Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

The Perfect POS System – What to Look For

February 6, 2015

The Perfect POS System - What to Look ForUnless you run a restaurant chain out of Antarctica, you’ve likely heard us harping on the value of a Point of Sale (POS) system for your restaurant (and if not us, then someone else, because pretty much everyone in the restaurant world is talking about it).

In this tech-driven age, savvy restauranteurs understand the importance of “getting on board and getting with the times” in order to reach their customers where they are. (Hint: they’re online via smartphones, tablets, and laptops.)

BUT a POS system is a huge investment, so we understand it can be a pretty daunting and overwhelming task to 1) decide to integrate it into your restaurant, and then 2) determine which one is right for you. You have lots of options, so your pals The Restaurant Technology Guys are here to simplify it a bit. Consider these important factors and how they relate to your unique business needs.

The Perfect POS System – What to Look for

1. User-friendly

This is always a big concern with technology. Too complex, and you open yourself up to employee frustration and errors. Too lax and you can become vulnerable to employee theft. Your POS System should provide the same easy to use, stress-free and pleasant experience for your employees that a table side ordering system provides for your customers.

It needs to accommodate a range of learning capabilities and be easy to use, even for someone who considers themselves “technically challenged”. A good rule of thumb is this: a POS system worth its salt should take the average employee 30 minutes or less to learn.

2. Secure

Speaking of employee theft, your POS system is a piece of technology that requires sensitive and personal information to function. To prevent theft and fraud both internally and externally (by hackers), choose a POS system that is easily equipped with several security features. And don’t forget to follow these simple measures to find out if someone is scamming you and to keep your POS system secure.

Related post: What to do if You’ve Been Breached

3. Meets your business needs

The Perfect POS System - What to Look ForThis may seem obvious, but there will be POS systems out there that simply aren’t a good fit for your restaurant. Carefully consider the functionality you need, and do your research to determine which one is best for you. This is a big expenditure for your company, so save yourself some heartache by doing your homework at the front end to ensure you make a good choice.

For instance, is your restaurant super busy? Look for a POS system that can be integrated with peripherals that expedite orders, such as kitchen display systems and bump bars. These will also need receipt printing and payment processing solutions that allow customers to be checked out in a matter of seconds.

Would your restaurant benefit from these features?

Management Needs

Labor Management 

  • Tracks time and attendance
  • Employee scheduling
  • Employee training – Does the provider offer on-site training?
  • Generate payroll reports

Inventory 

  • Do you sell alcohol or retail items?
  • Do you experience a lot of theft or shrinkage?

Find a POS system that allows access to detailed inventory reports and transaction history to mitigate risks.

Above Store Reporting

This will allow you to identify trends, address problem areas, and pinpoint winning strategies.

  • Track sales trends for day, week, month or any period
  • Sales and customer count reports
  • Category reports
  • Item sales trend reports
  • Product mix reports
  • Sales history reports

Custom, Easy-to-Use Database 

  • Add or remove menu items, seasonal items, specials, etc.
  • Across multiple locations

Payment Needs

Delivery & Carry-Out

You need to be able to integrate delivery and takeout orders into your POS system, as well as track driver dispatch and cash accountability, order timing, order history, and more.

Credit Cards & Gift Cards

Choose a POS system that will enable you to offer gift cards and implement a personalized loyalty program to drive repeat visits and sales.

This will enable management to make changes easily and quickly, and make finding new items easy on the employees.

Shameless Plug Alert: We invite you to take a look at the POSitouch POS system by CBS Northstar. 

4. Provider and Support

Do some research on the POS provider.

  • Do they allow for regular upgrades to the system?
  • Do they provide on-site training and ongoing support?
  • Look at the number and quality of their tech partners.

These are just a few of the things to consider when choosing a POS system for your restaurant.

What other factors do you find important? Leave us a comment below!

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