Restaurant POS System: Answers to the most common questions

Let's discuss the differences of a manual system compared to a computerized one, and why a restaurant point of sale system seems to be very popular these days.
 
 
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Sept. 9, 2009 - PRLog -- When recording business transactions, it takes a considerable amount of time. And it still doesn't include the time to copy all the data into a spreadsheet or database for further analysis! If you don't want to regret loosing valuable time on these tasks, try using a POS system that will record all sales, returns, taxes, inventory, etc. so you can concentrate on the other plans for your business' success. While your POS system do the tiring and crucial task of recording business data, it saves time and increases productivity more than makes up for the expenditure.

I’m not that good with it comes to computers. Can I still use POS systems?

You should be able to handle a POS system with no problems. A vendor can help you in setting up the software to perform tasks as you want it to be. You’ll then be able to navigate through a series of menus that’s easy to follow. When your POS vendor sets you up, they will provide full training with you and your staff for how to use it. And if there's any problem with the system, a POS customer service professional is just a phone call away!

What equipment do I need to get set up?

POS customers need a phone connection, Internet access, and working electrical outlets. If you have these components, vendors can set you up with POS in a cinch! You don't even need to own a computer since most vendors provide it as part of their entire package.

Can POS help me prevent theft?

A reliable POS system has multiple tools that can help you prevent this. There are various applications which allows you to track every item in your inventory so you can estimate exactly how much profit you should realize for every sale and pinpoint problems with your margins. If there are mistakes on the sales reports, you'll know immediately so you be warned that there are problems that needs immediate action.

Can I rely on POS to handle my sales or to manage my inventory?

Both can be handled by your POS with no problems! You can enter all the information you want AND check out the inventory... the best part of it is that's only the beginning, there are lots more you can do with point of sale. POS terminal and software also allows you to track sales performance, you can even generate reports, set up reminders for inventory that needs to be restocked, and plan future sales campaigns. Use your collected customer data to target effective sales campaigns and stock your shelves with the items they purchase the most.

When will I need to use wireless?

Wireless is best used for business people on the go, so they don't need to go back and fort to a POS terminal to process transactions. Instead, they can easily process transactions using wireless technology.

Should I buy a flat-screen LCD monitor, or a less expensive CRT monitor?

There are too many benefits to LCD displays over CRT that you shouldn’t ignore. First of all, they look great on any counter tables, they take up less space, doesn't require much electricity and they can last longer. For low volume of sales, CTR screens will be fine and if you are not really sure that POS fits your business. But with the additional benefits when it comes to flat screen monitors, there will be little cost difference between the two.

Which printer is better: a dot matrix printer or a thermal printer?

For most businesses, a thermal printer works best. There are less moving parts so it’s less likely to break down. It’s also the only option if you are going to work wirelessly. However, dot matrix printers are safer choices in hospitality kitchens because of heat from the ovens, grills, and fryers could damage the paper and ink of thermal printers.

What happens if my POS breaks down while conducting business?

This is one of the reasons why back ups are so important. System failures can happen for a variety of reasons – power outages, system crashes, viruses, natural disasters, etc. By implementing a backup solution (more preferable is an offsite backup so your important files is protected), you ensure the system is always up and running when you need it the most. What's more important about backing up your data, you ensure you can easily recover all customer information, sales figures, and custom reports you have saved prior to the crash.

What type of customer support should I expect?

Since customer service policies vary from vendor to vendor, there isn't a simple answer to this question. Others may have a round-the-clock telephone support, while others only offers support during business hours and can schedule you for repairs on the next 24 hours.

That's why it is very important to keep in contact with your POS vendor in case of problems, especially if you bought separate POS equipments from different vendors, look into the offerings of different vendors, take time evaluating each, and make a straight decision before buying.

What POS do I need if I have multiple locations?

Generally, if you a few more of POS systems in various locations of your businesses, you can choose from two options. The first is each location operates independently with its own terminal and software. And have their reports sent over to the corporate offices at the end of the day or each week.

The second option involves connecting all terminals to one server allowing reports and sales figures to be uploaded and downloaded in real time. What you'll benefit from option number two is that it's available remotely. But, since several POS terminals will be working on the same server, expect backlogs when sending information all at once.

With both solutions, you will be needing a robust back up solution since all locations are connected to one server – and if it fails, all locations may stop operating.

Does my POS software needs license?

Each terminal hosted on your network needs individual license. There are POS vendors who'll offer you discounts depending on the number of terminals that needs licenses.

Do I need to purchase a service contract?

It maybe part of the expense but surely worth it. Once your POS system is set up, you will use it for your day-to-day operations and analysis for future plans. If the machine breaks down or you experience a disaster, you probably don’t want to keep it any longer.

There are maintenance contracts offered by vendors, depends on the vendor, which can cost a couple hundred dollars per year who can provide you services each time a POS terminal of yours breaks, so you can go ahead and concentrate more in keeping your business running and growing.

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The author of this article writes for POS-For-Restaurants.com, a VP of Customer Relations with over 20 years experience in restaurant point of sale system, helping restaurant owners nationwide increase their efficiency and bottom-line profits.

You may visit http://www.pos-for-restaurants.com for more information on how our national network of restaurant point of sale experts can help your business achieve greater success in these difficult economic times.

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Tags:Pos, Point Of Sale, Restaurant Pos, Restaurant Point Of Sale, Restaurant Pos System, Pos Systems, Restaurant Pos Equipment
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