This article will discuss why it is essential to have a sound POS (point of sale) system for any food truck you wish to start and what to look for in a POS system. Finally, this article will review four options in NCR, Clover, Payline, and EasyEats.
The Importance of a Food Truck POS System
An effective and efficient POS is essential to running a profitable food truck. It allows the user to process various payment types and numerous orders quickly. It streamlines many other aspects of the business, such as inventory, employee management, marketing and customer loyalty programs.
An effective POS system also allows the user to process orders quickly. This can help meet the expectation of fast service that often comes with operating a food truck.
What to look for in a Food Truck POS System
Offline functionality is essential for food trucks. On any given day, a food truck may have to operate in an area without reliable internet coverage. You do not want to lose revenue because your POS cannot process orders without an internet connection.
Suitable Hardware for Food Trucks
The hardware needs to be both compact and durable to be used extensively in the cramped space of a food truck. It also needs to be able to withstand very hot and spill-prone work environments and be dust and steam-resistant.
Hardware that does not meet these requirements risks malfunction due to the inability to handle the realities of a food truck. Too bulky hardware leads to wasted space that could be used for preparing orders.
Customization and flexibility of a given system are also essential to consider as each food truck will have different needs. Flexibility in terms of contracts is vital as some food trucks may only operate seasonally and cannot afford lengthy contracts.
New food trucks often cannot afford to pay for extra services or functions they do not need. This makes service customization especially valuable to new food truck owners.
Any potential POS system for a food truck must be user-friendly for the truck’s owner, employees, and customers. A simple and easy-to-use interface is important. It allows food truck owners and employees to work quickly when dealing with lots of orders.
It also cuts down on time required to train employees to operate the system efficiently.
Free Trial and Termination Fees
The option for a free trial and no termination fees is another important component of a potential POS service for a food truck. Services offering free trials are beneficial. As they allow a new food truck time to properly evaluate whether that system works for them before purchasing.
This can be especially helpful to new food truck operators with limited resources to spend on a POS system that may not meet their specific needs. This also gives them flexibility in the early business as they figure out how to start a food truck.
Along this same vein, POS services that include termination fees may not be ideal for food trucks as the business needs are likely to change.
Marketing and Customer Loyalty
Marketing and customer loyalty are critical for the successful operation of a food truck. POS services that can integrate with these are beneficial. This allows the owner of a food truck to spend less time personally managing marketing or spending more money on another party to manage it.
In addition, POS integration with marketing and customer loyalty helps to further streamline operations. Attracting new customers and keeping them coming is especially important for new food trucks.
Food Truck Online Ordering
Online ordering is another consideration for a food truck POS system. Customers may wish to order their food ahead of time to avoid long lines. standing in less than ideal weather.
Having the capacity to take online orders can allow you to enhance the experience of your customers by giving them options for ordering from your food truck.
POS Systems Available for Food Trucks
Learning about POS systems is a critical part of knowing how to start a food truck. There are numerous POS systems available that can fill the needs of your food truck. This section will provide a quick overview of some POS systems including NCR, Clover, Payline, and EasyEats.
NCR is a well-established and top-of-the-line POS service that numerous businesses use. Conveniently it also meets several of the critical criteria discussed earlier.
- Can operate offline – no need to worry about an internet connection to process orders.
- Their hardware has an incredibly user-friendly interface. Very convenient for food trucks to keep up with orders at peak times.
- Offers additional employee and inventory management services.
- The hardware setup is included with a contract
- Compatible with both iPads and Android tablets.
NCR has numerous benefits as a food truck POS. But, there are some limitations that food truck owners should be aware of. Hardware leases can be expensive and termination fees for users wishing to transition to another POS system. NCR also requires a long-term contract. This further complicates matters if you wish to change to a different system or operate seasonally.
NCR also does not offer a plan with a 0% processing fee; at minimum, you will have to pay 2.25% + $0.15 cents per transaction. This can quickly cut your profits if much of your business relies on small purchases.
Clover is another solid choice for any new food truck especially with the flexibility of its hardware.
- The hardware is ideally suited for a cramped food truck. Clover’s handheld devices take up very little space within a food truck.
- These devices’ compact nature also allows you to adjust how you serve customers and customize your food truck experience.
- Offers additional services such as online ordering, marketing, and inventory management.
- Provides third-party integrations and customer loyalty programs to enhance your business.
- Offers several different hardware options for you to choose from.
Clover’s devices are straightforward to set up, with many ready to go once you take them out of the box. The hardware can also handle various payment processing options from PIN and Chip payments to Tap to Pay. As such, Clover offers any food truck a variety of options for hardware that can allow them to customize their point of sale system.
With Payline, you can use NCR or Clover hardware for your point of sale system. You can have the flexibility and ease of setup with Clover, the user-friendly interface of NCR, and the offline functionality of both systems with Payline. Additional benefits include:
- Very transparent pricing options for you to choose from. Click here to see how much Payline’s service would cost with our useful cost calculator.
- Transparent pricing is not the only benefit of Payline, as we also offer a free trial for you to try out our service.
- If you like our service, you will not have to sign some long-term contract that may be incredibly costly. Your agreement with Payline would be month to month.
- Cancel at any time without expensive termination fees. It is especially useful for food trucks that only operate seasonally
Payline offers new food truck owners the opportunity to try a POS system with a free trial. Payline also offers a surcharging option. It allows you to pass on the processing costs of payment to your customers. You do not have to pay a percentage of each purchase to us as your customers take care of it for you.
EasyEats is an excellent alternative option that Payline partners with. If Payline does not have the service you require, EasyEats should be able to help you.
- Service is specifically designed for food trucks, whether they are just starting up or have been in operation for years.
- Allows customers to order at your truck, online, or on their mobile app.
- The app can help potential customers find your food truck’s location. Helpful for a new food truck that local customers may not be completely familiar with yet.
- Provide very reasonable payment processing rates.
- Flexible options for contracts. You can either choose an annual contract or a pay-as-you-go. The second of these two requires no contract as you pay with each transaction processed.
EasyEats makes running your food truck easier and saves money. One way they accomplish this by allowing you to reuse POS hardware that you already have.
There are also many ways to personalize your user experience with EasyEats. This allows you to save as much time and money as possible. This is just one of the many reasons we at Payline are thrilled to work alongside EasyEats.
Being knowledgeable about POS systems is essential to anyone who wants to know how to start a food truck. There are numerous considerations that you should think about before you go with any service. These include offline functionality, hardware quality, pricing and contract flexibility, and online ordering options.
Both NCR and Clover offer top-of-the-line hardware and customer service. These can make your life as a food truck as stress-free as possible. Payline offers you the benefits of Clover or NCR hardware. Along with transparent pricing, free trials, and surcharging options that can save you money.
Our partners at EasyEats provide a comprehensive service specifically tailored to meet the needs of food trucks. They offer incredible online and mobile resources and flexible service options.