Help! Restaurant opens next week and I have no idea what to do!

This tutorial is for the new restaurant owner, who is trying to open their first restaurant next week, who told everyone the store would have been open a month ago, for whom everything has gone wrong and they are almost bankrupt before making their first sale, who knows almost nothing about POS (point-of-sale = computer-as-cash-register), who has a thousand other things they are working 20 hours a day, and doesn’t know where to start with SambaPOS. The tutorial is written from the perspective of just such a hopeful (or despairing) owner, so if as a reader, you find yourself in a similar situation, please take heart that SambaPOS can save your store, at least the POS portion of your operation.


Scenario 1: “I have only 2 hours to have a POS up and running!”
Install SambaPOS on a computer (called the server), nice if the computer has a touch screen or you have a tablet touch screen, but not required. Just program your menu and prices, and wait until the future (when you are making money and have more time) to add more features.
One quick start is here

More installation instructions are here
The SambaPOS software is here

When you run SambaPOS, it uses the full screen, the way you want when in production mode. While you are first exploring SambaPOS, you may want to make the SambaPOS window smaller so that you can read web pages in a separate window on the same screen. You make the SambaPOS window smaller by double-clicking on the SambaPOS logo in the top-left of the window.

If you are desperate and need something, anything to sell, you can be an Italian restaurant
Here are the directions to add your menu and prices Configuring Menus on First Install
If you have a tablet or other touch screen, here are directions Connecting iPad Terminal


Scenario 2: “I have two days I can spend setting up a production POS, I’ve never heard of SQL, .NET, or Windows (what iPad app is that?), and I can’t pay for help.”

A good place to start
Some technical things to know about servers
SambaPOS Database Configuration
SQL Express 2014 Installation - SambaPOS4 Database Setup - [BONUS] How to Convert from CE to SQL Express
Also see section 3 here Installing SQL Express 2012 for SambaPOS V3 [SambaPOS V3]
I failed to connect my kitchen display to the main SQL database using Windows Authentication, probably because I don’t know how to use Windows Authentication. I switched to the mixed-mode authentication (User=sa; Password=sambapos in the various step-by-step guides) and was able to connect.


Setting up message service for terminals: Message Server Tutorial

At this point, I have a SambaPOS running, and have created products and menu, but my POS screen just has customer search and customer tickets. For very basic, I don’t have customers, I just want to sell ‘dine in’ or ‘carry out’, with the distinction telling the cook to put the food on a plate or in a bag.
Main Menu → Manage → Entities → Entities → Add Entity
Add an entity of type Tables named Dine In and add another also of type Tables named Carry Out.
Then make a new Entity Screen named Dine Or Carry (please think of a better name), with Ticket Type=Ticket, Entity Type=Tables, Display State=Status, and select the Entities Dine In and Carry Out. Under Mappings, Add to get a default, and then Save.

Now when I go to the POS screen, I have two big buttons for Dine In and Carry Out, selecting either one takes us to the order screen with all the menu items.

Taxes: How to Configure Multiple Taxes | SambaPOS V3

To set up an order display in the kitchen: Setup Courses - different serving areas on same order.. with entity screens - #22 by windinghouse

Motivation: I appreciate all the contributions from the community in this forum. As a beginner, I don’t have much to offer technically, but hopefully this tutorial will help to orient other beginners and get them started with the wealth of detail that the experienced developers and users have contributed.

After: Using just the SambaPOS forum as a guide, knowing nothing about POS, with no previous restaurant experience, not knowing Windows (I’ve used Mac since 1980s), we just sold our 1000th ticket on our 6th day, with SambaPOS flawless. If you are new to SambaPOS, you can deploy your own system; the tutorials, forum search, and forum support are amazing. Thank you @emre, @Jesse , @JohnS, etc.