A point-of-sale (POS) system is likely the most important technology you’ll integrate into your restaurant. Everything from management reports and labor tracking to customer engagement is achieved through a restaurant POS. And there are countless decisions prior to committing to a new system such as: the right hardware like touch screen monitors, kiosks and printers that will stand up the best to demanding restaurant environments, to finding the right intelligent software systems that handle everything your business currently handles and features that will help your company grow.
There are a lot of moving parts to attend to and they shouldn’t all lie on the shoulders of either the vendor partner or implementation specialist. It’s very important for you to spend the necessary time to find the right restaurant POS system for your business —or you could end up with buyer’s remorse, confused employees or expensive features that you never use. Here are four things you can do to facilitate a smooth transition:
1. Find a vendor that offers complete solutions.
Do your homework! If you end up with restaurant POS hardware and software that aren’t compatible, you’re bound to have issues. These challenges could translate into loss of sales for your business. It’s definitely worth the time and research in advance to find a vendor that can provide both the software and hardware systems to prevent system crashes.
Yes, a POS system is a costly investment and the implementation process is time-consuming. However, restaurant POS systems are also the heart of your business processes. So, isn’t it worth it to take the time and planning needed to make the right system choice for your business?
2. Gather important data.
Nobody knows your business better than you and your employees. So be sure to discuss, in advance, any pain points in the current processes and perhaps how the staff would like to see the business grow. Make a list of “must have” vs. “nice to have” features or components. Create an in-depth outline of how your operational processes work together, including things that are unique to your business. Those are important details to keep in mind in order for your vendor partner to design a system to best fit your company.
3. Pay Attention during the review phase.
This is the time to carefully review the restaurant POS system plan that was customized for your business. It’s important to be engaged and to come to a full understanding of this new system – so you can determine whether or not it will meet your company’s needs – or if it’s back to the drawing board. The more time spent in this stage, the happier you’ll be because problems can be avoided in the long run. In result, your partner company will then have the necessary data to best meet your requirements.
4. Try it out.
You should not decide on a system before you’ve tried it out first. Your vendor should provide a demonstration or a free trial of the software. Be sure to test out some of the features of the POS system — basic cash sale, customer databases, inventory management, purchase orders, refunds, etc. — to see if it will indeed meet the needs of your business and improve productivity and efficiency.
5. Choose a good time
Whether you currently have a POS system or if you are transitioning to a new one, you’ll need to choose a good time for the integration. It might be best to schedule the roll-out after-hours to ensure it will happen as seamlessly as possible (and not disrupt daily business). This is also the best time to test the system and make sure all employees are trained.
Installing a new restaurant POS system or upgrading your current system is no small task, but one that’s well worth the effort. Following a few basic steps on your end will help guide you to the right purchasing decision and make life much easier for your business and your vendor/implementation partner.