Whether you need to upgrade your POS or are purchasing a system for the first time, choosing the right restaurant point of sale system is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your growing business, especially since most owners stick with their POS for at least 10 years. That’s a significant commitment! So before you sign a contract, make sure you’ve found answers to these five industry-specific questions…
1. Can my employees easily navigate this system? If you’re like many restaurant owners and experience consistent employee turnover, your restaurant point of sale system needs to be intuitive enough for new employees to learn quickly and efficiently—and without extensive training. Ideally, your system will also offer a variety of platform systems for different staff members, so that chefs and managers can access data and ordering information without needing to navigate through a server portal first.
2. Does this offer all the features I need? With hundreds of POS systems available, narrow down your options by focusing on programs specifically designed for restaurant and food services. A generic system may not provide important features, like automated food purchasing, tip management, and menu/ingredient data analysis. On the other hand, it is just as important to make sure you aren’t paying for unnecessary or redundant elements, so look for a restaurant POS that offers customization or a variety of service plans.
3. Can this POS program integrate with other systems and accommodate growth? A good POS will be compatible with all your other software and back-of-house management platform, allowing you to track cash flow and inventory while accessing your food distribution account or bookkeeping software simultaneously. And if you plan on expanding your business to other locations, your POS needs to be able to seamlessly accommodate that growth.
4. Can this POS help you reach more customers and grow your business? The restaurant industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, with mobile/online food orders continuing to rise each quarter. According to a Market Force Information survey, 40% of consumers used their mobile device to place a food order in the last 90 days. This means any potential POS system needs to be equipped to manage online/mobile orders as well as process payment via a variety of smartphone apps.
5. What kind of maintenance and tech support is available? Some restaurant POS systems outsource their tech and maintenance support to third-party companies, which can be difficult to contact, or provide limited availability in the event of a hardware/software malfunction. Make sure your potential system offers in-house tech support with consistent availability for easy maintenance and repairs.
The right POS should simplify the complex work of restaurant ownership, so it is critical to pick a system that feels as if it were designed specifically for your business. In some cases, this might mean incorporating modular options that allow you to combine the best POS features with your preferred back-of-house, accounting, and employee management software. Fortunately, with the right questions in mind, you’re sure to make the best decision for your business!