Restaurant POS System
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between restaurant software and point of sale system?
When referencing a restaurant POS system, that is usually referring the complete hardware package including software. So a touchscreen computer, cash drawer, printer, and the restaurant software. When looking for a complete restaurant POS system, make sure to know exactly what is and is not included with the purchase so you are not surprised getting something that you were not expecting.
Do I really need a complete restaurant POS system or just the software?
Restaurant software runs on a computer, so you will need some type of computer system if you want to use POS software. Most programs are touch screen based, meaning they do not use a keyboard and mouse to operate, so when looking at computer hardware it is important to know if you need a touchscreen computer or not. You will also typically need a cash drawer and some type of printer, all of which can be purchased as a complete restaurant POS system package or as individual hardware parts too.
Do I have to purchase the restaurant software and hardware together?
Not necessarily, it really depends on the company that you are purchasing from. Restaurant software companies might only offer the software, some might offer software and then software and system packages, and other might only offer their restaurant software with the complete restaurant POS system package. If a company offers the software on it's own, then you should be able to purchase any compatible hardware from another company to use with the software. If this is the situation, just make sure to know exactly what computer specifications are needed to run the software, so you do not accidentally invest in hardware that ends up not working well with the restaurant point of sale software.
What should I look for in a restaurant POS system?
First you want to find the right point of sale software, before concerning yourself with a complete system or computer hardware. Once you have made your choice on software, then move on to the hardware. Once you are looking at the hardware or complete restaurant POS system, you want to look at the brand of hardware, the hardware specs, and also the hardware warranty. A good warranty with at least a three year coverage period should be included with the total cost of the restaurant point of sale system. Some companies offer extended warranty periods for up to 5 years for an additional charge. Although having a couple of more years of warranty time might sound beneficial it usually isn't worth the additional cost. Typically if there is a hardware failure, it will happen within the first year and that would be covered under warranty, so if a system lasts three years without incident then it will usually last more. We say usually, because with any electronic component there can always be failures at anytime. Also another point to consider is at the three year mark, your system technology will already be pretty outdated and it might make more sense to upgrade at that time instead of holding on to a restaurant POS system hardware for more years. The restaurant POS software however should updated throughout those years and simply be moved over to a new system when the time comes.
Restaurant POS Software
Frequently Asked Questions
How can restaurant point of sale software help my establishment?
A good point of sale software program or complete POS system with software should take control of three main parts of your restaurant, managing sales, employees, and inventory. POS software makes the control of these three aspects easy for both owners and management. The time saved using restaurant point of sale software to manage your employees work hours, inventory ordering, and sales tracking should greatly reduce the man hours and even third party companies needed to organize these factors when using a basic cash register type of system.
What features should good restaurant POS software offer?
With so many different restaurant point of sale software options on the market today, the features the one you choose offers should be exactly the features you need. Make a plan on how you want your establishment to operate and the features a program would need to make that plan happen. Then research until you find the right restaurant POS software that meets your needs. Never settle for software that offers less than what your business needs, or you will find yourself looking for new software shortly in the future.
How can I really know which restaurant software is right for my business?
Demo, demo, demo! You should never purchase restaurant point of sale software without thoroughly testing a working demo for as long as possible. A good software provider will have a working trial demo, usually for 30 days or longer to allow you use and test the program before purchasing. This helps you figure out what features you might need that you didn't think of and features you really don't need that you thought you did. Once you feel confident that a restaurant point of sale software program fits all of your needs, then is the time to make the investment and purchase.
There are so many different types and prices, how do I decide?
When choosing the right restaurant POS software it ultimately comes down to which program you feel will best perform in your business. There is free software, expensive software, software that charges monthly fees, one-time purchase software, and the list goes on. Free restaurant point of sale software might sound like a good idea at first, and then once it is implemented you realize how lacking it is in real functionality. On the other hand, free restaurant POS software might be perfect for your business. Again, it comes down to the features you need and testing to make sure whatever software you choose will work the way you want it to.
What if I purchase restaurant POS software and end up not liking it?
This is why it is very important to try any software program and demo it thoroughly before purchasing. If you buy software that is a one-time purchase price, they are typically non-refundable because after you purchase the software is sent to you licensed. This is considered open-box software and there is no way to return it, therefor it is non-refundable. Restaurant point of sale software that isn't purchased to own, but rather payed for with monthly payments might be able to be cancelled without the loss of upfront money being spent. Although some monthly payment software options might have long-term contracts with cancellation fees and also these type of software options may not give you total control over the software like one-time purchase options. This goes back to deciding what fits the needs of your business the best and not purchasing until you know the program will work exactly how you want.