Cafe POS | 2 mins read

How to Choose the Best Cafe POS System

how to choose the best café pos system
Chloe Henderson

By Chloe Henderson

A cafe POS system provides the security and payment processing features necessary to orchestrate daily operations for small businesses and large cafe chains.

Studies show that approximately 64% of Americans drink at least one cup of coffee per day. With over half of the population turning to the beverage for a caffeine boost, cafes must be equipped to accept various forms of payment.

With cafe POS systems, stores can facilitate multiple transaction types while collecting valuable customer data. This enables coffee shops to grow their clientele and promote expansion.

What to Look for in a Cafe POS System

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While every cafe has different needs, owners should look for POS systems with-

  • User-Friendly Interface
Cafes generally have high employee turnover rates, making it crucial to have a POS system with a user-friendly interface. Easy-to-use software enables workers to navigate through different functions without technical difficulties. This speeds up the employee training process and prevents long wait times for customers.

With a simple, customizable layout, cafes can personalize their POS system dashboard to create shortcuts for frequently used functions.

  • Inventory Management
Cafes need to properly manage their inventory to avoid stockouts and overstocking. Stockouts can force shops to turn away customers while overstocking can take up valuable space and increase the risk of spoilage.

POS systems can track inventory usage with every transaction and alert management when particular ingredients are running low. When the software is integrated with an ordering system, the alert can trigger an automatic reorder. The solution will also monitor the cost of each item to report which suppliers are raising prices.

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  • Tipping Options
Especially in the cafe setting, encouraging tips is crucial for employees. Modern POS systems with consumer-facing screens prompt automatic tipping options whenever customers checkout, so guests do not have to calculate gratuity manually. Management can adjust tipping presets to suggest 15%, 20%, or 25% based on each unique order.

Once the amount is chosen, the customer signs the touch-screen terminal and is asked if they want a receipt printed or sent to their email.

  • Detailed Reporting
Advanced POS solutions can generate detailed reports on all of the data it collects, including customer, inventory, sales, income, and employee information.

Reports should break down data into comprehensive metrics and diagrams so management can effectively analyze insights. Tools, including data visualization, are great for illustrating intricate patterns and trends.
With detailed reporting, cafes can determine how to increase their profitability through data-based decisions.

  • Loyalty Program
Launching a loyalty program is a great way to boost repetitive purchases, build a loyal client base, and collect customer data.

Cafe POS systems that recognize loyalty programs offer incentives, such as redeemable points, for consumers who become members. This function also gives cafes the opportunity to provide gift cards.

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  • Payment Processing
A modern POS system should be able to accept cash, credit cards, and digital wallets. The technology used to accept cards may vary, including traditional magstripe methods, chip insertion, and contactless payments.

The more payment methods a cafe can accept, the higher the number of potential customers and sales.

  • Customer Management
POS systems can store information from each transaction to build individual customer profiles. From recording personal information to accessing loyalty members' accounts, POS systems enable cafes to better manage their customer relationships, marketing techniques, and data collection.

4 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a POS System

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After considering the must-have features, owners need to narrow down their specific requirements-

1. What are the Cafe's Needs?

Every cafe finds a niche within their industry, which makes each of their needs slightly different. Therefore, owners need to determine what exactly they need from their POS systems. Each cafe should consider-

  • Regular Traffic
  • Popular Payment Methods
  • Clientele
  • Number of Employees
  • Store Size
2. Does the Cafe Have Multiple Locations?

Cafes that are expanding and have multiple locations need a POS solution that is able to scale with the business. The software must also accommodate multiple devices across various locations.

Therefore, management should consider cloud-based POS systems that do not rely on a single server to update each terminal. This improves connectivity, data exchange, and workflow.

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3. Does the Menu Change Frequently?

Cafes that rotate specials and seasonal menu items must have a POS solution that enables fast and easy menu changes. Advanced POS systems allow management to easily build or delete a menu item and track the dish's ingredients, price, and availability in real-time.

4. Is There a Loyal Customer Base?

Customer loyalty is the first step to business expansion. Therefore, cafes should consider choosing a POS system that facilitates loyalty programs and is able to capture large volumes of customer data.

Choosing Plum POS

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Plum POS systems can handle everything from payment processing to employee management and can grow with any sized business. This point of sale solution enables management to customize the dashboard with most-used functions and popular menu items to streamline workflow with a user-friendly interface.

The solution also provides many different terminal options, such as-

  • Table-Side Terminals
  • Self-Service Kiosks
  • Handheld devices
  • Touch-Screen Monitors
  • Online Ordering

With these terminals and cloud-based software, employees can move around the cafe to assist customers throughout the shop. This is also beneficial for businesses with multiple locations, as it ensures all systems are updated with each transaction and reorder.