A restaurant mobile POS system is simply a handheld POS system. Typically this is an Android tablet or an iPad. A handheld POS makes your order taking process faster. Making the flow of orders smoother. How? With a handheld POS system, the server can attend multiple tables in quick succession. Without having to move back and forth to the POS system, typically placed in one corner of the restaurant.
Back in the days, there were bulky POS systems in restaurants. All other external connections had to be placed near the main system, leaving the counter table, a ‘wired’ mess. And server would take orders, walk all the way to this physical system, punch the order, then shuttle the Kitchen Order Ticket to the kitchen, pick up prepared food items and buss them to the table. You can imagine that this is a complicated workflow. Not to mention the busier days of your restaurant when this complexity multiplies.
However, with the introduction to mobile POS systems, order processing has become more organized. The mobile POS devices today are compact and easier to carry around. Your mobile restaurant POS system takes care of all the operations you could possibly think of – billing, inventory to data reports. And what’s better? You can access it from anywhere!
What is a mobile POS (mPOS) system?
As the name suggests, a mobile POS system, often referred to as mPOS, is any portable device via which you can access your restaurant’s POS system, irrespective of where you’re stationed in the restaurant. Servers carry tablets or iPads and do everything on them that you would in a regular POS system. And accessing your sales data is easier with a mobile POS system. Even if you’re out for a meeting, all you need to do is log into your POS software on this device and you’re good to go.
A mobile POS device could be anything, a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. Anything that can be conveniently carried around without having to worry about the size or weight.
The major crossroad where most restaurants get stuck at is, Android tablet POS system or iPad POS system? This eventually leads to the question of operating systems and which one to choose.
Which mobile restaurant POS device should you use?
While mobile POS is very convenient and makes your job smooth, you often bump into questions like, “Which POS Operating System should I use for my restaurant?” or “Which mobile restaurant POS device will be the best for me?”.
You can answer this inevitable question once you’re well aware of the two Operating Systems and all that they offer. Based on this, you can decide which mobile POS system would be the perfect fit for your restaurant.
We all have that one friend who is always up for the heated Apple vs Android debate.
No, I’m not going to be that friend.
Let us look at these two operating systems individually, following which you can form an opinion and take a decision.
Restaurant Android mobile POS System
Ever since its introduction to the market, Android has been the leading operating system since 2011. Even though Apple has a more glamorous appeal, people prefer Androids for the many features it offers, at a really decent price.
Android POS advantages
A mobile android POS system can be bought at an affordable price. Installation cost is also low. Depending on the amount you are willing to invest in your restaurant management system, you can select which android POS device would help you run better.
Read here to know how a restaurant POS system helps you save money.
- A choice of sizes and form factors
Android has plenty of options for you to choose from. Tons of different manufacturers and companies with various types of models. You can choose the size that works best for your restaurant.
- Easy to use
Androids are user-friendly and built in such a way that it can be easily operated by someone who is using it for the first time.
Android POS systems have large storage spaces so you can be very comprehensive about your data. You can even opt for external memory storage that is flexible in terms of expansion.
Not only is an Android POS system affordable, but it’s also very durable when it comes to extensive usage. If you are a really fast-paced restaurant you wouldn’t have to worry about slight wear and tear. The devices can be easily replaced, in case that happens.
- Life of the device
The life of an Android POS system is considerably long. The average life span of a typical Android tablet is 4-5 years. But then again, it also depends upon the kind of tasks it is subjected to.
- Software updates
Android being an open system allows smooth updates in the POS software system without disrupting the daily functions of your restaurant.
Android POS hardware systems have a lot of ports that can be connected to various peripherals and external devices. The software too can be molded and customized according to the restaurant type, seasons, festivals, current trends, etc.
Restaurant iPad mobile POS System
While Androids maybe cheaper, iPads are synonymous with intuitive design and ease of use. iPads demand a higher price, only because of the quality services provided by iOS. Not to forget the sleek built. Also, they just look cooler.
iPad POS advantages
From a developer’s perspective, iOS offers a better platform for new apps. It is quick in updating apps that have a mass appeal. The different apps will help you change your POS system according to what’s new in the restaurant industry.
- Better appeal
All Apple products have a beautiful build that captures the eyes of most. Believe it or not, the slender and shiny look also contributes to Apple devices being more famous.
- Average life
An iPad lives for about 4 years. It could be less if heavy tasks are being performed on it.
- Highly secure
iOS’s internal system is highly secure and hence it can’t be cracked into, as each system is unique in its built. It’s also very active in its security updates. User privacy is a priority for Apple hence their software updates are frequent and requires you to worry less about your data going into the wrong hands.
- Synchronized connections
All the accessories that come with the hardware are in complete sync. This means that even if there is a possible breach in privacy, the bugs can be easily identified and removed from all the synced devices.
Android or iPad restaurant mobile POS System?
Now that the specific features of both Android and iOS POS systems have been discussed, you can move ahead in deciding the mobile POS system you would choose for your restaurant.
No one knows your restaurant better than you. Both Android and iPad POS systems can be customized according to your restaurant’s requirements. You can revise the features of your POS system regularly with ease.
In early 2018, around 62% of all the tablets sold across the world were android based whereas iPads held a share of 28.8%. Now, I’m not planting an idea in your head but it looks like Android has seized the day.
Android and iOS restaurant mPOS system: Quick comparison
Tablets and iPads each have their own selling points. Similarly, each restaurant is different in many ways. Therefore, the kind of restaurant you own is the deciding factor for the kind of POS system that will be the most compatible with it.
While android POS systems are the most easily accessible devices when it comes to exhaustive usage in a busy restaurant, iPad based POS systems are more customer friendly.
|Features||Android POS system||iOS POS system|
|Equipment Cost||There are plenty of tablets available today whose price ranges between 10,000/- to 80,000/-||iPads cost anything between 28,000/- to 1,00,000/-|
|Battery||After being completely charged, typically runs up to 8-10 hours and more.||Lasts up to 10 hours. Requires constant charging overtime.|
|Warranty||Depends on the manufacturer. Most companies have a warranty period of 1 year.||1 year from the date of purchase.|
|Mount support||Various mounts are available depending on the size of the device.||iPads have sleeves. Mounting becomes difficult since mounts are not easily available.|
|User Interface||Training wouldn’t require much time.||Simplified features and known the world over for ease of use.|
|Software Safety||Higher chances of corruption and duplication as there are various companies developing android based devices.||Having a closed system and a few devices only developed by Apple makes it more secure in terms of any malware infection.|
|Hardware Safety||Less prone to thefts.||Highly susceptible to getting lost or stolen since it’s more attractive and expensive.|
|External hardware connections||Can be connected to different external hardware devices like barcode reader, printer, etc.||Tricky when it comes to connecting to external devices as it needs to be compatible with iOS.|
|Software Updates||Smooth software updates at regular intervals.||Software updates may affect the regular functioning, as the system needs to acquire access based on the update.|
|Maintenance||The life of an Android POS system is longer with minimal maintenance cost.||Being less durable, the cost of maintenance is higher.|
|Wow factor||Not known to be especially well-designed.||The quality is definitely better. iPads are slim, lightweight and less glitchy.|
Your POS system is the powerhouse of your restaurant. One on hand, it simplifies the most basic tasks like billing and on the other, all important inventory reports, customer data and more.
After having carefully analyzed the different features of both, as a restaurant owner, it truly comes down to your decision for the kind of mobile POS operating system that would go well with your restaurant. Choosing a mPOS system that will help you, in the long run, makes more sense than investing in something that would require constant supervision and care.
Here’s to selecting the best mobile POS system for your restaurant! Cheers!
Read more: With the constant technological advancement in the POS world, here are some trends to look out for in 2019.