8 Essential Elements to Consider When Choosing the Right POS System
A Point of sale (POS) system is an important business tool for restaurant operators. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) provides a lot of information to help restaurant owners choose the right POS solution. One document outlines the “8 Essential Elements of POS System Ownership.” These are the eight items every restaurant owner should consider when selecting the right POS system.
- Know all hardware and software components included in the POS system and their individual or bundled costs. Have the POS provider quote pricing for the features, installation, license fee, software fees, maintenance fee and ongoing Service Level Agreements.
- Establish a clearly defined Service Level Agreement (SLA). The SLA outlines the service obligation, responsibilities, guarantees and warranties of the POS provider.
- Request a fee schedule for all services, training, upgrades, conversions, gateway services, and support. In addition to the upfront POS system cost, there will be recurring charges for other services provided by other business partners. You should have a clear understanding of fees for additional services such as staff training, upgrades, hardware and software support.
- Understand the terms and conditions of the hardware and software warranties. A warranty is a safety net for your system — and you should know just how far and wide that protection spans.
- Insist on PCI-compliant and PA-DSS validated POS systems. Compliance is an ongoing process and when standards change your system may need an upgrade. Ask your POS System Provider about the costs for these upgrades.
- Have the POS System Provider disclose any financial benefits from relationships with payment processing companies. It is not uncommon for POS providers and payment processors to have revenue-sharing agreements. Some may lower the cost of a POS system significantly if you use their “processing services.” Compare the pricing of POS products with a variety of payment processing options from multiple vendors.
- Ensure you can use the supported payment processor of your choice and have fully disclosed pricing for set-up, conversion, and support. Some POS systems are designed to work with one or two payment processors others work with virtually any.
- Evaluate the POS System Provider’s after-sale service and the quality of their help desk support along with service during regular hours. Each POS System Provider should provide you with several references.