POS System for Your Coffee Shop

At first, I did not know what kind of Point of Sale (POS) system we should use for our coffee shop. Thankfully, my business partner was familiar with them, and he helped set up our first POS system. Since we were a very small business at that point, we needed to choose an inexpensive option. After considering several different options, we decided to start out with an Apple/IOS app-based POS system. This system used iPads rather than larger POS devices. It was user friendly, though its functions were fairly limited. The primary limitation stemmed from the regular system updates issued by Apple. The iPads prompted staff to update the devices, but unfortunately the POS systems were often not yet ready to operate on the updated version. Despite these frustrations, it met our basic needs as we grew our business.

A few years later, we were preparing to open our second coffee shop location. We knew we wanted a better POS system not only to limit frustration, but also to help increase sales.

After much researching and testing, we finally landed on Toast. I was relieved and excited! While it is not a perfect system, it is a vast improvement over the previous iPad-based POS system. It is extremely user friendly, offers a host of useful and lucrative features, and is not tied to Apple or IOS updates. Toast’s additional features allow us to compete with corporate brands without the high costs that often accompany POS systems.

One of the three primary features that increased our sales was Toast’s online ordering option. Once we reached max capacity inside our shop and in our drive thru, we were able to increase order volume through the online ordering option. This feature allows customers to order ahead and pick up at their convenience. They simply download the Toast Takeout App, search for our coffee shop, place their order, and pick up at their selected time. As baristas take orders throughout the morning, the Toast POS system connects to a receipt printer and adds mobile orders into the order queue. Bonus feature: Toast also allows us to add professional images and descriptions into the mobile ordering app for each of our products.

The next feature that increased sales and prevented many headaches is Toast’s ability to function offline. On occasion, the internet goes down for one reason or another. When we were using the IOS POS systems, this unfortunately meant that customers could only pay with cash until we could fix the internet. Sales decreased in these instances, and we sadly could not provide consistent service to our customers. Thankfully, Toast allows staff to process both credit and cash transactions while offline. This prevents us from losing sales and upsetting customers. In the rare cases where we experienced technical issues with Toast, the support team responded quickly and effectively.

The third feature that increased our coffee shop sales significantly is Toast’s gift card system. It allows both electronic and physical gift cards which provide two convenient options for customers. These gift cards are great for teacher appreciation gifts, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, random acts of kindness, etc. These are helpful with marketing and with increasing revenue. The initial capital investment is more than an iPad-based POS system. However, the Toast POS system and hardware are well worth the investment.

If you are searching for the best kind of POS system to use for your coffee shop, I highly recommend Toast. The user-friendly aspects, sales-boosting features, and efficient customer service are difficult to beat!

*Full disclosure: the links provided above are referral links. HOPE Coffee will receive a financial bonus from Toast should your establishment sign up through this link.*

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