To run a successful coffee shop, you’ve got to be in love—and not just with coffee. Your passion also has to extend towards people, service, and hard work. Let’s not forget about those early mornings and long afternoons. If you only tolerate the time you and your staff need to be on the floor, customers will notice and think twice before returning for another cup.
Adding meals into the mix can potentially ramp up the stress, even though (like all of us) you’ve probably got a thing for food, too. But, offering breakfast, lunch, or both doesn’t have to stretch you thin. In fact, the best POS for coffee shops have features that make expanding your menu, while keeping the day-to-day running smoothly, as easy as pie. We explore what those features are below.
The Point of Sale Features a Modern System Offers
Whether or not you think of your business as a café, the decision to serve food at your coffee shop puts many of the same demands on your plate. You’ve got additional inventory to contend with and have to think more critically about the layout of your tables. The demands placed on your staff are greater, too, which makes training and scheduling the right people at the right times important.
What’s great about modern coffee shop POS systems is that they have the power to handle more on your must-have menu of features. That means you, your staff, and your business can handle more, too—and with fewer high-octane jitters. Here are just three key operations that a good point of sale system can simplify:
The costs associated with hiring and training employees can be significant. What many coffee shops fail to realize, however, is that how and when staff is scheduled impacts the budget, too. Having too few people on the floor during the morning rush can result in a diminished quality of service and bad reviews on Yelp. If there are too many baristas or servers ambling about with nothing to do, your profits for the day will falter no matter how artisanal—and expensive—your most popular sandwich is.
A point of sale system helps with the management of staff in several ways. You can create and share schedules, assign roles and permissions, and generate reports on your labor costs. Your employees can use the software to clock in and out and you can export the data into timesheets for your accountant. You can also track sales by employee to see who is a strong performer and perform an analysis of the busiest days and times to determine when they’re really needed.
These functions take the guesswork out of how to make the most out of everyone’s time. And, with cloud-based software, you can access these features from anywhere—even while drinking a cup of joe at home.
Processing customer orders, whether they’re placed online for pickup or in person for dining in, has to be seamless every step of the way. And, as you know, we’re talking about a lot of steps. Taking an order for a decaf cappuccino with soymilk and making sure it’s filled correctly isn’t all there is to managing orders and making customers happy. As luck would have it, that’s not all the best POS systems for coffee shops can do, either. They can also:
- Update the menu and add-ons in real-time across devices
- Trigger discounts to happen on specific dates and times
- Calculate and automatically add gratuity
- Track the progression of orders
- Analyze average ticket and customer wait times
- Split and merge customer orders
- Issue refunds and credits
- Process gift cards
- Show table availability and manage overall table turnover
- Indicate ingredients that provoke allergic reactions
It only takes a few taps to access these features, too. That almost always results in an improved customer experience. Streamlined operations will also take a bite out of your staff’s stress.
Adding food to your menu means your coffee shop’s inventory, and how you manage it, will necessarily expand. If performing stock takes, placing timely orders, and logging new inventory into the system isn’t already simplified, imagine how complicated it could become when you add gluten-free snacks. Point of sale software streamlines all aspects of inventory management, from generating purchase orders and tracking suppliers to automating reorders.
You can also perform instant analyses on a variety of inventory-related functions. This can help you immediately spot menu items that are more popular than others to ensure you never run out of ingredients. Real-time reports will also alert you to where you may need to cut back on costs. So, you won’t have to guess whether you should keep serving decaf after noon or if it’s worth purchasing fresh vegetables in bulk.
Maintaining a fresh perspective on your inventory is immediately available, too, with in-depth reports or quick-and-easy summaries that can be cooked up with a few taps on a screen.
The Best POS for Coffee Shops is a Sweet Thing to Have
These three main features are just a glimpse into what point of sale software offers. With some vendors, you can expect more than 100 features in total as well as numerous integrations. So, as your coffee shop—or menu—grows, everything you need to keep your business brewing will already be there, ready and waiting. That means adding outdoor seating, branded merchandise, or a customer loyalty program at any point will be, ahem, a piece of cake.
The best POS for your coffee shop will also be easy for the entire team to learn. So, look for a system that is as intuitive as it is robust. If there should ever be operational hiccups, access to free 24/7/365 support from your provider is critical, too. Though, for many of us, there is a point where you can have too much coffee, you can never have too many helpful customer service experiences or point of sale features.
Here at talech, we strive to offer the best POS systems for our coffee shop clients as well as the level of support you’d expect from an invested partner. Serving coffee and food is your specialty, helping you streamline the process is ours. To see how working together can benefit your business, sign up for a free demo today!