It used to be enough for stores and restaurants to simply accept cash or a check. Businesses could run successfully without processing credit cards from their stores. But with the current generation’s dependence on all things digital, and the growing popularity of credit and debit cards, it is now almost a necessity to have a point of sale system in your store or restaurant. In fact, you may lose customers to your competitors if you don’t offer this option for payment. If customers don’t have cash in their wallet, it is unlikely that they will stop at an ATM or a bank before coming to eat – they will likely just pick another restaurant.
Fortunately, obtaining the best point of sale restaurant system is a fairly simple process. Research firms are dedicated specifically to discovering the best point of sale restaurant systems and credit card processors that are available to each business owner. These firms offer websites that will give you an approval rating for each processing company, and choosing the right one for your restaurant is simply a matter of doing a little bit of research.
The approval rating for the best point of sale restaurant services is based on five key areas that have been identified as important when using a point of sale system for processing credit card payments.
Simplicity – The best POS systems for restaurants are ones that are easily understood and can be learned quickly by any cashier or employee. Ease of use is as important as functionality with these systems. It’s important that all employees are able to process payments easily. It is also important that it is easy to monitor and process credit card transactions. The easier the system is to use, the more popular it is, the higher the approval rating. If the system is user friendly and has functional features, the approval rating will go up.
Customization – Each restaurant is different. Restaurants have different menus, different prices and different needs for their point of sale system. A generic system that doesn’t allow for any type of customization will be hard to adapt to many different types of restaurants. The best point of sale restaurant systems will offer the ability to customize menus and control inventory as well as branding products. In order to make a specific system work for every restaurant, it needs to offer flexibility and the ability to customize.
Cost – When you are operating a restaurant, the cost of the point of sale system will obviously be a consideration. Chances are good you are operating within a budget, and will need to find a POS system that fits within that budget. Most systems are priced in such a way that you can find what you need for what you want to pay. Smaller businesses and restaurants will likely not need as many options as the larger ones, and will be able to purchase a system based on that criteria. It is unnecessary for a small business to purchase a complex system; there are enough systems on the market at enough price levels to accommodate the needs of all businesses.
Updates – Technology is constantly being updated. A good point of sale system will allow for the user to update the software regularly. It may not be possible to completely upgrade the point of sale system without purchasing a new one, but it should be possible to update specific features without a huge charge to the merchant. Allowing upgrades to the POS software allows for the system to be used for longer by the merchant. Those systems that allow merchants to update their software for a lower cost constantly score higher with their approval ratings from customers. Features that are offered on the system should work seamlessly for the most part and should operate with few glitches. If the features create problems for the merchant, they become more of a liability than a help to the operator.
Customer Service – The final criteria used to determine approval rating is the level of customer service the merchant receives once the system is purchased and installed. If you purchase a system, and no customer support is offered, chances are good you will be dissatisfied with that system. Telephone, email and onsite communication should be stellar from the manufacturer of the system. Troubleshooting should be offered at convenient times for the restaurant to ensure that the system is working correctly. Setting up the POS system can be a complicated process, and it is important that each merchant have a wide range of ways to communicate with the manufacturer of the system.
Ask Additional Questions
Once you have examined the approval rating of the system, and have picked a few that you’d like to try, you may consider contacting the manufacturer and asking for referrals of current clients. Calling these businesses and asking for their opinion helps you to get a real life interpretation of how the system works in the restaurant setting. Consider calling a restaurant that has similar needs to yours and is similar in size. When you contact one of these customers, ask some or all of the following questions:
• Why did you select this specific system?
• Have you used any other payment processors before?
• How many transactions do you process regularly?
• Which features are your favorites, and which do you use most often?
• What would you change about your experience?
• What rating would you give the system overall?
Use these questions as a starting point to get an objective view on the point of sale system you are considering. Make a list of other questions you’d like to ask regarding the system to be sure that you get all the information you need.
Before you purchase a system, come up with a list of prerequisites and things that you must have in place with your POS system. These could be things specific to your restaurant or things that you have liked from systems you have used in the past. Pick the system and machine that offers you all of these things.
When you pick a point of sale system for your restaurant, you are making a big decision and likely a big purchase. Make sure you find the system that offers simplicity, the ability to customize, the cost you want, the ability to update regularly and great customer service.