Square is an easy to use POS that is great for many types of businesses, including mobile, retail and quick service food businesses. The app and online dashboard are very simple to use and easy on the eyes. There is no limit to the number of devices you can use with your Square account, which is great for businesses with many mobile employees. In addition to basic point of sale functionality, Square offers the ability to store customer information, gift card support, loyalty programs, payroll management, email marketing, appointment/reservation booking and customizable online stores. Many of these features Square offers do come at a price, yet they can be very useful for larger businesses.
WHO IS SQUARE GOOD FIT FOR?
The Square software is free to use on any number of smartphones and tablets. This is great for new businesses that do not want to invest a great deal of funds. Square charges 2.75% of revenue for swiped payments and 3.5% of revenue + $0.15 for keyed in payments. This is often ideal for business with many small transactions, such as coffee shops, but not for full service restaurants, since they typically can get a lower rate.
Add-ons come at an additional price, typically billed monthly. Useful add-ons, such as employee management, which includes timekeeping, tip reconciliation and role based permissions, is charged monthly per employee.
Square’s clean interface with large buttons makes it easy for anyone to use. Items can be stored with photos and arranged for employee convenience. Items can be added to a check by selecting from a grid/list or by scanning barcodes. Customizable amounts can also easily be added to a customer’s check.
Customer’s can be checked out immediately or checks can be saved to be cashed out later. There is no need to keep paper or pen, as customers will sign directly on the iOS Device, with their receipts sent digitally. They can also key in a custom tip or select a suggested percentage.
Customer information can be stored, including credit card and gift card information, which makes it easy to check out regular customers. Invoices can also be created and sent directly to customers using their profiles.
The Dashboard offers all the functionality users need to track real time sales. Sales reports can be displayed by item, payment, employee, customer, etc. Custom reports for unique needs can also be created and saved for future reference. Custom reports are great for selecting a portion of the information one would like to see. For example, a restaurant owner can generate a report with tips and sales, which would be useful to show waitstaff the correlation between upselling and an increase in their tips.
Inventory management is another useful tool. Item tracking can be enabled to track sales and stock alerts can be set to alert when items are low/out. Inventory can be adjusted manually and tracked for damages, inventory recounts, ect. Inventory can also be exported into one easy to read file, which is useful for making changes to a lot inventory. This updated file and then be uploaded to update changes on the dashboard.
After accepting payments, money is deposited to your checking account within one to two business days. Cash, gift cards and credit card and voids can be processed easily, as complete information on credit card transactions is kept.
Customer feedback can easily be obtained and monitored in the customer section. New customers versus returning customers can be tracked, as well as average spending trends.
Square hardware is reasonably priced, especially if users already have an iPad or iPhonethey plan to use. The simple Square card reader that connects via headphone jack is available for free, while a headphone jack chip card reader can be purchased for $29. Square also offers readers that can accept magnetic and chip cards as well NFC (Apple and Android Pay). Proprietary Square card readers are only compatible with the Square app and cannot be used for any other purpose.
While many of Square users do use paper receipts or tickets, Star Micronics TSP100 Ethernet (thermal) printers are compatible. Cash drawers that can communicate with Star printers can also be used.
Square also offers a variety of POS kits, which include tablet stands, chip readers, printers, cash drawers, etc.. For any hardware purchased directly from Square, they offer free 30 day returns and exchanges.
The Square dashboard makes it easy to add items, modifiers and categories. Item properties, such as price, quantity on hand, description and other information can be imported together or added one by one. To add all items quickly at once, the Square CSV (Excel) template is quite handy, however modifiers have to be linked to each item separately. Support articles are available to aid in the import process, but users have to set up their own business items.
The best way to obtain Square support is by accessing the Support Center on the dashboard. Users can search by keyword, questions, topics or browse frequently asked questions, which are maintained by Square staff. Further questions can be posted to the community site, where fellow users can collaborate and provide their own insight. Square staff can also be emailed directly from the dashboard or app. Phone support is available Monday through Friday, 6am-6pm PDT.
Square has a great point of sale offering and has grown rapidly in the last eight years. They have quickly evolved from a simple app to take payments on your phone to a robust point of sale system with add ons for many different types of businesses. Most of all, Square stands out for it’s simplicity. Everything from buying the equipment, setting up your account, inputting inventory can be done without prior point of sale experience. Square’s custom hardware integrates really well with their software and is a great choice for most retailers and smaller food service businesses.