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Customers have a multitude of options to choose from when searching for a place to buy a fantastic cup of coffee. A best coffee shop POS with the right features will empower you to become the first among equals, retain customers, boost your operational efficiency, and increase your bottom line. To find such a top cafe POS, you need to take a hard look at the following best features of coffee shop POS to prioritize.

Top 6 must-have features of a coffee POS system

Coffee shop point of sale attends most of the daily operations. Let’s now run through its must-have features to manage your business efficiently and effectively.

Inventory management

inventory management-features of coffee shop pos

Coffee shops have a myriad of stocks to keep an eye on, from all sorts of drinks to paper goods and bakery wares. A decent piece of inventory management software allows what your cafe needs to be available precisely on time. Your coffee shop POS system should also have the raw ingredient tracking ability, which ensures that you never run short of essential ingredients like coffee beans.

Besides, inventory software should be able to update stock automatically in real time. This helps ensure you’ll always know what’s going on in your cafe business.

Menu management

menu management

A straight-up fact is that coffee orders of some customers leave you speechless. Your baristas should get to order that hot decaffeinated latte with 2% milk, an espresso shot, in addition to chocolate curls sprinkled swiftly with modifiers that are a breeze to add and customize.

Therefore, coffee shops with frequent specials or seasonal menus need cafe POS software that makes updating the menu easy. The solution will enable your shop to modify or tweak the menu in real-time and promptly mark items as stockouts to notify your customers at the point of sale system.

Payment processing management

Payment processing management-features of coffee shop pos

Does your cafe become bogged down by queues during busy hours? Is the wait time so long that you risk losing customers? Then, do consider implementing a cafe point of sale that optimizes the speed of the checkout process. It will assist in completing transactions faster and let you serve more guests at peak times. For instance, a payment processing system with customer facing displays allows your guests to tip, sign, and ask for a digital or physical receipt in a matter of seconds.

Sales reporting

Sales reporting

Real-time and accurate sales reporting is another must-have feature of a coffee shop POS. It saves you time and effort in collecting data and helps visualize it for better analysis. By month, week, or day, you will get the figures needed on hand for reporting, planning, continuous business improvement, and paying taxes. By grasping your financial status at any given time and keeping a close watch on how profitable your business is, you are well on your way to success.

Customer management

Customer management-coffee shop pos feature

According to Statista, as of 2020, Starbucks made up most of the share in the U.S. cafe market as this world-renowned chain had more than 15,300 shops in its home nation. This has left a slim slice of the pie for small businesses. While the large chains usually capitalize on marketing dollars, small establishments have generally depended on repeat customers and word of mouth (WOM) marketing. The silver lining of these approaches is that they add a personal touch. Customers tend to be happy when they can purchase a fantastic product from hospitable people. You can offer that ultimate customer smoothly with the right coffee shop POS system. It should allow you to provide the best services, including the following.

1. Customer loyalty programs

Customer loyalty programs boast the ability to keep those visiting your coffee shop coming back. This type of program is a perk appreciated by any customer. Especially loyalty cards can assist you in keeping a tab on the purchase frequency of a specific guest. In this way, you can timely offer the proper rewards and discounts to drive visits and sales.

Reward programs

Given that customers love to feel value, reward programs provide guests with something worth in return for a special amount spent or purchase. This motivates customer retention and repeats purchases.

Store credits

Besides, you can provide store credits to boost customer engagement and attract new clients to your cafe. Your customers can buy special credits as their virtual wallets, keep them in their accounts, and use them to pay for purchases in the future.

Gift cards

As one of the best features of coffee shop POS, gift cards are a robust marketing tool to increase your revenue streams. Around half of all consumers spends more than the face value of their gift cards. To be more specific, the majority of shoppers who walk in with a $50 gift card will spend 20% more on their store purchases.

Customers can buy gift cards for later purchases that bring you some cash in advance. Or they can give the cards to their friends which helps spread the word of mouth for your coffee shop.

2. Online ordering and self-ordering kiosks

These line-busting solutions are rapidly gaining popularity because of their convenience. In this day and age, many people have a tight schedule daily, so placing an order online or directly at the kiosk is preferable to waiting in a queue.

3. Customizing orders with a coffee shop POS

It can be hard to provide guests with the perfect drink. Baristas can mix the favorite drinks of their repeat customers accurately with a piece of coffee shop point of sale that records their likings.

4. Smooth checkout with contactless payments

This checkout method fulfills the needs these days thanks to being simple, fast, and secure. By accommodating the popular and flexible payment options such as credit cards, mobile payments, reward points, and debit cards, your store will get more customers.

Employee management

employee management-coffee shop pos feature

Picture this, a barista at your store takes a leave of absence from work during the holiday season, which is not a tricky situation. But it does if you forget about that. A cafe point of sale with the staff management feature will allow you to keep track of each staff’s activities like payroll and shifts. With everything recorded in the software, there are lower possibilities of miscommunication and back-and-forth between employees.

A coffee shop point of sale with built-in staff timekeeping removes the need for separate apps and systems (say time clocks). So consider this when you decide on the prioritized features of coffee shop POS.

Importance of a POS system to a coffee shop

importance of coffee shop pos

When it comes to competitive businesses like cafes, being efficient is a must to survive and prosper in the market. A proper coffee shop POS with decisive advantages will assist the business in improving productivity by boosting its efficiency.

Further, it is worth mentioning that for the coffee shop POS system to function perfectly, it needs suitable POS hardware. A marriage of coffee shop point of sale software and complementary point of sale hardware empowers your business to function optimally. The POS system will work to record every sale transaction, monitor the stocks, record, analyze and report customer data, and assist managers in employee schedules, to name a few.

What to consider when choosing a coffee shop POS provider

Whether you manage or own a startup or established business, the functionalities of your cafe POS software can either make or break your business. When selecting a cafe point of sale solution provider, you should reflect on the following factors.

1. Your goals

set goal for pos system

Different coffee shops need different POS solutions to meet their goals. As the manager or owner of the store, you are responsible for defining these goals.

For example, suppose you are on a small budget. In this case, basic cafe POS software may be your best bet. Rely on an entry-level point of sale system with the reporting feature and transaction safety and security. You will need these in the daily operation of your coffee shop.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a system with sophisticated functions such as splitting and merging checks, see to it that you do your homework. Some solutions advertise advanced features yet in truth, provide less efficient versions of the same. Therefore, your good fit should be a solution that will move at the speed of your business growth—simply put, with scalability.

2. Ease of use

easy of use pos system-features of cafe pos

In truth, baristas and servers usually desire to serve as many guests as they can during their work shifts to increase their tip earning potential. As for customers, awaiting their orders would be the last thing they want to do. When it comes to business managers, it is your responsibility to maximize profits.

An informative and intuitive interface can assist your cafe in speeding up and optimizing the service, thus boosting the bottom line. For instance, seasonal HR adjustments and varied employees on different work shifts imply that lots of people need to use the software. In this sense, a system with a friendly interface can enable your employees to serve coffee as fast as possible.

3. Free trials

magestore pos screen

If you are still unsure about whether or not to choose the system after research and discussions, make use of its trial. Some solutions out there provide a free trial. Or if they don’t, you can ask for a customized demo. Utilize this to test the software before making your purchase decision.

4. After-sales services


Plenty of customer service will be unnecessary for a decent cafe point of sale. But, it never hurts to know about the customer support of a POS provider when something is not right. For instance, when checking out their customer service, you are suggested to inquire about how long it takes for them to get back to you. Who wishes to be left in a difficult situation—think a malfunction—during a preoccupied night? Rely on solutions that give 24/7 support.

5. Hardware options

magestore pos screen - web pos system

Your cafe POS software and hardware should be compatible with each other. A few coffee shop point of sale system providers give you the freedom to select the POS hardware, which enables you to build a tailored point of sale environment. Meanwhile, some solutions are designed to run with specific operating systems, requiring you to pick the hardware accordingly. You should check the hardware compatibility plus necessary specifications before deciding on the point of sale hardware.

6. Customizations

customize your cafe pos features

If you want to build a custom POS system for your cafe, let’s talk with our solution expert.

Using the right coffee shop POS system equates to more ease and better management. Customizing the POS to your needs would aid in your business growth. For example, to maintain the quality of your service, you can have the system record calls, track stocks, and automate the ordering process. Further, should you plan on taking your cafe to the next level, you may want to tailor your cafe POS to develop a customer database. You can analyze the data and calculate the average waiting time of the guest, average bill per table, and whatnot. This will help with your hospitality and service enhancement.

Related questions

1. How much does it cost to start a coffee shop?

The average coffee shop startup cost is somewhere between $25,000 and a whopping $375,000. It is subject to some criteria:

  • Business plan,
  • Location,
  • Employment,
  • Software, equipment, and supplies,
  • License, taxes, and insurance,
  • Marketing.

For details about how these factors impact the cost to open your coffee shop, you would want to check this piece of information.

2. How will cafe POS software help me save money?

  • No exorbitant expenses: The coffee shop POS system allows you to closely watch stocks in real-time. Because it is a breeze to monitor all raw ingredients, you will not suffer from being long or short on essential items.
  • Lower labor costs: The coffee shop point of sale decreases plenty of manual tasks such as order taking, payment recording. Now, just one employee can take care of multiple functions by using the POS software.
  • Swiftness service-wise: Having your cafe POS system will boost the efficiency of your employees who will, in response, be able to serve more customers. Else, the online orders would be promptly prepared and delivered.
  • No room for theft: The cafe point of sale provides real-time reports about inventory, and sales, among others. You will be aware of which staff is taking care of the transactions and when they are doing that. Generally speaking, the system makes monitoring every activity at your store easier.
  • Tax compliance: The coffee shop POS is compliant with the tax system, ensuring the accuracy of all the calculations.

3. How does POS track sales?

With the sales tracking features of coffee shop POS, you will know which menu items are best-selling and have the highest profit margin in addition to what times of day they are most popular. This can help you with planning timely, proper promotions, and stock control.

4. What is store credit in POS?

The cafe POS software enables you to manage store credit. In other words, you can handle credits and returns and place the money on your customer account to be spent for a new purchase now or in the future.

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Author Irene Luong

Irene is a senior content writer and editor at Magestore with more than 5 years of experience. She often writes about retail operations and system integration to provide in-depth knowledge for retailers. Besides writing, you may find her busy with editing to make every piece of content epic.

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