Everything You Need to Know About Mobile POS SystemsLast updated on 4/17/2019
As the years have gone by, paying with cash has become less common, and customers are instead choosing to make purchases with credit cards, mobile payment services, and even cryptocurrency. If you're a business owner or foodservice operator, you'll need to adapt and change your business to keep up with changing restaurant trends, and using a mobile POS system is the perfect first step. This article will break down what a mobile POS system is, why it's useful for your business, what features might be included, and some great options to get started.
What Is Mobile POS?
Mobile POS, or point of sale, is a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, that completes a financial transaction with a customer through an app or piece of software. When using a mobile POS system, your device completes the same action as a cash register.
The term mobile POS refers to both the hardware involved, such as the card reader you use to swipe your customers' cards, and the software that completes the payment digitally.
When you sign up for an mPOS service, typically the company will send you a card reader that you can plug into your tablet or smartphone and use to complete transactions. Some companies may send you other add-ons, such as stands for your device or printers for receipts.
What Types of Establishments Use Mobile POS?
One of the biggest benefits to mobile POS systems is that they're portable, which makes them ideal for mobile businesses like food trucks. But, most modern mPOS systems feature more than just portability, which makes them appealing to other kinds of establishments, and they are especially popular in bars.
Additionally, mobile POS systems and mobile payments are great options for delivery drivers as they reduce contact with customers when making change and collecting cash for orders.
What Are Mobile Payments?
Mobile payments are transactions that are totally digital, and customers don't need to have a physical debit or credit card with them to make a sale. As a result, mobile payments, or mPayments, don't require any hardware to accomplish.
Here are some of the most popular mobile payment platforms:
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Cash App
These systems are especially popular with younger generations that don't want to carry cash and prefer an all-digital method of payment. Mobile payments are also great for food trucks, concession stands, and merchants at festivals and outdoor events where customers may want to make purchases, but don't want to risk bringing their wallet to a crowded event.
Why Use Mobile POS?
Mobile POS systems have become a preferred method of payment by many small businesses due to their flexibility. Plus, food trucks and concession stands like them because they're portable, they can travel with their business, and they don't take up much counter space, which is essential in a confined space.
In addition to helping restaurants complete digital transactions, mPOS systems have a number of other useful features that make them integral to your bar, restaurant, or foodservice operation.
Essential Features for a Mobile POS System
There are many mPOS services, and each of them have their own features and add-ons that make them different. As a result, there are mobile POS features that are designed for bars and others that are appealing to restaurants. But, there are a few features that are useful for every foodservice establishment and that you should look for when shopping around.
Here are 9 essential features bar and restaurant mobile POS systems:
- Security is the most important feature for an mPOS service since it involves your and your customers' money. The best mobile POS system should have top-of-the-line security to prevent chargebacks or identity theft.
- An intuitive, easy-to-use interface is essential. Your mobile POS should be simple, so you don't need to waste time tapping through endless menus when there are customers waiting.
- Your mobile POS should include integrated financial and accounting software. Using an mPOS system can help streamline your restaurant's accounting and make the process run smoother.
- Cross platform functionality is a must. This will allow you to access your POS system from any type of device by simply logging in.
- Mobile POS systems offer inventory solutions. By tracking your inventory, you can easily see where adjustments need to be made to help drive down your food costs. Best of all, bars can use this feature to track liquor sales and optimize their orders.
- Mobile POS systems should allow you to track which menu items perform the best.This can help you make menu adjustments, reduce waste, and increase your sales.
- The ability to work offline is crucial. Sometimes your Internet connection might fail, but it shouldn't derail your whole business.
- Your mPOS should have the ability to send invoices to your customers via email rather than printed receipts, if requested. This is a great mobile POS feature for bars, because it streamlines the process and keeps things moving.
- Many mPOS systems nowadays have features that collect customer information. This allows you to hone your business's direction based on your customers' likes and dislikes. Additionally, you can create a more personalized experience if your customers return.
Best Mobile POS Systems
There are tons of mPOS systems out there, but how do you know which one is best and has the most features? We compiled a short list of some of the top mobile POS options for bars and restaurants and listed some of their best features to help you with the decision.
- Toast: Toast POS systems makes it easy to set up a no-contact experience for your guests. Features like tableside ordering and payment mean you can completely eliminate paper menus, receipts, and pens from the equation. Not only does this streamline your service and free up time for your employees, it increases your guest satisfaction.
- Lightspeed: Lightspeed's restaurant POS system provides all the tools needed to adapt to the changing habits of your customers. It offers an array of mobile payment options, integrates orders from top apps like UberEats and DoorDash, and consolidates all your orders onto one single screen. There are no third party fees, and payment reports sync easily to your back office.
- Poster: Featuring a user-friendly, intuitive interface, Poster is an excellent choice, especially for food trucks and mobile businesses. Poster has many useful features, such as data security, easy menu modification, inventory management, and more.
- Square: One of the best-known mobile POS systems, Square has many essential features for foodservice establishments. For example, they allow you to track your inventory, create reports based on sales data, and more all from a cross platform and intuitive system.
- Harbortouch: Harbortouch is an all-in-one POS solutions for restaurants and bars of all sizes with no upfront costs. Harbortouch also offers built-in online ordering software that integrates into the POS system with Skytab devices to facilitate curbside and delivery payments.
The best mobile POS system for your bar or restaurant combines many useful features and designs into one intuitive piece of software, and it should help streamline your business. When deciding which type of mPOS to choose, be sure to consider which features are integral to your business and all of the available options.