When choosing a POS system, there are three essential criteria the modern restaurant manager needs to be aware of before investing in one. The two POS types that exist - Legacy and Cloud - both deliver the same functions (to collect and calculate fiscal data), but each has important variations on how the data is stored, accessed and personalized.
The pros of purchasing a Legacy system are basically less dependency to the internet and higher personalisation possibilities. However, I am an advocate of Cloud POS for the following reasons (which are key for the success of any business).
It's important to be in control of your revenue and the most important KPI’s from anywhere at any time. Also, to be able to access the data from multiple devices and allow your team-mates to view the data too. Being easily accessibility helps the restaurant owner make quick decisions and focus on the right issue at the right time.
Excel is and will be the number one software for data analysis for SME’s. However, the POS systems of today need to offer an integrated analytics section. According to Harvard Business Review, data-informed decisions increase the likelihood of being right 3-fold . This is only possible with a computer that automatically provides the answers to business questions.
The must-have analytics features are the following:
Revenue analysis per hour, day, week, month and year.
Top/ flop selling product categories and single products.
Profitability margin analysis of each product.
Delivery services, reservation systems, stock management apps, ordering apps, loyalty programmes, etc. need to be connected to one another. The restaurant technology services, ResTech, are democratising the use of advanced innovation to better manage an extremely complicated business. However, many restaurant owners are complaining about the fact that these apps can’t “speak to each other”. Application Programming Interface, or API, allows for connection and data flows of most of the ResTech apps. Therefore, if the POS has an API and connects to certain apps (e.g. Lightspeed), the restaurant owner can use many more solutions to their advantage. Such a functionality has the competitive edge right now and will become the norm in few years. Therefore, be prepared!
Last but not least, a POS needs to be an enabler for success. If the manager is having more headaches than gains working with such a software, is clearly time to change it.