The Difference Between a Restaurant POS System and a Retail POS
While both retail and restaurants businesses depend on POS systems to run their day-to-day activities, they operate in a different way. The most effective way to grasp the differences is to look at the hardware and software elements that comprise restaurant POS systems as well as retailers’ POS systems.
The best way to grasp the difference between software for an POS that is specifically designed for restaurants, or a retail is to consider the checkout and order process for each kind of business.
In a retail establishment transactions are completed through a consumer bringing the things into the POS terminal, then scanning the item using the barcode scanner. After the items have been scanned then they are added to the transaction. After all items have been added to this transaction, the buyer chooses the type of payment they prefer and closes the transaction. The employee prints or emails the customer a receipt, and the transaction is completed immediately.
For the case of retail POS programs, each of products are connected to the inventory using numbers (barcodes) which are what the cashier enters to the software. When the order is entered the retailers POS software is created to finish and close the transaction as soon as possible. This means that the software is created to close the sale.
However, restaurants function in a different way. For an establishment the staff member utilizes the POS to enter the order of a patron and the information is then immediately transmitted directly to kitchen. In the case of a establishment, an order can be shut down immediately or open until the conclusion that meal, or the service.
Due to this distinctive payment and ordering process the restaurant POS system is designed and implemented differently from retail POS. In the case of a restaurant POS system menu items are linked to inventory using descriptors or images of the dish instead of barcodes. This is why the interface appears very different in a restaurant POS system. Once the order has been entered and the POS transmits the information directly to the kitchen where they can keep track of the items, and the bar or kitchen can begin preparation.
Beyond the interface beyond the interface, the restaurant POS software must be able to handle more than sales. The restaurant POS software is developed with a more fluid approach in mind to allow the transaction to remain open to the time that the client is ready to pay their payment. This allows staff members to continue adding or altering the order without needing to start a new transaction every time.
The various processes for ordering and checking out for restaurants and retail establishments can help explain the reason why each POS system has specific hardware.
As we mentioned earlier that retail transactions close out instantly when they are completed at the POS terminal. This is why the majority of retailers’ POS terminals remain stationary and can’t be moved around the store (although certain modern systems provide mobility for terminals). These terminals that are stationary are typically equipped with other retail-related equipment like cash drawers with barcodes and scales for items that weigh and printers for labels for things that don’t have barcodes.
In restaurants, transactions are often open, and servers are often helping customers throughout the dining experience. This is why many restaurants’ POS systems come with mobile tablets, like the iPad for restaurants that can be taken around the restaurant to make it easier for dining at the table.
A POS for restaurants may also come with additional equipment like receipt (thermal) printers to print receipts from customers as well as food (impact) printers to print tickets for kitchens, customer displays and kitchen display systems (KDS) as well as mobile terminals for payment.