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Costs, Benefits and Features of Fast Food/Drive-Through POS Systems

Read This Buying Guide Before You Purchase a Fast Food/Drive-Through POS System

Point of sale (POS) systems offer your customers the option to make electronic payments, including credit and debit cards as well as "smart" payment options using a phone. You may choose a system with a credit card reader operated by the cashier, or one that allows the diner to process payment.

When it comes to POS systems for fast food restaurants, ease of use ensures that new employees learn how to operate the technology quickly. Typically, the user interface uses keys representing each menu item, as well as combo meal options. Even when updates are required due to menu changes, button order remains the same. This means that menu items unaffected by updates do not move.

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What are the Benefits of a Fast Food POS System?

In addition to offering your patrons payment options besides cash, POS systems benefit your business in a variety of ways.

A restaurant POS platform allows easy order tracking, with each station able to see orders as they come in; they can even monitor multiple orders at the same time. It also allows detailed inventory tracking. Reporting functions let you determine which menu items sell the most, as well as which days and times are your location's busiest. This allows you to ensure popular items are always in stock and manage staffing needs, cutting back on waste as well as employee downtime.

You can also program the system to prompt cashiers to recommend upsell items based on the customer's order. In addition, you can set inventory thresholds for automatic ordering.

Adding a mobile POS terminal comes in handy for those days when the drive-thru is down. Instead of long lines of angry customers and lost business, one of your employees simply takes the order system outside. From there, orders are processed normally.

What to Look for in a Fast Food POS System

Available features of a restaurant POS system are many and varied. You can use them to log employee hours, generate purchase orders, track inventory, and, of course, ring up orders, take payments, and print receipts. It all depends on what type of platform you choose.

However, there are commonalities in almost any system. Components you'll find in just about any fast food POS system include:

  • POS computer
  • POS software designed for restaurants
  • Customer display screen
  • Touch screen monitor
  • Cash drawer
  • Printer
  • Keyboard
  • Scanner

Before purchasing any system, make sure it's easy to use with an intuitive interface. This ensures your employees are quickly up to speed on it.

How Much Does a Fast Food POS System Cost?

With so many variables, POS costs vary widely. Depending on features, you'll pay anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 for a complete system. The basic system includes the computer, touch screen, software, and printer.

If you already have the basic hardware, you may only need to purchase restaurant POS software, which requires a separate license for each terminal. Expect to pay between $500 and $2,500 per license, depending on personalization.

Finally, if you want to add a mobile terminal for your drive-thru, expect to pay at least $200 for the tablet.

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