No matter what type of dining establishment you own, one of the best things you can do for your business is to replace your electronic cash register with a restaurant POS system. Such technology not only allows you to boost sales while reducing costs; it also gives you tight control over your entire operation. However, restaurant POS systems and vendors aren’t created equal, so it’s important to exercise due diligence before finalizing your purchase. Here are five key questions to ask prior to signing on the dotted line:
What do I most want to accomplish by deploying a restaurant POS system? Just as restaurant POS systems and vendors differ, so do operators’ priorities and business challenges. Determining which pain points you would like to address, what the restaurant POS system will enable you to do that you currently cannot do, and how much time you are devoting to administrative tasks will help you to figure out which technology features are a must for your particular operation.
What is my budget for a new restaurant POS system, and does this technology fit that budget even after factoring in other variables? Your budget must cover more than the price of the technology and the implementation; variables like ongoing support must be taken into consideration when formulating a restaurant POS budget.
Is the restaurant POS system generic in nature, or does it have a hospitality focus? Most, if not all, options that fall into the former category simply do not incorporate certain features and capabilities that are essential to leveraging a restaurant POS technology investment. These features and capabilities may differ based on whether an establishment operates in quick-service, fast casual, or fine dining mode. Nonetheless, their importance cannot be disregarded during the shopping process, and settling for a generic restaurant POS system makes little sense in the long run.
In addition to being specifically designed for use in the hospitality sector, does the restaurant POS system include other essential features? Although some features found in restaurant POS systems belong under the “nice to have” umbrella, others are essential—and purchasing a system that does not have them will likely result in repercussions sometime down the road. Scalability (the flexibility to accommodate additional POS terminals and to support seamless chain-wide operation), as well as support for mobile POS, are just two of these features. There are many more.
Is this the right restaurant POS vendor for my needs? The caliber of the restaurant POS system itself will clearly play heavily into the decision of whether or not to seal the deal or move on to the next option, but it really is only part of the equation. You can purchase the best, most comprehensive restaurant POS technology available, but if the vendor is not up to par, you can put yourself at as much of a disadvantage as you would were you to select the wrong solution. The right vendor will demonstrate a clear understanding of every potential customer’s business and the manner in which it operates, as well as the challenges it faces and goals set by management. Such a vendor will also offer ongoing support.
The process of selecting from among the myriad of restaurant POS systems on the market today, as well as deciding how much to spend on this type of technology, must be a careful, methodical one in which questions are asked at every turn. The above provides a jumping-off point. For more about how to buy a restaurant POS system—and when to replace your existing restaurant POS technology – download our POS Buyers Guide.