Do you run a coffee shop business and you want to know the best reliable and easy-to-use POS system? If YES, here are 7 best POS systems for coffee shops.
With America and several other countries going cashless, businesses are struggling to keep up so as not to lose clients. The best gadget to keep coffee shops and many other businesses relevant in this cashless society is the POS system.
Why You Must Carefully Choose your Coffee Shop POS System
It should be noted that the POS system is much more than a debit tool. It can function as a cash register, a cash drawer, receipt printer, and debit or credit card reader. It can also help you analyze sales data, track inventory, connect with customers and manage employees. These systems are equally able to help you with your email marketing, loyalty programs and also save you loads of time.
While some companies offer the same general POS for restaurants, retail establishments and quick serve operations, others offer features that are specifically tailored to the needs of cafes and coffee shops.
So when you are looking to get a POS system for your coffee shop, you must look out for the best. This is because coffee shops have their peculiar issues which includes rush hour. You must get a POS system that can properly handle rush hour sales and not break down in the middle thus subjecting you to receiving cash only.
Things to look out for before purchasing a Coffee Shop POS System
a. Ease Of Use: In the world of coffee shops and cafes, not only is there high turnover among customers, but there is also high turnover with employees. As such, you’ll want a system that is easy to use and easy to teach. You also don’t want to be stuck with an interface that makes life difficult for your employees. A simple, modern front-end helps employees cut down on ordering errors and speeds people through the line.
b. Inventory Management: Even if your menu is relatively small, a cafe can go through a lot of product in a short amount of time. You’ll want to make sure that you always know if ingredients are running low. At the same time, you’ll want to know if certain items are not doing good in your line. In the competitive POS market, there’s no reason to settle for a system that doesn’t offer strong inventory functionality.
c. Easy Reporting System: Having reports that are simple, easy to read, and easy to access can save you a ton of headaches. The ability to fully analyze data and identify your best-selling items, most efficient employees, and busiest times of day can be extremely valuable. Most good POS systems come with this kind of functionality, and you’ll want something you can access either right at your register or from your mobile device remotely.
d. Loyalty Rewards: As a cafe owner, you have the opportunity to get daily, repeat customers. An automatically-tracked customer loyalty program that rewards customers with discounts and free items for purchases is an effective way to win repeat customers that requires no effort. With the right POS system, you can manage such a loyalty program digitally, without having to physically punch a card.
e. Order customization: Getting your customers’ orders correct has never been easier thanks to the modifying options included in cafe POS systems. People are more particular with how they like their coffee than they are with just about any other food or beverage item. You should have options to add or remove any component of a coffee drink directly on your touch screen with the right POS system.
f. Economical design: For owners of cafes and coffee shops, counter space is very precious. Compared to a bulky cash register, or even a traditional POS, the tablet POS systems made for cafes take up very little space, allowing you to keep your counters tidy and your workflow unhindered. So you should look out for one that fits this bill when shopping for a POS system.
g. Speed under pressure: Cafes and coffee shops cannot afford to have slow lines that wind out of the door into the street. You should be able to place complex orders on your POS with the touch of a button, flip your screen so customers can sign digital credit card slips, and take your operation mobile to take orders and payments throughout the line with a handheld device. If you make your customers late for work, they might not come back.
h. No Contracts and Affordable: Running a business can be expensive, but you don’t want to cut corners with the tools that make you money. However, you do want a POS system for your coffee shop that is affordable, offers competitive rates for the service they provide. You also want a no-hassle, no contract, and financially painless Point-of-Sale option for your coffee business.
7 Best Reliable POS System for Coffee Shops and Cafes
Now that you know what to look out for when shopping for a coffee shop POS system, let’s look at some of the high ranking POS systems in the market so as to help you make a choice.
ShopKeep is one coffee shop POS system that has had good rating among users. This POS system is an iPad POS solution that specializes in serving small- and medium-sized quick service restaurants, like coffee shops and cafes. ShopKeep’s pricing is quote-based and they do a good job of not charging you for features you won’t need, making this software exceptionally affordable for what you get. That means, you can choose what to pay for and what to get.
ShopKeep is built to track all your inventory in real time and its mobile app makes it easy to access and make changes on the go. The reporting feature is also robust and can help you view all of your best-selling items in a bid to know when you are making good sales. ShopKeep’s loyalty system is also top-notch. The company integrates with MailChimp making it easy to store customer information and send out customized promotions and coupons.
ShopKeep’s interface is easy to understand and training can basically be done on the job. You can create and print orders with just a few quick touches, making it easy to cut through even the busiest of morning rushes.
TouchBistro is a POS system that is made specifically to serve restaurants and service industry businesses, with specific features for cafes or coffee shops. Rather than a bulky POS or cash register, TouchBistro’s iPad POS helps make the best use of valuable counter space. You can also go mobile, taking orders away from the counter.
TouchBistro is a simple and affordable POS system that focuses on the unique needs of restaurant and coffee shop owners. It has month-to-month subscriptions, offers a choice of payment processors, and runs on the iPad, iPad Pro and iPad Mini, giving you flexibility and mobility, no matter which type of restaurant you own. TouchBistro offers 24/7 phone and email support, video tutorials, and setup guides.
TouchBistro offers easy modifiers that are ideal for the specialty orders you get at cafes or coffee shops. When customers have special requests, such as no foam, extra hot, or soy milk, you can add custom modifiers on the fly or make use of common modifiers already built into the system.
With TouchBistro you can easily accept multiple payment types, including cash, debit, credit card and mobile payments. The ability to provide bill-splitting capabilities at tables is also a convenient option to offer customers at cafes.
TouchBistro also offers self-ordering solutions for those who are interested in providing such a service. It’s a good way of reducing labor costs and speeding up the ordering process by offering multiple do-it-yourself payment stations.
Revel is an iPad POS system that is ideal for busy cafes that cannot afford to have any downtime. Its offline mode allows businesses to continue processing orders even in the event of an internet slowdown or outage. Revel’s POS system allows cafes to design, create and display their own custom menus. In addition, it tracks not only menu items, but ingredients, so you know what to restock.
The platform goes beyond merely allowing you to accept payment, it also allows you to manage employee schedules, hours worked, and payroll. Particularly useful for cafes that wish to retain customers is the Revel feature that allows you to offer customer loyalty programs by keeping track of individual customers’ purchases and offering them rewards for continued patronage.
Loyverse is a fast growing POS system provider whose services are designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized café businesses. Just like Square, Loyverse is also a free café POS system. It is equipped with a unique add-on called Loyalty-Ocean. It has a built-in loyalty program for your customers earning them loyalty points. Loyverse offers unbelievable features free of cost which are truly good to be true.
The software is easy to learn and can be used on any smartphone or a tablet device. This saves you from investing separately on a tablet. The moment you install Loyverse you can start accepting payments. Some of the robust features Loyverse offers are creating menus, track inventory; take orders, payments, and messaging function.
You can accept credit and debit card payments but for that, you first need to register with one of Loyverse’s payment processors like Vantiv or SumUp. It also works in an offline mode in case internet network goes down, so you do not get stranded.
Loyverse does not charge you any fees and no add-on costs on the built-in loyalty program. There are some paid features like employee management module costing $5 per month per employee and premium support for $15 per month.
Toast is an Android POS system that has hardware specifically for cafes. The company offers custom pricing options but also has starter packages beginning at $79 a month.
Capabilities such as flip screens to speed up ordering and handheld ordering and payment options to deal with lines, are made to meet the challenges of the unique rush hour morning traffic that is common to coffee shops. There’s also an option for a customer-facing screen which increases tipping.
Toast’s reporting is extensive, updating in real time and offering detailed breakdowns of a wide variety of data points. You can also manage employees easily, assigning permissions with a simple click and featuring time tracking. The inventory management is equally strong, allowing you to stay on top of all of your product levels.
Toast also features integrated reward and gift card programs to help bring customers back by improving their experience. Detailed reporting and analytics let you analyze your most popular items and your busiest days of the week and times of day.
Toast can get a little pricey as many of its advanced features come as add-ons. Loyalty is an additional $25 a month, although it is integrated directly into the software and is highly advanced. You can also add an online ordering function, something that is becoming more popular in the coffee shop industry. Toast is also said to have some of the best customer service in the industry.
Square is another very good coffee shop POS system that is making good hits with small cafés and startups. For someone who does not have an idea about Square it might appear just a payment processing tool but look closely and you will find the numerous benefits this system offers. To name the few this POS system allows you to handle invoices, recurring bills, and has numerous built-in app integrations.
One great feature of Square that attracts a lot of small cafés is that Square is absolutely free POS system. It offers customer and inventory management designed specifically to boost the early period of startups. Square’s software is simple to use and runs on any iPad or smartphones.
It offers the flexibility to use any available device which works best for your café. The software allows you to take orders simply on your smartphone or tablet. It offers secure inbuilt payment system. Square does not charge monthly fees but, if you need, you can purchase their advanced add-on services to make the most out of your business.
Free Square POS charges no monthly, startup, or cancellation fees, but if you accept credit or debit card payments, Square does charge you a processing fee per-sale. For most in-store cafe sales, this runs 2.75% of the total ticket, which is quite competitive in terms of small business credit card processing fees. Plus, there are no hidden fees or end-of-month charges with Square’s completely transparent, predictable fees. And cash and check sales cost you nothing.
Lightspeed is an innovative company that offers plenty of advanced features at a competitive price. Lightspeed’s most popular plan starts at $69 a month and you will likely not have to purchase many add-ons if you’re a smaller shop just starting out.
Lightspeed is exceptionally easy to learn and prides itself on the ease in which new employees can be trained. The software is highly mobile, allowing employees to take orders from around the cafe, potentially mitigating long lines. The reporting functions are strong, giving you the ability to track sales in real time from any device with the internet.
But the system’s employee management features are what really set it apart. You can change the visibility of employees in the app, making them appear or disappear — this is extremely useful in seasonal industries or ones where there is a lot of employee turnover.
Permissions are easy to assign and Lightspeed also offers a unique timed-events feature to encourage sales. Lightspeed’s inventory management is also robust for the price, and its loyalty package is included. It’s easy to add customer information and bring up their sales history while storing their reward points.
Lightspeed’s offline functionality is still somewhat lagging behind as it has the ability to store data during an outage but cannot process card payments. Lightspeed Restaurant is worth it if you want a system that will offer you everything you need to get a cafe up and running.
As you can see, the coffee shop POS systems listed above all have great features that can speed up business in your coffee shop and generally make things easy for you. Though all the POS systems have the basic features, but not all of them have the unique features that might be suitable for your store.
So, what you need to do is to be aware of the unique features of your store and get a POS system that will fulfill that need for your business. From our research above, it can be seen that Square and Shopkeep were getting the best results because of the unique features they off, but that does not mean that these POS systems are generally the best for your store.
That said, knowing what you need is the best way to go. You have to also note that you do not have to spend an arm and a leg to get all of the functions you need. Just pick out the basics, and your business is good to run.