As a business owner, it's important that you have a comprehensive, up-to-date, point of sale system. However, many restaurant managers are unaware that the typical retail POS systems aren't suitable for businesses that sell food.

While all systems are similar at their core, standard shop POS solutions have a lot of shortcomings when it comes to processing restaurant transactions. If you want to maximise your profits and keep customers happy, you should choose a system that caters to the unique workings of restaurant inventory and billing.

If you're unsure why, take a look at these two main reasons why you need a restaurant-specific POS.

You Need Detailed Inventory

In a shop, tracking inventory is very simple. When a shop owner sells a t-shirt, for example, they only need to keep track of one singular piece of inventory--the t-shirt itself. However, when you sell a burger or a plate of pasta, you're not just selling a single meal. You're selling all the individual ingredients that make up that dish, and each one of those ingredients needs to be recorded. That's why restaurants need POS systems with more detailed inventory tracking than shop owners do.

A restaurant POS system will be able to the ingredients used in a meal right down to their specific quantities. Good restaurant POS systems will even track the ingredients in meals that include customisation requests like 'extra sauce' or 'no cheese'. This allows restaurant owners to reduce food waste, keep track of ingredient costs, and ensure they always have the right produce on hand to make the meals customers want.

You Need Itemised Billing

Sales in shops are fairly simple. Once a customer buys an item, the sale is finalised. They may choose to return their purchase, but that's a simple transaction. Billing in restaurants can be a lot more complicated because transactions take place over the course of the meal. For example, diners often purchase more drinks and dishes after their initial order. They may also make specific requests that come with additional costs, such the aforementioned example of asking for extra cheese.

Only restaurant-specific POS systems can handle this type of transaction smoothly. Their itemised billing features allow you to make unlimited modifications to an order at any time. They also make it easy for diners to split the cost of their meal between everyone on the table, which is an increasingly common request in the current economy.