Restaurant POS Systems The Pros and Cons

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Restaurant POS Systems The Pros and Cons

You have probably seen me write in previous articles about how you need a point of sale system to really be in business, and this is very very true. I remember before I got Revention pos as my restaurant point of sale system how chaotic everything was. I can tell horror stories as many restaurant owners can from when they didn’t have a restaurant pos system. Below you will find 7 problems that were solved by getting a restaurant point of sale system. This article is not a review of Revention pos system but they are the ones I use and I would recommend them if you were to get one. In no way has Revention paid me to do this Revention review.

1. The price is always the same.

I can’t tell you the number of times I would hear from the customer “Well last time it was this price, and this time it’s this price it’s never the same price. Why?” I would then have to explain to them that this is the correct price that they didn’t charge them correctly the last time. Having a restaurant pos system means that the price is always going to be the same. The restaurant pos system is always going to charge for extra toppings, it’s always going to charge for delivery, and it will always charge them for the correct size and never forget to charge for anything. It is a computer program. It is always in the same mood and doesn’t show feelings. It doesn't like one customer more than the other it's always the same. As you can tell I really like this part of it

2. You are going to be able to track your labor cost

Do you know what your labor cost is of your restaurant? Labor cost is very important when it comes to your bottom line. Can you imagine always being able to know what you’re spending on labor? I never did until I got a restaurants pos system. I can’t tell you the amount of money I probably lost in labor before I got my restaurant pos system. I went from never knowing what my restaurant's labor cost was to always knowing no matter if I am at the restaurant or not. If my restaurant's labor cost it is getting too high I just send my manager a text saying “Hey check labor it is too high.” This way the problem is fixed immediately.

3. Uniform, Family, and Employee Discounts

This one probably sounds stupid but unless you’ve been in the restaurant business for awhile you won’t understand this one. This goes right along with consistency. You always want to give the same percentage off. Employees used to abuse their employee discount always giving themselves a different percentage off. I always said 20% off they used to give themselves anywhere from 25% to 50% off. Their excuse was well so and so said this is what it was. With Revention pos as my point of sale system, I was able to nip this in the butt. It is always 20% now. You can use this for big factory orders as well or some of your best clients. Say a factory down the road orders large orders from you all the time and you want to keep them. You can add a coupon that is just for them say 15% off their order. The nice thing about this is its always going to be the same discount.

4. Clocking in before your shift starts.

This was a problem for me because before I had a restaurants pos system I used the honor system. You wrote down your times. Yes, I could have spent a couple 100 dollars and got a digital time clock, but I didn’t want to spend the money as no restaurant owner does. With my restaurants pos system, I was able to set it up so that you couldn’t punch in unless you were scheduled without a manager override. I also set it up so you couldn’t punch in more than 5 minutes early and if you were more than 15 minutes late. This helped with labor as well. Now team members weren’t clocking in unless they were supposed to and if you were late I was going to know. I usually would know anyways but I could be in the middle of a rush and not catch it right away.

5. Being able to read tickets & see who took the order

Can you imagine your in the middle of a rush and you have to figure out what a ticket says because the handwriting is that bad you have no idea what it says. Okay now add that you have delivery drivers as well so the team member that took that order may be on a delivery. With a restaurant pos system, the cooks are always able to read the tickets.

6. Cashing drivers out at the end of their shift

All restaurants require a very complex point of sale system but when you add deliveries to the mix it even gets more complex. At the end of drivers shift you are always left with figuring out what deliveries each driver took and how much he owes. Before I had a restaurants pos system it could take up to 45 minutes to cash one driver out, and that is not an understatement. With a restaurant pos system, it only takes me literally 5 minutes tops and that is if I have to wait for the driver to get their money from the car. I remember the first day I got my restaurants pos system and it only took five minutes to cash a driver out at the end of the night. I was so happy I almost cried. Not really but it was pretty exciting.

7. Knowing your store's numbers from anywhere

This to me was one of the best parts about my restaurants pos system was knowing my restaurant's numbers from anywhere in the world that has the internet. All restaurant pos systems have some form of this service. You can log in from your app or on their website directly and see your numbers from your store. You know the sales, your average check ticket, how many orders, and you can even get your employee time sheets from there. I have had the time online be different than their actual time so it is always good to verify it.

Below are 7 Cons to Restaurant pos systems

Above I listed a few pros to having a restaurant pos system and now below I will list a few cons to having a restaurant pos system. Keep in mind this is based on my personal experience and mine will be different than yours which will be different than someone else's. Almost all these cons are also going to be true with any other restaurant pos system out there.

1. Initial cost is expensive

The restaurant system I use is not the most expensive system out there, but it isn’t the least expensive either and they charge for every extra.

2. They charge for support every month.

This is going to be the same with just about any restaurant pos system.

A service agreement at the time of this article for the restaurant pos system I use is a $160 per month per store. If you have one in place when your system goes down they fix it right away usually. This is really the best way to go trust me on that. No matter what pos system you have.

If you don't have a service agreement at the time of this article you pay $295.00 per incident or up to 1 hour whichever comes first. You will have to go to their website and purchase a "non-contract incident or Max 1 hour" whichever comes first. Usually, all incidents are fixed within 5 minutes. It used to only be $150.00 dollars I believe. I know they have raised it within the last year. 

Either way you are getting screwed here. The service agreement is around $160 per month per location. If you go that route your looking at over a $1000 per year, or you go with option B almost $300 per incident. If your system goes down 5 times that year you are paying over $1000 anyways. There is no winning. I will tell you this my system does not go down 5 times a year, I have heard of people having a lot of problems with their system and thankful they have the service agreement. My personal experience I would say get the agreement it is worth it. All updates are covered as well so when they come out with a new version it is covered under the service agreement.

3. Online ordering cost extra

Online ordering is an additional cost every month. Just like I stated earlier every restaurant pos system charges extra for their online ordering system. I have heard that you only can use their online ordering service with their system no 3rd party online ordering systems. It is nice to have everything integrated. Integration with your restaurants pos system is nice because if something needs to be changed with an order you are able to do it right from the terminal. Before I had a restaurant pos system I used a different online ordering system and it was a nightmare to say the least. I was able to accept online orders which is a necessity in today's day in age, but to change a total or refund their money was like pulling teeth. With your restaurant pos systems online ordering system it is all done right there. So this could be considered a pro as well as a con.

4. Apps are extra

If you want to have an app that is extra. Here is the kicker though if you want an apple app and an android app it is 2 separate prices. It isn’t you pay for one you get the other. Everything is done on your phone now so of course you want an app. Not only is it easier ordering for your customers but your app is just sitting there on their device so they see it each time they look at their phone. This one I guess should be expected, but I did not expect to receive an email from them the other day saying in order to update my app I was going to have to pay an additional $1000.00. I haven’t even had the app a year yet and I have to pay an additional $1000.00. If I don’t pay through google will take it off the app store because it won’t meet their new security guidelines.

5. They have a system where you can track your drivers on a map

I know of other restaurant pos systems that allow you to send a text to the driver right from the terminal but this one allows you to track them on a map. This is a nice feature and this is what sold me on their system over other restaurant pos systems. When I saw that you could track your drivers on a map I was sold. However this is an extra cost as well. You also have to buy a separate monitor and a separate computer and neither of those are included in the price that I was quoted maybe it will be in yours. The drivers have to download an app to their phones and in order for the system to work the driver has to be signed into the app. Now drivers are able to put credit card tips in and have the customer sign if they paid with a credit card on the driver's phone. Getting a driver to remember to sign in and stay signed in though that is the hard part. For me this wasn't worth it. I love the concept though and it might work out just fine for you.

6. Run your own wires

I was responsible to run all the wires and have all the plugs installed before the installer arrives to install the system. So this is going to cost you additional money. Unless your quote includes wire running. This may have to be done by you or you have to hire a company to run cat 5 wiring and install power outlets near where the printers and monitors are going to be.

7. Travel cost

I was responsible for their installers travel cost as well, and you are charged for a set amount of time they are there to train you on the system.

Does your restaurant really need a point of sale system? The answer to that is yes. If you want to run a smooth operation you do. Does it need to be the one I use? No! There are many restaurant point of sale systems out there, and they all are very similar. I believe you always get what you pay for and a point of sale system is no different I wouldn’t go with a free one because you aren't going to get the same kind of quality you are going to get with say someone like Revention, or Arrows pos or Thrive. Do your research set up several demos's before you make a decision. As I mentioned earlier these cons I mention are going to be pretty similar no matter what restaurant pos system software you buy.

*results may vary

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