A POS, or point of sale system, is used by businesses for recording sales, monitoring inventory, and making transactions. The POS system generally comprises of a keypad, debit/credit card swiper, a receipt printer, a cash drawer, and a receipt printer. Modern POS systems have the capacity of integrating itself with other databases and electronic systems as well. With so many benefits, it’s no surprise that more and more restaurants are adopting the latest POS system. However, buying a POS system is not simple at all. It actually depends on the kind of restaurant you own and the features you require for it.
What to Consider Before Buying a POS System
- It’s a good time to purchase POS systems. A few years ago, the POS systems were very expensive but with the advent of Software as a service (Saas) technology, prices have reduced greatly. However, there are several POS systems available at different prices. Price of the systems may vary according to the quality of software and hardware and the support provided by the merchant. Price is a significant issue while buying a POS system. Try to purchase it from a software developer directly. Also, never buy a second hand POS system, no matter how amazing the discount rates are because these systems are already be customized for the previous owners.
- Even though all the POS systems seem to be alike, that’s not always the case. The quality differs and one should consider the needs of business before buying one. Examine the system and its manufacturer company carefully before buying it. Price is an important consideration but it’s not the only consideration. Don’t buy a POS system just because it’s inexpensive. A cheap but ineffective system will cost you more money and time than you planned earlier. Even though there are a large number of POS systems in the market, they might not all be a good choice for your restaurant establishment for a number of reasons. With rapid growth in technology, make sure you do your homework properly and choose a POS which suits your needs perfectly.
- The POS system should be easy to use. You need to purchase a system that comes with proper instructions for usage and a good support system. It’s normal to have problems with your system when you are using it. The important thing is that the company you purchase the system from can easily be contacted and which helps you with your grievances promptly.
- You need to find out whether the POS system is local server based or cloud based. With a cloud based server, you have the benefit to control and handle your restaurant from anywhere and it’s also available 24/7. The software and hardware cost will also be less as you don’t have to maintain anything. People with small restaurants should opt for cloud based servers to save cost whereas large franchises should go for local based servers for more stability.
- Buy a POS system that provides you useful reports. Reports would help you to identify most profitable product, least profitable product, the time of the day when your restaurant has the most number of customers and inside sales compared with takeout/online sales. Also, the information should be easy to access. A good POS system will let the restaurant owners know how well he or she is doing and how they can improve further.
- The hardware of your POS system should be visually appealing, durable, and functional. Many vendors sell these systems with cheap quality hardware that not only looks hideous but also doesn’t last very long. As a restaurant owner it’s important that you don’t waste your productive time struggling with a printer that’s jammed or some other part of your POS that refuses to work properly. High quality hardware will save your time, money, and energy in the long run.
- The last factor you need to consider is whether your POS system can easily be integrated with other systems. For instance, by integrating the POS system with your accounting software, the chances of errors happening will be reduced significantly and you will also be able to remove double data entry completely. If you want to improve takeout and delivery sales online, you can also integrate your POS system with your website. This will ensure tracking of inventory easily, handling sales in a proper manner, and receiving payments in an organized way.