Having a good Point of Sale (POS) software solution is one of the basic requirements for many restaurants around the country, if you didn’t know that then you really need some lessons. Today, there are many different types of POS systems, and if you looked for a definition of what a POS system is, you will find many different variations. Most people classify a POS or point of sale system as multi solution software that allows you to run your company easier. It can involve the management of your inventory, menu, bills, transactions, and many other things. The ideal POS system will help you learn more about your business, help you grow, and help you save a lot of time and money. If you don’t have a POS system you could be missing out on a large volume of missed opportunities by not balancing your business objectives. Below are some of the questions you should ask yourself when you are shopping around for a point of sale system.
1. What are the current areas of my business that need improvement? What are the strengths?
It’s important to define the needs of your business. You need to ask yourself, what kind of business you have, and how large your business is. If you are a Mom and Pop restaurant, your needs will differ from the McDonalds down the street. Then look specifically at your business and ask yourself a few of these type questions: Does your checkout process need work? Are you spending too much time on payroll? Is my inventory management a mess? What do customers like most about my restaurant? Is it the loyalty programs? It is the menu? These are all important questions to ask yourself when you are looking at features of different POS systems. Finding the right features for your perfect POS system, can help emphasize the strengths in your business.
2. What hardware and software components should I look for?
POS technology has come a long way since the beginning of the cash register. It used to be that the average POS system came with clunky hardware and you could only use it from one location. Now there are cloud-based POS software where you have unlimited storage and you don’t even need internet for your system. You can also manage every aspect of your restaurant or business while you’re at home or on-the-go. Having good hardware and software means also choosing your operating system preferences. Today, you can get POS systems for either Windows or Mac. So it’s important to pick one that you and your staff find easiest.
3. What are the different potential partners out there?
There are many different types of POS systems on the market right now. There are mobile POS, tablet POS, terminal POS, online POS, and kiosk POS. There are some company who offer systems for all types and some that specialize in specific systems. It’s important to research and start your journey on the ones that are credible. Each system type has benefits and drawback , but it’s important to read reviews, and participate in any free trials that are offered. Putting different POS systems to the test will help you decide which one works best in your day-to-day business. Don’t just sign up for a free trial and set the system aside. Features on a screen are a lot different than using them in real time.
4. Should I look at the type of support offered at each POS company?
Yes! It’s important to ask yourself these types of questions: Are you tech savvy? Is this your first POS system? Are you growing your business into an enterprise? All of these questions will be a determinant of how much support you will need from the POS Company. However, a good POS system shouldn’t need constant support, but if something were to go down, it’s important to find superior customer care. It’s important to focus on POS companies that offer 24/7 support so if something happens in the middle of the night or your POS Company is not in your time zone, they can handle any issues as soon as they happen.
5. What is my budget?
For people who want or need to save money up front, a more basic POS system may be the best option. Most basic POS systems include basic reporting and payment security that are great for getting started. Basic POS users are perfect if you are a single store or restaurant if you are in need of only 1 terminal, and you don’t need any of the unnecessary features of that like a restaurant chain might need. Even as a Mom and Pop type restaurant, it’s also important to look at features that can enhance the customer experience. Look at programs that enable you to split checks or create customer loyalty programs. They can really save you time in the long run.
However, if you are an enterprise level business, it’s important to not skimp out on features. When you have more than one location, or your restaurant is extremely large, it’s important to look into such things as an integrated solution to manage multiple locations, currency, or languages at once.