If you’re interested in growing your pizza business a POS system can help. Everyone has different reasons for purchasing a POS system. However at the end of the day all those reasons boil down to helping you grow and manage your pizza business.
Identify your Needs
The most important part of the entire pizza POS decision making process is to identify your needs. I recommend that you give a numeric value (Low 1-10 High) to your needs to determine how much they “weigh” on your scale of priorities. This values scale can help steer you in the right direction. The key focus is that you want a system to help you manage and grow your business.
Figure out your Wants
Be careful. Try not to categorize wants as a need. Let’s just try to identify the things you would like but if you didn’t have it, it wouldn’t impact the growth or management of your business.
We love technology. Lots of features, gadgets, and technology sound cool, but they may have little benefit on the growth of your business. I recommend giving your wants a numeric value and “weigh” them as well. It’s easier to sort them when you figure out whether the feature will help you grow and manage your business.
It’s gotta fit the budget
“Do you want the cheapest POS system or the best POS system for your pizza business?”
Of course the best answer is both, unfortunately you can’t have both. Like many things you get what you pay for as long as it’s a fair deal.
If you want the cheapest, you may have to ignore your list of wants and focus on your needs and possibly only the needs that “weigh” the most. However you may find that even your core needs may not be met by the cheapest POS. A cheap POS is typically designed for price.
On the other spectrum the best POS is often the more expensive point of sale system because it is specifically geared towards your pizza business. However you may get almost everything you’ll ever need, want, and maybe even a little more. Besides the price, typically you’ll love the best point of sale system because it provides everything for you to grow and manage your business. A good analogy might be your commercial pizza oven verses a conventional oven.
Whether you decide the cheapest or best you must keep in mind that the budget is not the reason you’re getting a pizza POS system. You’re getting a point of sale system because you want to grow your business. Typically the cheapest POS system will not grow with your business and may not be the best fit for your pizza business. If your business is growing you’ll need a point of sale system to grow with you and the best pizza point of sale systems will do just that. They will be capable of handling any number of stores and capable of centrally managing and reporting all your locations.
Ultimately I recommend you look for the best pizza POS system that provides the most value. Nobody wants a cheap piece of junk, but you also don’t want to be paying top dollar for a point of sale system. You should look for a point of sale system that will provide you with the most bang for your buck. If you’re going to spend money to grow, you should spend it on the products and services that will actually help you and your business to grow.
The best pizza POS system should also be able to help fit into your budget. I recommend looking for a flexible and low-interest financing plan. Many POS companies provide financing.
Pricing is Confusing
Despite the reasons, one hard fact of the restaurant industry is that equipment and supplies are often sold like used cars. It’s common practice to see amazing deals on sometimes inflated prices. The point of sale industry is no exception. This type of used car salesman and buyer relationship in our industry has made it difficult for both point of sale dealers and restaurant owners to do business easily. Prices are relative when it comes to point of sale systems so the price integrity isn’t always there. It’s very hard to compare apples to apples when features don’t actually match up to their actual usefulness. How do you know you’re even getting a good deal? Well the good news is that the industry is changing. There are more and more point of sale companies out there that are trying to improve the integrity of the industry.
One simple way to see if a price has integrity is to do comparisons. I recommend that you gather multiple price quotes from multiple POS companies. Be sure to try to get each point of sale company to quote you on a similar scope for your point of sale system. One method to try to make sure you’re getting a competitive price is to let the POS company know you have(or are getting) quotes from competitors. You could also try to get quotes from existing customers of the POS company you’re considering doing business with. See if their quote is similar to yours. Comparisons can help you see if other customers are getting the same pricing.
You can also take your “weight” values for needs and wants and put them up against the different point of sale solutions to see which solutions meet all or some of your needs and wants. This may help you narrow down which deal is the best value.
Overall you should educate yourself on software features, hardware, and services. Talk to other business owners that have a point of sale system and have tried different point of sale systems. Find out why they made their decision and if they even like their point of sale system or not. You don’t have to be a mechanic or an engineer to know what kind of car you’re getting and if you’re paying a good price. Same goes for your pizza POS system.
Always Dig deeper.
Beware of feature lists
A lot of features can make a POS system seem comprehensive. Be careful. Features in general can be tricky in how they are presented. One feature that is often misrepresented in pizza POS is mapping. Everyone designs and implements their mapping a little differently. Most pizza POS systems have a static map. This is map software that is installed on your computer. It’s a lot like the old school gps maps that you get installed in your 90’s-2000 type cars. The best pizza POS systems have a dynamic map. A mapping system that gets real-time information from the internet. Dynamic mapping is similar to the mapping you get on your smartphone. At face value they are both a bullet point on a feature list, but they are very different in what they actually do for you.
It’s very important to understand how features are designed. Dynamic mapping can provide real-time traffic data and road closings and much more information than a static map. You may want to dig deeper into the features that are most important to you.
#1 is Service
The most often undervalued part of pizza POS decision making is choosing the right service. This should be one of the most important reasons when choosing your pizza POS system. Just like features, service will vary from company to company. Unfortunately, service is the part you don’t know how good(or bad) it actually is until you buy it. However, you should be able to get a glimpse of what the service will be like if you do some research on the POS company (read reviews). You may want to ask the POS company to provide some references you can talk to about their experience.
Some other things to look for in a quality point of sale service provider:
- QIR certified company – Certified by the PCI Security Standards Council. If you’re going to accept credit cards you’re going to need to follow PCI DSS compliance. QIR companies are certified by the PCI Security Standards Council. QIR companies are certified to perform installations, manage, and support services to maintain PCI compliance. If security and compliance are important to you, you may want to consider looking into a QIR installation by a QIR certified company.
- Complete Service packages – Comprehensive Packages can help control your service costs. It’s often a better value to have everything bundled in one package. Take on-site support hours for an example. Most service plans do not include on-site support. The better valued service plans tend to.
- Service Focused – POS business is driven by sales. Naturally POS companies are more focused on selling point of sale systems. However the best POS service providers are actually more focused on services. You can think in terms of car dealerships. The best dealerships are the ones that provide the best services.
- Management – The best service provider should offer services to proactively manage, maintain, and monitor your POS system(both hardware and software). Management is extremely important if you’re not looking to be the IT guy for your pizza business. Having the POS company provide management services will allow you to focus on growing your business.
Everything will eventually go bad or malfunction. Companies can indirectly show the quality and durability of their products through the length and coverage of their warranties. Warranties for POS systems and technology is the same. Be wary of 1-2 year warranties or 1-2 year standard extended to 3 year warranties. The best Terminals tend to come with a minimum of 3 years standard and can be extended even longer. Be sure to try to get the longest and most comprehensive warranties to help ensure that your equipment is always in full operational condition. A good warranty will help limit out of pocket expenses for equipment. Some companies offer lifetime warranties. Depending on the cost they can be an excellent value.
No matter what you decide, make sure you are clear on your expectations with your POS dealer. Make sure you have documentation that clearly states and defines what products and services you will receive. Making a decision about a pizza POS is a lot like buying a car. It’s a major purchase that you won’t make often. When you do make the decision you will want to make sure it’s going to provide the best experience for years of growth.
If you’re looking for assistance or have a question please call us @ 267.309.2000. May your Point of Sale system help bring you great success!