Published on February 7th, 2019 | by Bibhuranjan0
Why It’s Time to Rethink Your Restaurant Point of Sale Situation
The article would help readers evaluate their current system (why it worked before and may not be currently doing so well) and help build a POS roadmap that encompasses the best solution available within the restaurateur’s budget (how to save money and still get a system that works for the restaurateur’s specific needs).
Does your restaurant point of sale spark joy?
Business owners can learn a valuable lesson from Marie Kondo and the latest pop culture phenomenon. You might not consider your restaurant technology to be something that you can have particularly strong feelings about, but the tools you choose have a bigger impact on your business than you may think. Inanimate objects—like your restaurant point of sale—that are responsible for your business operations have the opportunity to shift the way you think about work.
When you think about your point of sale, and the impact it has on your business, do you feel gratitude for the technology, or is it a burden on you and your staff? If your answer is the latter, it might be time to rethink your point of sale situation.
5 Reasons to Consider a New Point of Sale
When you first purchased your current point of sale, chances are you were excited for the new technology in your restaurant. If that love has faded away, we have a few reasons why you might be ready to explore new point of sale solutions for your restaurant.
1. You want a more affordable solution
There’s no denying it: point of sale systems are a big investment. Considering the lifetime value of a system and anticipating the return on your investment is a huge driver when it comes to feeling comfortable with a point of sale. They’re the backbone of your business and process every transaction for each meal that your customers enjoy. However, despite the value that they bring to your restaurant, it can be a financial burden for some restaurants to install a quality system. While some systems have less expensive upfront costs, they can potentially be a headache down the line, which is why it’s crucial for restaurants to understand the lifetime value and anticipate costs in the future.
2. You want an intuitive and easy-to-use system
Hiring a new employee can cost up to $3,500 and the last thing you need is to have your restaurant tech be the reason for turnover. Whether you’re onboarding new employees or introducing a new feature to seasoned vets, the right POS can save hours of training (and $$$). By using a system that is user-friendly, restaurants won’t have to worry about training staff on a system that isn’t built with a server or bartender in mind.
3. You want more customer data
The right point of sale won’t keep you guessing. By tying your transactions to your point of sale, you will own every piece of data on every customer that walks in your door. Want to know which dessert sells the best? Which server turns the most tables? Which bartender upsells more appetizers during happy hour? A fully integrated system will give you the insights that you need to assess staffing needs, menu changes, food waste, and ultimately grow your business.
4. You want to run smoother shifts
In the restaurant industry, there is not a moment to spare when it comes to providing excellent hospitality to your guests. That’s why you can’t afford to be slowed down by an outdated point of sale. Slow operating systems can impact the time it takes to serve guests and quickly turn tables, meaning that it won’t only aggravate your staff—guests will leave unhappy with their experience.
5. You want an all-in-one platform
As a restaurateur, you live for quick and efficient processes and that doesn’t stop at your point of sale. Having a fully integrated, all-in-one restaurant POS system has the opportunity to give your business an edge. By keeping your online ordering, inventory, analytics, menu management, marketing tools, and more all in one place, you can focus providing unparalleled hospitality instead of back office operations.
A Restaurant’s 10 Step Guide to Choosing the Perfect Point of Sale
If you’re feeling less than thrilled about your point of sale and want to start your search for something new, here’s your guide to making the right choice for your unique business. Once you ask yourself these 10 questions, you’ll be ready to jump into a new point of sale that will dramatically impact your restaurant.
1. Is it easy to use?
Restaurant POS systems are designed to make your staff’s lives easier. However, if your POS system requires 15 manuals and an advanced calculus degree to operate, getting your staff to adapt isn’t going to be easy. Each restaurant is unique, and a restaurant POS system needs to reflect that. A highly customizable, simply laid out restaurant POS system is key to keeping business moving at the right pace, while also being accessible to new staff members.
2. Does it focus on data?
As simple as the POS system interface should be for operators, the backend needs to offer the depth of detail necessary to gain a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace. Opting for a POS system that gathers customer data, inventory information, and countless other metrics will allow you to adjust ordering, staff appropriately for each shift, and determine the right strategy for optimal success on your busiest nights.
3. Is it scalable?
You want to see your business grow. However, once you start scaling operations upwards, will your restaurant POS capabilities scale to match? While choosing the right POS, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you going to outgrow your POS system, forcing you to upgrade all over again in just a few months or years?
- Did you pick a system that easily scales alongside your restaurant, making adaptations something you don’t even have to think about?
To get the most out of your POS system, you want to find one that has the ability to automatically upgrade software, add features and applications, increase data collection, and remain optimized for the lifespan of your equipment.
4. Are software updates simple?
Updating a traditional POS system requires bringing in a professional and paying them for their time—and those costs can add up fast. Instead of having to hassle with all of those variables, savvy restaurateurs who opt for tablet cloud-based systems can carry out a system-wide update with nothing more than the tap of an app, which means that you don’t actually have to be in your restaurant to carry out an update.
5. Does it integrate with other platforms?
There are many moving parts to a bustling restaurant business. It’s important that your POS and other software can easily integrate with other tech platforms, such as payment processing platforms, inventory systems, CRM systems, reservation systems, loyalty programs, and shift scheduling systems.
6. Is it secure?
Data attacks through restaurant POS systems are common, and old POS systems are notoriously easy to hack. A software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that stores data in the cloud and is PA-DSS compliant—just like your bank—is much more secure than legacy systems, with exponentially superior support, which is possibly the single most important reason to upgrade.
7. Is there 24/7 support?
If you’re on a legacy POS system and the warranty has expired, good luck finding the provider who sold you the unit, let alone finding a technical person to fix it. Modern POS systems should feature frequent software updates and 24/7, U.S.-based support.
8. Does it fulfill your restaurants’ needs?
Every restaurant is different, which is why you need to have a firm understanding of the must-haves for your business before diving into research. Make a list of everything your business needs to succeed – it will help you have a clearer mind when you’re talking to the companies that want you to use their software.
9. Did you read reviews?
Speaking of the research process, reading reviews is key to getting to know a product. Just like customers read reviews of your restaurant before choosing do dine there, doing some research on review websites can help you learn how users like the product. Just be sure to consider the type of restaurant leaving the review—not all restaurants have the same needs.
10. Did you consider the processor?
A lot of merchants have a hard time assessing the overall value of a processing service. They chase the lowest numbers and often end up with the least valuable service, which in the end, ironically, costs the merchant much more in lost efficiency and extra services purchased elsewhere. Rates are important to consider, and every merchant should carefully review and understand their fees.
Bottom line: Choosing a restaurant POS system doesn’t have to be hard
While this may seem like a lot to consider, it’s more important that you check every box when it comes to choosing a new point of sale system for your restaurant. Take the time to map out your needs, thoroughly assess your options, and even consult your team before making a move to a better POS solution. Finding the right fit for your business will leave a lasting impact on your restaurant, leaving your staff and customers filled with joy.