On Cash Registers and POS Systems—Which One Is Best For Your Restaurant?
Calculating and recording sales transactions are the key functions of a cash register. International food chains and famed restaurants owe their successes to this humble machine in enabling them to take the shots at establishing their business and growing it into something that went beyond their expectations. This machine practically eliminated the need to cover the mundane tasks of doing quick maths and memory games in calculating and accounting a business’ cash flow. Over time, the mechanical body of cash registers underwent significant changes as it added more functions than plain computations. With the advent of internet and proprietary business software, a new machine was born—one that was given the capability of doing cash register functions as well as other related restaurant management tasks. This machine is now known as the point of sales or POS system. A POS system basically does what a cash register can do–and more. Times have tremendously changed the look of the hardworking cash registers and POS systems, as well as their impact to the food and food service industry. Now that you will soon put your stake in this thriving industry, which one will you use? Is it a cash register or a restaurant POS system?
Cash register benefits
The key benefits of using cash register root from its simplicity. People who would not want to deal about the complicated schematics of in-synch and web-based cash flow and business transaction management and record keeping, then better stick to good old cash registers. This way, you can better appreciate the simplistic transaction processing functions of this machine. Not only does it store money efficiently and securely, for someone who I just starting out in the restaurant biz, this machine allows you to get started quickly. This machine covers the basics: transaction processing, low initial investment, low learning curve, low power consumption, receipt printing and optional sales record or report.
In addition to transaction processing and sales record and report, a dedicated POS system offers more management possibilities for your restaurant’s daily operations. In addition to sales, it also automatically keeps track of and manages refunds, time clocks, menus, and item prices, which in turn maximizes revenue. It can also do advanced functionalities like table management and reservations, particularly for big restaurants with varied and huge dining areas. And because this system is virtually and practically linked to everything that’s going on inside the restaurant, it offers ease in managing staff workflow, improving customer service, increasing customer through-put, and inventory management—with back office integration. Overall, the main advantage that POS systems have over cash registers is that in the highly competitive and fast-paced nature of restaurant management, POS gives you the opportunity to synchronize all the terminals you plan on using in your restaurant and integrating all their data inputs and process them in such a way that makes it convenient for you to monitor all aspects of your operations using only a single machine.
Which one offers better service?
Being quick in taking orders and delivering ordered meals must be the motto of all restaurants these days. People these days are always in a hurry so make every second count. Fast order entry is critical so to deliver exceptional restaurant service, you need a machine that will speed up your restaurant operations. With a restaurant POS system, you can immediately find a seat, take orders and inform the chef and kitchen staff of the orders and requests of the customer the moment they come in. In case of delays, the synchronized system in which POS displays operate allows your staff to serve the plates as soon as they are done and minimize or anticipate delays, promptly informing the concerned customers.
On the other hand, cash registers are better suited for smaller table service restaurants. Cash registers are designed for quick service, such as those you see in drive through, cafeteria, bar or lounge. Thanks to business cash register utility software, more functionality has been added to cash registers—that includes accommodating transactions for credit or debit cards.
Which one will your staff prefer?
Given the chance, will your staff choose to use a cash register or a restaurant POS?
Easy to learn and with instant feedback, cashiers and servers can easily choose to use a cash register machine because of its typically large keyboard and huge display. It can easily rang up the cost of each food item and its running total. The machine has either the combination of two-station printer with receipt and hard copy journal printer or the one printer and one electronic journal feature. However, if your staff is assigned to handle a huge dining area, with numerous operations tasks happening simultaneously, a POS system may give you better service. For one thing, it’s itemized, coded, categorized and generally organized displays and systems can be accessed via convenient touchscreen operations. The system uses an intuitive interface, which will enable your staff to serve dozens of customers quickly and accurately in one single wave.
Which one gives better value?
A restaurant POS may cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. This cost will depend on the number of terminals, accessories and servers that you need to smoothly run your restaurant. This could be a far stretch for someone who wants to start small. Obviously, cash registers are far cheaper than POS, which makes it ideal for low cost startups. Should you choose POS, your restaurant will be rewarded with high efficiency on both front-of-house and back-of-house operations. A cash register can only track sales, if you demand more service for such a dedicated machine, like tracking menu item sales, employee time clock, customer reservation, inventory management, kitchen management and more, then a restaurant POS will save you from the hassle of buying separate machines that businesses normally use to do the same mundane tasks that it can do in one single tap on its slim display.