How we acquire, access, and use technology has changed dramatically in recent years. In restaurant and retail, we’ve begun to see changes in how business owners acquire their point of sale (POS) systems.
You are probably all too familiar with the burdens and challenges that traditional POS systems have presented for restaurant and retail owners and managers, including:
- You had to buy them, which meant paying out a big pile of money up front that you either had to have on hand or borrow.
- Complicated contracts, and often, additional maintenance and service contracts.
- Installation and training took days – or longer, and interrupted sales.
- Product upgrades typically had to be installed manually onsite.
- A proprietary system meant you were locked into using the POS vendor’s hardware.
- Sometimes the hardware had issues or didn’t function properly, but you kept it because you wanted to squeeze as much usage and value out of it as you could. After all, you had invested thousands of dollars into it.
With available POS systems on the market architected and sold similarly, merchants faced generally the same set of challenges regardless of which system they chose. Switching vendors took them down the same painful, expensive path all over again.
When you consider this list, the question comes to mind: why would anyone want to own their POS?
The New Paradigm
In our personal lives, how we acquire and use technology has been changing for some time, and we’ve gotten used to it. Remember, back in the day, when you wanted to purchase any kind of software – for example, an accounting program or a new operating system for your desktop computer? You paid an upfront sum of money. You received a disc that you inserted into your computer to install the software.
Rarely is software sold as a product anymore. Instead, we acquire it (rent it, really) using more of a subscription model. We pay a far lower monthly amount for access to the software (say, $9.99/month instead of $249.99 one-time, up-front). This is possible because the internet offers a beautifully simple way to distribute software (and pay for it securely).
Many software subscriptions come with regular updates. So when the software provider releases an enhancement or new feature, it is available as an automatic update. Or you can download it if, and when, you choose, without having to insert a disc into your computer and run an update task.
The Future is Now: Renting Your POS Offers Flexibility and Freedom
There’s good news for business owners and managers who need tools to not only ring up guest purchases but also manage their businesses. The rental model is making significant inroads into restaurant and retail management, and that means a completely different and better – experience.
How much better?
- Zero up-front costs. You pay an affordable amount, monthly.
- Frees up capital for expansion.
- Software rental contracts are much simpler. No complicated, time-consuming purchase negotiations.
- With cloud-based systems, installation is often a matter of downloading an app from the app store. It’s that simple!
- Training is minimal because the software is user friendly.
- Product enhancements/upgrades are included in the monthly fee. They typically download in real time, incrementally, automatically, and often without any hands-on intervention from IT or anyone else. Talk about painless.
- Your choice of device. Increasingly, modern POS systems use commonplace touchscreen devices such as tablets and smartphones. That means they aren’t tied to proprietary terminal hardware. Some will work with both existing POS hardware and with today’s modern touchscreen devices. That way you can keep using the terminal if you want, and deploy tablet or other handheld devices around the store, back of house, or even in the store-room.
- Lastly, some cloud-based POS solutions even let you get rid of servers altogether. Imagine not having to set up a server onsite just to run your POS. Even server farms/data centers at HQ can be a thing of the past when you adopt modern POS systems that connect to (and through) the cloud. Some of the smartest systems are self-contained on-location so they can continue ringing up sales and producing reports for you even if your internet connection goes down. Adopt a system like this, and your IT staff may stop by and hug you just to say thanks.
Renting your next POS could be closer than you think. Your staff will love the simplicity. And your customers will appreciate the rapid ordering and payment. Want to learn more? Contact one of our restaurant point of sale specialists today!