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Square Review
Square Review
Square Review
Square Review
December 13, 2021 / Catherine Miller
Square Review
Square Review
December 13, 2021 / Catherine Miller
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Overview

Square is a multi-faceted POS with tons of features you can combine to find the right solutions for your business. With specialist restaurant solutions, it’s a great choice for food and beverage establishments. Equally, it works well for retail, both online and offline. Combine Square’s hardware with its powerful software to transform your business.

Types of Business Supported

Square serves a wide range of businesses including retail, restaurants (and other food and drink establishments), professional services (such as beauty and wellness providers), and large companies.

Pros

  • Take online orders
  • Sync your inventory with your online store
  • Set up a free custom website
  • Get paid remotely with Square Invoices
  • Schedule appointments with ease

Cons

  • Limited support with some plans
  • POS software only for iOS devices

Features

Square has a rich array of features and solutions to suit most businesses. The baseline POS package can be added to and customized with the options you need. Below, we examine some key features.

Wide payment acceptance

Square started life as a payment solution, so it’s no surprise you can accept a wide range of payment types including credit cards, Apple Pay/Google Pay, Cash App Pay, and plastic gift cards. You can also store payment details for faster checkout for regular customers.

Menu Management

Square’s specific restaurant solutions include remote menu management. Quickly update, categorize, and color code your menu. You can also apply changes to multiple locations in one go.

Full Service and Table Side Ordering

The POS software lets you map out and optimize your floor plan for quicker tableside ordering, as well as see how long particular tables have been waiting for service. Servers can use the software to take and complete orders, with the option to reopen closed checks to make adjustments where necessary. Orders will be sent smoothly through to back of house via the POS so there’s no friction.

Kitchen Display System

Square KDS syncs orders so your staff can keep on top of customer requests. You can prioritize and organize all the orders you receive and customize tickets so the kitchen gets the info they really need. You can send information through to specific stations in the kitchen, too.

Offline Mode

When you enable offline mode, you’ll be able to process swiped payments up to 72 hours later. This only works for magstripe cards but not contactless or chip card transactions.

Advanced Inventory Management

For retail stores, Square lets you manage your inventory easily and efficiently. You can scan items with your iPhone or iPad to update stock counts, get stock forecasts so you know when to reorder, and automatically generate purchase orders, amongst other useful features.

Online Ordering

Square’s POS integrates brilliantly with online commerce. In a restaurant setting, the Square KDS lets you collect and display orders from a range of online delivery platforms on the same screen as your in-house orders.

In a retail setting, Square facilitates an easy transition to a web store by giving you an easy-to-use website builder. You can also integrate with social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, or use QR ordering, to reach customers in more locations online.

Loyalty Features

It’s easy to build a loyalty program straight through Square’s POS. Customers can earn points by shopping or dining with you. You can then view their balance and history in a unique profile. Customers will be notified about rewards by text, keeping them engaged with your business.

Comprehensive Reporting

The Square Dashboard gives you a wealth of information about your business, accessible remotely if needed. You can find real-time insights into your business operations and compare performance to find out how to improve.

Other Features

  • Virtual terminal to take payments at your computer
  • Appointment scheduling solutions
  • Payroll software
  • Customer directory
  • Email marketing

Plans & Pricing

Square’s pricing depends on what kind of business you’re running, which will determine which features you need. There are 2 pricing tracks for retail and restaurant.

If you are running a retail business, you have 3 packages available.

Plan

Price (monthly)

Additional price (per transaction)

Includes

Free

$0

2.6% + 10¢ (in-person)

2.9% + 30¢ (online)

Free POS app

Free online store

Inventory tools

Unlimited items

Plus

$60 (per location)

2.5% + 10¢ (in-person)

2.9% + 30¢ (online)

Everything in Free

Cross-location exchanges

Advanced inventory tools

Advanced reporting

Team management solution

Premium

Custom (get a quote from Square’s sales team)

Custom (get a quote from Square’s sales team)

Everything in Plus

Discounted add-ons

Payroll

Loyalty program

Marketing

Account management

For restaurants, there are also three levels:

Plan

Price (monthly)

Additional price (per transaction)

Includes

Free

$0

2.6% + 10¢ (in-person)

2.9% + 30¢ (online)

Free POS app

Team management tools

Inventory tools

Limited support

Plus

$60 (per location)

2.6% + 10¢ (in-person)

2.9% + 30¢ (online)

Everything in Free

Advanced POS

Square KDS

Team Plus

24.7 support

Premium

Custom (get a quote from Square’s sales team)

Custom (get a quote from Square’s sales team)

Everything in Plus

Discounted add-ons

Payroll

Loyalty program

Marketing

Professional service businesses will need to purchase the relevant retail POS package, plus add-ons. For example, Square’s invoicing tool costs $0-$20 per month depending on whether you want the basic or advanced options. The cost of the Appointments tool depends on how many staff you have (starting at $0 for one employee, and up to $90 per month for 10).

Large businesses will need to obtain a quote from Square due to the complexity of potential solutions.

Hardware Requirements

Square can provide the basic hardware setup you will need to run your business: register, payment terminal, and card reader. You can also use Square POS to transform iPads into portable hardware elements. You can add further accessories such as receipt printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and scales, among other things.

Integrations & Add-ons

Square integrates with an extensive range of third-party apps and platforms. These include e-commerce (e.g. WooCommerce), marketing (e.g. Mailchimp), and online food ordering (e.g. Chowly).

Ease Of Use

It only takes a couple of minutes to sign up for your Square account. You then need to establish your settings and further details, as well as configure any hardware, which can take a bit longer. There are some useful guides on the Square website to help you. Once installed, the POS software is easy to use for both you and your employees, with an intuitive format.

Customer Support

Square provides a helpful knowledge hub on its website. There is also a seller community where you can get help from other customers. While using Square POS, you can also find in-app support where you need it most. Customers can access further support by chat, email, or phone, although this may be limited to Mon-Fri 6am-6pm EST, depending on your plan.

Bottom Line

Square is a rich POS solution that brings you a huge array of tools and features. For this reason, no matter what kind of business you’re running, Square is sure to have something to suit you. From useful hardware to e-commerce tools, it’s an excellent way to bring the power of technology into your business.

For restaurants, exploit online ordering and maximize the efficiency of your front-of-house service. For retail stores, the ability to accept a wide range of payments and set up a loyalty program will increase customer satisfaction. If you’re looking for a flexible POS for your business, Square is a great choice.

Get started now, visit Square
By Catherine Miller
Catherine Miller is a lead member of personal finance and pension innovator Maji, where she’s responsible for content creation and running Maji’s personal finance masterclass, among others. Miller also holds degrees in English and education, and worked as a teacher before moving into finance. Today, she combines aspects of education and personal finance to help readers make better decisions in finance and beyond.
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