Restaurant point of sale (or POS) systems are the backbone of any restaurant’s technology infrastructure, and they need to get the job done accurately and efficiently. Newer systems are designed to serve the changing needs of restaurants better. It’s easy to see why: the business has changed a lot in recent years, with more sophisticated menus, delivery services, and payment options. But when it comes to POS, just because something is newer does not make it better.
If you’ve been in the restaurant industry for a few years, you probably remember the old days of using cash registers with paper printouts to record sales. While that might have been good enough in the past, those days are long gone. Today, businesses need to be able to accept payments wherever and however, they can. And since you’re reading this article, chances are you’re in the market for tablets for restaurants.
Technology Keeps The Restaurant Industry Running
For many restaurants, technology is the only thing keeping their doors open. Today’s sophisticated point-of-sale (POS) systems allow businesses to take orders faster and more efficiently than ever before, which means fewer cooks, waiters, and kitchen staff are needed to operate a restaurant. Customers love these systems too: in fact, over 75% of customers indicate they would choose a restaurant that offered a digital ordering system over one that did not.
Technology has touched nearly every aspect of the restaurant industry, from how customers place their orders to how chefs prepare your food. From the minute a customer walks into a restaurant, technology is already in use. The time-tested paper menu has been replaced with digital menus. When customers are ready to order, they can go to the table, pick up a tablet, and peruse the menu.
On-Site Server vs. Cloud-Based POS
Retail POS systems are like any other type of computer: their hardware and software have a lifespan. The hardware may be too old to support today’s features, and the software may not be as user-friendly as it used to be. Both the hardware and software will eventually need to be replaced, which can cost a pretty penny. While cloud-based POS systems are cheaper in the short run, they do not always offer the same capabilities as on-site POS systems and may not be the right choice for your business.
As the retail industry continues to get more and more competitive, it’s important to keep up with the latest technology trends. One of the most significant shifts in technology for retail chains in recent years has been the move away from on-site servers to cloud-based POS. Retailers are starting to realize that cloud-based POS offers numerous advantages over its on-site server counterpart.
The most critical part of running a successful retail operation is keeping your POS software up-to-date. If your POS system didn’t come with a built-in process for updating your network, you’d need to rely on a third party to do it for you. This is a bad idea. Software updates are a risky endeavor, and you’ll want to make sure that they’re handled by someone who knows how the POS software works.
As the holiday season comes to a close, you’re probably looking forward to a much-needed break. But after the New Year, you’ll need to start ramping up to ensure a successful 2015. That’s why it’s best to start planning for the future sooner rather than later. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to research all the retail software solutions out there and decide which one is best for you.
Restaurant POS Systems’ cost varies depending on various factors, including your business needs and size, the software you choose, and the add-ons and peripherals you choose. As a rule of thumb, the average POS System installation costs anywhere from $5,000-$20,000, and POS System maintenance is between $1,000-$2,000 annually. Most companies that sell POS Systems offer flexible financing options. Still, it’s always a good idea to check with your financial institution to see if they have any special programs or incentives for small businesses.
Automation is critical in the retail business since new products are constantly launched to keep your business competitive. That also means that retailers need to ensure that their POS software is kept up-to-date with the latest features and functions. For restaurants, this can be a challenge. How are you supposed to keep your POS software up to date if you don’t have the cash to hire a full-time IT specialist? Automation can help. There are all kinds of apps out there that allow you to streamline your retail business.