Over the past decade, the iPad has proved the device of choice for retailers and hospitality providers looking to embrace mobile Point of Sale.
And there’s a host of reasons for this:
As a result, these nifty little devices offer a wealth of potential to streamline your Point of Sale, replacing clunky legacy POS systems that often take up a whole lot of room and rely on expensive hardware.
So what do you need?
Setting up your mobile Point of sale is a lot easier than many imagine, involving hardware (iPads, cash drawers, docket printers), software, and a suitable stand to protect your device.
Even the base model iPad is suited to mobile Point of Sale, but if you’re looking for increased speed, consider a recent model and ensure it has plenty of storage.
The number of iPads you require depends on where you intend to position them and how you plan to use them.
Typically, in a café or restaurant, you would find an iPad (or perhaps a couple) at the front counteracting as the cash register, multiple iPads throughout the restaurant as ‘stations’ where staff can place orders, an iPad at the bar for drinks orders, one in the kitchen, and additional mobile devices for tableside ordering.
Some restaurants also have a dedicated iPad for takeaway, allowing customers to input their own takeaway order.
iPads acting as cash registers will need to connect to a cash drawer. This is most often a wireless connection via Bluetooth or perhaps Wi-Fi.
The payment processor is the dedicated hardware that allows your cash register to process card and digital wallet payments.
It generally also connects to the iPad POS wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If you have multiple registers, such as one at the bar and one at the front counter, you will need multiple payment processors.
Docket printers are also connected wirelessly. They will need to be networked to each iPad so orders can be sent to the relevant area.
Restaurants generally have one in the kitchen and one at the bar, but if there are set areas within the kitchen for desserts, or light snacks, a docket printer in each of these areas is also a good idea.
The mPOS software then allows you to designate what docket printer an order is sent to (ie drinks orders to the bar, food orders to the kitchen, payment receipts to the cash register printer).
One major feature of mPOS is that the data is not stored on a device but rather in the Cloud. That means reliable internet is a must as all your iPads will be networked together and updated in real-time.
There is a vast array of software designed for mobile Point of Sale, and determining the right one depends on the size of your establishment, and what you want that software to do.
The best hospitality mPOS software includes the ability to map out the layout of an establishment for ease of ordering and service, instant real-time reporting, automatic reordering of stock, and warnings when items are running low and may need to be removed from the menu.
Hospitality is a fast-paced environment, which means you will need to protect your iPads with a commercial grade stand.
These stands might be affixed to a countertop, wall-mounted, freestanding or mobile.
Key features to look for include:
If you’re looking to cater to tableside ordering, you want a durable enclosure that caters to mobility, allowing staff to pick up the device in its enclosure and take it to the customer.
Our top hospitality stands include:
You can view our complete range of iPad stands here.