how to pick the right pos system for your food truck - pos screen on a kitchen window

How to pick the right POS system for your food truck

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Whether you've owned a food truck business for years or it's a new small business venture for you, you're always looking for ways to make it run more smoothly and streamline all of your processes. The right food truck point of sale (POS) system can provide the features that you need to help manage your day to day operations.

You have enough to do between cooking, taking orders, and creating menu items that customers want. The right mobile POS system can be the added support to take your food truck business to the next level. 

The right POS system for your food truck will focus on speed and accuracy, two key elements to a food truck's success. Digital receipts and self ordering options are also options with mobile POS systems, making the process from ordering to checkout streamlined.  

In this article, we’ll take a look at food truck POS systems, including the features you’ll need for your food truck operations to be successful. To start, let’s dive into food truck POS systems.

What is a food truck POS system?

A food truck POS system is point of sale software that works on Android or Apple iOS products to help run your food truck. While one of the biggest benefits to a POS system is taking all different types of payments, it can provide other POS features like sales reports, real-time customer-facing displays, detailed reports, a kitchen display system, and more. 

Food truck POS software is designed to help you grow your business and manage it. It can help you avoid long lines and provide inventory management, so you always have fresh food.

Benefits of food truck POS software 

As a food truck owner, you want to know that you are offering the best customer service for your customers while running your business as smoothly as possible. Many food truck visitors say they are looking for speed and accuracy. The right POS system, equipped with self ordering and contactless payment options, help food trucks reduce wait times while helping the kitchen expedite accurate orders.  

Let’s take a look at a few other benefits that a food truck POS system can provide. 

Adaptable as your food truck business grows  

The right food truck POS system will offer add-ons and be customizable to your business. As your food truck business expands, your POS system should too, offering more customer support and menu management. While you may start out with a POS system that only processes payments, you may want to be able to offer digital menus and other payment options down the road.

Options for online ordering before the customer arrives at the food truck

Long lines are one way to get potential customers to skip your food truck business. The right food truck POS system makes it easy for people to order online and pay using credit cards or debit cards

Online ordering can help with employee management and quickly provide pricing to the customer. You can also use a system that accepts gift cards. The system can also send digital receipts and food-ready notifications. 

Ease of use and mobility

Things happen fast when you're running a food truck business. This makes it essential to have POS software that's easy to use and mobile. Depending on the provider, a mobile POS system works on either Android or iOS platforms and can turn your tablet or smartphone into a virtual terminal so you can accept payments no matter where your food truck takes you.

Marketing channels and tool options

As a food truck business, marketing is an essential part of your business. You need to be able to let your loyal customers know where to find you as you visit different locations. 

You can also use a restaurant POS to create customer loyalty programs. Email marketing campaigns are easy with customer management tools and options. 

POS systems for food trucks are cooking up success with these features

You might think that your food truck business is doing great with a cash register and the ability to take card payments. However, a food truck POS system offers a variety of other features to help make it easier to do business on the go. 

A POS system does so much more than process payments.

Designed for on the go

The best part about being a food truck owner is that you can go anywhere. As soon as you crave a change of scenery or want to try a new area, your business hit the road. 

That’s why it’s so important that your POS hardware is designed to go with you. You need a POS system that utilizes Wi-Fi but can also have an offline mode, so you can process payments even when an internet connection isn't available.

Connects to cellular when no Wi-Fi is available

Whether you have an Android or iPhone, the best food truck point of sale system will connect to your cellular connection when Wi-Fi isn't available. 

The cellular connection gives you access to the same options, from order management to payment processing. This makes it easier for you to move your truck to a new location without worrying about your POS system being available.

Easy menu customization

Successful food truck sales are a combination of a good menu and the perfect location. You may change your menu every weekend, for specific locations, only for special events, or you may run out of the nightly special and need to take it off of the menu. The right POS system for your food truck will have an easy interface that allows for quick menu changes and customization. 

The right POS solution can offer inventory management to ensure that you always have the necessary ingredients on hand to wow your customers and make your day a success.

Inventory Management

A food truck business is a little like the story of Goldilocks when it comes to inventory management. You can't have too much because of limited space, and you don't want too little because then you lose sales. 

With a food truck POS system, you can use inventory management in conjunction with a detailed report to keep everything you need in stock. It can even help you make the changes to grow your business and enjoy more revenue. 

Ingredient-level tracking

Inventory management is great, but the right food truck POS system takes it to the next level with ingredient-level tracking. It could be a disastrous night if you don't have enough cheese or milk to whip up a batch of your lobster mac and cheese. 

Tracking ingredients and ensuring you have enough on hand until your next delivery is essential. You can stop counting tomatoes daily, and let your point of sale system take care of your inventory management.

Sales and revenue management

You probably chose a food truck business because you love cooking and feeding others. Generating enough income to sustain your business and make a profit is essential to keep your dreams alive. 

Having access to detailed data is a crucial element to growing your business. Knowing which menu items are the most popular, the most profitable locations, and what foods don't seem to be a hit can all make or break your bottom line. 

Including food cost calculations to find high-profit items
You probably already know that food items with higher-cost ingredients cost more to make, which is why you charge more for these menu items. However, food cost calculation can help you identify the high-profit items that you sell. 

It might be that you make the highest profit from specialty cups of coffee or adding bacon to a hamburger. This type of detailed information helps you choose the items to upsell or highlight on your menu.

Sales reporting

As we already mentioned, sales reporting offers a treasure trove of information to help you improve your business. It'll help you identify the days and times you make the most sales, along with products that sell the most in a specific location. 

You can use this information to help with inventory management as well as employee management. When you know when and where you sell the most, you can frequently return there to increase your revenue.

Customer engagement

Customers are one of the most important components of your food truck business. You want them to return repeatedly and even seek you out when you aren't in the area. 

This takes customer engagement. You want to talk to them on social media and encourage them to return to your food truck. Your POS can help you explore new avenues of customer engagement to get them to frequent your food truck, including customer retention management (CRM) options that make it easy for your business to stay at the top of your customers’ minds.

Loyalty programs

Who doesn't love to get rewarded for eating food they love? Customer loyalty programs are a great way to build a loyal customer base. It's also a great way to get your customers to order through a mobile app. 

You are in control of the rewards that you offer your customers. You might issue points for every dollar spent and allow the customer to decide how to spend those points. Or, you might offer a last minute discount for a special location that weekend. The best food truck POS system makes it easy to create a loyalty program and push notifications of specials. 

Gift cards

Gift cards are a great way to build brand loyalty and increase your revenue. Most of your customers probably already purchase gift cards to give during the holidays and for birthdays. By offering gift cards, your food truck business benefits from this popular gift. 

Your food truck POS system should be able to help you load and process gift cards. It offers an easy way for you to process payments when an established or new customer has one of your food truck's gift cards.

Employee Management

The right POS system for your food truck should have employee management integrations. Assigning roles, creating a schedule, and monitoring employee performance and hours are critical to your success.   

Secure Payment Processing

You might have a cash drawer in your food truck. However, more and more people prefer to pay with a credit card or debit card. You want your customers to know that you offer secure payment processing. 

As a small business owner, you want to take as many types of payments as possible to attract more customers. A point of sale system or mobile point of sale system can help you ensure safe and secure payments for your customers.

Give your customers many convenient payment options

With modern technology, it seems like the number of ways to pay is endless. This makes it essential that your food truck business offers a variety of convenient payment options. It isn't enough to just accept cash. Accepting major credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay® and even Google Pay™ allows your customers to pay in the way they’re most comfortable. Your customers are also more aware of germs and how they pass from one person to the next. The right POS system for your food truck business helps you offer contactless payment options to give your customers peace of mind.  

Digital receipts

You want to provide your customers with receipts, but printing a receipt takes space for the printer and the extra time to print. The best POS system for your business can send digital receipts after processing payments. Your customers will appreciate the convenience of a digital receipt instead of a paper receipt adding to the clutter in their handbag or wallet. 

In this article, you’ve seen the power of point of sale systems for your food truck business. The best food truck POS system is going to make your job easier while providing you with features that help your business grow. 


Are you ready to implement a POS system for your food truck? 

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us 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 heartland.us.