Recently, taproom POS (point of sale) questions keep appearing up on my radar. More specifically, people want to know which tablet application is best for their taproom. Within the last 5 years many POS startups have moved in and commanded respect in the space. The introduction of the tablet in business, coupled with these subscription POS systems has granted increased access to reputable/respectable products. One major benefit of using a iPad or Android device as a POS is the up-front investment. Compared to a traditional POS, the “price to play” is about 1/3rd. Most tablet based POS systems’ have a monthly subscription pricing structure, often with the only upfront cost being the hardware. (*Note many are now using the hardware as a giveaway to win the business) A traditional POS system can cost between $10-15K when you factor in all the hardware and printer paper? Printer paper? WGAS about printer paper you ask; trust me it all adds up.
Here are some questions I have seen lately:
So why scrap the old skewl cash register?
Couple of reasons: 1) Depending on how you set up your items, super useful reports can be generated on what is selling and what is not. 2) Cash controls are far better with a POS. 3) A frekin iPad looks cool in the taproom.
Which one should I get?
I have played with many subscription based POS systems and while the prices are sweet, the functionality may not jive with your processes. For example, Vend, Shopkeep, SalesVu, Square, are all considered retail POS systems. This would be perfect if you were just a packing store,; but if your people are drinking onsite (host onsite consumption space), creating tabs may give you a issue. **Breadcrumb is one true restaurant POS that falls in the subscription space. These systems usually have a free trial. My suggestion would be to sign up, test, and see if it works for your space.
What about the big boys, they all seem to have tablet options now?
Micros, Aloha, Calypso have all rolled out some tablet version of their software. Problem is they are all still expensive. Look, if you are pulling down $150-200k and have multiple terminals in your taproom, then the big boys is the way to go.
Subscriptions based POS systems are here to stay and tablets are making them a viable option for the taproom. With all the options out there, you may need to test a few or get with a expert who is going to help you pick on that will fit in your processes.