Purchasing a new point of sale system is a huge investment for a restaurant, and it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. A new POS system should help maximize the productivity, efficiency, and profitability of your restaurant, but no two restaurants are the same.
Asking the right questions is the first step toward ensuring that your new POS purchase is an ideal fit for your restaurant. Make sure to ask these five questions before you make any major decisions:
1. Should I purchase or rent the hardware and software?
The decision to purchase or rent POS hardware and software should be made on a case by case basis. Newer restaurants that don’t have much overhead capital might benefit from renting, or from a software as a service (SaaS) option that requires less expensive monthly payments. A back-office solution is typically purchased, which has a large up-front cost but gives restaurants the added benefit of completely owning equipment.
Tablet-based POS solutions are also a great option, with restaurants purchasing the hardware and renting the cloud-based software in a SaaS model. Renting doesn’t require much of an initial investment, but the cost over time will eventually add up.
2. How is the POS system updated?
Updates to your POS system will largely be determined by the type of POS system you purchase. SaaS options tend to be updated on a monthly basis, and your POS system will automatically be updated through the cloud. On-premise systems are updated less frequently – perhaps once a year – and require a technician to manually install the update on-premise, sometimes at an additional cost.
Restaurant owners don’t have to pay for updates, but an outdated POS system could cause problems somewhere down the line. Make sure you understand how often your provider will be updating your POS system, as well as what is included in each update and if it will interrupt your business.
3. Is support in-house or outsourced?
Anyone in the restaurant industry knows that things tend to go wrong at the worst times. If your point of sale system is having issues, you want it fixed as soon as possible. Outsourced support can be disjointed because you don’t have a specific contact, and the lack of a direct support line complicates the support process.
In-house support often gives you a direct contact who knows your account history and can lead you to a solution as quickly as possible. Whether the provider you work with has in-house or outsourced support, understand what that means and what you can expect when something does go wrong.
4. Does the provider offer installation, customization, and training?
The answer to this question says a great deal about the provider you are working with. While these options might come at an additional cost, they also help ensure your POS system implementation goes smoothly. Try to select a vendor that wants to assist you through the installation process, so your restaurant can hit the ground running right away. A provider that works with you to customize and build your menu, as well as offers training on using the software, should be much more welcome than one that does not.
5. Is this POS solution scalable?
If everything goes as planned, your restaurant will thrive; you might even want to expand. If you add a patio, an additional room, or perhaps a food truck, your POS system should be able to keep up. Ask each provider about the scalability of their POS solution and any associated costs. Knowing this knowledge ahead of time will make planning your restaurant’s future much easier.
Asking these five questions during the search for a new restaurant point of sale system will eliminate many of the headaches that tend to come with the process. Regardless of what you’re looking for in a POS system, make sure to select a point of sale provider that has the experience and knowledge necessary to help you achieve success in your specific niche or industry.
Do you need help selecting the best restaurant point of sale to fit your needs? Contact a Leebro POS specialist today!