So you’re looking for a new POS system for your restaurant. What should you know to make the right decision?
From stock reports and table plans to customer reward schemes and employee management, you’ve got a lot to consider. But all it takes to make a smart choice is knowing which areas to pay close attention to when you’re considering different providers.
Here are five things your POS provider wishes you knew before signing on the dotted line.
1. Your POS is a business tool, not an “order taker”
Your POS should be the brain of your restaurant. You’re cheating yourself if you shop for a POS under the assumption that it’s just for taking orders.
POS systems have evolved considerably over the past 20 years. In the days of yore, a POS was just your conduit for inputting tickets to the kitchen or cashing in and cashing out. Modern POS systems, on the other hand, become fully-fledged business analytics solutions at the tap of a touchscreen.
By arming you with the insights you need to make more money, improve customer service and make informed business decisions, your new POS will soon become the foundation of your restaurant’s success. Be sure to view it as such.
2. It can also be an engine for growing your restaurant
Maybe you’re a mom-and-pop shop with one eye on expansion, or a boutique bar with multi-location aspirations. Signing on for a single stationary POS terminal right now might make short-term sense, but what happens when your dream becomes a reality?
You’ll want to consider how technology will help you to scale your business. If your restaurant’s development dreams come true and you decide servers will be on the floor taking orders, one terminal won’t allow you to improve service and sales. Your perfect POS match will be built to scale with you.
TouchBistro, for example, offers a complete mobile POS solution for all food service types, with flexible licensing options. Nowadays, mobile POS terminals are almost essential if you want to make tableside ordering seamless between your servers and your kitchen.
3. The difference between the cloud and a server
If you’re keen on a POS that can provide anywhere, anytime access – as long as you’re connected to the internet – then a cloud-based POS is right up your alley. But if you’re uncomfortable relying solely on internet connectivity for your venue’s operations, you’ve got another option.
What might this option be? A hybrid solution. When you want the best of both worlds, a hybrid platform offers a reliable, secure, local connection, whilst also providing remote access to the cloud when you need to check your reports off-location. With a hybrid POS system, you’re not at the mercy of the internet. If your internet goes down, your POS will still function.
Some POS providers claim their systems have “offline mode capabilities”, but do your due diligence and find out exactly which features are available without an internet connection. If something is unclear in the contract, ask the questions you need to get a full view of what your prospective POS can (or can’t) do without internet access.
4. Professional training is super important
What good is a top notch POS system if you don’t know how to use it? Unless you’re as tech-savvy as Bill Gates, you’ll benefit a ton from proper training and installation by a POS professional.
Get a customized consultation or a walkthrough on connection best practices, and find out what it takes to succeed with your new system. The more in-depth the training, the less time you’ll spend on hold with customer support down the road.
5. A restaurant POS is different from a retail POSMake no mistake; if you’re a restaurateur, you need a POS system that’s designed specifically for restaurants. Why? Because if you opt for unspecialized software, you’ll be spending money on unnecessary features that do nothing for your business.
Generic sales reports just won’t cut it for restaurants that need to manage inventory, sales, and scheduling. To top it off, a generic POS could put a huge strain on your workflow, as opposed to a restaurant-specific system that has front and back of house workflows built into it.
Signing your POS contract should be a cause for celebration. Knowing these five things before choosing your POS provider will give you the peace of mind that you’ve found your perfect POS match.