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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Using restaurant point of sale to enhance business

    Point of sale (POS) (also sometimes referred to as Point of purchase (POP) ) or checkout is the location where a transaction occurs. A "checkout" refers to a POS terminal or more generally to the hardware and software used for checkouts, the equivalent of an electronic cash register.

    This type of sales system typically includes a computer, monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, customer display and a barcode scanner, and the majority of retail POS systems also include a debit/credit card reader. It can also include a weight scale, integrated credit card processing system, a signature capture device and a customer pin pad device. More and more POS monitors use touch-screen technology for ease of use and a computer is built in to the monitor chassis for what is referred to as an all-in-one unit. All-in-one POS units liberate counter space for the retailer. The POS system software can typically handle a myriad of customer based functions such as sales, returns, exchanges, layaways, gift cards, gift registries, customer loyalty programs, BOGOF (buy one get one free), quantity discounts and much more. POS software can also allow for functions such as pre-planned promotional sales, manufacturer coupon validation, foreign currency handling and multiple payment types.

    The POS unit handles the sales to the consumer but it is only one part of the entire POS system used in a retail business. “Back-office” computers typically handle other functions of the POS system such as inventory control, purchasing, receiving and transferring of products to and from other locations. Other typical functions of a POS system are to store sales information for reporting purposes, sales trends and cost/price/profit analysis. Customer information may be stored for receivables management, marketing purposes and specific buying analysis. Many retail POS systems include an accounting interface that “feeds” sales and cost of goods information to independent accounting applications.
    A restaurant point of sale software that runs on computers, usually touch screen terminals or wireless handheld devices. Restaurant POS systems assist businesses to track transactions in real time. Typical restaurant POS software is able to print guest checks, print orders to kitchens and bars for preparation, process credit cards and other payment cards, and run reports. In addition, some systems implement wireless pagers and electronic signature capture devices.

    In the fast food industry like a coffee shop pos or a bar pos system, registers may be at the front counter, or configured for drive through or walk through cashiering and order taking. Front counter registers take and serve orders at the same terminal, while drive through registers allow orders to be taken at one or more drive through windows, to be cashiered and served at another. In addition to registers, drive through and kitchen monitors may be used by store personnel to view orders. Once orders appear they may be deleted or recalled by "bump bars", small boxes which have different buttons for different uses. Drive through systems are often enhanced by the use of drive through wireless (or headset) systems which enable communications with drive through speakers.

    POS systems are often designed for a variety of clients, and can be programmed by the end users to suit their needs. Some large clients write their own specifications for vendors to implement. In some cases, POS systems are sold and supported by third party distributors, while in other cases they are sold and supported directly by the vendor. Wireless systems consist of drive though microphones and speakers (often one speaker will serve both purposes), which are wired to a "base station" or "center module." This will, in turn broadcast to headsets. Headsets may be an all-in-one headset or one connected to a belt pack. Mac OSX based pos systems have been created by numerous manufacturers such as Prosperity POS, Checkout, Lightspeed and Revel Systems.
    These point of sale are extremely handy as it provides quick and efficient services to both the customer and the company. It provides quick consolidated billing, easy to set up and not expensive to maintain. Most establishments have adopted this modern way of handling customers as it cuts down on the turnaround time. So, if you are looking for an efficient way to handles customers and you haven’t adopted this method yet, then it is never to late.