My Future POS review will explore the various features on offer from one of the most well-known POS providers in the industry. If you’re trying to decide on a new point of sale system for your restaurant or small business, you probably know there is no shortage of options. Choosing the perfect POS platform is critical if you want to improve efficiency and provide better features to your customers.
So, should you opt for Future POS when you upgrade or buy a new point of sale system? Let’s uncover what you can expect from this POS provider.
Easy to use platform
Specific to the hospitality industry
Complete flexibility with payment processing
Touch screen hardware systems — a broad range of choices
Not many negative reviews from previous customers
Easy to build menus and loyalty schemes — gift cards available via POS system
Strong reporting data and analysis
A cloud-based system prevents data loss
No pricing transparency
Interface design feels outdated
Not as many integrations as some competitors
Can’t use your own hardware devices
Overview of Future Hospitality POS
Future POS is the point of sale platform with a strong dealer network across the USA now provided by Shift4 Payments. Future POS first entered the point-of-sale industry in 1998 — the company has over 20 years of experience providing point of sale technology to restaurant and bar owners. Unlike many point-of-sale platforms, which cover a broad range of industries, Future POS is primarily geared towards the food and hospitality industries. The company serves more than 20k merchants across the US, including large brands such as Wendy’s, Arby’s, KFC, Dairy Queen, and Denny’s, to name a few.
One of Future POS’ primary claims to fame is its prominence in the TV show Bar Rescue — it was featured heavily in the reality show in the United States. Harbortouch is currently the featured POS on all the new episodes of Bar Rescue. Harbortouch is also a POS solution offered by Shift4. At present, Future POS is presently on its 6th version of its software. The company releases an updated version of its point of sale technology every few years.
Future POS is a touch screen platform that provides a range of restaurant-specific tools to help you increase efficiency. You can build menus, take orders, create tabs, split bills, offer gift cards, and much more. It has more to offer than some of the more traditional point of sale platforms available throughout the industry.
How much does Future POS cost? Unfortunately, you won’t find any publicly available information about Future POS’ pricing on their website or online. This is never a good sign — if a company has a decent pricing scheme, it will most likely advertise it far and wide. Future POS prefers you to contact their team directly to discuss a quote. We prefer to see straight-forward pricing information when reviewing and comparing products to get an idea of cost.
This implies that the company might be flexible depending on the number of terminals that you’re looking to purchase. But it also means you’ll need to speak to their sales team or a find a POS dealer in your region to get a demo and make a price comparison with other products. To find a POS company to work with in your area, we have the largest online directory of POS systems here.
Pricing Update: You won’t be able to find this information available anywhere else online. We’re told from an industry insider that after Shift4 purchased Future, the pricing model switched to a monthly fee similar to Harbortouch’s pricing. The monthly fee is $10 to $20 more than Harbortouch, so we expect pricing for Future to be in the $69 to $79 per month range per terminal. Have further details about Future’s pricing scheme? Please let us know in the comments below!
Before you assess a point of sale platform or restaurant management system, it’s critical to take a look at the key features on offer from the provider. Below, let’s explore an overview of the features included with Future POS.
Build menus and create custom themes for your POS interface
In-depth reporting data that is accessible from offsite computers — it’s a great way to manage multiple locations from a central office
Create and write detailed reports on sales data and other reporting information
Modify and customize menu items using multi-column modifiers
Export information and orders to a kitchen display unit for added efficiency
Create digital signs and advertisements directly through the point of sale system
Integrate with QuickBooks accounting software
Choose between a broad range of touch screen Future point of sale devices
EMV credit card processing for added security against fraudulent purchases or activity
A cloud-based system that prevents data loss if something happens to your hardware
Create gift cards and track balances within the POS system
Manage bills, tabs, tips, and other crucial features with ease
Manage staff shifts, scheduling, and hours
Create an award or loyalty system for repeat customers
Search entire menu database via keywords — there’s no need to scroll through your full menu
Mobile POS ability for tableside ordering and payments
Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?
Future POS is a hybrid platform that takes advantage of locally installed software and a robust cloud system. Future POS’ latest cloud system includes it’s POS v6’s cloud-based technology – this allows you to access the backend of your point of sale data from offsite locations.
If you manage multiple chains, or you need access to your restaurant’s information, you won’t need to worry about heading to your brick-and-mortar location. Future POS provides you with a wide range of tools that can help you externally control your point of sale system.
Industries Served & Business Size
As mentioned previously, Future POS primarily provides services to the hospitality industry. While this means it’s not a suitable POS platform for retail businesses, it has the added advantage of providing specific features that benefit restaurant owners. There are also custom features in place for cafes, bars, clubs, food trucks, and a range of other hospitality niches.
Future POS also has features that make it a suitable choice for stadiums or entertainment venues. If you’re currently running a mid-sized entertainment venue, you can benefit from the various tools this POS platform offers.
Overall, I recommend this platform for small or mid-sized businesses. While it does have the capacity to scale quite successfully, there are more powerful POS platforms available on the market.
Ease of Use
Future POS offers plenty of features that increase ease-of-use — it’s easy to build menus, customize orders, split tabs, and perform a range of other POS-related actions. The touch screen nature of the platform, coupled with portable hardware options, makes it easy to process transactions and take your POS system on-the-go.
While it’s safe to say that it is easy to use the system, I’m not a massive fan of the design of the software. If you compare the interface’s appearance to other modern systems, you might find that it looks outdated. But if you don’t care what it looks like, you’ll be happy to know it’s a reliable software solution with over 20 years of software development unlike the newer systems on the market.
Future POS doesn’t allow you to use its software with your hardware units – this can be inconvenient if you have an iPad, tablet, or phone that you want to use with your point of sale. Still, you can source your Future point of sale hardware directly through the company or regional dealer.
Future gives you a broad range of your more traditional touch screen hardware solutions, as well as a long list of compatible accessories. You can find various mobile, tablet, and fixed terminal touch screen devices at Future POS. All their systems are in line with modern standards for touch screen POS hardware platforms.
Tableside Ordering and EMV Payments
Integrations & Add-ons
In many cases, you need to consider integrations and add-ons if you want to have a robust POS platform. Add-ons can help you obtain a range of customizations, including loyalty schemes, online ordering, reporting synchronization, tableside payments, kitchen display systems, and more.
Fortunately, Future POS offers partnerships with a few platforms that can help you increase your point of sale system’s efficiency. You can easily integrate with QuickBooks (accounting), PeachWorks, Long Range Systems, Posiq, and more. These systems help you manage restaurants, integrate reporting data, build loyalty schemes, analyze supply costs, and more.
Compatible Credit Card Companies
While Future POS doesn’t list its compatible credit card providers, you can use a range of processing companies with its platform. Overall, this is definitely a significant advantage. Instead of being tied down to your POS provider’s payment processing rates, you can shop around for the best deal on the market.
While this means that you’ll have to do some extra leg work if you want to find your payment processor, the freedom to choose is always the better option. Future has a payment platform if you don’t have one. If you work with Future POS’ payment devices, you’ll benefit from EMV technology and a range of safety features that help reduce your exposure to fraud.
Since Shift4 (a payments processing company) purchased Future POS, I can imagine they’ll want your processing business. So even though the payment platform may be open now, that could change in the future, so keep that in mind.
Customer Service and Support
If your POS system isn’t working correctly, it could cost you serious money. You rely on your payment processing platform to help you generate the cash flow that your business needs. If you have a subpar customer support team, it might end up costing you.
At Future POS, you can get in touch with their customer care department form 8 AM to 12 AM, seven days a week. While these are long hours, I still prefer POS providers that have 24/7 customer support hours. If you run a bar or nighttime venue, this lack of around the clock support might prove troublesome. That being said, if you purchase from a regional dealer, they may have 24/7 support available.
I also explored some of the typical customer complaints associated with Future POS – this is one of the best ways to see where your point of sale provider is falling short. So, what did customers have to say about working with Future POS?
Future POS has an A+ rating with the BBB. But like any major technology company, there are still a few complaints online. Most of these complaints revolve around account holds and integration issues. All in all, the account hold complaints may come down to anti-fraud initiatives by Future POS.
Realistically, it appears that Future POS has a positive reputation in the industry — you usually find many more negative comments about point-of-sale providers when you dig deeper.
Future POS offers the core features that you need to take your restaurant or bar to the next level. It’s relatively easy to use and provides you with tools that help you improve efficiency — you’ll also be able to offer customers gift cards, loyalty schemes, and a range of other benefits. As a basic system, these are decent options to be expected. They recently added an option for tableside EMV payments, which is a great feature to have.
And while it’s hard to find too much wrong with Future POS, it’s certainly not as robust as some of the newer entrants to the market. The design of the system feels slightly dated, and you don’t have the seamless navigation features you find with some other modern POS systems. Also, you don’t have much flexibility in terms of hardware options, which might be a bit of a turn off for some people. However, this may all change if Shift4 begins utilizing additional hardware and software from the Shift4 family of products.
Still, Future POS has an excellent customer service record with past clients and provides services to some rather large national companies, which says a lot about the company’s product and standards. So, if you’re looking for a more traditional point of sale solution where you work with a regional dealer for sales and support, this might be a suitable choice. There’s also many advantages to working with a local dealer that can provide additional value-added services. Overall do we recommend Future POS as a stable, reliable solution to consider? The simple answer is Yes!
Before you buy a POS system, we always recommend you look at our other POS reviews or compare your POS options before making a final purchasing decision.
Jason Feemster is a POS specialist and the President of Point of Sale USA (https://www.posusa.com). Jason has been in the point of sale business and in information technology for over 20 years. His website and articles have been featured or quoted in many industry publications including Inc.com, Business.com, Point of Sale News, Restaurant Business Online, Channelinsider.com, and VSR Magazine. Connect with Jason Feemster on LinkedIn.
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