Long gone are the days of writing every order and check by hand. Point-of-Sale (POS) systems are as essential to the pizza business as a dough mixer or an oven. One could argue that the POS is the most important piece of equipment in the whole building. So, how do you choose the right one?
I look at buying a POS system like a marriage; I don’t believe in switching out POS systems… I like to get it right in the beginning. POS are cloud-based systems that can send updates to software periodically. Think of your phone and how it occasionally updates to stay current with new technology. You want the same with your POS.
Having a trustworthy, reliable local representative when choosing a POS system is very important. This means you have someone in your area that not only sells you the POS, but also will service it and update it when needed. A lot of times, they will also provide IT support. We once had a flash flood in our building late at night, and the whole system went down. I called my local sales rep, and he came over at 11 p.m. at night and put in a new server so that we could open in the morning. If we have an issue with the system, we just call him and he answers and addresses the issue as soon as possible. Not having to wait on hold with someone a county – or entire continent – away is priceless.
I really believe that there is no one perfect POS system. It’s just about picking one that you can be comfortable with, and that best suits your business needs. It’s also important to consider what type of pizzeria you operate when making this decision. Some systems are designed simply for pick-up and delivery shops, some are catered to slice shops, and some are made for full-service restaurants. What if your pizzeria has all three aspects? Well, there’s a POS for that too.
Scouting perspective systems is a must. I always start with asking other operators what they use and what they like and don’t like about it. It’s even better to go to a pizzeria and see it in action and ask staff how long it took them to learn the system. Another great way to scout a POS is at Pizza Expo. Seeing a demo of the system helps clarify your questions. And, most times, a deal can be made on the show room floor! That’s one of the best things about Pizza Expo. Once the POS negotiations start, remember my favorite strategy of negotiating: always work low and slow. Next month, we’ll dig into buying the rest of the equipment for your pizzeria.