If you’re looking for the best EPOS system for your small business, first you need to understand what sort of tools you’ll need. If you’re running a cafe you’ll probably have slightly different needs to a bar or restaurant.
At its core, a good EPOS system will help you run your business more efficiently and securely process sales.
Looking for an EPOS system?
We have over 30 years of experience providing EPOS systems for every kind of hospitality business.
Regardless of the type of business you run, cost, usability, and security are probably at the top of your list when comparing EPOS systems. In this article, we’ll help you understand what exactly to look for, so you can make an informed decision.
What is EPOS?
An EPOS, or electronic point of sale, lets you process sales and accept payments. It is essentially a cash register with a lot of added features, and has two main components:
EPOS Hardware: The EPOS hardware allows you to accept payments including cash, card and digital wallet. You’ll also need the hardware to print receipts, store cash and potentially scan barcodes or weigh produce. Most EPOS systems now will have a touch screen till that provides a seamless link between the different parts of the system.
EPOS Software: The software is what controls everything. It holds your menu, lets you process sales and stores purchase data for you to analyse.
When would a small business need an EPOS system?
If you’re wanting to streamline your business processes and improve efficiency, an EPOS system will help. It makes processing orders and taking payments quick and easy, and the system is simple for staff to learn.
As well as letting you accept card payments, the system will also allow you to track each sale so you can understand what you’re selling. The more data you have about your business, the better decisions you’ll be able to make which will be key if you’re a small operator or just starting out.
What are the initial factors to consider when choosing an EPOS system?
There are various features of an EPOS system that a business should consider while selecting the system.
- What’s the initial set up time? Is it quick and how much does it cost?
- Will I have to program my menu myself?
- What is the equipment cost or rental fee? Is there an additional fee for the software?
- Does the system offer customer support, is there an extra fee for this and when is it available?
- Is there real time reporting and analytics?
- Does the system accept different payment methods?
- Is the software easy to use and customise?
- Does it have any advanced features you need like stock control, customer management and loyalty schemes?
Overall, the best EPOS system will be one that has all the features you require at a reasonable price.
How to Choose the Best EPOS System
First, determine your business needs and goals. Do some research into the different features offered by EPOS systems and what you’re going to need.
Next looking into the different pricing options and payment plans, and determine what will fit your budget. As well as cost, consider the amount of technical and customer support each system offers. If something breaks or you need help, are you going to have to pay extra or wait a long time for it to be fixed? Customer reviews can help you determine this. Have a look on Trustpilot and see what current customers think of the system and support that’s offered.
EPOS Software Features
When choosing the best EPOS system for your business, you need to consider software features. You might want some advanced features, such as stock control and customer loyalty, but make sure the basics are there too. The software should be easy to use and understand so that you can train staff on how to use it effectively. Finally, make sure that the system is reliable and scalable so it can support your business growing over time.
EPOS Hardware Features
When choosing an EPOS system, it is important to consider the hardware of the system. EPOS systems typically include a touch screen till, cash drawer, credit card reader, and printer. Make sure you’re happy with how the hardware looks and that it will fit into your space. Also consider how user-friendly the system is and how much training will be required for staff members.
You may also want to consider additional hardware for your business such as self-service kiosks, customer display screens or digital menus. Check to see if the system offers integrations with what you need.
Make sure to look for an EPOS system that has reliable customer support in case any issues arise or repairs are needed.
EPOS Reporting and Analytics
You’ll need to know the details of your sales for your business to perform well. Look for a system that tracks your data in real time and can be filtered by a specific day, hour or time period.
It’s likely you’ll have other software that’s crucial to your business, whether it’s accounting software such as Xero or Quickbooks, or an online delivery platform like Just Eat. A lot of EPOS systems will offer software integrations that will make your life a lot easier, by automatically sharing data back and forth between the different software.
If it’s your first time buying an EPOS system this might not be top of your list, but once you’ve had one for a while you’ll realise how crucial great customer service is. If your till stops working during the lunch rush, are you going to have to wait on hold for an hour before reaching someone to help? Bad customer service from your EPOS provider can have a direct negative effect on your business. Check out trustpilot reviews for potential providers, and make sure you’ll be able to reach someone easily at the times you’ll need them.
You might also want to think about the help you get with setup and training – a lot of systems are “plug and play” meaning you get sent them by post and have to set up your menus and hardware by yourself, which can take a lot of time. At Gardiff, we take care of all your programming and menu setups, and have a team of engineers who come out, install the hardware and train you how to use the system.
EPOS System Costs
Make sure you read all the fine print before you make your decision. A lot of providers will add in hidden fees or tie you in for longer than first appears. If you’re not sure, then ask the sales rep.
Why should you choose a Gardiff EPOS system?
Our EPOS systems are fully customisable, with the ability to choose what hardware and software features & integrations you need to support your business. A fully connected system means running your business is streamlined and simplified. You and your staff will have more time to focus on giving a great customer experience. You’ll be able to access your reports, insights and make menu changes on any device, even when you’re not onsite.
We pride ourselves on our customer service, offering 365 support from 8am to midnight. When you choose our system we take care of the menu and software set up. We can also schedule in an installation time that’s convenient to you, getting you up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Our rental packages include clear and transparent pricing, with no fixed contracts or renewal fees. These packages start at £20 a week and include full technical support, service calls and on-site maintenance that’s needed.
If you’re looking for a small-business-friendly EPOS system, look no further than the Gardiff. Get in touch with us to learn more.