POS 101 For Food Truck Operators

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  • March 25, 2016
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From the sidewalks of New York to designated food card pods in Portland, Oregon, the food truck craze that has swept the nation has passed the trend phase and moved on to become an urban classic. Street food has actually been a part of civilization for centuries, so it’s definitely stood the test of time. Many talented chefs have recently decided to jump on the food truck bandwagon as an alternative to spending a small fortune opening a traditional restaurant or working for someone else. If you’ve been considering joining their ranks or have recently done so, you’ve probably already considered most aspects of owning and operating a small, mobile food truck business. However, you may have yet to give any serious thought to what kind of Point of Sale (POS) system would be best for your particular food truck, but this will be an important component of your daily business operations.

Why You Need a POS System for Your Food Cart

Many people who decide to open food trucks assume that the because of the nature of their business, the majority of their financial transactions will be in cash. However, a decreasing number of modern consumers even carry cash in today’s urban environment, and you may find yourself missing out on substantial sales if you decide to do business on a cash-only basis. As you probably already know, a significant number of people don’t carry paper checks with them, and it’s time consuming and often difficult to recover losses incurred by customers who write checks on bank accounts that lack sufficient funds. A reliable POS system is an essential component of any successful modern business.

All POS systems are not created equal. Because your food truck will be staffed with one or possibly two people at most, it probably won’t be necessary for you to use  a system designed for large, busy establishments with multiple employees. You also won’t need to have the type of POS system that automatically transfers the order to the kitchen in the back after it’s entered into the system, and it’s probable that your POS selection will be at least partially guided by budgetary concerns.

The three basics that a POS for a very small business needs to cover are:

  • Efficiency, so that the lines keep moving and customers aren’t made to stand in line for very long
  • Reliability, so that you won’t have to worry about system malfunctions during peak usage times
  • The ability to track sales via cloud-based reporting

The best POS systems for food trucks are ones that have been specifically developed for that industry. Physically, they should be small to reflect the reduced square footage that food trucks typically have, and besides superior functionality, they should be physically durable enough to withstand the unique challenges involved in being used in a food truck environment. Other essentials for a food truck POS system are as follows.

Benefits of having a POS system

  • Food-Industry Specific Apps- POS software that includes specific apps for different facets of the culinary industry streamlines food truck operations significantly. A POS app specifically designed for food truck use works seamlessly with a 4G iPad, allowing for maximum mobility. You can equip your iPad with a card reader and a small printer for processing credit card payments.

  • Built-In Social Media- Food trucks depend heavily on social media to inform customers of daily specials and in some cases, of particular locations on specific days. A POS with built-in social media integration makes it possible for food truck operators to instantly Tweet communications to customers.
  • Integration With Most Hardware Brands- Food truck entrepreneurs should also look for POS systems that integrate with the majority of available hardware brands so that they can be used with most printers and cash drawers. If you’re like most food truck operators, you’re starting out with fairly limited capital, and you’ll need a flexible POS system that works with the other components that you already have.
  • Maximum Flexibility- Your POS system should be programmable to accept all forms of payments, including mobile payments. Busy consumers love this option because it allows them to order and pay for lunch from the comfort of their own office. Another feature you might consider is the ability to function without being connected to WiFi. This may be especially important if you plan to set up in a location where WiFi reception is known to be substandard or spotty or if you plan to vary your location frequently. You may also find it valuable to purchase a POS system equipped with an app that manages customer loyalty programs.

Keep in mind that it’s good business sense to shop around for the POS system that best suits your individual needs and preferences as an entrepreneur. Wise selections save money and streamline operations.

Contact us online to get a free quote on POS systems for your business.

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