Best POS Systems For Small Cafes


In the simplest of explanations, a Point of Sale commonly known as POS is where the customer gets to pay for the goods or services they just received. So once you have had your hearty meal, you make your way to the cashier and pay for your meal. Or the wait staff gets the fee from you to complete the transaction at the POS station.

Business owners from all over the globe had a recurring problem of not being able to trace their expenditure in terms of the sales made per day. And technicians saw the need to have a program to quantify these exchanges better and in an accurate way. There was also the matter of mistrust where the people you employed stole from you or got lazy to update the books. As such, the POS systems do come in handy in the management of all financial matters of cafes.

Why Does Your Cafe Need a POS System?

An efficient POS system will go a long way into the growth of your business, and here is why:

It first creates a seamless working connection between your restaurants’ departments. Your kitchen staff and the servers can interact faster and efficiently through the system. In such a case, orders are updated clearly and accurately. There is a record of what leaves the kitchen and presented by the servers through the system.

The conformity helps the manager track the hours a particular member of staff worked during a week, a month, or the year collectively. This is possible through a study of their logins as well as the individual transactions generated during their shifts. So much so, their future schedules may also be formulated through the system.

The cafe also receives detailed data collected from the system for planning for future stock ordering and finances. The reports can be broken down department wise such that the manager can make food and non-food inventory requisitions properly when making future orders.

The system also streamlines the ordering process from start to finish. All completed orders are recorded on the system, and the receipts produced help in the counting of sales at the end of the shift.

Be sure to also check out “Tools For Tracking Employee Performance at Your Cafe” for more info on tracking your staff at your establishment.

Best POS Systems For Small Cafes
Two women working at a POS station @focusposca

Qualities of the Best POS Systems For Small Cafes

There are quite a few things you have to look for in a quality POS system, and they are as follows:

1. One with Inventory management and alerts

The POS system should help the cafe’s management easily track the stocks as they come in, the way they are used, plus how they are sold. POS system should also give alerts when a specific ingredient is running low to prompt a new order.

2. Offer proper employee tracking

It should include a definitive interface that you can view which employee is working which shift, which station, and for how many hours. And in case they work on commission based on the sales they make, the portions can be easily counted.

3. Offer a platform for reservations 

Reservations that come in must be recorded somewhere, and a quality POS system should offer that platform. This is to avoid clashes during the process. It also ensures that the booked tables are available at the time of the function.

4. Have a streamlined table and online ordering scheme

The system must make it easier for the servers to know which order goes to which table. This is to rule out any confusion during busy shifts. When an order is taken, the system produces a receipt that goes to the kitchen, and they can label the food to exactly where they should go. Even for online orders, the client is able to get their meal in time and the right proportions.

5. It should make billing easier

Each client gets a list of the items they are paying for, such that even the manager can get a record of what was served. Plus, the final receipt produced shows the mode of payment that the client used. Card, cash, or coupon.

Best POS Systems For Small Cafes
A monitor screen in the kitchen area @focusposca

The Best POS Systems For Cafes

1. TouchBistro POS

This system has a straightforward interface that has virtually anything your cafe business needs. First of all, it comes with the feature of a floor layout, where you can see which table is in use and which isn’t. This is particularly useful when making reservations and tracking table orders. Secondly, it comes with an option of bill splitting. This streamlines the transactions, especially if a table wants to make amends using different modes of payment. The system offers efficient menu management and, most importantly, a tableside ordering. Additionally, if the system is malfunctioning for some reason, you can quickly contact their support system that is available around the clock.

The TouchBistro system is very affordable because the enterprise will only need a wireless router with a secure connection to run the arrangement uninterrupted. This POS system offers a free trial period that their new customers can take it for a test drive and see if it fits them. Loyalty points are also included.

Best POS Systems For Small Cafes
A person pointing at a tablet @nyctechsupport

2. Upserve POS

The Upserve point of sale system is a rebrand of the Breadcrumb POS. This version comes equipped with extra options that most POS systems for small cafes lack. Such services are training mode, bill splitting, online ordering management, offline functionality, sales, and inventory tracking. In addition to that, it also has dashboards that offer deep analytics that can help you spot trends. You can also see which times the sales peak as well as see which menu items are relished.

The system is suitable for both quick services as well as full inhouse service cafes. It has different packages, each with various features. The free trial falls at the bottom of the pyramid, topped by the basic core system that one has to pay for. The core plan is upgradable to the pro or the pro plus version. Individual specialties like inventory management and online ordering, come at an extra cost.

Best POS Systems For Small Cafes
A POS station in a cafe @getupserve

3. Square POS

Square POS system is a free point of sale system that uses a credit card reader and your phone or tablet to process the transactions made at your cafe. The system has dedicated features that fit seamlessly into the quick-service restaurant business as a cafe. The key features it possesses are a customizable menu, layout management, per-item sale tracking, robust analytics, and a reliable customer feedback platform.

The system is widely used because of the flexibility is possesses. The app comes with a multitude of add ons to make the system more efficient. And in case there is an issue, their support staff is at your beck and call all day and night.

Looking for ways to successfully schedule your employees? Check out “How to Schedule Employees at a Restaurant or Cafe” for more.

Best POS Systems For Small Cafes
A POS system on a table @lh_homemade

4. Revel POS

Revel POS manages finance, accounting, sales, inventory, and staff in addition to supporting loyalty programs. If your cafe does deliveries, then this is the app for you. This is because it has a driver or rider dispatch system that manages the routes, schedules, orders, driver monitoring, and delivery time estimates.

As the administrator, you get to enjoy the benefit of operating the system offline in case of network inconsistencies. On stocks, it goes a bit in-depth, giving the manager comprehensive ingredient-level inventory management. The support team is available 24/7.

Best POS Systems For Small Cafes
A POS system @riversidepayments

5. Lavu POS

This system is an iPad point-of-sale system best in tableside and online ordering, which is the most popular trend nowadays. If your business cannot offer delivery services, it fails to serve a very lucrative market niche. The system also includes sales reporting, inventory management, and customizable menu. Additionally, it has a secure onboarding service that trains employees as they go about their duties. It also holds bill splitting option in addition to contactless payment integration, and staff scheduling.

The Lavu’s support team is reachable around the clock via phone calls, chats, and email. The system has an open API, which makes the addition of third-party applications easier.

Be sure to check out more ways to improve your coffee shop in “6 Marketing Hacks to Promote Your Cafe“.

Best POS Systems For Small Cafes
A POS system in a cafe @softlavu

Having a point-of-sale system to take up the day-to-day operations will save your cafe from mismanagement. If everything is accounted for, you, as the owner, will have peace of mind. And your Cafe will grow into a thriving business venture.

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