There is no such thing as a “normal” day in the restaurant business. The weather, fluctuating food prices, and even sporting events can affect your bottom line. Maybe the big game brought in a larger-than-normal crowd last night, and you tripled your usual bar-sales. Then again, some new fajita-bar could have opened up down the street, and suddenly you’re buying too many tortillas.
What about that customer who had a bad experience, and wants their meal comped? Most POS systems require a manager’s authorization to do that, but you just ran home for your break. So what do you do? Give up your break and head right back to the restaurant, or run the risk of giving someone else your password? A lot of these issues are considered the “intangibles” of running a business, or “non-controllable expenses.” But not all of them.
There is a simple piece to the puzzle that can make a tremendous difference to both your P&L statement, and your stress level. And believe it or not, it’s been staring you right in the face this entire time!
Upgrade Your POS
The point of sale software and services that a restaurant uses can make all the difference in the world. Using an old or outdated system is like trying to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together. Modern POS software is far more advanced than it was just a few short years ago, and the functionality of these newer programs is lightyears beyond what you might expect.
The POS system is quite possibly the most frequently used tool in your restaurant. Modern POS systems now offer a SaaS, or software-as-a-service model. Techradar.com gives a pretty detailed explanation of exactly how these upgraded systems work. Mostly, SaaS is cloud-based. There’s no software to download, or network to update. You access an app via an internet connection.
Advantages of a SaaS POS
Let’s start at the top: cost. How much of a financial investment is required to upgrade to a SaaS POS system? Your current system was certainly expensive when it was first installed, so paying for these new enhanced features must carry a hefty price tag, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, upgrading to a SaaS system has lower up-front fees than any older-style POS software. Again, there is no expensive software to download or equipment to buy.
A SaaS POS system is compatible with any internet browser. It makes no difference which OS you’re using: Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, or IOS—it works seamlessly with all of them. Cloud-based storage means you never have to worry about losing data due to damaged equipment or a system failure, and upgrades are as easy as pushing a button. SaaS is simple to learn, and even simpler to use!
SaaS is designed to work with a tablet or smartphone, eliminating the need to invest in expensive hardware. There are no network upgrades to be done, and no technicians interrupting your business. The portability of the system means that orders can be taken and bills settled from anywhere in the restaurant. This can save precious time, as your servers and bartenders will no longer need to use multiple terminals at different locations to complete a single transaction.
The accessibility of a SaaS POS system allows you to monitor your business from anywhere. Sales reports, payroll hours, and inventory tracking can all be accomplished remotely. All of your restaurant’s analytical information can be accessed as easily as checking your email. The POS software you choose will have a lasting impact on your business, so why not choose the best option available? With a significantly lower up-front cost, and a marginal monthly subscription-fee, the additional features available through a SaaS program make it the obvious choice.
If Not, Now, When?
According to business.com, “In 2020, mobility and the customer experience are hot topics in the point-of-sales market. The industry continues to move to cloud-based POS systems that run on tablets.” If you’re still using an outdated system, you have to ask yourself why. It can’t be the cost factor. Modernizing to a SaaS system is less expensive than upgrading your current network. Is it a fear of new technology? Comfortability, familiarity, reliability? Probably. Old faithful has never let you down, so why change now? According to an article published on forbes.com, here are the top five reasons why now is the perfect time to make the switch:
- Cost: less expensive in the short term and the long term.
- Maintenance: no technicians needed to keep your system running smoothly.
- Space: no bulky equipment sitting on your bar or counter.
- Upgrades and customizations: can be done with the push of a button.
- Time management and performance: increased through portability and remote access.
SaaS programs are designed to be learned very easily and very quickly. While your loyalty (or resistance to change) may be preventing you from finding a better partner to dance with, your competition is leaving you far behind.