Square and Point of Sale
John Romkey via Compfight

The other night my fiance and I went to try out a new restaurant around the corner.  It was a little Japanese Izakaya, essentially serving meet on a stick.  The food was fantastic but the restaurant was a wreck because their whole POS (Point of Sale) system went down.  They used a wireless POS system which makes sense in Hawaii given the limited room, but the servers and chefs had a heck of a time since the POS system went down and they had no POS backup.

For those of you that don’t know, in a restaurant, the POS system acts as a hub around service.  Orders are places which spits out tickets for both the server and the chefs.  It is also how you close out a bill, take credit cards and enter coupons, promotions and discounts.  While you can work around the tickets, the hard part is not being able to take credit cards.  Having a POS backup is key.

The manager had a heck of a time apologizing to customers for the delay, but the biggest issue is they could not take credit cards.  In today’s environment where many people barely carry cash, not being able to take a credit or debit card when people expect it can cause issues.  This is why it is important to have a backup to your POS system.

I wanted to talk to the manager and give him a few ideas for cheap, easy POS backup to take credit cards but frankly he was just to busy.  For many of my clients, I suggest they have a POS backup.  Many think its to expensive but I have a very cheap alternative.  If the managers have smart phones, sign up for Square to use in the case of your POS system going down.  For as little as $10 you can have a back up to your POS system so you can still accept credit cards.

For those that have never used it, Square is a merchant account that allows you to accept credit cards using your iPhone or Android phone.  There is no monthly fee which is why it works great as a POS backup.  The reader costs a whole $10 and after your first use, you can redeem that from Square.  While higher then your preferred rate, Square charges 2.75% flat fee and deposits it the next day into your account.  Not only is it a great POS backup, but can be used for farmers markets, trade shows or expos as a way of accepting credit cards.

If you want, you can even buy a iPad specifically to be used in marketing your company, and as a backup to use square with.  It even allows for tips.  My only advice if you are going to to do this, is make sure you buy a smart phone compatible pen since it is easier for people to sign when you run their card.

Looking to get started fast and don’t know where to start?  We sell starter bundles that are perfect for your back up needs.  We have three options to set up your POS backup and they can be found here:

Square Startup Bundles

Update:  Below are the systems/phones compatible with Square.

The Square Card Reader app is supported on most:

  • Apple iOS devices running 4.0 or higher
  • Google Android devices running 2.1 or higher

The Square Register app is supported on:

  • Apple iPads running iOS 5.0 or higher

The Pay with Square app is supported on most:

  • Apple iOS devices running 4.0 or higher
  • Google Android devices running 2.2 or higher
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