What You Should Look for in a Deli Point of Sale System

My parents owned a deli many years ago. In the 1980’s they ran their business with electronic cash registers, a digital scale to weigh cold cuts, a calculator, pen, and paper. That was the only affordable technology available for a small retail business. My mother would struggle to tally reports or figure out what products needed to be ordered.

Fast forward to today: if my parents had a cloud based point of sale system built for a deli they would have saved a lot of time, and had the opportunity to expand their business. With so many point of sale options on the market, how should they have chosen one? What makes a good deli POS?

There are 4 key elements that every deli point of sale should have:

  • Easy to use
  • Inventory Management
  • Scale integration and other weight based features
  • Easy to understand reports

Easy to use
If you own a deli you do not want to be bogged down getting a PHD in POS. Look for a POS system that offers ease of use not just in the simple features, but also in those features that you might consider more complex. Look for an interface that is easy to understand and learn so that you can train new employees quickly.

Inventory Management
No matter what type of deli or grocery store you run, accurate inventory is important. Managing your inventory means you will do a better job staying in stock on key items, and it also allows you to do a better job tracking costs and profitability. It’s not easy to build your inventory if you don’t yet have it in a digital format. No matter what system you use to track your inventory, you’ll have to enter key data points so that they can be tracked. Some systems make it a challenge to import or export inventory data – you should make sure whatever system you use does not make this already difficult task more difficult for you.

Once your inventory is in a system you’ve got to manage it. This means tracking inventory that needs to be reordered, ordering and receiving goods, and keeping an eye on strong/weak performing items. A point of sale system cannot do this work for you but it can help to streamline the process and save you time when you work on these tasks. Some functions that can help specifically are the ability to set reorder points, auto generate purchases, and support user permissions so only those who should be making changes to inventory can make changes.

Scale integration
Having an integrated scale and other features to help you track weight based products can help you save time and reduce errors. The following video highlights some of the key weight based features that Bindo offers which you should look for in a system:

Reports
Once you start using a point of sales there will be a lot of data that you can look at to analyze your business. Make sure that the reports that are available to you make that data easy to understand. Look for reports with varying levels of detail (daily vs. hourly vs. per order, for example), and make sure that you can export the reports into a spreadsheet format. Also look for ways to manipulate reports which can help you to do analysis such as identifying your top selling products in a certain date range.

Even though my parents were successful, their business could have grown faster and been more profitable if they had a deli point of sale system. It was sad when they sold their business in the late 1990’s and moved on. I know if they had better technology and some of the things mentioned here things could have been different.

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