Despite ongoing economic uncertainties, inflation, and labor shortages, the coffee and snack shop industry continues to recover as people return to in-person professional and social activities. In the US, roasted coffee revenue rose to $69.8 billion in 2022. That figure is expected to hit $83.6 billion by 2025. According to the National Coffee Data Trends Spring 2023 Report, Americans drink an estimated 491 million cups of coffee every day; and 91% of past-week coffee drinkers buy coffee away from home at least once per week.
As consumers return to their favorite cafés and coffee shops, smart owners recognize the need to embrace technology. Technology will help improve their customer experience and reduce daily burdens. A café point of sale (POS) system is one of these technologies that is well worth the investment. It will allow you to create the best experience for your staff and customers. Here are four reasons to invest in a modern café POS system.
1. Provide Flexible Ordering and Checkout Solutions
Traditional, old-school cash register systems simply cannot provide the range of functionality included in a modern café POS system. Ordering and payment options have become more complex, and customers now expect the availability of their preferred methods.
With a café POS system, you can offer flexibility in ordering. Your staff can take traditional in-line orders, provide curbside pickup, or take your business out into the community for special events.
You’ll also be able to offer multiple payment options that are quicker than cash (which continues to decline as a preferred payment method for consumers). Customers can swipe, tap, or insert their credit or debit cards or pay with mobile wallet apps such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet on their phones or smartwatches.
2. Minimize Human Labor Costs
An easy-to-use café POS system with an intuitive interface will save time on POS system training. As a result, staff will have more time to learn the barista equipment for high-quality drink preparation.
Your café POS system should feature customizable screens that feature visuals and is optimized for everyday usage to ensure faster data input and checkout times.
Your system can also help you save on labor costs through robust reporting and analytics. A good café POS will provide accessible real-time reports that make it easy to generate updates on your café so you can make impactful decisions — from staffing needs at peak times to product performance and optimal pricing.
3. Reduce Inventory Errors
Another way to reduce labor costs and human error is to get rid of time-consuming pen-and-paper inventory management. Inventory levels need to be monitored to avoid lost revenue from excess product (especially wasting perishable ingredients such as dairy, soy or almond milk, and creamers) or running out of ingredients and thereby losing orders.
Modern café POS systems include inventory management with report capabilities to give you insights into current and historical stock (particularly when evaluating new products such as plant-based alternatives) and visual low-stock alerts to ensure that you never run out of stock and disappoint your customers.
4. Generate More Tips
Providing the best possible customer experience can result in increased customer loyalty and higher tips for your staff. In addition to using a customized till screen and offering a variety of payment options, the checkout process can also be optimized by sourcing the same provider for your café POS and payment processing/merchant services. The benefits of working with one company include:
- Streamlined operations and payment processing. With one phone call, IT problems can be resolved quickly and conveniently, and managing vendors is simplified with one provider for POS software and services;
- Fast processing at checkout — no long waits for customers;
- Ultimate data security;
- Ease of use for employees, reducing their stress.
Improvements in checkout efficiency will give your staff more time to connect with customers rather than processing transactions. Faster purchase experiences create higher customer satisfaction, which can mean more tips as well as repeat business.
Choose a Provider That Understands Your Needs
A café POS system may seem like a big investment for your small coffee shop, but it can be a game-changer to get ahead of the competition and grow your business. Want to save money on labor and inventory, generate more tips, and enhance your staff and customer experience? Our team is ready to use our decades of industry experience to help you find a solution that will fit your budget and unique business needs.