One of the keys to succeeding in the restaurant industry is being sure to manage your budget. You may have a great menu and space, but if you do not maintain a strict budget, your restaurant may still fail. To help maintain this budget, and perform many important business functions, it is imperative that you put in place a capable Point of Sale system.
Over the last few years, POS systems have truly advanced from the times when they just processed payments. In fact, many new POS platforms offer sales and inventory reports, customer databases, employee timesheets, and marketing functions.
With so many options out there, you may be confused as to which POS system will be right for your business. Whether you are opening you first location or your tenth, we are here to help guide you through the options and find a system that will help enhance your performance.
Why Do I Need POS System?
Investing in a good POS system right from the beginning can help save your restaurant money in the long run and benefit your restaurant operation in many ways. The platform will keep payment processing secure, cut down on ordering times by assigning prices to all menu items, clock your employees in and out, and notify you when an employee will surpass 40 hours per week.
In addition, many POS systems offer detailed revenue and inventory reporting features. These reports can be crucial by not only finding out profit margins per dish and overall, but also can help ensure that you do not run out of a popular menu item, which could cause you unexpected revenue losses.
Which POS System is Ideal for Your Restaurant?
Answering this question depends mostly on your current business objectives. If you are opening a small coffee shop, you will not have the same needs as a sports bar owner with multiple locations.
Objective: Save Money Upfront
For those businesses that are looking to save money up-front, a basic POS system may be the perfect fit. Most entry level POS systems include some reporting options and the transaction security that you want from a POS system, but no unnecessary features (like multiple POS stations).
Objective: Perform Complex Transactions
If you’re looking for a POS system that performs complex restaurant transactions such as merging or splitting checks, make sure to research the POS systems in-depth. Many companies claim to offer certain features while offering only watered-down versions. Be sure to consider how easy a system is to use as well. It doesn’t matter how many features a system has if they take too long to operate. Servers need a powerful yet intuitive POS system to be successful.
Objective: Serve a Fluctuating Customer Base
Your POS system should never be a burden to your restaurant. Long-term contracts are a nuisance for restaurants looking to expand or locations that operate seasonally. Restaurants shouldn’t have to pay for terminals that aren’t used for half of the year, or be charged to alter a contract due to sudden growth and expansion. Owners should investigate before signing with a POS provider, as some allow restaurants to seamlessly switch the amount of terminals while only paying for what is in use.
Objective: Manage High Sales Volume
Do you already operate a large or busy restaurant? If so, then you should have multiple POS terminals with functions that facilitate efficient service. The ability to pre-authorize credit cards and order online are two features that help process orders quickly and easily. By choosing a POS system that decreases ticket times, restaurant owners can serve more customers and make more money.
If you are still feeling uncertain about which POS system is right for you, or if you think you have found the perfect fit, be sure to try the system out before pulling the trigger. Virtually every POS system on the market offers a free trial, ranging from one week to one month. Most don’t require a credit card which means they are a completely risk free option to fully experience the system before choosing to run your business on it.
A good POS system shouldn’t need much support. However if something goes awry, you want to make sure that your POS system has excellent customer care – and answers the moment you need help. Look for a POS system that offers 24/7 customer care, so if your POS system malfunctions during a late night happy hour, you don’t miss out on revenue.