As a restaurant owner, you should understand, that unlike choosing other sorts of point of sale applications, choosing the suitable Restaurant Point Of Sale system for your restaurant is entirely different and you need to be extremely careful . There are issues of time, proper and effective management that must be factored in.
Importance of Flexibility
One of the most important factors you must consider is flexibility. One busy day in your restaurant is not the same as any other. There are days when the occupancy is at its highest, and there are times when fewer people come to visit.
Restaurant POS software needs to be built-in features like sale forecasting. This is important since sales differ from day to day. It must be flexible enough to cater for different kinds of scenarios and give you the kind of data that will help forecast the high and low sales period.
Speed and Efficiency
You may have to test the application to find out if will work in your establishment as efficiently as you would want it to. It should work as fast as possible to ensure that the operations on your establishment move as fast as they should.
Questions to ask when buying a restaurant point of sale system
Purchasing a restaurant POS system on the internet can be a complex process due to the number of operations and options. This article will help you ask the right questions of the POS vendors. A lot depends on the experience of the restaurant owner with POS systems and the extent of service rendered by the seller of the POS.
1. What is the monthly cost or the cost per minute for any technical support or licensing charges?
Various sellers normally charge a monthly licensing fee for the use their software. In case monthly licensing or the tech support fees are not stated be sure to get the particulars as to licensing and tech support fees if any.
2. What happens after the technical support period ends?
Most companies provide and initial 3, 6 or 12 months free technical support.Find out what it costs after that. Do they have an additional warranty, a per call charge or a per minute charge? There are also companies that provide free technical support forever.
3. Is the software on a "Trial Period"?
The software in some systems runs only for a limited period. Then you must purchase the software and a yearly licensing which adds to the originally advertised price. Then, in some cases, you pay a yearly licensing fee after that just to use the system. You need to read the fine print.
4. What about software upgrades?
Find out what the cost, if any, for upgrades. More importantly, are you forced to accept and pay for software upgrades later?
5. Is the equipment new, refurbished or used?
If the words "new, refurbished or used" do not describe the hardware then ask. If you don't get a reply from the seller watch out. The latest buzzwords are "Certified Pre Owned". What is the warranty?
6. Is shipping/handling included in the advertised price?
This con is expensive. A system can weigh about 50 pounds, and you could be across the country from the vendor.
7. Who prepares your menu?
Preparing a menu for a restaurant point of sale system can be the most frustrating part installing a system. There is no easy way especially if you have never done it before. It involves menu items, prices, optional and forced descriptors, happy hour, etc. for the first time can be a long and frustrating task. It involves a lot more than just entering the menu item and price. Some sellers will prepare your menu. To use a gauge, ask how much it would cost to prepare a menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that contains drinks and food items with forced and optional descriptors. See if you can find a vendor that prepares the menu as part of the advertized price.
8. Who answers the phone when you have a problem?
Is the company so big that you get a different person every time to answer technical questions? There is nothing more irritating than having to repeat your problem over and over to different technical people. Do they assign a tech person to you, so you talk to the same person each time?
9. Does the seller do any pre-shipment personalized services for the buyer?
Some sellers simply send you boxes of hardware and a box of software and a 300-page manual. From then on you're on your own. You install the printers and touch monitors software. You install your menu. Ever try installing a menu? Not easy if it is your first time.
Some vendors will install your menu, and it can be included in the advertised price or cost an extra. Make sure they are going to do your entire menu including forced and optional descriptors and not just an outline of your menu and then you need to fill in the blanks.
Some sellers install the POS software on the computers. Some sellers open the printer boxes, configure the printers, set the dip switches, install the printer drivers, and connect the printers to the computer and test the system.
Some sellers provide a pre-ship program which customizes the software according to your restaurant's environment. So no matter what direction you decide to go, hopefully these top 9 questions to ask will help you find the perfect POS solution for you restaurant.