how to pick the right pos system for your bakery - credit card being inserted into terminal

How to pick the right POS system for your bakery

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

You've built your small bakery through years of hard work and determination. You've seen it grow from one level to the next. While the growth has been spectacular, your bakery is still a work in progress. Your cake variety is top notch and your buttercream is probably the best in the neighborhood, but there's just one thing missing for your bakery to truly take off. 

A POS system.

A point of sale (POS) system is incredibly important. From providing inventory control to automating the checkout process to streamlining store operations, a bakery POS system can help make your bottom line grow. 

Are you wondering how to pick a solid POS system for a small bakery?

Let's dive right in.

What is a bakery POS system?

A bakery POS system is exactly what it sounds like: a POS system for bakeries. It's a do-it-all, all-in-one solution that brings with it powerful functionalities.

More than just a cash register, a POS system helps you streamline your bakery operations with menu management, online ordering, inventory management, and delivery management. 

It goes without saying that the bakery world demands high-quality customer support. It demands agility and efficiency, every single time. A bakery POS software gives you the speed and power to keep your customers coming back.  

Now that the definition is out of the way, let's look at the benefits of a bakery POS system.

Benefits of a bakery POS system

There are many benefits of a bakery POS system. Let's look at some.

Customizable for your bakery business

In the world of software systems, you’ll want something that is tailor-made for your small business. 

The best bakery POS software incorporates a host of business-specific features—from menu modifiers to sales reports to payment options. Everything looks and feels personalized.

In addition to automating unique business processes, a custom POS also allows for faster transactions as well as real-time data access for your employees and customers. 

Competitive advantages of using a POS system for your bakery

Intuitive, detailed accounting reports

If you've been in the bakery business for long enough, you know that accounting can be one of the least enjoyable aspects of the small business process. If you're not using integrated accounting software, you're already spending too much time crunching numbers, and too little time focusing on your return on investment.

Thankfully, many bakery POS systems integrate with QuickBooks and other accounting software platforms to provide automated accounting benefits. Ultimately, you get detailed, well-fleshed-out reports that allow you to determine popular business hours or what menu items are costing you more dollars than they're bringing in.

Next-level inventory tracking

As a small bakery owner, keeping track of your inventory is the only way to ensure that what is on your menu can be provided at all times. Advanced bakery POS systems allow you to track menu items, ingredients, and anything else in your bakery. You can stay on top of inventory metrics and generate real-time reports to ensure your ingredients are always in supply.

Not only does this help you make smarter ordering decisions and keep more money in your pocket, but it also ensures your cakes and pastries are always made with fresh ingredients. 

Enhances efficiency through automation

Bakery POS systems are fully capable in automating routine tasks. 

This frees up time for core, strategic issues. In other words, it adds more minutes to your clock—literally. In addition to the time savings, automation of manual and administrative tasks helps save money and energy.

Improved customer loyalty

A good POS system isn't solely meant for employee management. Yes, your bakers are incredibly important for your bottom line, but so are your customers. 

A well-rounded POS system like Heartland POS can seamlessly design personalized and impactful loyalty programs. It encourages repeat purchases and long-term customer retention by awarding gift cards, vouchers, loyalty points, and other incentives. Not only does this highlight buyer trends, but it also helps toward a top-notch customer experience. In fact, 74% of consumers are at least somewhat likely to buy based on experience alone—no matter the industry. 

Fast-tracks and smoothes out the sales process

Owning a small business doesn't necessarily mean that you're not handling a high volume of cash and credit cards every day. Actually, it's the complete opposite. While you might have previously survived with a cash register system, your growing bakery demands that you step up your sales tracking game.

A modern bakery POS system tracks each sale down to its bare essentials—it calculates the price of each item, including any tax deductions, and then it updates the inventory count to show that the item is sold. At the end of the day, you get detailed sales reports. 

This information allows you to make better-informed decisions for your bakery business. By better decisions, we mean those that can keep more cash in your pocket.

Payments made easier, and faster

In a small bakery setting, it's likely that the floor space is limited and confined. There isn't much room to linger around and the last thing you want is people lining up inside to complete their payments using subpar systems.

A POS system effectively handles your customers' debit and credit card processing, ensuring hassle-free transactions every time. You won't ever need to have two payment systems under the same roof, nor large queues and irritated guests. It'll all be a smooth process that leaves customers with a high sense of satisfaction. 

POS Systems for bakeries have the right ingredients

Just like a good cake has the perfect mix of ingredients, a good bakery POS system has no missing ingredient. It's all-inclusive, high-performing, and extremely versatile. It puts customers front and center and makes sure the only taste they leave with is the taste from your delectable muffins, freshly-baked breads, appetizing cookies, and everything in between.

In this next section, we'll take a closer look at the ingredients that constitute a top-notch bakery POS system. 

Inventory management

Historically, running out of ingredients has always been a major headache for bakery owners. One moment, your store is full to the brim; a few hours later, there aren't enough ingredients to kick-start the next baking session. 

The right bakery POS system tracks your entire inventory at both the recipe and ingredient levels. When a sale is recorded, the system deducts ingredients right away. So if someone orders a muffin, the ingredients that go into making the muffin are subtracted out in real time. 

Because the best bakery management software offers ingredient-level supply tracking, modifiers and substitutions are fully tracked as well. If a customer orders a meat combo pizza without pepperoni, the pepperoni is removed from the original recipe to create a new custom one. That means you can account for the units of pepperoni that weren't used in that particular pizza order. This data is particularly useful for sales forecasting and profitability reports where you can see which items are more or less popular.

Payment processing management

Customers like payment flexibility. A good POS system for a small bakery incorporates all types of payment methods, from cash to checks to credit cards. Some also accept contactless payment types like Amazon Pay and Apple Pay.

Sales and revenue management

A solid bakery POS system helps you work out the math, make sense of the numbers, and runs a highly profitable bakery. A POS system with built-in sales management capability helps you cut operational costs and highlight areas for growth through real-time, data-backed sales insights.

In addition to the action-packed sales reports, a robust POS system can also facilitate food cost calculations. Every item and ingredient is accounted for in real time. This allows you to find high-profit items. 

Customer engagement

One way you can keep your customers coming back is to put them in the spotlight. Engage with them. In other words, place them first.

The right POS system for small bakeries puts customer support and engagement at the heart of operations. It has a built-in customer relationship management software to help in formulating in-depth customer profiles. 

These profiles go beyond merely including the customer's name and phone number. They keep an accurate and detailed trail of information regarding each customer's interaction with your bakery—from what they ordered on a particular day, to how they paid, to whether or not they used a coupon.

A modern POS system is also capable of hosting a unique loyalty program. Whether it's through gift cards or discounts on certain baked goods, it can reward repeat ordering and encourage brand loyalty. 

Customer special order capabilities

When you run a small bakery famous for offering celebration cakes, number cakes, oatmeal cream pies, and a dozen of other pastries, you have to be ready to accommodate some unique orders. However, making adjustments at that scale can make things difficult for bookkeeping. 

POS system software lets you reduce every order down to its practical units. A bulk cupcake order can be accounted for by the handful, perishable ingredients can be tracked through to sale, and the pieces added or removed from the order can be accounted for in a final tally. The result is a current count of what has been used, what needs to be used quickly, and what needs to be replenished. 

Online ordering and self order store kiosk options

Another must-have feature for a bakery POS system is online ordering. 

With more and more customers expecting the business experience to come with virtualized options, the pressure mounts on the owners of small bakeries to develop an attractive, easy-to-use online ordering system. Luckily for you, you can acquire one that's built right into a POS system. That kind of POS system, the kind that allows customers to place orders at any time of the day from the comfort of their homes is called a mobile POS (mPOS) system.

Because it gives an app-based representation of your small business, your customers can easily interact with your bakery, even set up tasting appointments, in one convenient app. Your in-house team will also benefit. They can leverage the system's android or iPad-based terminals to serve customers more conveniently. 

The best bakery POS systems don't just factor in mobility; they also leverage self-order store kiosk options. 

As you might have guessed from the name, a self-order kiosk gives sit-in customers the power to order and pay by themselves—like a vending machine, but specifically for bakeries.

These systems usually consist of a touchscreen (often a tablet) equipped with an easy-to-use digital interface. The screen displays your bakery's menu and guides customers through the ordering process—from baking the pastry, to payment, to pick up. As the customer builds their menu, the screen also displays prompts with different promotions or menu options that guests might not have known about otherwise.

The benefits of self-order kiosk options for small bakeries like yours are substantial. For one, you enjoy the liberty to push targeted and intuitive upsell prompts as customers build their orders. Take Taco Bell®, for instance. They made 20% more money on online orders compared to those taken by human cashiers. In addition, you'll have a reduced margin for errors, decreased wait times, and an overall risk-free ordering process.
The Right POS System is Well Within Reach. Grab it. 
In an industry as fast-paced and fast-growing as the bakery business, it's important to find a POS software system that can keep up. 

In addition to delivering an exceptional customer experience, a bakery POS system makes your inventory management simple, your sales reports intuitive and detailed, and your payment processing seamless. 

The right POS system is well within reach. Grab it.

In an industry as fast-paced and fast-growing as the bakery business, it's important to find a POS software system that can keep up. 

In addition to delivering an exceptional customer experience, a bakery POS system makes your inventory management simple, your sales reports intuitive and detailed, and your payment processing seamless. 

Ready to whip up profits and efficiency in your bakery? 

Heartland is the point of sale, payments, and payroll solution of choice for small businesses that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back, and spend less time in the back office. More than 750,000 businesses trust Heartland to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at