So you decided to take the leap and open your own Pizza restaurant and now you’re wondering how to manage the orders. You’re going to have to build your own point of sale system. It might seem like a challenge, but with some helpful advice, the process can be made a lot easier.
In this article, we’re going to not only share some helpful advice for first-time pizza restaurant owners but also recommend the best POS systems for your needs.
When you’re done reading this article you’ll be armed with the information that you need to create the perfect point of sale system for pizza restaurants.
Before we get into that, there are a couple of pointers you need to remember. For starters, you might be wondering why pizzerias can’t use the typical point of sale hardware and software you find in regular restaurants.
Can You Use a Classic Restaurant POS System?
The answer to that is you can use the same system, but if you choose one specifically designed for pizzerias, the process becomes a lot easier. On the other hand, with a few modifications, most restaurant point of sales systems can work for pizzas too.
There are a couple of differences. First of all, does your pizza restaurant have tables? Will customers dine-in or mostly order takeout?
Most modern restaurants will equip their staff with Ipads or other tablets to remotely take customer’s orders. Most restaurants still use hand-written notes for orders which can lead to other problems.
On that note, the focus of restaurants is more on the dine-in experience, rather than takeout. Since pizza is a fast-food, the focus is on takeout and delivery.
You also probably don’t need to arm your staff with tablets. Instead, you can manage most of the orders from one terminal or channel, either via an interface or the phone.
Look, what makes pizzas great is you can place an order on the phone and either have the pizza delivered to your home or pick it up. You can also easily order a pizza through an app or their website. Your goal as a pizza restaurant owner is to make the ordering process as easy as possible.
What are the Requirements for a Good Pizza POS System?
To clarify, here are the requirements for a good pizza POS system. These are the basics, the bare minimum.
- Terminal to record and process orders
- Billing options (cash register, online payments, card payments, etc)
- Delivery (boxes, drivers, etc)
- Employee management
- Ingredient tracking
- Panel for front-desk and chefs.
- Sale records
- Overall convenience
In other words, the goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers to order food from your pizzeria, while also making it easy for you to track sales and other important data. We’ll be discussing software and other bundles that meet those requirements.
Luckily, there are plenty of Pizza POS systems, including hardware and software. Before we get into the list of our recommend POS software, let’s run through what type of hardware your pizza POS system needs.
What POS Equipment Does a Pizzeria Need?
Depending on the size of the store, you might not need a lot of equipment. If your pizza store is more of a hole-in-a-wall takeout and delivery location, then you won’t need much.
On the other hand, if it’s a full-scale pizza joint with tables and whatnot, then a more typical restaurant POS system would be favorable. For smaller restaurants, you’ll only need the basic POS hardware.
- Printer for receipts
- Payment processor
- Cash register
- Terminal (PC or Mac).
I would also like to stress the importance of creating a good website with a user-friendly online ordering system. Nowadays, if customers have the option to order online, they’ll take it.
Therefore, an online ordering system is a requirement. Some of the companies we’ll discuss later on provide website solutions too. Make sure the phone number is visible on the website!
Moving on, another important piece of equipment is a phone. It’s essential to be able to take orders on the phone. Usually, no special system is required to take orders from the phone. You listen to the request and fill in the order on your terminal, and the chefs get to work.
Before you decide on a POS software, it’s highly recommended to take the product for a test run, or at least sign-up to their free trial. You need to get a feel of the tool before you invest your cash.
You don’t want to buy an expensive product that’s overly complicated and not what you (and your staff) need. Most of the software below includes free trials and demos.
Now that you have a general idea about what hardware you’ll need, let’s take a look at some software choices:
Pizza POS Software
As I mentioned earlier, classic POS software can be modified for smaller pizza restaurants, but it’s recommended to get software that’s specifically designed for pizzerias. Before we get into the list, let’s run through our criteria.
If you’re wondering what criteria we used to choose our best POS software, here it is:
- Number of Features
- Online Ordering Features
- Website Features
- Takeout and Delivery Management
- Sales Reporting
After researching and testing a lot of companies, we narrowed down our best choices to the ones mentioned below.
1 – Toast
Toast is a great POS software, specifically designed for restaurants. The cool thing about Toast is they have bundles of hardware and software for almost every type of small business, from restaurants to boutiques, and fast-food. I like how they have a section specifically for fast-food.
Toast’s most notable feature is its hand-held device called Toast Go. Toast Go is a handheld device with a built-in card reader that can be used to not only take orders but process card payments too.
One cool feature about this device is it sends orders directly to the kitchen, saving your waiters a trip from the table to the kitchen. Overall, a really handy device.
Now if your restaurant doesn’t have tables, no need to worry. The Toast software also includes online ordering and delivery systems – these are perfect for pizzas!
Toast recently launched a new product called Payroll and Team Management. It’s a unique approach to tracking employees’ performance and payrolls. You can see their total work hours, hourly rate, overtime hours, and much more – very useful for managers.
All in all, Toast has a suite of POS solutions, well worth looking into. My only complaint is the platform is a bit pricey. They charge a monthly fee.
2 – Square
Square is an all in one suite of tools and hardware. As a matter of fact, they also sell POS hardware packages. Square is particularly useful because not only is it flexible but it’s also one of the most budget-friendly choices out there.
But what makes it perfect for pizza restaurants is the fact that it integrates with online orders.
One of their services, called Square Online Store, creates a beautifully designed online store that you can use to sell all kinds of products, including food.
The online store is exceptionally useful for small pizza restaurants because it allows people to place orders and pay online. And if you’re not sure where to buy the POS hardware you need, they have a store specifically for POS equipment.
One notable thing about Square is they have a free app you that’s available on Google Play and IOS store. It’s also free, although slightly limited, the free version should have enough features to get you started.
The good news is instead of charging a monthly fee, they charge based on transaction fees. What this means is you pay a small fee on every transaction done through their platform. It’s good for small business owners, but not ideal for large retail with a large number of transactions.
Overall, Square is a great software. It’s got plenty of features and tools for you to use.
3 – Thrive
Thrive (Thr!ve) is an interesting POS software because its primary focus is on pizza restaurants. It’s also a bit smaller than the other companies, and a little on the lesser-known side.
Instead of offering a complete suite of tools for every restaurant and small business, Thrive narrows it down to Pizzerias, making it the most relevant in our selection.
Even though the software is mainly designed for pizza restaurants, they have plenty of features and tools to choose from.
- Streamlined Order-Entry
- Customer Portfolios
- Management Tools (Labor, Employee Performance, Payroll, etc)
- Online and Mobile Payment Solutions
And much more.
One thing to keep in mind is this company is not a payment processing platform. They also don’t have software and hardware bundles. It’s software only. The software is compatible with most devices and operating systems, such as Windows and Mac.
Thrive is specifically designed for pizza restaurants and delivery systems. Although it doesn’t have as many features as other software, its pizza delivery, and tracking service, are great.
The upside is its cheaper, and specifically designed for pizza restaurants.
4 – TouchBistro POS
TouchBistro is an award-winning restaurant management software. They have solutions for almost every kind of small business, with a focus on restaurants. What makes this software a little different is they are iPad-based.
It’s an all-in-one suite, which includes hardware, software, payment processing, and many other tools. They also have good online ordering and loyalty systems.
One thing most TouchBistro users mention is how easy it is to use. The staff, managers, and owners love the ease of use. It makes everything very simple.
Here are a few of TouchBistro’s best features:
- Create a Floor Plan
- Add Photos and Sides
- Inventory Management
- Customer Portfolio’s
- Employee Management
- And many others.
An interesting thing about this software is it’s a combination of traditional and cloud-based. In other words, if your internet fails, then you can use the backup local network to continue taking orders and tracking data.
While the other companies offer software and hardware bundles, TouchBistro uses Ipads as the main terminal. Your staff can also use the tablet to take orders table-side and what not. In other words, it mainly revolves around using Ipads.
Overall, TouchBistro is a great beginner POS software. Their single packages are budget-friendly too.
When it comes down to it, most of these systems provide enough features to improve your pizza restaurant sales. None of them are particularly bad but some have more features than others.
When it comes to features, we can narrow down the choice to two: Square and TouchBistro.
What is The Best POS Software?
In our opinion, the best POS software is TouchBistro. The reason for that is because not only has it won the Best 2017 Restaurant Management Software Award but it also has many more features than the other platforms.
My only complaint is the systems are Ipad and Mac-based, so if you’re not familiar with that operating system, it might take some getting used to. Otherwise, it’s an awesome POS software, and with a bit of work, it can work great for your pizza store.
If you’re not sure if it’s right for you, consider requesting a demo.
Always had the dream of opening a pizzeria but have no idea where to start? Now you should understand how point of sale systems work and the best software to use to manage your business.
If you TouchBistro doesn’t feel right to you, I would go with the second-best option, Square. It has more of a learning curve, but with a few modifications and tweaks, you can create a practical system.
With the right system, you can streamline every process, from ordering takeout online to processing table-side payments, and staff management. It can have a positive effect on your profit, that’s for sure.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article about the best pizza POS software for restaurants. I hope you learned something new and it gave you the push you need to make a final decision on POS systems.