.
An iPad POS system can work in places where a full-blown POS can’t.
Since it is equipped with additional apps, this innovative system can also serve as your restaurant catalogue.
For example, when a diner can’t decide on what to order, you can rely on your iPad POS and show them images with a description of your best sellers instead of just verbally describing the food.
But make sure that the image you share with them matches the way the dish they’ve ordered is actually presented. Otherwise, this can outweigh the convenience your POS provides and result in a bad customer review.
An iPad POS system won’t require paper, which makes it incredibly eco-friendly. Bills and receipts are emailed to customers and uploaded to websites that are password protected.
Digital bills and receipts are preferred by most customers today because it is easy to keep digital transaction records.
7. Cloud storage
All the transactions and processes done on your iPad POS are stored in the cloud, which can be accessed from any internet-enabled device.
Changes can also be made from your computer since making modifications with a keyboard and screen is easier and more convenient than entering lots of data from an iPad. All these changes can be seen from the iPad in real-time because the system is updated constantly and automatically.
8. Fast inventory management
An iPad POS system makes inventory management a breeze. It automatically monitors your inventory, giving you an updated list of the items that should be refilled soon. It can also notify you through email if it is time to restock certain ingredients and other supplies.
Moreover, an iPad POS system informs you about the most in-demand ingredients. This way, you can contact your food and beverage distributors/suppliers about your requirements as soon as possible.
Key Features Your iPad POS Must Include
The perks of using an iPad POS for your restaurant are plenty, but it is also crucial for you to look for the following features when shopping for the best system.
- Cloud-based – This means that you can run your restaurant business from a tablet and access reporting features from any mobile device.
- User-friendly – It should have an easy-to-understand and intuitive interface.
- Tableside ordering – This allows servers to take orders, monitor tables, and process payments at each customer’s table.
- Modifiers – Whether it is food restrictions, allergies, or what your customers prefer, it must have the capability to inform the kitchen staff about these adjustments or preferences.
- Multi-location support – Choose a POS system that will support your business as it grows even if you are not yet up for an expansion.
- Real-time reporting – Whenever you want to look into employee productivity, sales progress, and inventory, your POS should have the necessary corresponding reporting capabilities.
- Regular updates – No product is perfect, but if the POS provider is constantly enhancing their products, you know that you are in great hands and won’t be switching to another system in the future.
- Offline mode – When your restaurant’s internet connection becomes slow or gets disconnected, you would want your POS system to remain operational. When you are back online, all information gets synchronised.
Indeed, an iPad POS system can benefit restaurant owners, kitchen staff, managers, servers, and customers immensely.
The right system can hasten workflow and service, enhance communication between the kitchen staff and servers, give you real-time insights about your business, and boost customer experience. Best of all, your POS system must fit into your long-term goals and continue to help you as you expand your business.
With all these benefits and dependable features, now is the best time to opt for an iPad restaurant POS system.
Ross Smith is the Managing Partner at iPad POS Middle East. Based in Dubai, covering the whole of the Middle East, the company is passionate about helping restaurateurs and retailers alike find the most suitable point of sale system to meet the needs of their business. They specialize in iPad-based point of sales systems and are resellers of Revel and Vend.