POS Hardware and Software

If you're on the errand of purchasing POS system hardware and software for your restaurant, you might want to stop by and read these few simple tips. Keep in mind, as a restaurateur, the success of your business lies in your hardware and software.
 
 
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Sept. 10, 2009 - PRLog -- Know Your POS Systems, Hardware and Software Before Purchasing

The basic POS systems you may see on restaurants and fast food chains are touch screen monitors, programmable keyboards, or scanners and handheld devices. Cash registers (with or without a built-in cash drawer), printers can be dot matrix or thermal, programmable keyboards can have covers for spill protection and scanners can be a CCD scanner or an autosending laser scanner.

Touch screens: With its flexible user interfaces and programming, many restaurant owners prefer to use touch screens. With this type of restaurant hardware, an employee can easily set orders and cancel an order within a second. It can also reduce mistypes and accelerate ordering. Aside from that, touch screens are easier to position in any counter and even uses less electricity, although, they can be more prone to breakdowns.

Handheld devices: Restaurant PDAs are handheld devices, commonly wireless, that transmits data back to its base station. You can use the newer version, which is the write-on handhelds that allows you to write information such as the orders and directly sends the order to the kitchen! These types of handheld devices are perfect for your staff who interacts with your customers, when up-selling desserts and drinks roaming around table per table.

Keyboards: Most grocery stores prefer to use this type of POS systems, since they can program individual keys for specific item codes and prices. The standard POS keyboard is a  101-key, like what you will find with any computer. Others are small and flat, which we commonly see in fast food outlets. POS keyboards often has a built-in magnetic stripe readers for processing credit cards.

Scanners: This useful piece of electronic device that reads bar codes, convert it and inputs its details to a POS system computer. It fastens sales transactions and accurately inputs a customer's product or service details that is being purchased. It typically connects through Y-connectors (called wedges) that make them function as an extension of the keyboard.

Customers' volume: For different volume of customers, using different types of scanners can be very helpful. If the counter line has several customers, make your staff use a CCD scanner or entry-level laser scanner. If the line is loaded with customers, then autosensing laser scanners is the best choice. It's a type of scanner that automatically turns on when you place an item in front of it, easily scan the barcode, and then turn off again. But if your counter line is flooding with customers, then you could really use the help of the omnidirectional scanner, where it can scan a bar code from any angle with its 15 or 20 lasers simultaneously!

Consider Additional POS

POS Cash Drawers: Used to store cash, checks, gift certificates and other important papers. When buying a cash drawer, look for a sturdy construction of at least 18-gauge steel, don't just buy one because your local POS supplier tells you that it's the best or simply because it looks fancy. Go for the most reliable cash drawer since the usable life of cash drawers are measured, you also have to make surer that you can replace rollers, bearings, and other parts. A typical cash drawer opens only when it is signaled by the POS printer.

Point of Sale printers: Every retail store owner has them, every POS system needs one of course! POS printers are used to print receipts of customers and create credit card slips. The dot matrix printers, also known as impact printers, are inexpensive and uses ink ribbon to print on regular paper. While thermal printers use heat and special heat-sensitive paper to generate receipts. It is slightly expensive than a dot matrix printer because it prints receipts faster and more quieter. They are also more reliable because they have less moving parts.

Customer displays: Also called the pole display. This restaurant hardware lets your customer view their item and its price, and sometimes used to support advertising. When buying a customer display, make sure that you check for the right height and width, which will perfectly fit your counter table, and its compatibility with your POS software.

Check readers: Advisable for restaurants, fast food chains, hotels, casinos, and convenient stores. The check reader prevents fraud by verifying essential account information. By this, you are assure that every check in your cash drawer is authentic.

Magnetic stripe readers: This piece of hardware is used to read credit cards. You can also purchase keyboards and touch screens has a built-in magnetic strip readers for convenience.

Fingerprint readers: If you want to limit which POS terminal can a staff use, then this type of restaurant hardware can be handy. You can also use this for employee logins thus preventing any of your employees from logging in for somebody as a favor.

Keep in mind when purchasing a restaurant POS system, hardawre or software, you have to make sure that you review their details first. No matter how expensive or cheap a POS equipment is, consider the environment where you're going to use it. Regular cleaning will keep your peripherals in good shape, vacuuming dust and lubing your receipt printer can extend its life and maintaining your workstation clean will definitely help your POS stations from annoying dust and spills. You can always request for a FREE POS system quote online where local suppliers will offer you competitive price lists of any restaurant hardware and software you need based on the the information you provide them. So you would never have to waste money buying the wrong POS systems.

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Got a Question?

If you would like to know more about this topic or have a question in mind, you may ask for advice with our Restaurant POS professional serving your area.

The author of this article is the Vice President of Customer Relations at http://www.pos-for-restaurants.com with over 20 years experience in the restaurant point of sale industry.

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