5 Restaurant POS Mistakes to Avoid

WAND Restaurant POSRestaurant POS mistakes can make or break your business. Whether you’re a 20-location Fast Casual concept or a 200-location QSR concept, if you’re in the restaurant industry  you’ve got a Point-of-Sale (POS) system all your restaurants use.

We’ve made an extensive study of how restaurant POS systems are used and have observed thousands of transactions taking across hundreds of concepts. Unfortunately, we’ve also observed a few mistakes being made that can be avoided.

Here are the five biggest mistakes to avoid with your QSR or Fast Casual restaurant POS system:

1. Overcomplicating it.
The success of many newer restaurant concepts is based on the simplicity of their menus. The same goes for success with a POS system. Your POS can get very complicated very quickly and unfortunately in our fast-paced world that can mean lost sales and profits. When evaluating how to choose and setup your POS be sure to look at things from the front-line employee and GM perspective. The most important metrics are speed, accuracy and efficiency. If the system is overcomplicated, it will be difficult for employees to learn how to use it, and for managers to get the information they need to run the store.

2. Not making it customer friendly.
It’s incredibly important to make sure you are using a POS that is customer-friendly. The best way to do this is by making sure your POS uses Conversational Ordering. This POS strategy allows the customer to speak their order with all the details that matter to them, in any order they want. Then, once they’ve stopped talking, the employee can easily make changes, recommendations, upsell to larger sizes, suggest a dessert, and collect a coupon or loyalty card. The customer gets to order with their style, and you get additional revenue– everyone is happy!

3. Ignoring PCI (Credit Card Payments) compliance.
Security has always been important. No one wants to be the next story in the media about credit card fraud or identity theft. This year, the Payment landscape is changing due to highly publicized incidents but also because of new consumer-driven technologies like Apple Pay (which may improve your security and decrease your liability.) Making sure you are up to speed on Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance is something that cannot be ignored, and something that your POS partner can help you understand and potentially capitalize on moving forward.

4. Using a system that doesn’t integrate.
In the technology world we know how critical it is that systems talk to each other and integrate as seamlessly as possible. Be sure to understand how your POS system integrates with other technology such as your Digital Menu Boards, Online and Mobile Consumer Ordering, Food Supplier Integration, back office software and more.

5. Not conducting proper training.
To start with, if your system requires more than a half day of training for someone of average intelligence to successfully take an order, you’ve got a problem. Proper training begins with making sure you have someone experienced with the POS scheduled to work with new employees so they can help them learn the process throughout their first day and also help back them up when things get busy. The more complex tasks in most POS systems that may require in depth training are those which are done less frequently– like managing shifts and individual employee schedules, and making maximum use of reports. Be sure to allocate time for GMs to participate in, and/or conduct regular POS training sessions as you roll-out new upgrades and make major changes in your system or to your offerings.

If you’re in the market for a new restaurant POS be sure to avoid these five mistakes. And if you think your POS system is making many of these mistakes then it may be time to start looking for a new restaurant POS partner to meet your needs.