Important POS Features to Consider When Choosing A Restaurant Scheduling Software
We all know how important your point of sale system (POS) is to the inner workings of your restaurant. They send orders to the kitchen, track menu items sold, create sales reports, facilitate clock-ins and clock-outs, and hold all of that delicious guest data (we can’t get our hands on enough of that stuff!). And […]
We all know how important your point of sale system (POS) is to the inner workings of your restaurant. They send orders to the kitchen, track menu items sold, create sales reports, facilitate clock-ins and clock-outs, and hold all of that delicious guest data (we can’t get our hands on enough of that stuff!). And that’s really just the tip of the ice-cream cone.
But when it comes to integrations with other vendors, sometimes you need a little sumthin’ extra to make your POS hum with lots of happy data moving in-and-out of other back office systems. One of those essential back office systems is your restaurant scheduling software.
So which POS features and upgrades should you care about when choosing a restaurant scheduling software?
HotSchedules Senior Solutions Architect (and previous owner of two bars) Nathan Pickerill says restaurant operators need to ask themselves six questions about upgrading their POS so that it integrates seamlessly.
1. Does Your POS Work Remotely?
This applies to both the scheduling software and the POS. As a busy restaurant operator, you can’t physically be on-premise at every restaurant to run the numbers. You need to choose a POS system that syncs data with your back-office systems so that you can run performance reports remotely. You’ll want to make sure it syncs sales data, menu data, time and attendance data – basically any kind of data that you’d want to be able to look at weekly or monthly to check on your operation’s performance.
2. Is Your POS Scalable?
You may be at a single location now, but if your concept is successful, expansion will likely follow. When that happens, your POS system should expand with you and help replicate your restaurant operations across locations in a smart and sustainable way.
Having the same POS across your locations will also make it easy to train your managers on the set-up and daily usage of your restaurant scheduling software.
3. Does Your POS Integrate?
For your restaurant back office systems to work together, they need to communicate with each other. But for obvious cost reasons, many operators opt for smaller systems that aren’t equipped for integrations with restaurant scheduling software. Not having that integration pigeonholes you into smaller solutions that can’t innovate fast enough.
When your POS doesn’t integrate nicely with your scheduling and inventory systems, your managers have to manually pick up the slack. The result is inevitably inefficiencies, expensive mistakes, or a simple lack of insight!
4. Are There Hidden Costs?
Ah yes, the question that gives many restaurant operators pause. When you are looking for a new POS system or you’re upgrading, you’re going to need to do your due diligence to find out what kind of costs your restaurant is going to accrue.
Some POS systems sell their entire software all in one bundle, while other systems sell their hardware a-la-carte. If you’re not careful, you could be on the hook for several thousand dollars that you could’ve saved otherwise. The more you pin-point your needs and bundle Pickerill says, the better discount you can get.
5. What Kind of Tech Support Does Your POS Provide?
It’s inevitable, your POS system is going to malfunction at the worst possible time. It’s just the nature of technology.
As you go through the process of purchasing your POS, figure out what kind of technical support the vendor provides – from implementation to unforeseen problems. Make sure the tech support hours are sufficient in case you go down. You might also ask whether someone from the company can come onsite in the event of a technical meltdown.
It’s also smart to look at their customer satisfaction ratings, as well as their response time. Will they be able to help you at a moment’s notice, or will you be left jotting down customer’s credit card numbers at the table?
6. Should Your POS Have a Local Database or Cloud-Based?
While this question isn’t often asked, it is an important piece of the POS puzzle. Cloud-based systems save restauranteurs time, money and can be upgraded instantly. At the same time, not all operations have the technical requirements to successfully implement a cloud-based POS. Confirm with your IT team (if you have one) and find out what whether a local data or a cloud-based system is the best solution.