6 Steps to a Successful POS Implementation
HT ROADMAP: 6 Keys to creating a framework for strategic POS selection.
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The point-of-sale (POS) system has become the central artery for all businesses —restaurants included. It is no surprise, then, that the POS is now a top priority for restaurant technology investment and planning. According to Hospitality Technology’s 2018 POS Software Trends Report, about half of operators (49%) intended to add new functionality to POS software in 2018 and 32% planned to install a POS from a new vendor.
Savvy restaurant operators also acknowledge the role of POS hardware in supporting the business from improving customer interactions, convenience and service.
Consider the interface with the customer. This can be manipulated in several ways, and the correct implementation will allow for better flow at the POS, can provide a more personal experience and even remove human interaction — and its variability— from the equation. Citizen Systems (www.citizen-systems.com), cites examples such as self-service kiosks for order entry and payment, including transaction receipt printing; queue-busting through order-taking, also including payment and receipt printing; and “hot zone” (mobile POS) implementations for high-traffic areas and/or busy periods.
POS selection and implementation cannot occur in a vacuum. “Without the right hardware, no software investment can be maximized, and business goals will be difficult to attain,” says Jarrod DellaChiesa, president of hospitality consulting firm DellaChiesa Hospitality (https://dellachiesahospitality.com). To ensure that these initiatives do not fail to deliver on expectations — or fail completely — restaurants must identify and execute key steps to structure a POS implementation or upgrade.
STEP ONE: DEFINE GOALS, BUSINESS MODEL, AND PRIORITIES
A POS system is no longer just a device where transactions occur; rather, it is an endpoint to a point of guest service, whether in person, via delivery or through a mobile app. For this reason, according to Revel Systems (www.revelsystems.com), identifying the right POS system is a multi-step process that should begin with evaluating business, documenting upcoming business goals and priorities, and homing in on technology that can help achieve those goals.
Think about the desired end-result. If driving revenue is a priority for the next 18 months, start by looking for a solution with such customer-centric features as customer display screens, discounting options, and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. If the goal is to decrease operating costs, concentrate on solutions that have inventory and employee management features.
Eventide Fenway (www.eventideoysterco.com), a fast-casual seafood restaurant in Boston, chose Toast Go (https://pos.toasttab.com) handheld units to support what John Myers, general manager, calls a “unique” business and service model. The model calls for taking orders tableside, with customers picking them up at the counter when they are ready and staff continuing to interact with guests as they enjoy their food. Myers contends this service model could only be achieved with handheld units.
“We didn’t want guests’ interaction with us to end once orders have been picked up from the counter,” Myers says. “The handhelds let us have a few more interactions with guests — for example, selling more food items — before they leave the restaurant.”
Consider your customer base. Solution providers like Par Technology Corp. (www.partech.com) say mobile and online ordering, kiosks and delivery capabilities are almost definitely a necessity for restaurants located near a college or office park and cater primarily to busy Millennial and Generation Z customers with fast-paced lifestyles. However, online ordering capabilities might not be a priority for operators whose clientele may prefer dining in.