Article by Ben Simmons, founder of Table Needs
Running a restaurant is a constant balancing act. As a restaurant owner, you need to be aware of what’s going on in your restaurant at all times while keeping up with back office duties. From staffing and guest experience to inventory and order flow to payroll, marketing and bookkeeping, it’s enough to make anyone crazy without the right support systems in place.
One of the best ways to create a balanced, efficient, and highly profitable restaurant is with an all-in-one point of sale system. Choosing the right POS system will save you money, make running your restaurant easier and give you peace of mind that everything is taken care of.
The question now is: How do you choose the right POS for your restaurant?
Not all point of sales systems are created equal. It’s critically important to the health of your restaurant business to find a POS that works for your specific needs.
Here are 4 questions to ask when choosing a restaurant point of sale:
Question #1: Is the POS designed for restaurants?
Start by narrowing your search for a restaurant POS. Many POS companies say they support any business but the reality is that what you need as a restaurant is different from that of a retail store. Take it a step further by evaluating what kind of restaurant you’re operating. A full-service restaurant needs different features than a counter-service spot or food truck.
Find a POS built specifically for restaurants, something that can accept orders from various sources, host multiple menus, manage a customized order flow, allow you to make modifications on the fly, and track ticket times, in addition to accepting multiple forms of payment.
Question #2: Is this POS an all-in-one platform or does it require integrations?
Typically you have two main choices when it comes to POS functionality: an all-in-one POS platform that has everything you need to run your restaurant baked in or a POS that syncs with a slew of apps and integrations depending on your needs.
Having access to various third-party apps, integrations and add-on services sounds nice at first but these setups quickly become overwhelming – and expensive. For example, you start with a simple card reader then a few months down the road suddenly find yourself juggling multiple kiosks, ordering platforms, log-ins, and a 2-hour wait time to talk to customer service. Not to mention your monthly bill is now sky high… No thanks!
With an all-in-one POS like Table Needs, you can manage your entire restaurant business from a single platform. Everything from in-person and online ordering, order flow and kitchen management to gift cards and cash discount programs are all baked in. Plus, get access to handpicked, trusted partner integrations like DAVO by Avalara for sales tax automation and Homebase for payroll.
Question #3: What’s POS customer support really like?
Let’s be honest, everyone says that they provide great customer service and support but, when it comes to your business’s ability to accept orders and payments, there’s no time to waste on hold. Choose a POS with a highly regarded customer-focused support team that not only answers your calls but goes the extra mile to support your business.
Great customer support is another huge benefit of an all-in-one POS. It’s much more efficient to have one number to call whether you have technical questions, want additional training, have a billing concern, or need to make service adjustments. So, not only are your day-to-day operations seamless but now you have increased access to knowledgeable support staff.
Question #4: What’s the true cost and value of a POS?
Few things feel worse than being tricked into spending money… When finding a restaurant POS, transparency is key. You need to know exactly what you’ll be paying for monthly software subscriptions, hardware purchases and leases, payment processing rates, as well as onboarding, training, and customer support fees.
In addition, get crystal clear on all service, terms and conditions. What are the contract terms? When does money hit your bank account? What happens when you give a customer refund? How do you renegotiate or end an account?
Here at Table Needs, we believe that transparency is incredibly important. We are totally upfront about every aspect of our service: from subscription costs to processing fees and rates to how things like sales tax automation and cash discount programs work.
Ready to choose a POS for your restaurant?
The choices might be overwhelming at first glance but as you work through these four questions, you’ll quickly find the right POS for your restaurant:
- Is the POS designed for restaurants?
- Is this POS an all-in-one platform or does it require integrations?
- What’s POS customer support really like?
- What’s the true cost and value of a POS?
From POS and online ordering to done-for-you marketing and bookkeeping, Table Needs helps quick-service restaurants, coffee shops and cafes, and food trucks run more smoothly, efficiently and profitably. See it in action during a free, hassle-free demo with one of our restaurant experts.
Ben Simmons is the owner of multiple quick-service restaurants, a restaurant consultant, and co–founder of Table Needs who is dedicated to the success and profitability of local restaurants.