Restaurant POS Features and Options
The following features and options are a compilation of several restaurant point of sale (POS) systems. Note which features and options are a must have for your restaurant and also note the nice to have features and options so you can make sure your restaurant POS system selection covers all the bases.
There are over twenty pages of features and options with a description of each, some are specific to the type of restaurant such; as pizza, quickserv or table service. Most restaurants use about 20% of these features and options but everyone uses a different 20%!
We also have a FREE white paper called “POS and a whole lot more” which will assist you in determining your features and options. Plus we have our weekly blog, “Restaurant Technology” which discusses various restaurant POS features and options with complete details on how they can benefit your restaurant.
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Restaurant POS Features and Options List
Alerts and Virtual Technician
Alerts management via email or text when predetermined thresholds have been exceeded such as voids, discounts or daily labor costs. A 24×7 virtual technician can constantly monitor the hardware and software with an automatic email notification of the issue to the POS support staff with details of the issue including the error log.
Back-office PC includes dashboard for instant access to current sales including pie chart breakdowns for sales by menu department, sales by meal period, sales by order destination, payments, discounts and labor by job as a percentage of sales. With appropriate security the employee and menu maintenance screens can be accessed from the back-office PC, from any POS terminal or remotely via the Internet with all changes updated immediately to all POS terminals. The back-office PC can also be used for other back-office functions such as bookkeeping and vendor ordering.
Back-up Server & Automatic Nightly Back-ups
Real time back-up server runs in background 24X7 and automatically every POS terminal is backed up nightly at a predetermined time to other POS terminals, off premise nightly system and data backups are recommended.
Bar Code Scanning of Guest Checks
POS systems can print a bar code on the bottom of the guest check, this is ideal for payments taken by a cashier to eliminate selection of wrong table or check number and to eliminate errors when assigning delivery orders to drivers.
Bar Code Scanning of Items
POS systems can interface to bar code scanners to scan UPC codes for retail items or bottles of beer, liquor and wine as well as type 2 price embedded bar codes generated from bar code printing scales used in operations with sales of items by weight such as deli or seafood items.
Bartenders can type a name on a tab or swipe a credit card to name a tab, tabs can be preauthorized with a preset amount or credit card info can be stored for processing at the end of the transaction. Tabs can be maintained by individual bartender or tabs can be shared by all bartenders with sales revenue recorded to the bartender ringing the sale and the payment responsibility recorded to the bartender that closes the tab.
Berg Liquor Interface
The liquor interface can ring drinks on the POS as bartender pours drinks with the Berg system or can create an exception report for drinks poured but not rung. Various liquor systems can operate on free pour or a restricted pour basis.
The POS can be configured so bartenders and cashiers cannot see shift totals and must deposit the total cash in drawer with the manager printing the report to determine the cash due in the drawer and verifying the over and short amount.
Boca Ticket Printer
POS systems can create theater style tickets for amusement rides, movie tickets or special event tickets as sales are recorded in the POS with a Boca Ticket Printer.
Call In Order / Delivery
The call-in/delivery functions in a POS system allows you to view and track orders by phone number, customer name, date of order and time order was placed. Deposits can be taken days in advance and deposited immediately with all accounting handled by the system to track the future sales revenue. Orders are assigned to drivers for complete accountability and control at time driver is dispatched. Delivery order times are tracked and used to project order preparation time based on current kitchen production times which can fluctuate based on number of orders and staff competency.
With the caller ID interface, the POS can monitor 2, 4 or 8 incoming phone lines depending on the interface capacity with the customer’s phone number automatically input from the phone system accessing the customer’s name, address, date of last order, total sales to date and displaying the items ordered on their last order for easy reordering.
POS systems interface with RemoteEyes, Talon and other IP or PC based DVR units to provide text insertion of the entries from the POS terminal overlaid to the video output of the associated camera. Text insertion provides strong cash control at bar, cashier and front counter cash handling locations. With some POS systems you can also view the cameras from any POS terminal in addition to viewing from the back-office PC, a tablet or smart phone. Both live and prerecorded video can be viewed remotely via the Internet by a PC, tablet or smart phone.
POS systems can utilize one or two cash drawers per terminal with restricted access to each cash drawer by the authorized staff member. System will alert staff when cash-in-drawer limit has been exceeded so a cash drop can be made for security purposes, the drop is properly recorded for cash balancing at the end of the shift.
Checks can be started on any POS terminal but must be closed on the designated centralized check cashing terminal; system can be programmed to only force the closing of cash transactions by a cashier or bartender.
Manager can view all open checks from one screen and select the required guest check by check number or table number. POS systems can also display the time each item on the check was entered to confirm time order was sent to a preparation station.
POS systems can interface to a coin dispenser to automatically dispense the correct amount of coin change for cash transactions to improve speed of service and accuracy.
POS systems can enter all items of a combo order with the touch of one button and record the combo price or the system can recognize the items of a combo and automatically issue a combo discount when all items have been selected.
POS systems can track daily contest items with up to the minute results displayed on the sign in screen and track longer contests with complete reporting of items sold by each employee.
POS system allows orders to be entered and modified as the customer orders and not limited to a predetermined sequence of the POS. This allows the order taker to take the customer’s order as requested; I want a single burger, make it a combo, give me a baked potato instead of fries, change the soda to a large chocolate frostie, put extra ketchup on the burger, no pickle on the burger and make it a double instead of a single. This is all done by the order taker with the appropriate price changes made automatically without reentering of the order by the order taker. This also works well with pizza orders.
POS systems can attach a coupon to the customer’s information which is displayed automatically on the customer’s next phone-in order, pending coupons are automatically displayed.
POS servers and waiters can order menu items by course with proper identification of individual courses to the kitchen preparation areas.
Integrated Internet credit card interfaces are fast with 2-3 second authorizations and more accurate than hand entered transaction amounts. Various methods are available for splitting the check to multiple credit cards or payment options. POS systems interface to all major credit card processors and transactions can be processed off-line when Internet access is not available and are approved when the Internet is back on-line.
Credit Card Phone Orders
Some POS systems can store credit card numbers for your repeat customers, this is a manager function to save the card and the customer’s CVV number or zip code is required at the time the order is placed for security purposes, the data is also stored encrypted to further protect the customer’s data.
Credit Card Preauthorization of Bar Tabs and Guest Checks
POS systems have several options to facilitate credit card payment of bar tabs and guest checks on a preauthorization basis. The credit card can be swiped to simply capture the name for the tab or guest check or the credit card data can be encrypted and saved to finalize the tab or guest check at the time of payment or the tab or guest check can be preauthorized for a predetermined amount to verify funds are available at the time the card is swiped to confirm the validity of the card and the availability of funds.
Printing of your logo on customer’s guest check, credit card receipts and gift card authorizations is an important way to create brand recognition. Your logo should also print on report headers and be displayed as a screen saver for all POS terminals and your back-office PC.
Customer Multiple Order Review at Cashier’s Terminal
Some POS systems can display the last four orders upon completion of each sale so cashier can expedite orders. Orders can be scrolled back to see older orders and a receipt can be reprinted from this screen for any order. This works well at counter or drive-thru operations where cashier is responsible for order delivery to the guest instead of additional video displays and bump bars.
Customer Order Verification Display
POS systems can utilize optional LCD monitors of various sizes connected to the rear of the POS terminal to display customer’s order with modifiers, amount due and promotional PowerPoint presentations to your customer while they are at the counter.
Customer Pole Display
Displays items as they are rung for customer confirmation and displays total at end of order to increase speed of service by speeding up the payment process. Recommended at all POS terminals with a cash drawer that do not utilize the LCD display for increased cash control and management monitoring.
Customer Remote Order Verification Display
POS systems can interface with drive-thru units to display customer’s order and promotional video at the drive-thru order stations.
Customer Wait List
An Intelligent wait list gives host/hostess projected wait times based on current seating times. List is automatically updated by reservation system based on predetermined lead time and includes customer’s seating preference. Text message, cell phone notification or beeper notification can be used to alert the guest that their table is ready.
Daily Event Log
Electronic version of Red Book allowing management and staff to record events in a text file log that is time stamped when entered. Log is emailed to appropriate management or corporate staff daily after end of day. Staff can be authorized to record information regarding special situation at time it occurs rather than waiting for manager to record in the Red Book.
Daily Specials List
POS systems can display the daily specials on the sign-in screen and these specials can be printed by touching the displayed list for a quick reference. Daily specials can be predefined for each day of the week and automatically displayed by the POS system.
Tracks drivers for complete order and financial accountability. POS systems can automatically add delivery fees by delivery zone and track these fees by driver along with tips. POS systems interface with mapping programs for fast point to point driving directions for delivery runs. Some systems can also track status of driver’s auto insurance expiration and driver rotation for which driver is up next for delivery.
Digital Menu Boards
POS systems can interface to Digital Menu Boards providing automatic updating of the digital menu board when prices are changed on the POS system. Digital menu boards are easily updated locally or remotely and can display different menus based on time of day and day of the week.
Staff security levels can be set for discount authorization and discounts can be assigned by menu item or by category. Automatic discounts based on user-defined groups of items (for example, combo meals or buy one and get second half off) can be created. Coupons can be based on day of week and/or time of day with an effective date range and has the option to discount or not discount the sales tax based on local sales tax regulations. With some POS systems a discount can be attached to the customer record in the database for retrieval on next visit or automatic notification at time of next phone order.
Order recall for each car in line as well as tracking serving times by car with reporting of average serving times by day part. Designed to add an item, edit an order or close a check from multiple terminals for triple, double and single drive-thru operations.
Driver’s License Age Verification
A driver’s license with a magnetic strip can be swiped at the POS terminal to display the driver’s age based on the magnetic stripe data. Many POS systems include the option to print a verification receipt with person’s name that checked the ID and date and time of verification with driver’s date of birth, age and address.
Some POS systems can include a second language which can be automatically selected when employee accesses the POS based on employee’s language preference or second language can be selected by a customer at the beginning of their online or Kiosk order.
Many internal and 3rd party customer email programs are available for promotional offers based on date of last visit and other criteria.
POS systems can email reports to management and owners automatically after end of day.
Employee HR Data
POS systems can maintain all basic employee data including full name, nick name, address, home phone, second phone, cell phone, language preference, employment status and authorized jobs with the employee’s pay rate for each job. In addition some systems can maintain EEOC data including; hire date, date of birth, marital status, ethnic, SSN, federal exemptions, sex, state exemptions plus open text for miscellaneous information. Some systems also include write-ups that are maintained by date with unlimited text data in addition to date of termination with unlimited text data filed for future reference.
Employee Messages, Reminders and Email
POS systems can provide employee messages regarding specials, meetings, etc for an individual, groups of staff or for all employees. Reminders can also be set-up for daily use such as turn the sign lights on at 7pm or check the restrooms hourly with management or staff notification at the appropriate time in addition to emails.
Employee Scheduler Module
POS systems can create daily templates for shifts needed. Assign staff to available shifts and restrict their clock-in and outs based on scheduled shift times. Floor managers can override scheduled shifts and all changes are captured with manager authorizing the shift change. Shift restrictions can be set based on labor laws and age requirements with employee requests for vacations, time off or school restrictions logged and using during schedule creation. The POS system tracks hours and gross pay to forecast scheduled labor cost based on the proposed schedule.
Enterpize Corporate Control Module
Some POS systems have an Enterprize option which provides corporate with control of various functions which could include menu programming and changes, employee changes and system programming. Additional functions could include up to the minute polling of multiple locations capturing real-time sales, voids, discounts and labor information with complete date range reporting by individual location, market or region.
Most POS systems can export data in various formats including .CSV format for use in other 3rd party applications or Excel and data can usually be exported in .IIF format for use in QuickBooks for payroll, sales, inventory and general ledger input.
Bartender speed of service is extremely fast with POS system with quick entry of frequently sold items and a fast close of cash orders from the main screen is a must. Opening of tabs by name or from a customer’s credit card and the ability to quickly and easily create separate checks from a single tab are also essential. Tab sharing between bartenders with financial responsibility to the bartender that closes the tab, easily accessible drink recipes for cocktails and age verification from driver’s license should also be considered.
Finger Print Verification
POS systems can utilize fingerprint verification for employee verification at clock-in/out to eliminate buddy punching and for manager use to restrict manager access to the POS by eliminating manager cards. The elimination of employee and manager cards is both an operational time saver and a cost savings since cards are no longer required. Magnetic cards are an ongoing expense requiring constant maintenance of lost, forgotten and worn out cards.
Food Cost and Inventory Management
POS systems may have internal modules for F&B Inventory Management or may interface to several of the 3rd party programs available. A F&B Inventory program tracks ingredient inventory levels and creates purchase orders for individual vendor purchases, minimum par levels are assigned for all ingredients and the system will recommend item orders based on reorder amounts when inventory level falls below its set par level. System calculates plate costs based on actual ingredient costs and compares actual inventory costs with theoretical levels based on product sales to generate true costs.
Food Preparation Forecaster
Some POS systems include their own module and others interface to 3rd party systems to forecast prep lists for menu items and sauces. The same items might be prepped multiple times each day based on sales trends to ensure you have just enough food prepped for your forecasted sales at the right time during the day and not too much which could create unnecessary waste.
Most POS systems can make sure a beverage is added for every seat in a table service restaurant, this is very important as served beverages that do not get added to the guest check are a big loss to both revenue and profits.
Foreign Currency Exchange
Important feature if you handle more than one currency, POS system converts and reports multiple currencies with automatic exchange rate calculations.
Frequent Customer and Loyalty Programs
POS systems include their internal module or connect with various 3rd party programs to track customer purchases by dollars or points for individual item or multiple item plans which could be running simultaneously with participating plan status printed on customer’s receipt and automatically issued customer reward certificates from receipt printer or emailed when using a 3rd party program.
Some POS systems can accept catering, pick-up or delivery orders can be placed up to a year in advance with daily reporting of all pending future orders and notification of the order on the appropriate day based on a pre-established lead time. Deposits can be taken for these orders and accounted for with no effect on daily sales until the day of the order. These deposits can be cash, credit card or gift card and are deposited when received and applied to sales revenue and the order on the day of the order.
Gift Cards – Internal
POS systems may have an integrated gift card module with no monthly transaction fees. Value can be added to existing gift cards and the remaining value can be verified at any terminal. Cards can also be reused and provide wallet advertising. Sell and redeem gift cards on-site for a single location.
Gift Cards – Third Party
POS systems can integrate to a 3rd party gift card processor, this is usually necessary when multiple locations share the same gift card processor. Value can be added to existing gift cards and gift card’s remaining value can be verified via the Internet from a POS terminal, there is usually a transaction fee whenever there is activity regarding a gift card.
Coupons and discounts can be stored on some POS systems by name and or phone number for retrieval at time of guest’s next transaction. “Have one on Me” customizable coupons can be created for specific customer service issues and tracked by manager that issued the coupon. When redeemed the coupon alerts on-duty manager as to details of the customer service issue that the guest experienced.
Hand Held PDA and Tablet Devices
Most POS systems have the ability to utilize a PDA or tablet device for order entry, some POS systems operate only with a tablet device. Table side ordering and line busting are a great application for the PDA and tablet option along with hostess and manager usage. POS systems can also support wireless devices for credit card payment processing and inventory control.
Hibachi or Remote Order Item Recap
Some POS systems can have an item recipe that can be used to recap a remote order for the hibachi cart orders with a total of each ingredients required for this order, catering orders with a summary of utensils, cups, napkins, etc, or any items ordered requiring a summary of the individual ingredients or items is another use for this feature.
Most POS systems maintain a multiple year history of sales, discounts, labor and payments in a format that is easy to review and compare data by day, week, month or selected date range either onsite or remotely via the Internet. Reports can also be automatically emailed after end of day to a predetermined list of recipients from many systems.
Hold and Fire Items
The POS system can allow the server or waiter in a table service restaurant to hold menu items or courses and Fire them to the preparation area when the guest is ready.
POS systems can provide the option for the host staff to seat the guests, enter the cover count and open the table for the server, this starts a timer to track speed of initial order by the server and alerts host staff and management visually when allowable time has been exceeded. This can also help insure that correct cover counts are entered and more accurate average per person statistics are generated.
Some POS systems can manage house accounts from any terminal or by multiple locations. Accounts can be set as credit with a predefined limit or as a prepaid account with preset limits by day or week. This type of system is capable of handling room charges for a bed and breakfast and track sales history as well as printing detailed monthly statements. These systems can be used as a revolving charge plan or accounts can be closed out monthly with the balances transferred to a payroll account or paid by credit card.
POS systems can interface to an integrated scale to automatically input weight to the POS terminal for price calculation of item sold by a predefined price per ounce or pound. A predefined tare weight for each size container is automatically deducted from the scale weight.
POS systems can interface to various prepaid debit cards that can track credits for games, points for redemption or dollars for purchases at the POS with use of the same cards in the game machines at game or bowling centers.
Kiosk for Customer Ordering & Payment
POS systems can utilize a Kiosk module to put the ordering power in the customer’s hands for fast accurate order entry with suggestive selling. Systems can include on-screen help, dual language selection and optional voice prompts to lead customer thru the transaction. On-screen advertising when kiosk is inactive and counter terminals can be turned around and used as a kiosk when not functioning as a manned cashier terminal.
Kitchen Video Display – Bar
POS systems can display drink orders to the service bar LCD monitor and the bartender can bump the order after drinks are prepared instead of using a remote order printer.
Kitchen Video Display – QSR
POS systems can display orders to prep station LCD monitors and kitchen staff can bump the order as items are prepared, additional information such as total items pending and excessive order time alerts can be provided.
Kitchen Video Display – Table Service
For table service restaurants the orders for each prep station LCD monitor can be sent based on the preparation time for all items in this order so all the items are completed simultaneously and the entire order reaches the window at the same time, this can eliminate the need for an order expediter.
POS systems can print items to the kitchen in a different language and can change terminal descriptions based on language code of the employee accessing the terminal. In the Kiosk mode a second language can be selected at the beginning of the order by your customer.
Lighting and Device Controller
POS systems can remotely control lighting and other devices with the X-10 interface, works well for pool tables to turn the table’s light on and off based on status of the table.
Magnetic Card Reader
POS systems can integrate with magnetic card readers to input credit card, gift card, frequent diner, VIP customer, member, discount, driver’s license, manager ID and employee ID card data electronically from the swiped card.
Some POS systems can require entry of a valid member ID before the start of a transaction so charges and sales can be tracked and billed by member. Data can be exported to QuickBooks (iif) for easy invoicing or interfaced to a member or country club billing system.
Menu Button Layout
With many POS systems item buttons can be various sizes, shapes and colors with product logos or graphics added to each. The same menu item can be displayed on multiple category screens and modifiers can be displayed with menu items on the same screen for faster order entry.
Menu Item and Drink Recipes
Each menu item can have its own description and recipe which can be accessed by staff at the POS terminal and printed for the guest when requested, most systems include a master list of mixed drinks with standard recipes.
Menu Item Consolidation
Most POS systems can consolidate the same menu item into one line on the guest check with the quantity to save on paper and many systems can do the same on the screen for the staff as items are entered and repeated reducing the size of the electronic receipt while displaying more information to the staff.
Menu Item Count Down
The POS system can count down selected menu items until 86th, the system displays quantity remaining on the item button and some systems also display this information on the sign-in screen so staff knows quantities remaining before entering the order.
Menu Item Modifiers – Item Screen
Some POS systems allow modifiers to be placed on the same category screens as items, this allows rapid entry of various modifiers without the time to change screens. At a bar the Rocks, Up and Red Bull modifiers could be on the same screen as the Vodka items they modify for faster order entry, with a cole slaw or fries modifier on the sandwich screen these add-ons are immediately selected making up selling easy and fast.
Menu Item Modifiers – Matrix
Some POS systems configure modifiers for specific menu items with forced or variable number of modifiers required. The POS can use a matrix of modifier lists with six groups of modifiers which can be selected in any sequence. Prefix modifiers such as No, Extra or Sub which can affect pricing in addition to the ½ and ¼ modifiers for pizza are also available. The number of modifiers selected can also control the menu item pricing such as selecting 3 toppings to create a 3-Topping Pizza.
Menu Item Modifiers – Pop-up
Some POS systems configure modifiers for specific menu items with forced or variable number of modifiers required. The POS will use pop-up modifier lists that sequentially guide staff through the order process. Prefix modifiers such as No, Extra or Sub which can affect pricing in addition to the ½ and ¼ modifiers for pizza are also available. The number of modifiers selected can also control the menu item pricing such as selecting 3 toppings to create a 3-Topping Pizza.
Menu Item Modifier Corrections
No reason to reenter the item, just touch the modifier entered incorrectly and some POS systems will display the options so the correct modifier can be selected and recorded in the same sequence, Wrong temp, just touch wrong temp and then the correct temp for a two touch fix!
Menu Item Prefix Pricing
Some POS systems can have menu items with as many as 5 different price shift levels with sales reporting of each item with mandatory selection required. This can be used for items with multiple sizes such as small, medium, large and giant; this greatly reduces the number of buttons required when multiple menu items are sold by the same sizes.
Menu Item Special Instructions
POS systems can display a list of standard or special instructions that can be accessed for any menu item and additional fees can be associated with these keys (split plate or no salt). This list can also include a keyboard selection to type unique instructions to the kitchen or bar, these special instructions are noted as such on the order.
Menu Item Timed Event Pricing
POS systems can have different prices for menu items based on time of day and day of the week which automatically change at the predetermined times instead of relying on a bartender to control happy hour pricing as an example. This is very useful when programming for Happy Hour, Entertainment, Lunch and Dinner or prices for daily specials.
Menu Item Timed Sale
POS systems can charge menu item price based on amount of time the item is used, useful for pool table rentals or rental of any item based on elapsed time.
POS systems can automatically do the end of day close out and batch the credit card deposit at a predetermined time and email management and owners their reports.
POS systems can interface with on-line ordering programs to allow orders entered on your website to be electronically entered to the POS and printed to the preparation printers, this includes the payment process so there is no need for staff intervention at the store.
POS systems can track revenue by multiple order types such as dine in, phone in and go orders.
Some POS systems can maintain guest check data for later review and searched by time of day or day of week, find a payment for any order or check order totals, by void amount, by discount, by server or by menu item.
POS systems can print special labels for pizza boxes, call-in and delivery orders or drive-thru orders via specific label printers.
POS systems can track paid in and paid out transactions while limiting access to these entries based on security levels with complete accounting and reporting of these transactions.
Some POS systems can display the customer’s prior order so items can be reordered with one touch and any pending discounts due this customer are also displayed.
POS systems handle all aspects of pizza ordering including ¼ and ½ topping ordering with pizza priced differently based on size, crust and number of toppings. Specialty pizzas show toppings included so staff knows what comes on each pizza and can notify the kitchen to remove this item with one touch!
Optional POS system module to interface to hotel Property Management Systems so guest charges can be automatically posted to their hotel folio after room validation has taken place between POS system and the front desk’s PMS system. Most PMS systems utilize the Micros interface for the POS to PMS link, a Micros certified interface is required to interface to the Micros Fidelio PMS system.
Variable Printer routing of menu items by item destination, and by order type such as Eat In, To Go, etc. is very important. Most POS systems can also modify Item destination based on modifier selection such as broiled or fried and a back-up printer should be specified so orders are rerouted when a printer is out of paper or fails.
Quantities from 1-9 should be displayed at the top of the order screen for fast bar and QSR order entry screens for fast order entry of the same item.
POS systems should include an interface to QuickBooks so data can be transferred electronically without manual entry to your accounting system or to your account.
Some POS systems can randomly or based on a predetermined count add a message or survey request to the customer’s receipt for marketing purposes.
The POS system should be able to maintain recipes, special instructions or nutritional information by individual menu items such as mixed drink recipes.
Redundant POS Terminal
POS terminals should be independent computers that can function as stand alone terminals should there be a failure of the POS network or master POS terminal.
The POS system should be continuously updating the back-up server which is usually maintained on one of the POS terminals so full functionality is maintained should the main server or master POS terminal fail.
Many POS systems can maintain daily staff reminders to display at predetermined times, such as check the rest rooms or turn on the sign. Reminders can also be used for weekly, monthly and/or annual management function reminders.
The POS system should be able to repeat a prior item including all modifiers for fast and accurate order entry of another drink, or use the quantity buttons to select a quantity of items ordered at the same time, such as six ice teas.
Reporting with Remote Access
POS system sales history should be stored for at least two years or longer and accessed remotely, printed to the 40-column receipt printer or printed to the optional 80-column report printer. Real-time reports should always be available and based on time the item was ordered and not time the check was closed for accurate hourly and day part reporting. Report data access is protected by job code, security level and password log-in. Reports should be available based on date range selected in addition to daily, weekly and monthly.
Reservation System with Email Confirmation
Some POS systems can take reservations from any terminal or the optional back-office PC for today or any future date. Special notes such as “VIP” or “Birthday” can be added to alert staff and track special requests. Orders and payments can be taken at the time of the reservation and this works well for clubs with VIP areas and bottle sales, the order is automatically transferred to the server eliminating manual order tracking, separate payment processing and reentering of the order at the time of the reservation. The wait list is automatically updated with reservation information based on a predetermined lead time. Pending guest arrival times are displayed to assist with scheduling of new reservations.
POS systems can track revenue by order type such as Eat-in, To-go and delivery or by areas of the restaurant or club such as multiple bars and/or dining rooms.
POS systems can handle multiple tax types with multiple levels, including Value Added Tax are available on a per item basis within one sale. Taxes can be calculated by percentage or table look-up and can be tax extra in the dining room and tax inclusive at the bar to eliminate dealing with small change at the bar.
Ordering by seat positions is very important for table service operations using runners to deliver the food from the kitchen to eliminate the food auction at the table by the runner (who gets the fish & chips). The use of seat positions also facilitates separate checks by seat or groups of seats per check.
Multiple levels of security to restrict functions and data access of staff is an important POS feature. Security levels can be controlled by ID number, finger print ID, magnetic card or RFID card. Integrated POS systems with PC based surveillance systems show all POS activity from cash handling positions such as counter, cashier and bartender with transaction detail recorded on the DVR’s video for improved control of cash handling and staff procedures.
Automatic or manager initiated service charges can be programmed such as 18% for parties of six or more, if sales tax is required on the service charge the POS system can automatically add it to the check.
Some POS systems can change the tax status from tax inclusive to tax extra when a tax extra item is added to a check with tax inclusive items (you collect the sales tax for items you would be paying the tax on without this feature). Since the tax extra item (bar snack or food item) will add tax to the check why not collect tax for all items on this check and increase your profit?
Split Checks / Split Item / Merge Checks
POS systems can easily move items between seats, separate a check into multiple checks or split a menu item between multiple seats such as sharing an appetizer or bottle of wine. Some POS systems can also un-split a split check with the touch of one key in addition to merging multiple checks from different tables or bar tabs into one check.
POS systems can split a check with multiple tender types such as part cash and part credit card or any combination of tender types. The check can be paid by individual or a combination of seats or the check can be split evenly among any number of guests. Credit cards can be evenly split by just swiping multiple cards with the system doing the calculation based on the number of cards swiped, the system also verifies that no card is swiped twice which can easily happen when multiple credit cards are presented for one table.
SQL Server Databases
Most POS systems are utilizing a true 32-bit Windows application using a SQL Server database for increased power, speed and data integrity.
POS systems can calculate and print suggested tips amounts on the bottom of the customer’s receipt based on a predefined list of tip percentages.
Most POS systems can utilize a visual floor plan for dining room, bar, patio or other sections based on the actual design of your restaurant. Tables can be assigned to specific staff or staff can select any open table. POS systems include icons for different table types and tables can be opened, printed, closed and cleared directly from the graphical table layout. This screen can be the terminal’s default screen so tables can be managed and seated by the hostess with table availability updated by servers or the bus staff. Tables can change color based on table status such as open, order placed, check printed or paid and table needs to be bussed. Custom table icons can be created in Microsoft Paint.
Most POS systems support team service including multiple staff per table ordering by seat position and by course with the ability to hold and fire orders providing complete server control of the table with clear and concise updates to the kitchen staff.
Terminal Functionality by Employee Job
Some POS systems can change terminal functionality as employees with different job codes access the same POS terminal allowing the bartender’s terminal to function differently a server or waiter accesses the same POS terminal.
Employees access the timekeeping module from any POS terminal or from the back-office PC. The POS system tracks hours worked for each employee by job with multiple jobs and an individual pay rate for each job plus sales data and reported tips are tracked for payroll reporting of tipped staff. Payroll reports can be selected by date range to comply with your payroll periods and electronically forwarded to many payroll processing companies eliminating manual input of this information.
Tip Fee Chargeback
Most POS systems can calculate the credit card fee for the tip portion of the charge and deducts it from the server’s tip income. Why should the owner advance the tip and pay the credit card fee on the tip portion of the check when they don’t share in the tip proceeds and must wait for their money from the credit card processor? A ten dollar tip could easily cost the owner twenty-five to thirty-five cents, this is not a lot per tip and per server but can add up to a substantial amount on a monthly basis.
Most POS systems can automatically calculate the predefined tip allocation by job based on hours worked with the tip out calculated by a percentage of sales by type of sale for each job.
POS systems usually include a training mode so new employees can be trained without affecting sales totals or requiring that the training transactions be voided by management.
Some POS systems can record all manager functions for complete accountability of who did or did not do what manager functions by date, time and manager.
A unique POS module available on many POS systems allows the daily guest check history to be sorted by Server/Bartender/Cashier, Menu Item, Voided Sale, Check Number, Time, Phone Customer or Table/Tab Name to locate a guest check up to two years old. This is very helpful when researching a guest check that needs to be reviewed or reprinted, all check detail is available including date, time closed, server/bartender/cashier, table number, payment type and how long the check was open in addition to all item detail.
Most POS systems can transfer a guest check to a different table and/or server; check can also be transferred and merged with other checks on the new table.
Some POS systems can utilize a custom VIP card or a unique number to give a discount percentage or specific discount amount to an individual VIP guest with optional limits on number of times card can be used per day or dollar amount per day.
A manager with an appropriate security level can void a complete check with out having to do individual items, the POS system tracks voids by manager, date, time and reason check was voided.
Wall Street Interface
Some POS systems can interface with the popular wall street program to price drinks based on customer popularity as determined by the wall street application during the promotional period.
Windows Based Open Architecture System
POS systems typically utilize a true 32-bit Windows operating system utilizing SQL Server databases for increased power, speed and data integrity with no single point of failure.
Wireless Liquor Monitoring Interface
Many POS systems interface with a variety of the wireless free pour liquor control systems currently on the market.
Wireless POS Terminals and Handhelds
Most POS systems can utilize terminals and handheld PDA and tablet terminals operating on a wireless network.