Owning and operating a food truck business is different from other restaurant establishments. However, one thing they have in common is the need for a point-of-sale (POS) system. More specifically, this kind of business will require a food truck POS with the right POS features.
If you’re opening a food truck business or already operating one, chances are that you’ve come to realize how different it is from other businesses. Food truck businesses focus on quick order turnarounds, usually comfort food recipes, and often local ingredients.
Given these facts, food and hospitality business owners should consider the mobility, flexibility, and cost of their tools. This includes their food truck POS system. Keep reading to learn about the ideal POS system features your food truck business needs to succeed.
What Are Food Truck POS Features?
Food truck POS features do more than just process payments. They offer inventory management functionality, reporting, analytics, sales monitoring, inventory ordering, customer relationship management, and employee management. Other POS features include customer service and support options, accounting, and purchase ordering.
POS systems help businesses run smoothly, and they have become essential in the restaurant industry. While every restaurant has different needs, POS features and functions have become tailored based on the restaurant's needs.
Food truck business owners provide customers with meals while avoiding the high overhead expenses of brick and mortar restaurants. However, owning a food truck business still has its challenges. Some include inventory management and sales tracking.
A food truck POS system helps ensure a proper inventory management process and helps with sales tracking. However, it’s essential to choose a system with the right POS features, like a customer facing display.
Key Takeaway: Having the right food truck POS system will allow you to process orders and payments while ensuring business operations run smoothly.
6 Best POS Features for a Food Truck Business
A food truck isn’t too small of a business to have a POS system. In fact, a food truck POS will set your business up for success, especially if it’s cloud-based. This will allow your business to grow and deliver excellent service no matter where you’re parked for the day.
Having a reliable food truck POS system will improve your net profit. However, that POS system should have the right features.
Here are six POS features for your food truck business:
1. Customer and Sales Reporting
For any restaurant business–food trucks included–one of the biggest challenges is attracting and retaining customers. With proper food truck POS software, this isn’t so hard.
Restaurant point of sale systems with reporting and analytic integrations allow businesses to keep track of their performance in real-time. Cloud-based POS systems also allow you to have access to this information away from desktop computers and in-house servers.
2. Menu Management
It’s common for food truck menus to change frequently. This can be daily, weekly, or as the seasons change by making a seasonal menu. It’s also possible for you to have multiple menus such as a happy hour menu, a food and wine pairing menu, or a dessert menu.
Different menus oftentimes mean different prices, and those prices may change over time. With menu management software integrated into your POS system, you can keep track of your menus on one platform.
Menu management allows the business owner to change, update, and run promotions on different menus and items. With cloud-based POS software, it’s possible to update menus remotely.
3. Inventory Management
Even though a food truck business is smaller than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, managing inventory isn’t always a walk in the park. To ensure you have a handle on inventory control and managing practices, you need proper inventory management.
A food truck POS system with inventory management will give you a clear understanding of what inventory you have and what needs replenishing. This will reduce your margin of error and shrinkage, and allow you to focus on serving your customers instead of manually checking inventory.
4. Mobile Ordering and QR Code Functionality
Making your customers wait should be prevented wherever possible. With mobile ordering functionality, your food truck customers will have control over their ordering experience. They will be able to take their time browsing the menu, place their orders, and pay through contactless payments.
Creating a custom restaurant QR code for your food truck will enable guests to serve themselves. With this feature, once the customer places their order, they can hang out in your seating area or do something else until they get a text saying their order is ready.
5. Loyalty Program Integrations
Every restaurant wants to have loyal customers, including food trucks! Loyal customers are the ones that keep coming back. One way to engage with your customers and get them to become loyal customers is with a loyalty program.
A restaurant loyalty program provides customers with an incentive to keep coming back. These programs can be integrated into your food truck POS system.
Older loyalty programs typically involved a punch or stamp card. However, modern customer retention strategies involve loyalty programs that are digital, online, or simply require a phone number.
A food truck POS system with loyalty program POS features will allow you to quickly sign up new customers for loyalty programs and look up existing ones. They are also used as part of the email marketing strategy for many companies. This is because they can target specific customers based on the data that is collected through the loyalty program.
6. Solid Internet Connection
A food truck business is typically on the go. In fact, some food trucks change locations daily to ensure they hit the prime locations for their niche market. A solid Wi-Fi connection is essential for this business and having one set up within the truck is ideal. With a solid internet connection, you can focus on serving your customers while ensuring that your POS system and other efficient business systems are working properly.
POS Systems for a Food Truck
Finding the right POS for food truck businesses will depend on the needs of the business. Once you figure out your business needs, you can explore the options available to you.
Here are three POS systems designed specifically for food truck businesses:
As a POS system that was created to accommodate all kinds of businesses, Clover also specializes in businesses in the restaurant industry. Clover offers top-notch mobile point of sale system options and solid POS features, making it the best all-around choice of POS software.
There are different plans available based on the business or industry types. Clover’s simplest plan starts at $39.95 per month. It offers reporting and real-time sales tracking, online store integration, split checks, tip management, employee scheduling integration, and payment processing.
Another popular POS system provider is Square. It’s a simple and intuitive system that offers mobile POS hardware options. It’s also a food truck POS system that offers free software for users.
The Square POS software is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Users get a free mobile card reader that plugs into their device and allows them to accept swipe payments.
While Square offers free POS software with no monthly fees, there are also advanced POS features that you can get for a monthly cost. Advanced plans start at $60 per month.
Originally created for the restaurant industry, TouchBistro is a POS system that offers functionality for all food businesses, including food trucks. TouchBistro had various features and its system allows you to bundle different plans based on your needs. Pricing starts at $69 per month.
For many food truck businesses, TouchBistro is the ideal POS solution thanks to its easy-to-use interface and expansive software options. Even though an internet connection is not required in order for you to use TouchBistro, the system uses cloud reporting. This gives you access to business data from remote locations.
Frequently Asked Questions About POS Systems for Food Trucks
When it comes time to consider buying a food truck POS system, it’s important to know what to look for. For most businesses, it’s a system with POS features such as menu management and offline capabilities. They should also look into whether they want an Apple POS or Android POS system.
However, that’s not all. Read through the questions and answers below to get a better understanding of POS for the food truck business.
What Are Main POS Features?
The six most common POS features include:
- Inventory management
- Consistent point of sale report and analytic options
- Multi-store management
- Menu management
- Supplier purchasing integrations
- Invoicing such as selling, buying, and renting
What Is a Food Truck POS System?
A food truck POS system is a kind of business software that records orders and accepts payments for a food truck business. It acts as the payment processing center for orders. Food truck POS systems also offer inventory management features along with analytics.
How Do You Take Payments on a Food Truck?
These are three ways to take payment through a food truck:
- POS system
- Mobile payments
- Payment gateway