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I own a small diner. I current have a very 1990s Point of sale system that is showing it's age. I'm looking for ideas for a new system with a few features that would help out a lot.

  • Can handle credit and debit card transactions, in addition to standard cash transactions
  • Can suggest tip amounts (10%, 15%, 20%, Other?)
  • Can handle printing to two locations. The cashier needs a receipt that they can hand to the customer but another receipt needs to go to the kitchen so that the cooks can begin doing their job
  • Bar code scanner, needs to be able to handle Code 39

Currently, handling any non-cash transaction involves a multi-step process with users. User hands card to cashier, cashier asks "Credit or Debit" and then presses appropriate button, cashier swipes card. If debit, cashier points to a PIN pad for the user to enter their pin. If credit, cashier prints out credit receipt and asks for a signature. If the number of steps can be reduced, that'd be great.

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  • I've created a meta post about this question and whether recommendations that depend as much on software as hardware are on topic. Please take a look at the question and feel free to chime in over there if this question receives a poor response.
    – Andy
    Sep 15 '15 at 19:37
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I recommend Clover. Clover is a combination of hardware (PoS terminals, printers, barcode scanners, etc.) and software.

Starting with the hardware, you have three options.

Each of these can take user credit cards. The Station is your main cashier terminal. It is stationary. The Mini is an "extender" for the Station. These are useful for surges - ie. the yearly festival in your town that causes your business to have lines around the corner for a weekend. They provide much of the functionality of the Station, but you don't need it much of the time. The Mobile is useful for the traveling server. They can carry it to the table and place orders, or during your hypothetical yearly festival, can travel down the line of customers and take their order before they get to the Station.

Along with the base PoS stations, Clover has several accessories. These include barcode scanners, printers (including kitchen printers), weight scales, debit pads (though, the same functionality is available on the PoS terminals themselves) and more.

Next comes the software. Clover has an App Market with a large amount of add on applications. The downside is that many of these are monthly subscription based. I encourage you to look through these apps though. I can see several that look like they'd be useful for a diner (including tip suggestions). There are also things that aren't Point of Sale specific. I see apps for time clocks, inventory management, multi-store management, coupons, analytics of your customers and more.

Lastly, there is a developer API (which the apps in the App Market use). If you find there isn't an app that you need and you have developer experience (or can hire a developer), it appears that there is code and documentation available to help you do it.

Regarding your question about credit cards, Clover provides you with a Merchant account on First Data. If you have a merchant account with someone else, Clover encouages you to talk with them to see if they sell Clover.

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  • I'm just curious: Where do you know this from? Are you a diner-owner yourself, do you work at Clover or did you just look this up?
    – Alex
    Sep 16 '15 at 13:31
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    I have done development work for a local business that uses the system. My experience with Clover itself is very limited. My development wasn't related to the PoS system. I've heard the owner saying very complimentary things about compared to what they had and looked it up for this answer.
    – Andy
    Sep 16 '15 at 13:34

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