For any business, shifting to a mobile point-of-sale (POS) system is a frightening concept.  However, it can truly be an exciting and momentum-building opportunity at the same time.  This is due to the fact that the opportunity for faster sales and workflows in general, new leads, inventory tracking and more are all soon to be at the owner and/or operators’ fingertips.  The reality in the marketplace however, is that not all mobile POS systems fit every business, especially when comparing restaurants to retail, small to medium business, or even enterprise-level establishments.

With that in mind, here are some of the factors that need to go in to your decision to adopt a mobile POS system:

  1. Choose a system appropriate for your industry
    This factor cannot be stressed enough. As a restaurant operator, you need a system that specializes in restaurants and/or food services.  You don’t want to invest a lot of your business’ time and money into a system that was built for retail, as it will certainly not be able to do what you need it to do.  If you find a system that doesn’t seem to have the ability to adjust for tips, split checks and more of the features that are crucial to your business operations, it’s time to look elsewhere in the marketplace.  A good rule of thumb is to make a list of your “must haves,” that is the modules and solutions that are exactly what you need from your new POS system, and use that to narrow down your options.
  2. Price out the licensing
    Price is always the last thing discussed and the number one deal-breaker for a POS purchase. The excitement tied to a new system is always palpable, but when a final cost breakdown is put in front of you, and it’s astronomically higher than you anticipated, it’s easy to see why many owners or operators are reluctant to invest nowadays. But you have to think big picture for the business, as in: how many devices do you need to have access to the system as a whole? Does this number include other locations? Licensing can increase your costs astronomically, so makes sure you’ve got all of the necessary information ready to go when it comes time to price out a new system.
  3. Hardware
    Do you have existing mobile technology within your restaurant? Than why not look for a system that will operate within your current hardware that you have on-hand, significantly reducing your investment and initial costs for this project. However, keep in mind how old your current hardware is. In the long run, if you don’t invest and your system is about to be put out to pasture, you could cost yourself even more money.
  4. Deployment
    Can you just install it and go? Or does this new system involve extensive hours of hands-on training, or extensive technical know-how? How about how everything links together? Does this require you to pay for a specialist to come out to your location(s) and plug everything in once you’re ready to go live?  Depending on the answers to these questions, you may want to dig deeper and see just how much of an investment of both your time and money. wine-store
  5. Training Programs
    A realistic idea of how long it’s going to take your employees to get on-board with this new system is difficult to get from a prospective vendor, however do stress the importance of this issue. How intricate is the system truly? Does the “easy-to-use” interface really prove to be easy-to-use, or is that only for some?  Look in to how each prospective vendor provides training materials, instruction (online or in-person), or if they just leave it up to the software owners to handle everything?
  6. Cloud or Local?
    Most small and medium-sized businesses prefer to store and maintain all of their data in a local place, typically inside the brick and mortar of their business. If this is you, than obviously a cloud-based solution is not what you need.  However, if you operate your business with more than one location, a cloud-based solution is certainly a more sensible option than a locally stored setup.  Remember that a locally housed solution will involve hiring or training staff on IT support if servers go down or if there is any sort of troubleshooting necessary.
  7. Support for the system
    Everyone that uses the system on a higher than end-user level needs to know where to go for support issues, big or small. Having to switch to the old-fashioned “crash cart” systems with carbon triplicate copies is never a good thing, especially for your customer satisfaction.  Selecting a POS system with clearly defined channels of support, that operate during the odd hours of a restaurant business, is key when selecting a new POS.

Improving productivity overall, reducing overhead and building on both employee satisfaction and improved customer service will all be helped with a newer, more modern POS system.  However, choosing something that is made-to-measure for what your business actually needs is vital.  Keeping these seven factors in mind when you begin your purchase process will lead you to ultimately selecting the option that is best for your business and your bottom line.