Managing a restaurant or any other food outlet isn’t easy. There are hundreds of day-to-day operations that a restaurateur should manage. The most important one is preparing and serving good food to the diner, while the most cumbersome is billing.
Managing the counter, dealing with cash, and generating bills for customers are the most repetitive tasks of any food outlet. Billing machines help restaurateurs save time in handling money and generating viable bills. Having a comprehensive restaurant billing machine is crucial for food-related businesses.
It calculates the amount payable, taxes, generates an invoice, and even processes payment. If you own a restaurant or any food outlet, you must have a restaurant invoicing system to conduct your front-end operations efficiently.
What is a Restaurant Billing Machine?
Restaurant billing machine is an automated billing system (hardware + software) designed specifically for restaurants or any eatery. The primary function of restaurant POS billing systems is to generate and print bills, receipts, calculate taxes, discounts, and store the details for future reference.
Modern restaurant POS & billing machines help replace your current counter/cashier system and improve the efficiency of your frontend operations.
Restaurant invoicing machines have now come a long way and are now a POS System. The billing machine nowadays connects to cloud POS software to print viable invoices.
The Short History of Billing Machines in Restaurant
When it comes to restaurant billing machines, people often confuse them with invoice printers or the old calculator-like machine. But it’s just the part of invoicing machine. There is more to it. Here is a short history of invoicing systems in eateries.
- Initial Billing System
The initial billing system in the restaurant was a cash drawer with different sections for different notes and a bill pad. Although it’s not a billing machine, it was the first billing system still in use today.
- Cash Register
Later, the cash register was invented to handle much of the manual task and generate printed copies of the bills. The initial cash registers were manual machines with analog keys and mechanical functioning. Later, digital cash registers with a simple LED screen and buttons were introduced.
With the growing food industry, cash registers lagged in addressing the invoicing needs of large restaurants, food outlets, chains, and franchises. Computers soon took over the frontend operations of food outlets.
The billing system was fully automated with restaurant POS software, swipe machines, and thermal printer. Today almost all the billing machines are just dedicated computers.
- Modern Restaurant POS Machines
Nowadays, restaurant billing machines are an integrated cloud computing system, automated e-invoicing, and digital payment processing. The machine could even be a POS touch screen for self-service. Food franchises are even using smartphones and tablets for taking orders and processing bills.
How Does a Restaurant Billing Machine Work?
A modern-day restaurant POS billing machine works on the basic principle of computing which includes Input, Process, Output and Storage.
Input: The invoicing machine contains input hardware. It could be a keyboard, mouse, or touch screen terminal. Vendors can use this hardware to input the items for billing. It offers the choose in terms of offer type, delivery options, and payment mode.
Process: An embedded restaurant POS software automatically calculates the total amount payable per predefined item rates, taxes, and discounts. The entire particulars are arranged in a format and sent for output. It is also integrated with swipe machines and payment gateways for payment processing.
Output: The output of restaurant billing machine is generally printed on a thermal printer, or it can be saved as a file for future reference. Besides, modern-day billing machines provide output on the screen and forward it on SMS or email. The swiping machine also prints a small receipt in case of card payment.
Storage: The billing machine also stores all the bills and their details in the system for future reference.
Drawbacks of Conventional Billing Machine
Conventional billing machines used to look like oversized calculators with a small LED display screen. While the cash register was efficient and straightforward for the time, there is no way it could address the food industry’s growing need.
It had many limitations compared to modern-day POS Billing systems. Here are some of the drawbacks of a conventional billing machine.
Limited Customization: The main drawback was you cannot change any details or functions according to your billing policy. You can’t change the discount options, combine offers or run festive offers. Everything had to be manually entered, which increased error rates.
No Correction or Rollback Option: There was no provision to correct the entered data. If a mistake were made, you would have to start all over again. There were also no rollback features to print earlier data.
Single Output Mode: The output was only in the form of a printout which had to be distributed by hand.
No Historical Database: These billing machines were not linked to any database; hence, no backup or storage was possible.
No Payment Processing: Conventional invoicing systems were not linked to payment processing gateways or swiping machines. So, all the payments had to be processed manually.
Top 5 Reasons to Switch to Modern Restaurant Billing Machine
Restaurant billing machines are more efficient than the conventional cash counter system. Here is why you should switch to a restaurant POS billing machine.
More Convenience: A restaurant POS machine ensures the convenience of on-demand billing. It takes lesser space, easy corrections, multiple offer selections, multiple item combos, easy payment integration, and more. Modern Restaurant POS billing systems streamline the entire billing operations of any food outlet.
Quick and Accurate Billing: The restaurant billing machine is swift as it can process many orders in a short time. The chance of error is extremely low, as minimal manual intervention is required while processing the bills.
Increase Customer Friendliness: A POS touch screen billing machine provides self-service module for customers, giving them time and flexibility to choose offers, combos, and payment methods. This increases customer friendliness, helping you to boost sales and gain more business.
Effective Payment Processing: Unlike cash drawer systems or old cash registers, restaurant point sales machines can process payments through multiple methods like card, digital wallet, and even UPI.
Preventing Frauds: A restaurant billing machine prevents inhouse frauds or pilferage by maintaining an accurate ledger and cash tally.
Features of an Effective Restaurant Billing Machine
A restaurant POS billing machine has many features that make it an essential part of any restaurant. The characteristics of an effective billing system can be summarized as follows:
User Friendliness: A good restaurant billing machine should have an easy and comprehensive dashboard. This helps the cashier generate bills with a minimum number of taps.
Backups and Data Storage: POS systems store the data of all transactions in an organized manner, which can be used at the time of audits or any disputes regarding bills.
Customization: A restaurant billing machine offering customization options helps food outlets to boost revenue. It also allows the restaurant owners to prioritize the most sold items, run custom campaigns, and build brand image.
Integrations: Integration with ERP and accounting systems, payment gateways, and inventory software is essential for any effective POS system. It helps in streamlining the entire business operations.
Operational Convenience: It should create printouts in customizable formats and have a wide range of options on the same screen. It is an important feature to increase the usability of restaurant billing systems.
Advantages of POS Billing Machine for Restaurants
A Point of Sales billing machine in restaurants is a small yet powerful tool that can control all your operations.
Here are some features of the best restaurant billing machine:
Saves Time: A restaurant billing machine takes care of all customer orders and saves a lot of time for the staff. This would ultimately result in greater efficiency and better services.
Increases Sales: You can improve your sales by offering more items on the menu to your customers. It also makes it easier to take advance orders or offer unique combos.
Quick Payments: You can have a prompt payment system with the help of a restaurant billing machine. It seamlessly integrates your POS systems and supports online payments via credit cards or debit cards.
Customization Options: A good bill machine for restaurant will allow customization of items on offer so that customers do not feel restricted when ordering.
Reduces Errors: A POS billing machine allows users to generate bills with a few clicks as per the predefined parameters. This reduces the possibility of any arithmetic error or error of omissions.
Self-Service for Customers: The latest touch screen POS system allows restaurant owners to give self-service options to their customers. Customers can select items and apply offers on their own and can also check their redeemable points.
How will the Right Restaurant Billing Machine Help Attract New Customer?
Restaurant POS billing machines are an inseparable part of business operations. POS billing systems provide customers a seamless experience, which drives a larger customer base.
Here are how billing systems helps food chains to get more outlet:
Customer Information: The Restaurant POS billing software helps restaurateurs collect the details of customers and get insights on the buying habits and primary preferences of their customers.
Saves Time: Customers hate to stand in long queues to order their food. Effective billing systems in place helps reduce customer time and saves time for both operators and customers.
Builds Brand Image: Providing a hard copy or a mail/SMS with the restaurant’s brand name to build brand image.
Seamless Customer Experience: Touch screen POS billing provides a seamless self-service experience to customers. It gives client’s the freedom of choice while placing their order.
Integrates with Delivery Channel: Modern-day restaurant POS machines allow restaurants to integrate multiple sales channels. It helps them attract new customers and increase sales.
- What are the emerging technologies in billing machines?
In recent times, the self-service touch screen POS billing machine and cloud POS billing are major emerging technologies in billing machines. Recent development in billing systems includes dedicated customer loyalty programs and SMS/email integrations.
- What are the benefits of a touch screen billing machine for restaurants?
Touch screen billing machine has a lot of advantages compared to traditional cash registers. The touch screen helps vendors process bills with fewer entries, accurate tax calculations, easy edit options, and much more. It also allows vendors to process payments and even stores customers information easily.
- What are the best POS billing machine for restaurants?
Automatic Wep Joy and SnapBizz are popular touch screen POS billing machines for restaurants.
- What is the best portable billing machine for restaurants?
Most of the modern billing systems designed for restaurants are compact and easily detachable. SnapBizz Lite is one of the most portable billing machines for restaurants in the market.