There are a lot of point of sale (POS) systems on the market. Unlike PMS systems, which are made just for property management, POS systems are used by every retailer under the sun which means there is a huge market for them and thus a very large number of providers. The sheer number of choices can make choosing difficult.
When you begin researching POS software you’ll quickly find that there are some built specifically for hotels. This article will explain the advantages of such systems and why you should choose them over the generic platforms.
A Primer on Hotel POS
Point of sale systems are installed in a hotel’s gift shops, restaurants, and other retail outlets. It’s the system a clerk uses to “ring up” and process a sale. POS contains basic accounting functionality to keep track of sales and returns, and interfaces with hardware such as scanners, printers, and credit / debit processing units.
Of course, point of sale systems with this very functionality are used in virtually every store all around the world. Can’t your hotel just use one of those systems?
You could, but it would be limiting. Here’s why:
There is One Key Piece of Functionality Found in Hotel POS
All POS systems would make it easy for your hotel to run your restaurant and retail transactions. You wouldn’t, for example, need a purpose-built hotel POS to put in an order for a guest’s meal.
However, it’s very common for guests to post bills to their rooms when staying at a hotel, and while this could be manually done, a purpose-built hotel POS will have an automatic interface to your property management system (PMS).
You could always have a custom integration built using APIs, but that’s a more complex process – plus the additional cost – that isn’t necessary if you simply choose to use a hotel POS.
One Final Consideration
Some providers, like IQware, build both PMS and POS software. Choosing an all-in-one provider comes with all kinds of advantages – it’s easier to troubleshoot problems when working with one vendor, plus the software has a consistent look and feel which is favorable for branding purposes.
At the end of the day there isn’t a big difference in functionality between a hotel POS and a regular one, though the ability to post bills directly to a guest’s room is a nice feature. When it comes to choosing your POS we definitely recommend starting your search with hotel POS. While you’re looking, why not check out our point of sale system?