The food truck business is booming. As of 2017, research firm Technomic reported food truck sales were increasing by about 15% a year, compared with about 5% for casual dining. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to start their foodservice venture or an established restaurateur in search of a new opportunity, now is the time to get in on the food truck biz.
However, before you can start serving the masses, it’s important to make sure your truck is equipped with all the necessities, including a Point of Sale (POS) system that can meet the demands of this unique fast-casual dining experience. Harbortouch, the United States’ leading provider of POS software and hardware, lists seven must-have features to look for when selecting a food truck POS system.
7 Must-Have POS System Features for Food Trucks
1. A Small Footprint and Ease of Use
One of the great things about a food truck is its versatility and mobility. However, along with a mobile venue comes interior space limitations. This means you’ll need a compact POS system that doesn’t take up valuable space. Similarly, choose a system that’s easy to use (and easy to learn for new employees). This will save you time on training seasonal or per-event staff and day-to-day operations.
2. Reports & Analytics
For any restaurant owner, real-time reports and analytics are crucial to make sure you’re on top of things. POS software should not just give you sales summaries, but also detailed reports such as inventory reports, labor reports, customer reports, and product reports. These can tell you valuable information about what items are low in stock, what’s selling well and what’s not. This data can help you make informed decisions about what to sell, how much to buy of what items, and more. Additionally, POS reports should also tell you when your food truck is the busiest so you can staff accordingly.
3. Customer Loyalty Program
Harbortouch recommends all businesses have a customer loyalty program as these can increase repeat diners and your profits. Many food trucks drive interest through social media. A customer loyalty program can complement your social media efforts and encourage customers to dine and share their experience with others.
4. Always-On Mode
With a food truck, you might not always be working in locations with a reliable internet connection. Cloud-based POS systems typically rely on a strong internet connection to operate, so you should look for a local-based or hybrid-cloud option to avoid any disruptions to your business.
One of the best things about a food truck is its flexibility. You can serve your cuisine just about anywhere, anytime. You’ll need a POS system that’s similarly adaptable. Choose one that enables you to make menu adjustments easily to accommodate stock or venue changes. You’ll also want to be able to adjust the sales tax in case you move from one jurisdiction to another. Furthermore, make sure you can easily change menu prices. Keep in mind you’ll pay much more for a spot at a hot NYC or LA festival than you would for a small community block party, and your menu prices should reflect that to ensure you make money, not lose it.
6. Online Ordering
Fast-casual restaurants should always have online ordering features, but it’s particularly useful for food trucks that are revered for their convenient eats. Letting customers order online is also good for you and your staff, as it makes wait times shorter while letting you plan and prepare ahead. The POS system should integrate with an online ordering platform like DoorDash to make this process as seamless as possible.
7. Mobile Payments
Self-service kiosks and mobile payments are other great ways to enhance the customer experience while increasing service speed. Mobile payments allow customers to pay with new technologies such as Apple Pay or Android Pay using their mobile device. Some customers, particularly at large events such as festivals, prefer this as they may not want to carry cash or cards.
More About Harbortouch
In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program is regularly featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support with no up-front costs.