Is it the first time you are implementing a point of sale system (POS) or are just looking for a better upgrade for your restaurant? Regardless of the case, you need to treat your business to the very best. Square happens to be one of the best restaurant POS providers you should try out today.
As you may have realized, restaurant POS by this provider does not require any monthly subscription. Again, you will find the web Dashboard and Mobile App components of the system relatively easy to implement and use.
The cloud-based POS system is exclusively designed for use on iOS devices. As of now, this restaurant software may only be used on iPads. Throughout this review, you will learn why this POS system is so popular among restaurant owners today.
Square POS for Restaurants Review – A Bit About the Company
The Square POS provider was formerly popular for the innovative Square Register and Square Retail. Following the success of these two products, the provider unveiled a POS solution that is tailor-made for restaurants.
Just as the other products by this provider, Square for restaurants has been a huge success. All in all, Square is renowned for simple design and enhanced functionality. Additionally, Square POS for restaurants is relatively affordable and easy to understand.
As you will come to learn, this product offers a solid reporting suite, comprehensive employee and Inventory management functionality. Some of the features offered by this POS may be basic, but it gets the job done right.
Square POS Benefits
- Delivery options are included
- Comes with access to Square App Marketplace
- Cost efficient
- Sign up process is easy and straightforward
- Features an offline mode
Square POS Drawbacks
- The back end functionality of the POS is rather weak
Square POS Pricing
While shopping for the right restaurant POS system, it is advisable to go for an industry-specific, feature-rich option. However, your choice will eventually boil down to what you can afford. Square POS for restaurants is packed with great restaurant-specific features, but how much does it cost?
The much you will end up paying on this system will depend on the software costs, hardware costs and payment processing fees. Mentioned below are some of the factors that will affect Square POS pricing.
Square POS software may be standard for all restaurants, but hardware needs will differ from one business to another. The POS hardware you will need will depend on your business setup and the size of the restaurant.
For instance, a small restaurant may only need an iPad and a credit card reader to implement Square for Restaurant. At this point, you need to understand that POS hardware is priced per unit. As such, the more hardware components you require, the more you will end up paying.
Larger restaurants may require Self-checkout kiosks, scales, bar code scanners and card drawers. In such a case, you should add the cost of each of each component. For the first station, this provider will charge an upfront cost of $60. Additional POS stations are charged $40 a month.
Most of the leading iPad Restaurant POS systems require users to purchase a monthly subscription plan. Well, this is not the case with Square for Restaurant. The basic POS software does not require any monthly payments. However, the software only offers basic restaurant POS features.
To get additional functionality, you will have to integrate the system with the various add-ons offered by the provider. Unlike the software, the add-ons come at a cost. POS add-ons by this provider are billed monthly per employee and cost between $25 and $75 per month.
Payment Processing Fees
Square offers Merchant payment gateway service to its customers. However, you also have the option to choose a third-party payment gateway provider. If you decide to use Square to process payments, you will be charged 2.6 percent + 10 cents for each swipe, dip or tap transaction.
Such rates are normally applicable to smaller businesses that record a smaller number of transactions. If you process a large number of transactions in your business, you can negotiate with the provider for better rates.
Square Restaurant POS Features & Capabilities
Despite its affordability, Square offers a considerable number of restaurant-specific features and capabilities. The basic feature suite offered by this provider has been proven to be suitable for small to medium-sized restaurants.
However, larger businesses may need to integrate Add-on services to the POS in order to get advanced functionality. While the system does not have everything you would expect a top-rated POS system to have, it excels in several areas.
Discussed below are some of the features that make this restaurant POS stand out:
1. Offline Functionality
Unlike many other iOS cloud-based POS systems in the market, Square for Restaurants features an Offline Mode. As such, you will still be able to swipe cards and get several other POS capabilities whenever there is no signal.
In this regard, the swiped payments that you process in Offline Mode will be queued to be processed later—when the connection is restored. Even in Offline Mode, Square is known to offer state-of-the-art security.
As such, data for the swiped payments when the system is offline will be encrypted and securely stored in the device. This data may be stored in the device for up to 72 hours and later transferred to Square servers when connection is restored.
2. Square Analytics
Without the right actionable data on your business, it will be hard for you to make informed business decisions. The Analytics feature of this product has all the tools you need to collect business data and analyze it to get an overview of the restaurant.
With Square Analytics, you do not have to wait for the day to end for you to get important reports. Instead, the system will generate real-time reports on various aspects whenever you need them. at a glance, this feature will help you understand your current bottom line.
This Square for Restaurant feature has been proven to have numerous benefits for restaurants, including:
- Powerful and detailed reports on locations, items and employees
- Offers customer insights
- Gives you access to real-time business data
- You may access Analytics on the go from the Dashboard app or the Web Dashboard
3. Table Mapping
Table mapping, referred to as floor mapping in several other restaurant POS systems is an important feature that some people tend to overlook. While this feature is available in many of the best restaurant POS systems, Table Mapping by Square is unique.
In this regard, Square offers you the tools you need to map out the arrangement of tables and chairs in the establishment. To begin with, the intuitive interface is not all that flashy, but rather uses a basic color-coding system.
This feature is relatively easy to use and highly customizable. As such, you will be able to map out the entire restaurant on the POS system in a matter of minutes. The system allows you to customize the floor layout using the intuitive color-coding system.
4. Check Splitting
Managing guest checks is an important POS task in restaurants today. As such, Square allows you to split checks with ease. With this capability, you may individually assign items to your customers. Additionally, the restaurant POS allows you to cut bills into halves, quarters or thirds with a single tap.
As you will come to learn, Square POS for Restaurant is capable of using multiple forms of tender to complete payments as well. In such a case, a receipt showing the total sale amount, type of tender and all items sold will be issued for each of the tender types used.
Before trying to split tender, you need to ensure that your Square POS App is up to date. With the Smart Split functionality, you can as well split a payment evenly across multiple cards.
5. Delivery Integration
A good number of restaurants are offering food delivery services today. For such an establishment, it only makes sense to get a POS system that supports delivery services. In this regard, the Square POS provider has partnered with Caviar.
This partnership allows restaurant owners to set up pick-up and delivery options in their businesses. By integrating such options with your POS system, you will be able to manage pick-up and delivery features from the POS system
This feature also allows you to customize Delivery, For Here and Pick up options.
6. Table Management
This feature is particularly useful for the higher-end restaurants. The Table Management feature by Square allows you to plot out coursing. In this regard, you will find it easy to switch items between coursing, before you send them to the kitchen.
Again, the feature helps you track the duration customers have been waiting for their orders at each of the tables in the restaurant. Table Management will also help you track the status of the various orders placed in the business.
7. Menu Creation
Like most of the leading restaurant POS systems today, Square makes it easier for you to create and customize menus. With Square, you will be able to create as many menus as you think your restaurant needs. With a single tap, you can switch between the various menus you have in the restaurant.
With regards to customization, this system allows you to add descriptions and pictures to the various menu items. Again, the menu creation tools offered by this provider will also help you set happy hour events, special sales and discounts.
In this regard, the system allows you to set up such events with special pricing, before implementing them automatically.
8. Customer Loyalty
A good restaurant POS system should help you collect and manage your customers’ information. Square goes a step further to offer you the very best of this functionality. The Customer Loyalty feature will create an extensive customer directory.
In addition to storing customer information in a manner that is easily accessible, this system is also capable of tracking individual purchases.
Other tasks you will be able to accomplish with the Square Customer Loyalty feature include:
- Seamlessly importing existing customer lists
- Assigning loyalty or VIP status to your repeat customers
- Store credit cards in the POS system for future use
9. Automatic Gratuity
This is one of the selling points of the Square Restaurant point of sale system. In its functioning, Automatic Gratuity makes it possible for you to create automatic gratuity prompts. By creating these gratuity prompts for your customers, you will be able to increase profits for the business.
Similarly, this capability makes it possible for you to include specific percentages, especially for the larger groups.
10. Employee Management
Managing your employees is not just important for processing the payroll; it helps you streamline operations and optimize their productivity. However, managing your employees effectively can be a daunting task. To make things easier, Square for Restaurants is equipped with an array of employ management tools.
To begin with, this system will help you combat fraud in your business by tracking discounts and voids. The system will also offer you detailed employee sales reports. You may use such reports to ascertain per-hour labor performance or reward the best performing employees.
Your Square Employee Management feature will also track cash drawer openings and notify you of any suspicious behavior. Other tasks that may be accomplished using this functionality include:
- Tracking employees’ hours when they sign into the system
- Manage employee data remotely from anywhere
- Transfer employees’ hours to Square Payroll
- Give each employee a log-in code to the system
- Manage employee access permissions
As mentioned earlier in this review, Square is a relatively basic restaurant POS system. As such, some of its features like reporting are just basic. If you have not integrated the system with any add-ons or third party reporting services, you will only be able to get standard reports.
As one of the standard reports, the system will let you know about the type and amount of discounts being offered in the restaurant at any given time. The reporting feature allows you to manage your restaurant sales by bulk, floor plan or using specific modifier sets.
The system also makes it easier for you to quickly review labor costs. In this regard, the POS will present them in a simple to process layout. In addition to these capabilities, you will also be able to set up multiple customized reports based on your specific needs.
12. Tableside Ordering
As one of the best Mobile POS system providers, Square presents you with a complete POS solution for taking orders and processing payments at the tables. As such, servers do not need to walk all the way back to the stationery POS systems to fire an order.
Instead, the innovative POS App allows them to take orders and send them directly to the kitchen from the table. This capability has been proven to reduce ordering errors considerably. Additionally, it enhances staff efficiency and reduces time wastage.
13. Credit Card Processing
The Square restaurant POS provider also doubles as a payment processor. As a matter of fact, this is one of area where the provider excels. As a payment processor, Square is compatible with almost all payment forms available today.
In this regard, the system accepts Android Pay, Apple Pay as well as all major credit cards. However, you need to invest in the right hardware components to be able to process such payments with the Square Gateway Processor.
Provided that you have the required hardware components, you will be able to accept tap, swipe and dab payments with your Square POS system. Additionally, the system features a tipping walk-through that is rather intuitive.
14. Reliable Customer Service and Support
Basically, Square customer support is available from 6 AM to 6 PM. should you need assistance outside these hours, you may be issued with a customer code by the provider. Currently, the provider does not a dedicated customer support page, from where customers can troubleshoot for common problems.
However, the provider offers one of the best community forums in the industry today. As such, you may also use this community forum to get a solution for your POS problem. Alternatively, you may contact the responsive and knowledgeable customer support team at Square via email.
Once you have established contact with live customer support representative, you will be guided through your issue. As you will come to learn, their friendly representatives are committed to ensuring that your POS problems are completely resolved.
Our Final Verdict
Formerly renowned for Square for Retail and Square Register, the POS provider unveiled another product for restaurants. Thus far, the Square for Restaurants hardware and software solutions appears to be doing exceptionally well. According to most of its users, Square restaurant POS is as advertised.
All in all, this POS solution couples simple restaurant POS features with a few complex elements for enhanced efficiencies, productivity and profitability. Although this is an affordable restaurant POS alternative, it has the features you need to take your business to the next level.