Switching POS Systems: the Pros and Cons

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Your business is only as good as its point-of-sale (POS) system, and that is especially true for restaurants and bars. We see the importance of POS systems everyday with our clients who need to keep their restaurant experience flowing smoothly—even during busy crunch times.

A good POS system will let you handle high volumes of sales traffic and multiple methods of payments quickly and easily. It should also be ready to handle the latest payment technology, like Apple Pay and other “tap-and-go” payment solutions. Modern POS systems can even allow you to log in and view your back office from virtually anywhere, at any time. And they can do all that while charging you as little as possible with transactional fees and other overheads. 

But changing your POS system can present some drawbacks, as well, particularly when it comes to the transitional period. Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of choosing a new POS system.

The Benefits of Changing POS Systems

The thought of switching over to a new POS system for your bar or restaurant might be a bit daunting, but there can be a tremendous amount of upside to making the change. Here are some of the biggest positives to updating your system:

Faster Transactions

First and foremost, a new POS system should mean faster transactions. That accounts for everything from entering orders through processing payments. A new POS system can also cut down on sales lost due to an inability to accept certain payment types. According to the 2017 TSYS Consumer Payments study, only 12% of consumers preferred to pay with cash at dine-in restaurants. If you’re not ready for alternative payments, you’re leaving a lot of potential sales on the table. 

Increased Profits

Faster sales and a wider array of acceptable payment methods will add up to increased profits on their own, but a new POS system might also help by cutting overhead costs for your restaurant or bar. Finding a system that offers more competitive rates and lower overall fees will help boost your profits even further. 

Faster Staff On-boarding

When you add a new member to your bar or restaurant staff, how long does it take them to become comfortable with using your POS system? The longer it takes, the slower your turnaround becomes. Newer POS systems offer more streamlined and intuitive interfaces, which make it easier to get new staff up and running.

Future-Proofing Your Business

Credit cards and debit cards still make up the vast majority of consumer purchases, but newer payment types are starting to gain traction. “Tap-and-go” solutions, both in the form of NFC-chip-equipped credit cards and in digital solutions like Apple Pay. Having a POS that can handle these options will keep your company ready for the next wave of consumer preferences.

New POS Systems Can Present Challenges

Changing POS systems comes with a few inherent challenges for your business. Knowing what to expect, and how to overcome them, will make your transition go much more smoothly.

Retraining Staff

Even the best POS system is of no use if your staff doesn’t know how to operate it. The time and effort it takes to retrain your staff on a new system should be one of your main considerations when deciding whether or not to make a change.

Up-Front Costs

A new POS system will likely require new hardware for your bar or restaurant. Whether that’s a relatively inexpensive card-reading interface or multiple touchscreen computers, it’s a cost you’ll need to include in your planning. Costs for staff training—including profits lost due to slower transactions during the transition period—should also be considered.

Increased Fees

While it’s ideal to find a new POS that reduces the overhead fees associated with transactions, that might not always be available. After all, your current POS system might be a simple cash register with absolutely no additional operational costs. Even so, it could be well worth your time and money to invest in a more versatile—and future-proof—POS system.   

Should You Make The Change?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for bar and restaurant POS systems. While considering the pros and cons of making the change, be sure to do your due diligence in examining as many options as possible. 

Get a quote from the Riverside team to see what your options look like. Better technology for a better price is our promise to you.