Best Android POS System: 5 Must-Have Restaurant Point of Sale Features
How to find the right Android point of sale (POS) software and hardware for your restaurant‘s needs.
Choosing a point of sale system, also known as a POS, for your restaurant can be harder than meets the eye. There’s so many things to consider: cost/monthly fees, integrations, hardware, customer support, management features, and more. Plus, with so many companies on the market, how do you decide which is the right fit for your unique business?
If you use Apple products in your personal life, such as iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, and iOS software, it can be tempting to implement these same products in your restaurant. But is a consumer-grade solution the right answer for the rigorous and widely varying environment of a kitchen?
Android POS systems may be more suitable for the restaurant environment due to the durability and flexibility offered by Android software and hardware.
Today, let’s dive into the benefits of using an Android POS system in your restaurant, as well as some of the key features you should look for when evaluating a point of sale platform for your business.
Find the right POS for your restaurant's unique needs
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The benefits of using an Android POS system
Before we dive into the must-have features, you may be wondering — what is the benefit of using an Android POS system over something like an Apple iPad tablet? Here are a few of the main advantages to using an Android-based system for your restaurant:
Lower upfront costs
Android devices, such as tablets and smartphones, tend to be more affordable when compared to Apple products, such as iPads. This lower cost can make it more accessible for small businesses with limited budgets.
Compatibility and customization
Android POS systems offer greater flexibility in terms of software compatibility and customization options. Restaurant owners can choose from a wide range of POS software solutions that are specifically designed for the Android platform, allowing them to find the best fit for their unique business needs.
Wide range of hardware options
Android-based POS systems offer a variety of hardware options to choose from. Restaurant owners can select devices that suit their specific requirements, such as restaurant-grade hardware for busy kitchen environments or handheld devices for tableside ordering and payments. This flexibility enables businesses to create a customized POS setup that maximizes efficiency and workflow, all while surviving whatever the restaurant environment throws at it.
Android POS systems can easily integrate with other restaurant management tools and third-party applications. This integration allows for smooth data flow between different systems, such as inventory management, loyalty programs, and online ordering platforms. As a result, restaurant owners can streamline their operations and enhance overall efficiency.
Ongoing support and updates
The Android platform benefits from continuous development and updates, ensuring that POS systems remain up-to-date with the latest features and security enhancements. This ongoing support helps to future-proof the POS system and provides access to new functionalities as they become available.
Toast’s Android POS system for restaurants
Toast POS is built for restaurants. Whether you own a cafe or a brewery, Toast is built for you. Looking for just a couple of terminals to get up and running? Toast’s Starter Kit package may be the right fit. Want to take advantage of the full Toast platform and POS features, such as customer loyalty programs, gift cards, advanced reporting, and more? We’ve got you covered.
With Toast, you can serve up food and drinks fast with efficient and user-friendly tools, all at your fingertips.
But don’t just take it from us. Here’s what others have to say:
The best Android POS systems for restaurants in 2023
Toast ranks #1 in the restaurant POS system category based on consumer reviews. G2 examines over 15 data points to determine market presence, using a combination of proprietary and third-party data, and exclusively uses consumer reviews to determine satisfaction. All of their scoring methodologies are explained in more detail on the G2 website, but we’ll provide a bit more information below.
How the G2 Grid Restaurant Review Scoring System Works
G2’s scoring system is based on thousands of customer reviews and a unique algorithm that helps to process the data and find meaningful patterns and results in real-time. Here’s a breakdown of the different elements in the grid and scoring system.
- X-Axis: Satisfaction, based on user reviews and feedback
- Y-Axis: Market presence, based on proprietary usage data, third-party data, and customer reviews
- Top right quadrant — Leaders: The restaurant POS systems that have both strong customer satisfaction ratings and a strong market presence
- Ex. Toast, Square POS, Lightspeed, Clover
- Top left quadrant — Contenders: POS systems with weak satisfaction scores and a strong market presence
- Ex. NCR Aloha POS
- Bottom right quadrant — High performers: POS platforms with strong satisfaction scores, but a weak market presence
- Ex. Upserve, CAKE
- Bottom left quadrant — Niche: These platforms have weak satisfaction scores and a weak market presence
- Ex. POSitouch, Payfacto
The G2 scoring methodology and grid system incorporate several attributes to surface the most helpful reviews for prospective technology customers. Some of the factors in satisfaction rates include customer satisfaction with product features, popularity, quality of reviews, age of reviews, net promoter scores (NPS), and more.
The top 5 features of an Android POS system for restaurants
Here are some of the top point of sale hardware and software features to look for when evaluating the best Android-based platform for your restaurant.
1. Easy-to-use touchscreen POS terminals with payment processing
Modern point of sale (POS) technologies, like touchscreen terminals, exist to increase efficiency. They ensure that you and your team are always operating at the pace customers expect from your restaurant.
Many POS systems today feature guest-facing screens which allow guests to follow along as they order as well as quickly pay and tip on the screen. This improves order accuracy and speed so your team can keep the line moving.
Best-in-class POS terminals can also take credit card payments and mobile payments via a card reader directly integrated with the POS. Whichever payment processing device you go with, make sure it supports contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) — like Apple Pay and digital wallets — Europay Mastercard and Visa (EMV), and Magnetic Stripe Card (MSR).
The POS terminal is basically the heart of your restaurant technology. When choosing which POS platform to use for your new restaurant, make sure to keep speed, reliability, durability, and the ability to grow with your restaurant in mind.
2. Pricing (and your return on investment)
When choosing a POS solution for your restaurant, it’s important to not only consider pricing but also your return on investment, commonly referred to as ROI. Good technology isn’t cheap; it’s an investment — one that should consistently pay you back.
But ROI isn’t just about saving money. You can calculate your restaurant technology ROI by evaluating how your POS system helps you save time, serve more guests, and turn those guests into loyal customers.
Overall, try not to get tempted by the cheapest POS platform when evaluating options for your new restaurant. A free POS may be enticing, but could create serious issues down the road that cost more than a solid POS system would have. Instead, focus on whether the platform offers what you need. How will it help to build and grow your business? Is it something you can see yourself happy with down the road?
3. Online ordering
There’s no denying the power of online ordering. After all, it’s growing 300% faster than in-house dining.
Online ordering systems help drive revenue for your restaurant, allowing guests to order wherever and whenever. And with no one in line behind them, guests have the opportunity to linger over a menu with no pressure, making them more inclined to get that extra menu item. Plus, allowing the guest to place their own order online leads to more accurate orders, which means happier customers and less wasted inventory.
When choosing whether to go with a third-party online ordering service, such as Grubhub or Uber Eats, or an in-house online ordering solution, be sure to weigh the costs and benefits. While third-party services may allow you to reach customers who haven’t heard about your restaurant before — a huge benefit when you’re opening a new restaurant — they also come with a price: commission fees incurred by the restaurant and no ownership over your own customer data. An in-house online ordering solution helps you control your brand and keep money in your pocket.
But if you do decide to use third-party online ordering services in addition to your own online ordering platform, be sure to go with one that directly integrates with your Android POS system to avoid extra tablets cluttering the counter or double entry by your staff.
Offering online ordering is a great way to get your business in front of folks when they’re hungry and looking for a solution. If your restaurant isn’t online, they’ll find one that is.
4. Employee management
When opening a new restaurant, having your basic operational tools integrated into one system can be a game changer. Rather than jumping from software to software, the convenience of having an all-in-one platform can simplify your tasks as a restaurant owner.
Choosing a POS system that will help speed up employee onboarding, facilitate payroll, and ensure your team is paid on time can be a big stress reliever. Then, add in the ability to schedule employees and communicate with your team, too?!
With Toast Payroll & Team Management and Sling by Toast, restaurateurs can do all of that and more. Save time, reduce miscommunication, and streamline vital HR processes with an integrated POS platform like Toast.
5. Restaurant-grade hardware
If there’s one thing about running a restaurant, it’s that it’s not always glamorous.
And you know what they say about the heat in the kitchen... if you can’t take it, get out (or at least make sure your restaurant hardware can!)
Toast offers restaurant-grade hardware options for all parts of your restaurant. Whether you’re looking for spill-proof terminals and drop-proof handheld POS devices in the form of Android tablets for your front-of-house or a kitchen display system (KDS) that can handle the heat of your back-of-house, Toast has you covered. This is especially important if you’re operating a food truck or bar, where you’re certainly no stranger to bumps and spilled booze.
And remember, Apple iPads may be great for games and social media, but they’re not built to withstand the rigors of a restaurant.
Use this guide to get choose the best restaurant hardware and operating system provider for you
Trusted by restaurants of all sizes, Toast is built for you.
Set your restaurant up for success by opting for a cloud-based Android POS system, like Toast, that will grow with you and allow you to drive great hospitality.
Find the right POS for your restaurant's unique needs
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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.