The step by step process of buying a POS system for your restaurant

As a restaurant operator, your guests represent the heartbeat of your business. Well, what is the pulse of your business that drives sales?

The answer is the pulse of your business is the point of sale (POS) system installed to do much more than ring up transactions.

As one of the foundations of your restaurant operations, your POS system should include menus, invoices, and inventory management tools. With a powerful POS system, your restaurant is set up for success.

The next question is, what steps do you need to follow for buying a POS system?

What Does Your Restaurant Need?

Finding the best POS system for your restaurant is as much about sitting down than it is being hands on. By that, we mean you have to spend time thinking about exactly what your restaurant needs in a POS system. Do you need a POS system to offer servers the flexibility to add on to guest orders? Should your system account for product shelf lives?

The bottom line is the POS system you choose has to accommodate the unique operational needs of specific niche that you operate in, from strictly carry out pizza joints to full-service, fine dining venues.

Your Guests Should Have a Say

Well, not exactly a say; more like an impact. You should install a POS system that can separate checks for large parties, as well as move bar tabs to table tabs. Switching tables and allowing for a seamless transition from one server to another server is also important. The bottom line is your restaurant POS system should improve the steps of service, not make guests frustrated because it takes too long to send orders and print checks.

User-Friendly Rules the Day

It is a busy Saturday night and there is a logjam on at least one of your POS terminals. Processing guest orders slows down and ultimately, the kitchen is bombarded with a long series of chits that back up the line. A user-friendly POS system prevents the issues that cause servers to spend too much time processing food and beverage orders. You want a POS system that is capable of handling special requests, as well as divide checks quickly.

The ultimate goal of a user-friendly POS system is to train servers and bartenders through a self-paced method of training.

Create a Realistic Budget

When you establish a budget for the installation of a new POS system, you are doing more than just buying a proprietary software package. You also have to consider how many terminals you can afford, as well as how much you want to spend to protect your investment. The movement towards cloud-based computing has made POS systems more cost-effective, particularly for smaller restaurants that do not have a large capital expense budget.

Read Customer Reviews

Your restaurant is constantly under the customer review microscope. Reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor are highly influential in determining whether you attract more guests. Use the same principle used by your guests. Read online reviews of the POS systems that have made your short list.

Finally, network with other restaurant owners to discover what types of POS systems they have bought for their restaurants. The best testimonials can come from the same people you compete with on a daily basis.