Thinking About Implementing Mobile EPOS
You’ve decided to implement iPad tills or some form of mobile EPOS in your operation—or, maybe more accurately, you’ve decided to consider doing it. That’s doesn’t mean you’re indecisive: in fact it means just the opposite. It means that rather than just jump headfirst into mobile EPOS, you’ve decided to think it through. It’s really like most anything else you use to run your restaurant. Doing it at all requires decision making. But doing it well requires decision thinking. On paper, the benefits seem clear, but in reality, restaurateurs are still debating about making the move to mobility. We’ve published a case study on how one of our customer’s made the case for mobility, in which we discuss return on investment (in less than six months!), and challenges they had not anticipated… read the full article here.
Consider, just for starters, all the security issues you have to address. One is simply signing in to the EPOS: It’s more of a challenge than it is for your stationary EPOS till simply because tablets travel with the server. Make sure logins—user name and password–are not shared, and that the mobile EPOS is set to automatically log out after only very brief idle times.
There’s the strength of your wireless infrastructure to think about. There isn’t any room for losing connections, or rebooting Wi-Fi routers, or anything else having to do with keeping the devices on every second of the day. Here, have an audit run of your existing EPOS equipment, and make the improvements that will ensure that a meal doesn’t have to wait for a help desk technician before it can be served.
Think about the device itself. There are a lot of mobile EPOS systems that run on commodity tablets, like iPad tills or Android and Windows devices. The simple fact is: consumer devices are not made for commercial operation. Their battery life is low at your projected level of use: some as low as two hours. And there’s the issue of fragility. Tablets go through a pretty wild ride in the course of a day. They get dropped (sometimes on pavement when it’s used for queue busting). They get splattered. They get scratched. A consumer device, not made for abuse, won’t hold up under abuse. You need ruggedised, commercial devices made to take the punishment.
Think about your staff. Waiting staff are nervous when they first start to use an iPad EPOS on the floor. It’s not that they’re unfamiliar with it—it looks and works essentially like anything else they use on their own devices. But there are two things they don’t worry about when they’re on their personal units. One, if they make a mistake, it doesn’t mean a load of extra steps (like voids) to make sure the business doesn’t suffer. And two—this is the more important—they don’t have an audience: they’re not trying to use it while a table of people are watching them. Here, training—including some mock sessions using it in front of other people—is a critical factor to success.
Mobility is something every restaurant operation can use profitably. But it’s something you want to plan for carefully before you implement. That’s where we come in. Your Maitre’D sales representative will help you with every step: from infrastructure audit to on-the-floor training. Together, you’ll be able to bring mobility into your business with the least trauma and the fastest return.
Contact us to learn more about mobile EPOS.