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With all the POS systems out there how do you know which one to pick? There are so many to choose from, right?! Today, I’m going to help you decide which POS system might be the right one for your new restaurant.
To learn more please either watch the video above, read the transcript or listen to the podcast below.
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With all the POS systems out there how do you know which one to pick? There are so many to choose from, right?! Today, I’m going to help you decide which POS system might be the right one for your new restaurant. I’m not going to make a specific recommendation because I don’t know which one is right for you, but there’s three criteria that I look at when deciding on a POS system.
What to look for when picking a POS system:
1. Hardware: There are two hardware choices – tablets or full-on computer systems. Personally, I don’t want to get involved with a POS system or company that has their own proprietary hardware. This means you can’t use your own computer; rather you have to use the POS company’s own computer/hardware to be able use their POS system. While some of those are great it just makes it a little more difficult because you don’t own the hardware.
I really prefer that you choose your own hardware. Simply pick something that works best for your business. If you’re more of an Apple user then use a POS system that works on an iPad. If you’re an Android user maybe look at something that runs on an Android/Samsung tablet. If you like desktop computers and you think that’s better for your restaurant, find software that you could install on your own PC rather than the hardware that comes from a company.
What hardware is going to work the best for you? Kiosks? Self ordering? Tablets or phones? If you don’t get the right hardware package the software isn’t going to really matter.
2. Software: Does the system have everything that you need? Keep in mind that you’re never going to find a POS system that has exactly every single feature that you want and how you want it. Make a list of the five or ten features that are absolutely critical or crucial to your operation and start there.
3. Credit card processing: A lot of POS systems are fooling you into believing their systems are inexpensive because of the way that they process credit cards. They’re locking you in to their processor and they are getting a very substantial kickback for doing that. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that if the rates they’re giving you are good rates and they’ll guarantee them. However most POS companies won’t offer a rate lock. They may give you good rates, but they won’t guarantee them, your rates will hike, and now that you just invested in all this hardware you have no choice but to use their processor.
In exchange for potentially higher credit card rates or a non guaranteed credit card rate, they’ll give you very large discounts on the software and the hardware. That’s something you have to weigh out if your capital is tight. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest right now then maybe going with a POS system like that will be better for you. Very little bit of money up front means you’re going to pay a little bit more on your credit card processing over the long haul.
If you’ve got some money to invest, I would highly suggest that you look at a POS system that will allow you to bring in your own credit card processor or at least the freedom to change at some point if you want.
The combination I despise the most and what you should 100% avoid: non-contractual, fairly-high, locked-in credit card processing with no discount on the hardware.
Use these are negotiating tools. I’ve had a lot of clients that wanted a specific POS system that locks you into their credit cards. They went and negotiated credit card rates, got it locked down, and they got a very substantial discount on the hardware because they pointed this out and said, “If you’re going to take money on the credit card then I need a discount on the hardware upfront.” Knowing the rules of that game will definitely help you.
Summing it up:
When I’m looking for a POS system or helping a client find the right POS system, the first thing I look at is hardware, second is software features plus benefits, and then third how do they process credit cards.
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