The question of whether to implement a point of sale (POS) upgrade is one almost every restaurant operator asks at some point in time. But when is it time to make the move? Here are a few signs that a POS upgrade is likely in order.
1. Your POS system is experiencing performance issues. Slow operation indicates that a POS system is failing. You don’t want your POS system to shut down completely when your restaurant is full of patrons you suddenly cannot serve, leaving you vulnerable to lost sales and decreased customer loyalty. While you may hesitate to replace your POS system because you’ve invested a lot of money in it or because you just don’t have the flexibility to shop for a replacement, your best bet is probably a POS upgrade.
2. Your POS system lacks features that allow you to meet customer demands. With so many restaurants from which to choose, customers aren’t going to frequent establishments that fall short of meeting their demands. For example, if your restaurant offers takeout or delivery service, your customers probably expect an online ordering alternative. If you have counter service, you’d probably benefit from a POS upgrade to a system that incorporates mobile POS so customers can order and pay for their food as they stand in a queue. In addition, most consumers these days crave payment flexibility and have a need for payment speed. Consider a new POS system with alternative payment options, such as Apple Pay, as well as facilitate high-speed processing of credit and debit cards.
3. Your POS system doesn’t provide mission-critical business information. Tight control over every aspect of business — from inventory, to staffing levels, to day-to-day operations — is critical to success in every restaurant industry segment. This necessitates access to a wealth of important information, including sales, traffic patterns, ingredient cost and usage, and employee productivity. You need a POS system that permits you to track this data, but also to manipulate it into a variety of reports that will prove valuable when making business decisions. Your POS system should also allow you to access this information wherever you are — in another of your locations, at home, on vacation, or elsewhere—via a remote Internet connection.
4. Your POS system doesn’t support initiatives that foster customer engagement. Customer engagement is increasingly important these days, and if you can’t engage your customers, you can’t cultivate and maintain their loyalty. You would do well to board the POS upgrade train if your existing POS system doesn’t support such engagement — for example, through a loyalty program component or the option to maintain a mailing list and send targeted offers to customers who opt in to receive them.
If you’ve been concerned about not being able to afford a POS upgrade, after considering this list, can you afford not to? The increase in efficiency, productivity, customer service and engagement levels, and business intelligence will provide ROI and help your business stay competitive and profitable.