Over the last few months I have met many new POS companies.  Some new ideas, new pricing models, even legitimate innovation. But plenty of false innovation.  Some POS companies put a legacy model on a tablet and hope the restaurant will be distracted by the app. Don’t be fooled!

What you should look for in a new POS are three big things:

 

    • Value. Does the POS have a pricing model that frees up your working capital to build your restaurant? Legacy players load you up on fixed, up front costs. In many cases tens of thousands of dollars. The more you spend on a POS, the less you have to train staff and acquire and serve customers.

      • Ease. Is the POS easy enough to use that your staff and new staff down the line can learn the basics quickly? Will you need a POS service rep to help you with nightly and weekly reporting? And does support cost extra? The POS can be the most important tool you have, but not if it is hard to use

        • Flexibility. Can the POS adapt to rapidly changing technologies and other services, like loyalty, online ordering, and HR management? The best new POS’ have technical flexibility built in so operators can continuously adjust and grow how they use the POS. If not, you’ve just locked your POS into a fixed moment and as technology and your business change, your POS gets further and further behind.

         

        I have one simple test. Does the POS company have a pricing page on their website? Amazing, the legacy players almost never have a pricing page. You have to contact a sales representative. The new innovative players like BreadcrumbShopkeep and Leaf.me all have easy to understand pricing pages. You pay $X and get A, B, and C services. Try doing that with Aloha!

        2013 is a critical year in the history of restaurant tech. The old guard is starting to really feel the heat from new entrants. Rather than shift models they are dressing up the old. The smart operator will see beyond this and go after something that really makes sense- value, ease and flexibility.