Jeremy Julian

8 Reasons Why a POS Maintenance Agreement is a Great Idea

February 26, 2014

Almost everyone has faced the decision on whether or not to purchase an extended warranty.  How many times do we say “no”, only to have the product fall apart the day after the warranty expires? Most restaurants spend tens of thousands of dollars on their POS equipment and software. There are few other purchases that are more critical to the restaurant’s operation.

In our personal lives, when we make large-ticket purchases, we often seek out some sort of warranty or maintenance for the item.  Take a car, for example. These days, most cars come with some sort of coverage that allows for regular maintenance on the vehicle. And this is a HUGE selling point for consumers! So why would this be any different for a big-ticket item your restaurant makes? If you don’t change the oil and rotate the tires on your car, its lifespan is reduced. The same holds true for your computer equipment in your restaurant. It’s a big-ticket item that needs to be maintained. Here are 8 reasons why restaurateurs should have a POS maintenance agreement.

  1. Predictable costs – When you pre-purchase your maintenance, the cost of maintaining the system is budgeted.  You know what the cost of the POS maintenance is at the beginning of the year and the restaurant can work with the POS provider to have monthly, quarterly or annual terms on their agreement.  This will create predictable costs and allow the restaurant to budget for the cost of the system maintenance.
  1. Maintenance decisions are easier – The restaurant operators can focus on running the restaurant rather than on wondering if they are making sure the system is up and running.  If an entry level manager faces the decision to maintain the POS system, increasing the operating cost or to forgo the repair to hit their bonus, what decision will they make, realistically?  With a pre-paid maintenance agreement, there is no decision that has to be made.  There’s no risk of a rash decision being made by anyone.
  1. Save money on other services – With a service agreement, most POS providers will give priority services to the customer who has pre-paid for the services.  Services such as training, new features and consulting services typically are less expensive for those customers who are partnered through a maintenance agreement.
  1. Increased hours – Often times, your POS provider will have different hours of services for their customers under a maintenance agreement.
  1. Software Updates – Different software providers have different rules with the software distribution. Unless you are using a SaaS model, these software updates are typically not provided to customers that don’t have a maintenance agreement.  Similarly, SaaS software users risk losing access to the software if the bills aren’t paid on time.
  1. Partnership Customers need to partner with their vendors.  Part of this partnership is having a mutual agreement on how things can be budgeted.  If you are not on a maintenance agreement, your POS partner will not be able to budget staffing.  Without being able to budget for staffing, many times, you will not be able to get the services you want or need from your vendor.  This is a long term purchase and a long term relationship.  Every restaurant wants their POS provider to be around to support them in the future.
  1. Terms – Payment terms are often extended to customers who have a maintenance agreement.  You don’t want your manager to have to pull out his personal credit card for something that needs to be done on your POS system and is urgent because the vendor has not extended payment terms.
  1. Preventative Maintenance – Often, POS providers will fix other items within the restaurant as a preventative measure for their service-contract customers.  If the customer, on the other hand, is on time and materials, anything the POS provider touches will be billed for time.  Say a fan is going out on a terminal in the kitchen, unbeknownst to you, but you called to repair the touch screen. In contract situations, the tech will often repair or replace the fan in addition to the screen. Without a maintenance contract, you could be looking at multiple trips and additional costs.

Your restaurant’s POS system is one of the largest purchases you will make.  Proper maintenance of the system will keep it running at optimal levels, keeping your staff and customers happy.  What other values do you find in having a maintenance agreement for your POS system?

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