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How Do Coffee Shop EPOS Systems Work?

Aine Hendron
6 Jul 2023

The coffee shop industry is a competitive one, and many business owners are looking for ways to stay ahead of the game. Having an EPOS system can help with stock knowledge and control, automate business processes, and can even help with customer relationship management, too.

We explore the key features you should look for in a coffee shop point of sale system.

What is EPOS?

An EPOS (electronic point of sale) is a computerised system that helps business owners to manage and operate their business more efficiently. It's a mix of hardware and software, like a till or iPad system that helps with taking orders and payments, and tracking sales, stock, staff hours, and customer data.

Many EPOS systems now also come with features that allow you to track customer trends, like client spending patterns and preferred drinks. This can help you then tailor future offers more closely to what your customers want, and lets you identify profitable times or days of the week. For more info, you might want to read our blog, What is EPOS

What features should your coffee shop EPOS system include?

The best EPOS systems provide a wide range of beneficial features that can increase productivity levels within the business. These features may vary depending on the size of your company, but here are some key features that you should look for when choosing an EPOS system for your coffee shop:

Order taking

Inputting orders and collecting payments is the key function of any EPOS system. They should store a large online menu, that allows employees to simply select the drink or snack they'd like to add, along with any customisations. You might want to include photos of each item along with the name to help with staff training.

Some EPOS systems will highlight special offers and discounts that are available, as well as automatically calculating the correct price for each order. This can save waiting time at the till and avoids human error.

Collecting payments

Make sure that your chosen system accepts the most popular payment methods used by your customers. Often, complete EPOS systems include a cash drawer, a card reader, and a receipt printer along with the actual till. Once you've entered the order details and the total has been calculated, you can select the 'card' option to offer chip and pin, contactless and eWallet payments.

Your EPOS will calculate the cost of the order, and either print a docket or sticker with the order details, or send them to the display screen for the barista. This helps minimise errors, and speeds up order output significantly. 

Loyalty functions

Coffee shop owners can leverage the power of their EPOS systems to boost customer retention, and promote loyalty programmes. You might offer special deals, such as a free coffee after a certain number of purchases, or a free pastry on your birthday if you're registered to the mailing list. EPOS systems can keep track of these promotions and make it easier for customers to redeem them.

You can also accept gift cards, enter promo codes, and redeem loyalty offers with most EPOS systems. This will automatically recalculate the customer price and reflect it in your stock levels.

Menu management

There are a lot of benefits to having strict menu management. The first is fewer expenses, which leads to a healthier profit margin. Like all other businesses, coffee shops must earn more money than they spend. In terms of profitability, coffee shops generally have really high profit margins, typically 90% or upwards. This figure is only attainable when you standardise your menu.

You need an EPOS system that saves recipes for each coffee, including precise measurements and quantities, and accompanying images to make sure customers receive a perfect blend, every time.

You should also have the ability to add, remove, or amend items quickly and easily. Your EPOS menus should be able to alter on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis in order to maximise the efficiency of your seasonal promotions and new product launches. Your system should also be able to temporarily block certain items if they're out of stock.

Inventory management

It's crucial that your coffee shop EPOS system integrates with your stock management processes. This will help to avoid costly over-ordering or running out of popular items.

A cafe EPOS system can help you keep track of your inventory levels in real-time, so you know when it's time to reorder a specific product. Once you've configured exact recipes in your EPOS system, the specific quantities of each item will be reduced with every sale. For example, if you enter one medium latte into the till, 270ml of milk and 30g of espresso will automatically be deducted. The same goes for when you add extras, like a shot of syrup and chocolate sprinkles.

This gives a vital insight into waste areas, and will inform your reports and sales statistics.

Reports and analytics

More sophisticated systems can also analyse customer data, so you can see which customers are more likely to participate in loyalty programmes, and offer them tailored discounts and offers which might encourage them to visit more often.

Other reports can help you track trends, like which mobile devices people tend to use at different times of day (in order to decide whether or not it's worth investing in faster Wi-Fi), and your best and worst selling products in a set timeframe. This information should inform your future product line and marketing strategy.

An EPOS system is an essential piece of kit for any coffee shop business. By selecting the right system, you can manage your inventory, recipes, and customer data with ease, ensuring a well-run and profitable business.

Choice of business integration apps

The bottom line is that your EPOS system should make your working life easier. This includes day-to-day activities like taking orders and managing stock, but also the financial and operational elements of your business too. Good EPOS systems will allow you to download business automation apps.

For example, you might want to download bookkeeping and accountancy apps that will help you keep track of your finances in real-time. You could also look for an EPOS system that integrates with your social media accounts, so you can post about new products and promotions on Twitter or Facebook automatically.

When it comes to coffee shops, an EPOS system is a vital piece of equipment for any business owner.

Your coffee shop + Epos Now - the perfect blend

Epos Now offers state-of-the-art EPOS systems for hospitality businesses. We offer dynamic, sector-software,  like our Cafe and Coffee Shop Solutions, and let you choose the tools and insights to help your business achieve its goals. Designed to work as a complete business management system, you can control all vital aspects of your company from one cloud-based system.

  • Review profitability reports based on individual product performance, trending items, best and worst sellers, and employee sales
  • View sales analyses on profit margin, cash flow, and other expenses
  • Review reports on peak times for more effective staff scheduling
  • Access our multi-award-winning inventory management systems that sync online sales and in-person sales for the most up-to-date stock levels
  • Automate stock purchasing so you never miss a sales opportunity
  • Integrate with the business automation apps that are right for your business
  • Boost retention rates using customer management systems, like loyalty programmes and targeted marketing campaigns

If you’d like to learn more about our industry-leading EPOS software, request a free callback with one of our experts.

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