Selecting a New POS System: Tips from a Restaurant Veteran

Waitress preparing bill at restaurant

I grew up in a restaurant…well, my parents started their third restaurant when I turned 16. For four years, I spent all my time waitressing, bartending, doing dishes, picking up shifts when people didn’t show up, and more. If you’re in the hospitality industry, especially as an owner or a manager, you know the job is never ending and there are a million things to do.

Now I’ve left that world behind (I still help out when I go back home because I make a mean martini and know nearly all the customers who come in). But one thing I’ll remember most is my transition during college from working for my parents to working at a larger restaurant. My parents used paper slips for all of their receipts, and the waitress and bartenders had to hand calculate all of the bills and shout out all the orders over to the kitchen.

When I started working at a large restaurant in a big city, they had a POS system. I fell absolutely in love. No more having to rewrite a table of 16’s bill out by hand because they wanted to pay separately. No more trying to decipher someone’s drink order they wrote down. My parents eventually realized that pen and paper wasn’t going to be the method for them in the long term, and as I sat down and talked with them, we agreed on some of the key things you need to decide when looking for a new POS system.

Points to consider when choosing a new POS system:

  • What are your current pain points? If you already have a system in place, what frustrates the people most who use it? Talk to your cashiers, servers, bartenders, or whomever will be using the system most to see what they need to do their job to the best of their ability. The success of the systems you choose requires buy-in from these front-line workers.
  • What are your customer’s requests? Do your customer’s require that bills be separated or that special requests be noted on orders? Just like your workers needs need to be met, so do your customers’. You will also want to be able to document your customers’ requests. Check out this video on how in LS Retail you can document discounts.
  • Who needs the data and what do they need? Is your system going to be compliant or easy to use if you get audited? Does your data get sent from individual retailers to corporate? These are just a few of the questions you need to consider. You will need to talk with the people who are using this information to make sure that the system you choose will give them an adequate type and amount of information.

Choosing a new POS isn’t easy. There are a lot of perspectives that you need to consider. What perspectives are you taking into consideration when considering a new POS system? Looking to change to a new POS system? Contact ArcherPoint – the retail advisor. For more information on retail management topics, read our expert team member’s blogs.