The drumbeat of “ROI, ROI, ROI” is never far from your mind, you’re a restaurant operator.  Every single penny that you put in to your business, whether spent on capital equipment, training, uniforms, technology, decor, et al, is not only accounted for but analyzed to the smallest detail to ensure that you are getting the maximum return on your investment, whatever it may be.

There is no bigger cost for a business, especially a restaurant, like a fully operational Point-of-Sale (POS) System. In turn, there is nothing that can show a poor ROI like a POS.  Operators have to carefully analyze the investment that their business is making in to something like this, as the company will be investing large sums of money into.  Not to mention the investment of time on implementing the software and hardware, as well as training staff once the system is implemented.

When looking in to investing in a new POS for your restaurant, here are a few pointers for your search for the most cost-effective options:

  1. Cost of Maintenance
    Currently, proprietary systems are managed by an in-house IT department that works closely with the vendors that the system and hardware were purchased from. But what happens when the software is no longer supported?  Operators are forced to spend large amounts of capital on outside vendors and parts for outdated systems.  With newer systems, especially those that are cloud-based, the maintenance and service is included with the system.  In fact, a majority of software updates as well as any needed repairs or fixes to the system are often handled by the vendor during specified down times that rarely interfere with business and operational hours.
  2. Cost of Data Storage and Backup
    Many vendors will charge businesses for servers that will be kept in-house to store data and back up information. However, these servers then become the responsibility of the operators to maintain and service, which typically requires an in-house IT team.  With a cloud-based solution, all of the data is stored and backed up in the facilities of the vendor.  Now operators can save money on simple things like utilities to maintain the servers as well as the IT department that is no longer needed simply to monitor servers.
  3. Need for new hardware investment
    Typically a POS investment for a restaurant required an expensive upgrade for all of the equipment needed to operate. Touch screen monitors, printers, cash drawers if need be, the list goes on.  The capital outlay for an investment like this costs the proverbial arm and a leg.  With a cloud-based system, many of those available on the marketplace are in fact capable of operating on existing hardware systems.  So the previous worry about a large amount of equipment needing to be written off with this change is no more.
  4. Time spent (or lost) to training
    Everyone remembers the Websters Dictionary-sized manuals that arrived along with new software. A proprietary POS system is no exception to this, especially given how vendors previously handled training for customers.  Days upon days of extensive set up and training, all time and money lost for the business when it comes to actual revenues.  Now however, with cloud-based POS systems that are able to operate on existing hardware, it’s as simple as giving your service staff a color printout of what each screen should look like.  Staff are now able to learn the system in a matter of hours and days, rather than weeks or even months.

With these four key tips, shopping for an updated POS system, especially a cloud-based system, should be a breeze for any restaurant owner or operator.  Keep these at the front of your thought process and you should be able to find the best, and most economical fit for your restaurant.