Things you should be looking for
Small to medium sized businesses are usually torn between two options of EPOS systems: a general, all-round EPOS system and an industry-specific Point of Sales system.
If we assume most coffee shops fall under this category (SMBs), then coffee shop owners are pretty much in the same situation. Although this is an important factor in choosing the right EPOS for coffee shops, you have bigger fishes to fry.
Features of an EPOS for coffee shops, regardless of your industry, are the most defining push factors. This is because EPOS systems are the beating heart of your business. An uninformed decision can bring your coffee shop to its knees.
On the other hand, if you have an experienced coffee shop owner, they will tell you that the most important factor in their business is speed. The quicker the turnover, the bigger the profit. However, speed without accuracy is like driving a car on full throttle without grabbing the steering wheel. The accelerator pedal boosts up your speed, while the steering wheel assures you are in the right direction. The EPOS for coffee shops should enable you to have both speed and accuracy at the same time in balance. Probably to your surprise, in the world of EPOS software, speed and accuracy are not mutually exclusive. So, let’s look at some features of an ideal EPOS for coffee shops. And by the way, we will give you a bonus tip to keep in mind when purchasing an EPOS for your coffee shop. So, stay tuned.
EPOS Software Should Be Easy to Use, Learn, Master, etc.
This is the most functional factor contributing to desirable speed. Let’s go back to the car example. Which one is easier to drive crazily fast, an automatic or a manual car? With the latter, you have to be very careful with the timing of changing the gear. While with an automatic car, you only have to literally step on it to speed up! The ease of use has direct relationships with speed. Simply put; the easier, the faster. That could have even qualified for Newton’s forth law. But never mind that, let’s get back to the subject. In order to get ahead of the game of speed in the world of coffee shops, you need an EPOS software that is literally easy-to-use.
In addition to “the easier, the faster” rule we just proposed, an EPOS for coffee shops must follow “the easier, the fewer mistakes” rule. Just to get more tangible on what this means, you can think of a cockpit of a plane. There are countless buttons everywhere in a cockpit, each setting off a set of functionalities. If not a trained pilot, you would most certainly crash the plane, not even from the air, leaving heavy casualties. Of course, pressing the wrong button in an EPOS for coffee shops won’t trigger a catastrophe as dramatic. But it will do your business so much harm that is impossible to undo. So, in a rather technical term, an EPOS for coffee shops must be user-friendly in order to make all the operations foolproof.
Another reason to support simplicity, is that most coffee shop employees think of their job as stopgaps. This means lots of employees come and go quite often. Hence, you will have to train your new commers as often. So, an easy-to-use EPOS for coffee shops will save you the time and the energy just by being simple.
EPOS Software Should Offer Detailed Stock Management
Remember the speed and accuracy balance?! This and the next section have to do with the accuracy side. Now let’s play a little game. But before that, let’s recap what items make up a café’s inventory. However, different cafes make different products and therefore need different ingredients and items although they share some consumables. These include coffee and espresso, milk, tea bags, hot chocolate, flavoring syrups, sugar, sweetener, creamer, disposable paper and plastic cups, straws, napkins, coffee filters, take-out cup carriers, etc.. Now let’s play the game. Write down the exact amount of each item left in your inventory only with the help of your mind. Then pick up a checklist and do a quick stock-take to see how many items you got right. I know it is not the most exciting game, but it at least makes a point. How many items did you get right? It’s really impossible to constantly keep track of your inventory, isn’t it?
However, things would be much easier, if you had a screen shouting the figures. You may say that owners of small coffee shops don’t need such tools as they have everything under their nose. Although that may be true, having everything under your nose, doesn’t guarantee you know what is going on with them all the time. This is what an EPOS for coffee shops should help you with. If your EPOS software doesn’t offer that, just walk away.
EPOS Software Should Offer Various Reports
Like the last part, this one is dedicated to accuracy. Inventory data is only a small portion of the whole business data cake. Whereas, there are many other important facets to look at. By the way, let’s not forget that inventory data is just raw data, telling you how much of each item you have left, which items you are out of, or which items you are about to run out of. Now let’s put that data and other types of information together to run an analysis. This is called reporting. Reporting features let you know what that data means. For example, if you run out of latte more often than other drinks, it means the latte is the best-selling item in your coffee shop. Therefore, you can build your further decisions on that fact. This was just a simple instance of what reporting should do in an EPOS for coffee shops.
In addition to inventory-related reporting, you have data regarding employees, busiest times of the day, customer buying patterns, etc. to take into account. For example, you can use the two latest ones to decide when to set up a happy hour, a promotion, or a discount scheme. As for the employees, you can realise who are the most efficient ones.
And Finally, Here You Are: The Bonus Tip
As mentioned in the first part of this article, coffee shops are mostly counted as small to medium sized businesses. This means they are in rather small and cosy spaces. Therefore, a hefty hardware bundle sprawling all over your countertop doesn’t give your place a sleek look. Therefore, the better option is to go with an iPad or a tablet EPOS for coffee shops. Also, if you are sure you won’t need a cash drawer or a receipt printer, you can simply make use of mobile card terminals. However, keep in mind that most POS software on the market are designed only for iPads which can be costly. So, make sure that your EPOS provider has anticipated this issue. Their EPOS solution should work on all kinds of devices and operating systems. This will save you a heck of money as you won’t have to switch from your current devices or buy pricy devices. Also, if they break for any reason, you won’t go bankrupt just to replace an iPad with another iPad. This is because you can replace it with a more economical device. Remember, one of the most efficient ways to grow the bottom line, is to reduce the costs.
If you are looking for an EPOS for coffee shops incorporating all the features above, just get in touch to talk about your needs and requirements further. Also, we have created a special offer during Covid-19. Make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity as this offer is time-limited.