Choosing a Point of Sale Supplier – Part 2
In a previous article, titled “Choosing a Point of Sale – Part 1”, we discussed some of the features to look out for when choosing a point of sale supplier. The features you needed to look out for were if the system records customer data, offers reservations, online ordering integration and tableside ordering. These features may seem unimportant now but, in the long run, you could see a number of benefits from implementing them. Here are some more features you should be looking out for:
- Can I Add My Own Menu Items? How complicated is the process of creating menu items? Does the menu item creation take mere minutes and a few simple steps? Or, does it take hours with a series overly complicated steps? Creating a new menu item should be relatively straight forward to do. It shouldn’t take hours upon hours to add a simple cheeseburger to your menu. Menus can sometimes require an urgent addition/subtraction and you shouldn’t need to pay for a call out every time you need to add/remove a menu item.
- How Long Do System Changes Take? It’s a Friday morning and your sales rep from SAB has just informed you they are having a sale on one of their products. This item is a top seller in your establishment and, by purchasing it at a discounted rate, you can offer your patrons a better price therefore increasing turnover for the evening. Are you able to load the discount on the item from one terminal? Will the discount reflect on each terminal or will you need to complete the update from the back office and then restart the entire system?
- Can Staff Members Use Any Terminal? You’re a smart business owner and you have decided to cross train all of your staff so they can help where ever they are needed at any given time. Can your barmen only use the terminal behind the bar or is he able to use one of the other terminals if he is helping the serving staff? Or, if you would like your serving staff not to be able to process orders on the terminal behind the bar, are you able to do this? There may be certain types of staff members who need to be able to work from any terminal and there may be other staff members who you would like restricted to a specific terminal.
- Can Orders Be Held Back by the Server? Some servers prefer to record the order but not send it to the kitchen immediately. Holding an order back and only sending it through when the server is ready helps with meal timing. You don’t want a main meal coming out straight after a starter has been placed on a table.
- Does the System Allow for Discounts? Most bars will run happy hour specials from Monday to Friday and at specific times. Most point of sale systems will offer different pricing levels for each menu item and create a schedule, if necessary. If you would like these figures to be displayed in your reports, you may need to create special menu items for these discounts.
While it may feel like a long and laborious process, the last thing you will want/need is to discover a need for one of the above and find out your point of sale supplier does not offer these. Even if your point of sale supplier doesn’t offer a specific feature right now, chat with them to find out when and if they have any intention of adding the feature to their offering.