7 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Point-of-Sale Solution for Your Restaurant
When it’s time to purchase a point-of-sale solution for your restaurant, it’s a big decision and one you want to research thoroughly.
The first thing you should know is that a point-of-sale (POS) system will improve many of the functions of your restaurant. Your staff will be more efficient and more productive. What’s more, you can also watch your profits rise as everything works better with a POS system.
A POS system is a smart business decision. This system also helps you improve customer service while increasing customer loyalty. (tweet this)
Because the benefits are so wide ranging, let’s look at seven questions to ask before choosing a point-of-sale solution for your restaurant.
#1: Can I Afford It?
While it is important to consider the cost of your favorite POS system, ultimately you want to choose the system that fits your business needs and checks all your boxes.
Finally, your POS solution will pay for itself. You’ll notice labor savings, more revenue, and less lost inventory. Why? This is because you can track everything so much easier.
Like most things, you get what you pay for. Before you choose the least expensive POS system, take a good look at your return on investment. You may find that paying a little more for a better POS solution will pay for itself in the long run. (tweet this)
You want a system that is high quality, fits in your budget, has all the functionality and scalability you need, and is built to last.
There are two ways you can decide how much POS system you can afford:
- Take a percentage of your sales and use this to decide how much you can afford. It’s usually between .5% and 3%.
- You can also decide how much POS system you can afford based on your annual revenue. You’ll find systems ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
The average lifespan of a POS system is about ten years. You can use this number to decide on affordability.
When purchasing a POS system, you are paying for the following:
- Hardware that includes bar code scanners and receipt printers.
- Software that makes the POS run.
- Any integrations you need to add like accounting software.
- Credit card processing that comes with its own fees.
- Service and support – you may have to pay extra for this.
#2: What Features Do I Need?
Your restaurant is unique and has unique needs. So, when looking for a point-of-sale solution, make a list of the features you want.
First, you want to track sales and checkouts. You may also want to access sales reports, labor reports, sales averages of each employee, a clock-in system for staff, inventory tracking, automated ordering options, and the ability to integrate with third party software like accounting software.
Bottom line is the right POS system can increase customer loyalty, help you provide customer service, speed up operations, streamline your labor needs, and much more.
#3: Is It Easy for My Team to Use?
It’s imperative that you choose a POS solution that is easy to use. You and your staff will use it every day, so it should be intuitive for most of your team.
How can you know this? Test out the several systems and see which one works the best for you. You can generally find a free trial. Take a tour and let some of your team members do the same.
It’s also a good idea to check references and talk to other restaurants to see how they feel about the POS system.
#4: Is the Point-of-Sale Solution Designed for Restaurants?
You’ll find a multitude of point-of-sale solutions. Yet, you want to look for one that is solely for restaurants.
Not all POS systems are created equally, and your best bet is finding one that is uniquely tailored to the restaurant industry. These systems are created to handle your needs such as removing and adding ingredients to dishes, splitting the bill, loyalty needs, managing tables, sending orders to the kitchen, and more.
#5: Is It Fast and Reliable?
We live in a digital age, and everything moves quickly. Your customers don’t want to wait for your POS system to work.
The last thing you want is a busy weekend night and a POS system that can’t keep up.
Do your research to learn whether your chosen point-of-sale solution can keep up with your transactions, orders, and more.
In addition, what happens if the internet goes down? Can your POS system work offline?
#6: Will It Grow with Me?
The other thing you want to look at is whether the point-of-sale solution is scalable. Will it grow with you as your restaurant grows?
For example, if you add an extra restaurant, a food truck, an additional room, or even an outdoor patio seating area, you want to know if the POS system can grow with you.
Make sure to ask about scalability as well as and costs that go along with it. What does it cost to add new POS terminals? Do you need additional software?
You’ll have your POS system for years, so it’s important to know if and how the costs will increase, too.
#7: How Much Support Will I Get?
Finally, you want to know that if you get stuck, you can get some support and help.
When you choose a POS vendor, this is a relationship that will be with you for the long haul. Not only do you want to feel comfortable with the POS system, but you also want to feel confident in the vendor.
Their support is essential. What is their warranty? Is their support free or does it cost? What are their levels of support? What happens if your devices break?
Is employee training included? What kind of IT support exists? How about upgrades?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you find the best POS system.
The global restaurant point-of-sale system market is expected to reach nearly 26 billion dollars by 2028. So, you can see the popularity is rising.
If you don’t currently have a point-of-sale solution, then it’s time to start thinking about adding one.
Now that you have these seven questions you need to ask, you’re well on your way to making your restaurant work more efficiently while helping your restaurant increase sales.
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