Compare the best stadium POS systems [2019]

food and stadium pos

There’s no doubt that POS systems are faster, easier, and more efficient than traditional credit card terminals and archaic cash registers, and they are even proving to be more cost-efficient than the alternatives (in the long run anyway). They’ll help you balance your inventory, keep orders rolling in smoothly, and show you which items are hot and which are not for better sales performance. But what stadium owners are learning quickly, is that they also need to adopt this new technology if they want to stay in the game. As more fans are opting for a more convenient and comfortable viewing experience at home, stadiums need to up their services if they hope to compete.

Here’s why your arena needs a POS system, what benefits come along with one, and what are the best stadium POS systems around.

Why You Need a POS System in Your Arena

Intermission, halftime, end of the first set. Whatever event you’re at, it’s time for a quick break, and your stomach agrees. Heading to the concession stand, both you and your stomach are aware of the time limitations you’re under before the game, band, or show starts up again, so the pressure is on. And the concession stand staff feels that pressure the most. With so many transactions to process as quickly as possible, an efficient, fast, and intuitive point of sale system is imperative. With that kind of goal, there is just no competition between the modern-day POS system and a traditional cash register. The former is faster and vastly more capable.

Precision sales are the number one reason why you need a POS system in your arena, but it’s not the only one. Efficiency is at the front of the list for sure because a POS system can help your staff take orders faster, process payments more easily and with more methods, and keep track of special requests better than any other type of system. If you want to process more advanced payments like smartphone payments (think Apple Pay and Google Wallet), your traditional register won’t know what to do with that either, while a POS system will take these payments without a second thought.

On top of all that, a POS system offers arena businesses:

  • Easy-to-use software

Staff tends to work less frequently in stadiums than a regular restaurant, so make sure the system is easy to learn and use even for a newbie on the scene. Modern POS systems have visual interfaces, so you can just click and go, no training required, which will go a long way towards more convenience for your fans.

  • Multiple payment processing

With a thousand people in line behind you, the last thing a customer wants to hear is “sorry, we don’t accept that form of payment.” POS systems allow for multiple payment processing, including credit cards, mobile wallets, and beyond, so you keep the line moving quickly and smoothly.

  • Easier stock management

As soon as sales are made, the system automatically updates your inventory. So, you know exactly when you’re running low on an item and need to restock. Compare this to the hours of tedious manpower needed for manual inventory checks, and the time, money, and effort benefits are readily apparent.

  • Smarter financial reporting

In a word, it’s all about analytics. A POS system tells you everything you need to know about your business including sales history, seasonal, daily, and even hourly sales trends and the popularity of each item in your warehouse or menu. This kind of insight gives businesses the ability to tweak their services to exactly what their customers are looking for, saving on inefficient purchases and increasing sales.

  • Durable hardware

Rushing from customer to customer, jumping between the stands, and balancing food and point of sale equipment is a formidable task for any staff member. That’s why arena POS systems need to be equipped with hardy equipment that can handle the rough and tumble rigors of this kind of task. Look for a system that has durable hardware, it’s well worth the investment.

  • Unattended payment solutions

Want to cut down on the lines even more? Let fans ring themselves up. With unattended payment solutions, you’re cutting down in two areas: 

Firstly, the fans are split between regular lines and these lines, so you’re automatically making things less crowded

Your staff can process more orders faster without having to handle the payment side of things

Plus, an arena POS system is able to handle the kind of high traffic transactions that arenas see every day without slowing down or conking out on you mid-busy season. With technology specifically designed for large crowds, fast speeds, and the flexibility to cater to a wide variety of requests, arena POS systems make every aspect of stadium sales better.

The Best POS Systems for Arenas

Because of the business mechanisms and customer body of most stadiums, the best POS systems for arenas are a combination of traditional and mPOS systems. These give your business the convenience of mobility with the security and familiarity of traditional systems. It’s really the best of both worlds. Here are a few of the most recommended options to check out:

  • Lightspeed is a well-liked POS system because it is cloud-based, works with multiple locations, and is easy to use.
  • TouchBistro is ranked as the number one POS system for restaurants across the world, so it’s a natural choice for stadiums too. TouchBistro has all of the features you could ask for in a POS system including inventory, staff, order management, loyalty programs, and reporting.
  • Revel While the others tend to cater to small and medium-sized businesses (though they work well with larger biz too), Revel is specifically designed for the big dogs. Customize menus, modify prices, user-friendly interface with clearly displayed product screens for faster orders. Plus, Revel can work both online and offline, so you aren’t tied down by a single connection method.
  • Shopkeep is a great system for vendors that want to offer both concession stand and in-seat services. It sends your orders from the mPOS straight to the kitchen staff, so your employees taking the orders never have to break from the task of taking orders (i.e., you’re making more sales since the staff is available to take orders all the time).

Take these pointers in mind when looking into a POS system for your stadium. Then watch your sales records go straight out of the ballpark

POS for In-Seat Ordering and Table-Side Service

Can’t take the lines? Get your beer delivered straight to your seat. That’s another non-negotiable requirement for an arena POS system. With this tech on hand, you can offer your stadium customers in-seat ordering, a service that is not only more convenient for the fans who hate getting out of their seats, to begin with, but it cuts down on the pressure building up at the concession stand.

Think about it like this: If you have 10,000 people waiting in line for drinks, food, and snacks, telling arena-goers to sit tight and have their food delivered straight to their seats ensures that you cut down that number significantly. Even if you account for those that want to get up and stretch their legs, with in-seat ordering, you’re bound to reduce the number of fans standing in line by half. An efficient POS system allows you to offer this service with ease.

Tablet & Handheld POS Options: Possibly the Best POS Perks

Tablet or handheld POS systems (aka mPOS) add an entirely new element of convenience to the ballgame (pun intended). With an mPOS, you can make sales on the go, and offer the most convenience and flexibility to both your staff and your customers. It’s what allows businesses the ability to offer the in-seat service we mentioned already, and it also allows for faster and more convenient table service thanks to table-side payments. Instead of the wait staff taking your payment back to the register, payments are processed right there on the spot. This cuts back on processing time and inconvenience for the wait staff, and it also gives customers a feeling of security, seeing their credit cards at all times.

These systems are also running on the most modern technologies (tablets, iPads, smartphones), so you are getting the latest and greatest features with your system that are also easier to repair or replace if need be.

And if you’re interested in saving on your initial investment, mPOS systems are significantly cheaper than regular ones since they run on tablets rather than a full desktop computer and don’t require a server since they run on the cloud. Plans are usually much cheaper too as they work on a monthly fee basis, giving you access to the software (and all the updates) and customer support for one flat fee. Particularly for smaller businesses, mPOS systems are simply the best choice.

Stadium POS Boosting Merchandise Sales

In addition to lowering the operating cost that it takes for stadiums to constantly change the advertising and marketing posters that bring in revenue, POS systems can actually help boost sales. A carefully positioned advertising campaign can work magic on the thousands of potential customers sitting in those stands. Just think about a refreshing glass of ice-cold beer flashing on the screen as the sun is at its hottest and your fans are sweating in their seats. These kinds of messages will make sales skyrocket, and a POS system that can sync up to the digital signage systems all around the stadium will get your message across loud and clear.

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