Buying a cheap POS for my restaurant?

Buying a cheap POS for my restaurant?

Buying a cheap POS for the hospitality industry?

So after so much thought, have you decided that a POS is the best solution to grow your business? If so, congratulations! A good management system is the key to any successful business, but do you already know which device is the best for your restaurant, bar or café? In this article we will show you the advantages of a point of sale terminal and you will find out if a cheap hospitality POS is the best option.

What is the best POS terminal for the hotel and catering industry?

The number of POS models on the market is truly enormous, which is why at first glance it can be confusing for the inexperienced to make the right choice and have a good buying experience.

Unfortunately not all such devices work well in any business. So we cannot simply pick the first one that comes our way.

For some years now, the digital age has taken over commerce and POS terminals have undergone a number of changes, with a lot of functionality being added in an effort to improve their performance and efficiency. While this has not been a bad thing, it does mean that each model is integrated with different tools. But what does a POS need to be optimal for the hospitality industry? We have the answers below.

1. Model

Time does not pass in vain, so when it comes to electronic devices, this has a major impact on their usability. So the first thing to check in this regard is that the manufacturing materials are of the highest quality, as this ensures that the life span of the device is longer.

In addition to this, another thing that is very important is the reliability of the origin. The best thing to do is to make sure that you buy original equipment with a manufacturer's data plate. This saves us a lot of trouble with regard to the security of the POS.

2. Software

The user interface of the Hospitality POS must be intuitive. The device must be easy to use so that customer service is quick without wasting unnecessary time.

It should always be borne in mind that although these establishments have different requirements, the operating system of most of them is not specific for use in restaurants or businesses in this commercial sector. Therefore, priority should be given to those with an operating system that can become a solution for the administration and management of payments in this industry.

Don't settle for just any simple system. There are terminals that can facilitate tasks such as adding or removing ingredients from a dish, combining offers, splitting accounts, sending the order directly to the kitchen, managing the orders of a table, sending the invoice by e-mail to the customer, among other things.

3. Cash register / POS add-on

Because customers do not always make payments electronically or with bank cards, it is necessary to have a place where the collected cash can be safely stored.

There are currently models of POS that are complemented by a cash register for this purpose.

4. Provider

Imagine spending money and time, buying a random POS and training staff to use it; only to find that it doesn't really deliver anything the advertisers promised.

Not all technology companies are reliable, so before choosing a POS system, check that the reputation of the provider is good. Experts in this industry recommend being wary of new providers, because you may be getting a terminal with little or no support and which may never be upgraded.

There's only one tip that really works on this issue: choose a vendor with a proven track record.

How do you decide which POS is best?

Every business has different requirements, so an ideal POS is one that suits the specific needs of the establishment. To narrow down your choices, answer the following questions:

1. What functions does my business need?

Unlike simple cash registers, the functions of a POS go far beyond processing payments and recording transactions.

Today, these are systems that accelerate customer service, help manage inventory, promote customer loyalty and much more. Especially in hospitality, there are some functions that can be better utilised than in other types of businesses. For example, employees can log in at every shift change with their fingerprint to keep track of how long they have been doing their job; it is also possible for customers to order online and payment to be handled in the cloud.

2. Do I need a mobile system?

Mobile POS systems are the most popular on the market, mainly because they are easier to use and can be carried around. They also allow administrators to access reports and other tools from wherever they are with an internet connection.

3. Which operating system is right for me?

When choosing a mobile POS it is important to know which operating system is the one that can offer the best performance.

These smartphones work with smartphones and although most work equally well with iOS or Android, some can only work with one of the two operating systems.

Our approach as merchants is to choose a POS that works with a system that is easy to use, secure and of course stable. In addition to that, you have to research thoroughly, because some iOS models are much more expensive than others.

4. Do I need add-ons or integrations?

Additional functions are available in almost any POS model, but sometimes you have to pay a monthly fee to use them.

These integrations can include: inclusion of gift cards in the system, loyalty programmes, real-time inventory, advanced administrative reports, among others.

To make a good decision, assess whether your business has the financial capacity to pay for extra tools or features. Also find out if there are other models that offer the same functionalities without having to pay an additional fee.

5. What happens when the business grows?

All merchants have a clear goal, to make their business grow: to have more customers, multiple locations, reach the international market, expand the catalogue of products and services, among others.

When this time comes, efficiency and performance must remain the same or even go up a level. Having the right system in place will allow any business to grow smoothly; so make sure you buy a POS system that allows you to add new POS terminals or that can be integrated into more advanced software.

6. What is the opinion of other users?

This is one of the questions that should not be ignored when buying a POS terminal, especially when it is a cheap POS.

The marketing brochure is obviously aimed at attracting customers, so it will most likely not contain any negative points or specify any shortcomings of the device. All you will see is a snappy description of a functional, easy-to-use and high-performance POS.

But don't just believe what the vendor says about their own product. The wisest thing to do is to listen to or read the recommendations of previous customers who have already had the opportunity to make a purchase.

If possible, ask for a list of current customers, contact them or their companies and ask questions to see how the POS works first hand.

7. Aren't there other options with more flexibility?

A cheap POS in the long run can turn out to be the worst investment of your life. Compare options and determine which one offers the most flexible costs or fees. That way, you won't be locked into an inconvenient contract for too long.

8. Is customer service reliable?

Communication with the provider should be available at any time, because failures are not to be expected and can lead to major business losses.

Cheap POS - is it worth it?

We have come to the crux of this topic: cheap POS systems. Their prices are very tempting, there is no denying that. However, they may not be the most ideal for the hospitality industry.

Marketing is a powerful tool when it comes to devices like these. There is so much competition in the market that suppliers are coming up with more and more fantastic offers to attract customers. For example, many lower the cost of purchasing the equipment and offer a free trial period.

However, if we evaluate these offers in depth, we can see the downsides of buying a cheap POS system.

a. Software costs

Providers normally offer a number of different packages, with different features so that the customer can decide what is best for him. These packages range from a simple one, to the most specialised version and obviously the prices increase accordingly.

In order to keep a cheap TPV on the market and not lose money, companies usually increase the monthly fee for the use of the software to their users. This means that by contracting for several months, we will be eligible for greater discounts on the price.

b. Payment processing costs

A cheap POS may not even be suitable for credit card payments, and if it is, the cost of processing credit card payments may be considerably high.

In addition, some providers when they do not have a system for processing these payments force you to use a certain third party processor and the only thing you can do to change is to go to the trouble and expense of getting a new POS.

c. High hardware prices

A cheap POS may have support for integrating certain accessories, but these may need to be from the same supplier. This means that if the hardware to be integrated comes from a different supplier you cannot use it in the POS and the only remedy is to buy one from the same supplier regardless of the price.

d. Installation costs

Some providers charge an extra amount for the installation of the device in the business. The fee usually varies from company to company, ranging from a few hundred to thousands of euros.

This service usually includes in addition to the hardware configuration, data migration or the configuration of a product menu.

e. Contract cancellation fee

One of the clauses that usually comes in the "small print" of contracts is that if the customer decides to terminate the business relationship before the initially established time, he has to pay an additional fee for it.

Conclusions: A cheap POS is not the solution

It is true that a cheap POS is not the best option for the hospitality industry, but this does not mean that you should invest in a device costing thousands of euros, which in the end has the same functionalities as a standard-priced one.

Making the right choice will not only save you money, but also time and a good deal of frustration.

The best thing to do is to steer clear of anything that is advertised as "cheap" or includes "free" offers because in the long run it may mean that you will be spending more money than recommended.

You can take a look at our website Bliscop if you are looking for a POS Software for your hospitality business!