· What features should I look for ? · How can I know if the application, and the company behind it, is reliable ? · What’s the single biggest reason for POS dissatisfaction – and how can I avoid it ? · How can I be sure my POS will fit my plans for the future ? · What should I demand from my vendor ?
Before you place your order, consider…
The Top 10POS Checklist
Whether you want to increase the profitability of a single restaurant or coordinate the operations of an entire chain, a point-of-sale (POS) application can help you meet your goals… if you select the tools best suited to your circumstances. Frankly, there are a bewildering variety of options available. And many competing providers make similar claims. To help restaurateurs make wisechoices, Maitre'D Software has tapped its 10 years of industry experience to create a POS guideline. With these ten key points in mind, you’ll be able to look beyond the product menu to see an application’s real ingredients - and satisfy your hunger for true performance.
1. Set your business objectives.
It’s too easy to get lost in a sea of features. Before you wade into product options,determine your business objectives and rank them by priority. By doing so, you can concentrate on the features that really matter without being distracted by extras of little consequence. The following chart can help : If you’re most concerned about… Controlling costs …then look for these qualities : • Accurate, customizable reporting tools • Integration with accounting/ • Labor & inventory managementsystems • Up-sell prompts • Gift card/loyalty program integration • Low total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) • Efficient training options • Low fees, low upgrade costs
Return on investment (ROI)
2. Expect reliability.
Like that dealer sedan with a new-car smell, every demo looks great, but you want to be sure that your POS application will perform as promised, order afterorder, day after day. When shopping for an application, ask for details about the company’s quality assurance program - to be sure one exists, is properly staffed and is fully integrated into the development and production process. Ask about their beta testing policies for new releases. Look for built-in redundancy features that assure up-time even when the server goes down. Most importantly, insist oncustomer references, especially from restaurants that have relied on the application for years.
3. Demand security of customer information.
Stolen credit card information isn’t just a pain for your customer ; it could mean a serious fine for you. When customers offer their bank card, be it at the point of sale, or over the Internet, they want assurance that their account information is safe.That’s why Visa USA has instituted the Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) which is part of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Stardard (PCI DSS). CISP compliance is required of all merchants and service providers that store, process, or transmit Visa cardholder data. These regulations have only recently been aggressively enforced. When authorities have determined that retailers -including restaurants - had not taken appropriate steps to protect customer confidentiality, they have imposed serious fines, including some that have pushed owners to bankruptcy.
The Top 10 POS Checklist
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Be sure that your POS application incorporates security measures into its programming, such as protecting cardholder data and encrypting transmissionof cardholder data and sensitive information across public networks. And look for a validated vendor in VISA's Customer Information Security Program.
7. Require customizable reporting.
All POS applications create reports, but do they create the ones you need ? And in the format you want ? Basic reports should include daily summaries, operating costs, sales costs, sales comparisons, usage...