How to choose the best EPOS system for your Coffee Shop
What you need to know before choosing your till system...
EPOS for your Coffee Shop
Your EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) system is a lot more than just a cash register.
It should be able to manage your gross margins, provide you with information about who has been on the till and what they have done, provide you with product sales reports, VAT reports, productivity reports, in short it will be the only way you can actually measure the success or failure of your business.
Ideally it should be remotely accessible and be able to interface with your accounts package too. There are loads of systems, from iPads and Android tablets to bespoke terminals, with prices varying massively.
When choosing an EPOS system you need to consider the following points, but the most important is the service you get from the supplier so when you are setting up for the first time and when there is a failure you can rely on their immediate help.
Our businesses are typically the busiest on the weekends so the last thing you need on a Friday night is your till to break and be left without a fix till Monday!
I would warn you against a lot of cheap ipad apps, I actually know one business who are still using a beta Ipad till app and are having a big problem at the moment. Remember you have a duty to accurately record sales for HMRC and be able to provide this for 6 years.
That's why you should consider an EPOS supplier to be a partner for your business and not just a reseller.
Be clear on what you need and don't need in your EPOS, if you are opening your first shop then a simple solution should suffice, if you have a preparation area away from the till then you might need a remote order printer.
Beware of systems that are adapted from other environments such as hotels you may be paying for more than you would ever need. Choose a system which was designed for your type of business rather than just adapted by a reseller.
The Speed of a transaction is vital, so a slow receipt printer will cost you money by reducing the maximum throughput of the till. Image that at the end of every transaction the printer took 5 seconds to print, you would lose one minute every 12 customers, which is the equivalent of serving one customer, so an 8% reduction in sales at peak times re a printer that was instant.
Make sure that the EPOS software is recent and you can get regular updates, and if you need some additional functionality that the EPOS producer is able to add it in the software. Make sure that supplier is easy to get hold of and that he is really able to help you to solve problems
Make sure that EPOS system will work for your business needs.
Keep in mind the list of what you want to achieve with your EPOS system (such as speed up customer transactions, track staff operations, set up and manage promotions efficiently) and make sure that system can do it.
Explain your needs and features to different suppliers and ask them to demonstrate how their EPOS system will work for your business.
Web Based systems are the way forward
1) Choose Web-based «cloud» software as an opposed to in-house back office as it has many advantages:
- You do not need to spend time, effort and resources to maintain server
- Your data will be automatically backed-up on a daily basis
- You have access to your sales data 24/7 regardless of if you are at home, at work, or on vacation.
- Your information is available for you to analyse on secure online website.
- Epos company in most cases are providing automatic software upgrades and new versions to that you always have up-to-date software.
Before taking the software on board, though, make sure that software on the tills in the shop is working (and working fast) even without an internet connection. This means that if the internet connection goes down in the shop, you can continue to serve your customers. The sales will be saved locally on the till and automatically sent to the server when a connection is restored. 2) Check how quickly you feel comfortable with the software. If you need a manual to understand it, better leave it. Software for tills should be even more intuitive then online software and staff members should be familiar with it 20 minutes after starting to use. About EPOS Hardware
- Make sure that your supplier can provide all needed EPOS hardware including
- Touch tills or tablets, printers, bar code scanners, tablets for taking orders at tables or queue busting, etc.
- Make sure the supplier guarantees software compatibility with everything
- Make sure the supplier can support everything you have
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