Telephone system?

I’m building, and don’t know what I need in a phone system! I’m planning 4 phones, that will go through caller ID and connect to a POS.
Can I just enable the lines and buy multi-line phones at Staples, or do I need a “system” for this to work? I figure I need something that would hold up for 100 calls in a night. If I’m doing more than that I won’t mind upgrading…

And if so, recommendations are welcome

  • on the phone setup, not the POS :slight_smile:

If you would like to provide me with more information I would be glad to give you the benifit of my 20 years as a business telephone serviceman

Cool, Daddio!

I’d love your advice - but I don’t even know what information is important in making the decision.
Here’s the plan:
I plan to have 3 or 4 lines, so a caller rarely gets a busy, but rolls to the next line and all staff will be trained to take orders.
Each phone will be at a POS terminal, with caller ID enabled.

The POS needs to probably use a phone line too, for credit card processing, if I’m not mistaken. But if it’s DSL, that “shares” a line, right?
And I suppose it should be capable, through the phone or the service, to have a “wait” message in case there is a delay or a need for a short hold, plus the ability to turn on a “please call back when we’re open” message.

Please let me know what kind of other criteria are important in figuring out what I need!


When you set up a system the one thing that you should be aware of is you nearly alway want twice the number of telephone sets as lines. I have 2 lines and 4 sets.

Your staff may all be cross trained to answer the phone and take orders but if they are all on the phone who is making the orders?

If you have your POS on DSL it will piggy-back on one of the lines and not make the line busy. If you have dial up then I would share the POS and Fax line.

My experience has taught me that customers would rather reach a busy signal than be put on hole for more than 30 seconds. I don’t have music or messages on hold for that reason.

Hw big is your operation going to be? How many phone in orders do you expect on a daily basis? Are you going to be del/co only or is there dine in? These are a few of the questions that you must answer before you decide on a phone setup (either multi line sets or a system).

I don’t understand the advantage of having more phones than lines, unless you have phones all over the store at every corner. If you have 2 lines and 4 phones all in the same area, 2 phones are completely useless. I have 6 lines with 4 phones and find that it works very well.

Paul, sometimes depending on the size of your store you want say two phone lines to answer incoming calls but perhaps a phone at the bar or in your office to make or transfer calls away from the kitchen

Mike, to do roll over and such you need to have a commercial phone system. Sometimes you can make speacial arrangements with phone company but typically if you do not have a phone system then every phone line and phone sitting on your counter has a different and seperate phone number. The phone system combines all of the incoming phone lines as one number for your phones on the counter. However you can pick up, up to a two line phone at office depot etc… and that would work.

That’s not true - the phone system doesn’t have anything to do with rollover or combining the incoming phone lines as one number.

Your phone company does the rollover processing which results in the appearance of “combined” phone numbers.

You could have a separate single line phone connected to each of your incoming lines and they would rollover to each other just the same as if you had a muliline phone or a PBX type system.

I have a set beside each of the 2 cash registers one in the office and one in the staff room. On a busy night I want my cashiers to concentrate on the people who are in front of them and not on the phone so the other two phones are where the phone in orders are taken.

The roll over feature is not a function of the phone it is a function of the phone company’s equipment. You can have the feature put on as many lines as you like. One thing to remember when deciding on whether to go with multi line phones or a system is to plan for the future growth of you business.

Talk to your POS company if you have one already decided. they should be able to give you some good advice as well, because they will be hooked into that phone system in some way so you can get your caller ID on the POS screen.