Bakery POS system: the new bread and butter of Asia

Bread is quickly becoming a staple of Asian diets, overtaking rice consumption in countries including Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia [1,2,3].


Bread varieties in a bakery, photo by Yeh Xintong on Unsplash

Following the rise of bread consumption, bakeries have been proliferating across Asia. From the pillowy soft Shokupan in Japan to the fluffy Pan de Sal in the Philippines, more varieties of bread are making appearances in local bakeries.

However, Asian varieties of bread do not keep as well as Western counterparts like sourdough bread, and easily turn stale or bad in humid weather. Furthermore, the quality of bread can rapidly diminish when not consumed immediately.

The last thing bakeries want are bags of stale bread at the end of the day.

To ensure high turnover of this perishable food product and stay in tip top condition, businesses need the right bakery POS system.


What do you need in a bakery POS system?

Not all bakeries are made equal. From bakery chains in shopping malls to mom and pop bakeries nestled in neighbourhoods, everybusiness  has its own requirements. Accordingly, tailor your bakery POS devices for use.

In this article, we will cover what to look out for when choosing a POS system for your unique bakery.


Solutions for home-based bakeries

Home-based bakeries are a recent phenomenon. Many home bakers are driven by their passion for baking, or open home-based bakeries as a form of supplementary income. Thus, many home-based bakeries are not legally incorporated as businesses. In Singapore, for instance, home-based bakeries are not legally allowed to produce and deliver baked goods in bulk [4].

Consequently, many home-based bakeries choose to sell small batch artisanal bread or experiment with unique flavours to capture niche markets.

Since most home-based bakeries do not have extensive menus, and are unlikely to need functionalities such as receipt printing or multiple payment methods, home-based bakeries which are just starting out do not need a bakery POS system.

However, if bakers wish to expand by opening a brick and mortar bakery or a cloud kitchen, a POS system is key to establishing an organised and efficient system.


Seamless delivery integration for cloud kitchens

Cloud kitchens are a modern-day solution to the high cost of managing front of house restaurant seating.

Gautam Balijepalli, one of the founders of cloud bakery startup WarmOven in India, shares that “cakes are never consumed at the point of purchase and logically, it is a category meant for takeaway or home delivery” [5]. As of 2021, contactless delivery options have also become a norm in Asia.

Businesses which rent a space in cloud kitchens gain access to commercial food production facilities, and only handle delivery orders. If you are joining an established cloud kitchen, you may also be able to tap on their existing delivery partner(s). In this case, the delivery partners are likely to provide your business with a mobile POS (or mPOS) device to track delivery orders.

For example, the new iMin M2 Max is a great option for bakeries operating in cloud kitchens. Its 8 inch display size is large enough so that all orders and inventories are easily readable. Speed is also key in the delivery industry – in fact, it is a necessity for excellent customer service. The iMin M2 Max runs on the Android 11 Go system, which is 3 times faster than the average mobile POS, so it can easily keep up with all deliveries.


iMin M2 Max for contactless delivery options

Delivery providers may enable “kiosk mode”, which prevents your mPOS from using other applications and functions. If you are only using a single POS device from a delivery partner, be sure to clarify the usage limitations of your mPOS and ensure that you have all the functions you need during the setup process.


Bakery POS systems for mom and pop bakeries

The smell of freshly baked bread enables many to pinpoint the location of their neighbourhood mom and pop bakery. These bakeries occupy a niche market when it comes to target audience.

Many mom and pop bakery owners know their customers well as they interact with them personally and frequently. Many bakeries also rely on foot traffic from neighbouring estates, and build up a regular customer base. Over time, many owners will also be able to determine which breads are popular and how much bread to bake every day. Lastly, many do not offer delivery due to the low profit margin of bread.

However, bakery POS systems can still value add by facilitating payments.

According to a 2020 report by McKinsey, consumers in Asia are transitioning towards cashless and contactless payments. [6] QR codes are increasingly popular in developing economies while credit card solutions continue to gain traction in developed economies. However, even in developed economies, QR codes are a good option for mom and pop bakeries due to the high smartphone usage rate and substantially lower payment processing fee.

iMin Desktop D1 Scanning Bakery POS System

iMin D1 payment gateway instead of cash registers

Payment efficiency and versatility are important considerations when purchasing a bakery POS system. Look out for devices that are able to support multiple payment types. In particular, you may consider POS devices that can be attached to a cash drawer, a built-in scanner, and a built-in receipt printer.


Multi-functional POS devices for wholesale bakeries and distributors

Wholesale bakeries and distributors produce a high volume of bread early every morning and deliver them to various locations for resale. Some also have an open storefront to sell bread fresh out of the oven to walk in customers.

Since distributors bake a high volume of bread and have multiple B2B and B2C transactions to handle, the key purposes of their POS device are sales and inventory control.

A good bakery POS solution will enable distributors to monitor business transactions, stock deliveries, as well as walk in sales.

Some inventory control software can even monitor stocks at the granular ingredient level, ensuring that raw ingredients are always replenished and never go to waste.

Distributors thus require POS devices which have strong processors and are highly organised.


Centralised control of POS hardware for bakery chains

Every country has a few ubiquitous bakery chains. Their outlets dot the country, and the taste of their bread is familiar and comforting.

Enter any outlet of a bakery chain and you will be bowled over by the array of bread on display. In fact, bakery chains in Southeast Asia consider innovating new flavours of bread as a central strategy for attracting customers [7]. Seasonal flavours and flash promotions are also common marketing strategies of bakery chains.

Thus, menu management is of utmost importance. This brings us to the most important factor for bakery chains – Wifi connectivity. Bakery POS devices should be able to connect to Wi-Fi for real-time updates, to be controlled by a centralised system.

Connectivity will guarantee consistency and timeliness of new items and promotions across outlets so that the entire bakery business can be effectively managed. It also maximises the capabilities of sales reporting tools and inventory management tools, since data can be collected and analysed immediately. Bakery managers will then be able to examine sales reports and determine customer satisfaction levels accurately.

Furthermore, unlike mom and pop bakeries which tend to be managed by the owners, bakery chains tend to have higher employee turnover rates. To reduce the training time of each employee, prices and varieties of bread should be recognisable at a glance. Deploying desktop POS devices with a larger screen can be helpful in this regard.

In addition, bakery chain POS devices should be sensitive yet durable, to withstand quick and continuous usage every day. This will ensure a positive customer experience, which will translate into higher bakery sales.

For example, the iMin D4 is perfect for bakery chains. With a crystal clear 15.6 inch display, reliable Wifi connectivity and a multi-point capacitive touch panel, the D4 will enable your bakery to serve customers better.

The D4 also has the option of adding a dedicated customer display, so that customers can verify the order and prepare payment as soon as the items are keyed in.


iMin D4 iMin D4 with a customer facing display and built-in payment processing

Another important consideration for bakery chains are the unification of marketing features and sales solutions using a POS terminal. Bakery chains with loyalty programs and/or mobile app should strive to achieve a unified customer experience. In this case, choose a POS solution which can be customised for integrated payment processing, display a digital menu, provide digital receipts, and more. Such specialised bakery management software will keep each and every valuable customer coming back.

Bakery chains may also benefit from a POS solution which has additional functions of employee management, customer relationship management, and kitchen management (for bakeries with front of house seating). All these functions and more are only possible on bakery POS devices which can support advanced reporting software.

With all these functions, employees can focus on providing excellent customer service.


Can your bakery POS system rise to the occasion?

As a bakery owner or bakery management software developer, it is imperative to survey bakery business types and implement POS solutions accordingly. This introduction of bakery POS systems is a quick guide to the industry, to help new owners find the right POS or existing users to evaluate their POS devices. Time to get kneading!

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