POS Device and Network Overview:
A Point of Sale (POS) system can have many pieces that work together to make allow your business to run smoothly.
POS Terminal: A computer where the employee rings up the customer’s desired order. In a busy restaurant or retail store there might be a dozen of these or more. Each terminal could have a barcode scanner, a scale for measuring item weight, a Debit PinPad, and/or a customer display (so the customer sees the total due, etc).
Receipt Printer: Each POS terminal will typically have an attached thermal receipt printer. This allows for guest checks and payment receipts to be printed. In some cases, the receipt printer can also print orders. For example, if there is not a dedicated drink printer at the bar, the receipt printer at the bartender’s POS terminal may be configured so that when others in a restaurant order drinks the ticket for those drinks prints to the bartender.
Kitchen/Bar Printers: A restaurant may have several kitchen printers so that each station quickly and accurately gets the information it needs. For example, there could printers for “grill”, “cold”, “salad”, “pizza”, “expediter”, “bar”, etc. The larger the kitchen area, the more printers will make sense. Sometimes a ticket may print at multiple printers. For example, if a customer orders a grilled chicken Caesar salad, the grill will need to know to grill the chicken someone else may need to assemble the salad.
Thermal vs Dot Matrix printers: Thermal printers use heat to make letters on the paper. If a thermal printer is used near a pizza oven, for example, the printed ticket will turn black and be difficult to read. Another consideration is that thermal printers are very quiet. Dot matrix make a louder noise that the cooks often like because it alerts them that a new ticket is printing.
Kitchen Video System: Walk into any high volume fast food restaurant and you’ll be sure to see a monitor on the wall at each station full of food items needed for the current orders.
Caller ID: If a restaurant does a significant volume of delivery or carry out, it will make sense to have a Caller ID unit to recognize an incoming caller’s phone number and use it to begin the ticket. This saves time and confusion of entering the same information every time the customer calls in.