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411 in Buying a POS

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Best practices when purchasing a Point of Sale Solution for your Restaurant

 1  Be an Educated Buyer! There are so many ways to learn about Point of Sale technologies, also called POS Systems. Point of Sale often refers to a POS terminal or more generally to the hardware and software use for checkouts – comparable to an electronic cash register. Point of sale systems are used in many retail  stores like supermarkets, clothing stores, etc. and in Hospitality like restaurants,  cafeterias, hotels, stadiums, and casinos, etc.  You can go to the library, your local computer store or even to another business in your industry. Also a good source of information is your local Chamber of Commerce.

 2  Know what you want from your software before you buy anything. Make a list of functions you would like your system to control. (This list will get longer, the more knowledgeable you become.) Example: Is SQL data Base? Support Multiple levels of modifiers?, Transfer a table, a waiter, part of a group or all the customers?, Support split checks?, Can I share the Tips, Employee Meal Accountability, Who is behind the Support?, Company, Hours Of operation, Response times, etc.

3  Buy only time tested products. Make sure that the software has been used in business and that they can give you positive references. Remember that the hardware (Equipment) is only a 20% of significance of the total package. The remaining percentages are the most important: software performance and system support. Make sure you request a list of customers to call at random from your vendor. Any doubts? Investigate deeply. 

4  Don’t under spend! Search for value, not price. The price of course is very important. However, the old tale of  You get what you pay for also works in POS Systems. Make sure that you buy the appropriate amount of hardware (equipment), do not buy more than the necessary, you can always add more at a later time. Start with the minimum but most importantly you must be comfortable with it. Ask your vendor for advice but be vigilant of predators.

5 Do your business with a company you trust. You are trusting your entire business to this company. You must feel comfortable with this association. You can ask for references and make sure you are aware of all the charges that you will be responsible for, such as, training, troubleshooting, service visits, etc. Receive this in writing.