Do I Need a New POS System for My Business?

Running a business just isn’t the same as it used to be. Traditionally, updating a Point of Sale (POS) system has been done every six years or so, with business owners trying to get the most out of their investment as they possibly can before upgrading. However, that may not be the wisest course of action in today’s ever-changing business world. In fact, it has come to the point that outdated POS systems may actually create a competitive disadvantage. We’ve put together four of the many reasons you may decide it’s time to upgrade your POS system.

Reasons to Upgrade Your POS System

 

1. Your System Isn’t Working Right

If your POS system has slowed down, checkout times are longer, payments are being delayed, or authorizations are failing repeatedly, it’s time to consider a system upgrade. Sometimes a software update is all you need, but electronics wear out, and you can’t keep running the same system forever. Customers are easily swayed by small delays, so upgrading your POS system can be financially beneficial. Upgrading your POS system can also help you integrate your POS terminal up front with your system in the back office.

 

2. Accepting Plastic

If your system is so antiquated that you still can’t accept plastic, you’re probably losing quite a bit of business. Many younger consumers carry very little or no cash. That means if you want to turn them into paying customers, you better accept plastic. While cash probably won’t be going away anytime soon, only 23% of POS purchases are expected to be made with cash by 2017. If your company is unable to process plastic payment, you’re probably losing sales to your competitors already.

 

3. Complying with PCI Standards

If you are currently able to accept cards as payment, you’re probably aware that the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards are constantly changing because hackers are relentlessly attempting to circumvent new security protocols. If you are attempting to continue doing business on an out-of-date POS system that is incapable of complying with current PCI standards, you are putting your business at risk for significant fines from credit card associations as well as costly data breaches. Remember: there comes a point that software updates are no longer enough and you need to invest in new POS hardware as well.

 

4. Upgrading to Gift Cards

Many older POS systems are incapable of issuing and redeeming plastic gift cards. As we mentioned in our blog post Who Should Offer Gift Cards, switching from paper gift certificates to plastic gift cards can actually increase sales by 50-100%, and 72% of customers who use a gift card will spend more than the original value loaded on the card. American’s were projected to spend $31.74 billion on gift cards over the Christmas holiday. Getting a slice of a similar pie next year seems like a pretty good reason to upgrade your POS system.

Upgrading Your POS System

Like we said, there are a many reasons to upgrade your POS system. It’s a decision that can make your business better and more competitive. Upgrading your POS system is an investment, and you have to look at it that way. You can’t just focus on the costs; you also have to look at the value provided and the ROI you can receive. If you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade, but you’re still worried about the cost, check out our quality used POS systems to see if there’s something that’s right for you. Source: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4394-accepting-credit-cards.html

Choosing an Effective Restaurant POS System

Planning the menu and gaining a healthy clientele are not the only things you’ll need to worry about when opening or expanding a restaurant. A profitable restaurant also has a great point of sale system to keep everything running smoothly. As you search for the best POS system for your restaurant, consider these important features. 

Upgradeable and Supported

As you’ve probably noticed, technology is constantly evolving, which means that your POS system will need to be upgraded at some point. It’s important to look for a POS system that you can easily upgrade so that you can stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest features. You’ll also want the option of full tech support available 24/7 in case of glitches. You can’t afford to stop running your business to repair your POS system when it breaks down.

Labor Monitoring Capabilities

The best POS systems will have the ability to track your labor percentages and employee accuracy. Always knowing your labor percentages will help you to keep costs associated with your business to a minimum, increasing your success. It will also be very helpful to keep a record of each employee’s till and computer use to help you distinguish the good employees from the bad.

Hardware and Software Packages

Though you can use any hardware compatible with your software of choice, buying it in a package provides a smoother, more affordable option. Usually when you purchase the hardware and software together, the license fee you would normally have to pay for each computer is waived, making it a very cost-efficient choice.

Great Inventory Tools

An accurate inventory is the most important aspect of running any restaraunt, and using a sub-par POS system will make it that much more difficult. Look for a POS system that will accurately keep track of money lost on wasted food. This way, you can track food use and waste so that you know what to reorder and what to boot from your menu.

Handheld Option

It’s always a great idea to have a handheld version of your POS system handy when you’re running a restaurant. It makes it easy to monitor sales, keep track of inventory, and run credit cards without being tied to a computer.

Reasonable Cost

The cost of a really good POS system can be astronomical, making it very difficult to see a lot of profit in the beginning. The good news is, the cost of the system doesn’t have much to do with the effectiveness of it. In fact, a great option for a new business would be a used POS system that has all the features you need without the cost. Provided it has all the necessary features, a used system will work just as well as a brand new one, and you can begin to see profits much sooner in your restaurant dealings.

Save Big with Used POS Systems!

To put it simply, your point of sale system, or POS, is the software used in restaurants, retail, hospitality, and general business settings to process payment transactions. However, a good POS system is even more than that. It relieves much of the stress associated with retail inventory and helps you keep track of your best customers, which is especially helpful in the restaurant and hospitality business. It becomes a computerized service center, helping you keep track of ways you can save time and money. With all of the things you depend on for your point of sale system, you definitely want to make sure you get the right one. However, these systems are very expensive. Besides the purchase for your initial POS software installations, you’ll need:

Software

It’s generally a one-time licensing fee, though some ask for a monthly subscription.

Hardware

This depends on the size of your business and the equipment you decide to use. It includes cash drawers, receipt printers, barcode scanners, and credit card readers.

Integrations

You’ll need software to connect your POS system to other software, like accounting, social media, etc.

Credit Card Processing

You must pay for the systems to process all payments made with credit cards.

Support

Though some POS systems come with support available at any time, most require you to purchase that separately. Large businesses can expect to pay tens of thousands for a point of sale system; moderate to small businesses will pay about half that. Though purchasing the system is integral to running your business, there’s no need to go to that much expense for it. Normally, you would be required to purchase all of the necessary pieces of a POS system separately, but these used systems come in a package deal with everything you need. With used POS systems, you can get the necessities for running your business at an average of 40% off the original price. Each of the systems and all of the hardware that comes with it are certified to be in perfect working order. Don’t stress about the costs associated with opening or expanding your business. Look into our great selection of used POS systems to find the most valuable and complete solution possible for your business.

Who Should Offer Gift Cards?

As a business owner, do you want to miss out on even a tiny slice of a $31.74 billion pie? If you’re not providing gift card services, that’s exactly what you’re doing. As gift cards grow in popularity, it becomes more and more critical for every business that sells food, goods and even services to provide gift cards for their customers and have reliable gift card processing integrated into their Point of Sale (POS) system.

 

 Gift Cards – The Gift of Choice

For many years, gift cards were deemed impersonal or were mainly bought because they were convenient. However, they have now become a practical gift choice for millions of holiday shoppers. A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) showed that a staggering 62% of shoppers would like to receive a gift card. Far from being considered impersonal by the recipient, they have actually been the most requested gift item for eight years in a row.

 

The NRF started tracking consumers’ intentions to buy gift cards for holiday gifts back in 2003, and total spending on gift cards since that time has increased by 83%. If you think your customers are too old, too young or too whatever to buy gift cards, you’re probably wrong. Adults 65+ years old actually spend the most on holiday gift cards ($204.59 on average), but even the group projected to spend the least on gift cards this year (18-24 year olds) will spend an average of $113.75 on them this holiday season.

 

 Why Gift Cards?

Beyond the huge amount of money that is spent on them each year, you may be wondering what other benefits gift cards offer. For starters, we’ve found that restaurants that switch from paper gift certificates to plastic gift cards typically see a 50-100% increase in sales. Additionally, most gift cards are used within 60 days of being issued, and 72% of customers using a gift card will actually spend more than the value originally loaded on the card.

 

 Make Money the Easy Way

 

On the other hand, did you know that 27% of gift cards are never redeemed and about 40% of those that are redeemed aren’t redeemed for the full value? As a store owner, you’re going to want to be able to capture at least some of the unused balances left on gift cards. The simple solution is to choose a system that doesn’t process your gift cards through a third party company. This also saves you from having to pay swipe fees and transaction fees.

 

People have many different reasons for purchasing gift cards, including allowing the recipient to choose their own gift, fast and easy purchasing, and sticking to a holiday budget.

 

No matter what their reason for buying is and no matter how you look at it, choosing to offer gift cards to your customers just makes sense. The holidays are upon us, and the big holiday shopping season kicks off soon. Don’t miss out on your slice of the gift card pie.



Sources:

 

1 https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/holiday-shoppers-spend-more-31-billion-gift-cards-this-year-according-nrf

 

5 Common Accounting Mishaps and How to Avoid Them

When running a restaurant, there are many mishaps and pitfalls that can arise in the accounting aspects of the business. Unfortunately, common accounting mishaps can be found everywhere. This is mainly because accounting methods are used to track and report everything in a business. To help you out, we’ve put together this list of five common accounting mishaps and how to avoid them.

 

1. An Inefficient Accounting System

 

The Problem:

If you don’t have a properly setup and implemented accounting system, it can be very difficult to make good, informed decisions about your company. While “flying blind” can be thrilling in many aspects of life, it isn’t the best business model. Generally speaking, your ability to run your restaurant profitably is directly related to how well you can see and manage your accounts.

 

The Solution:

One of the best ways to make sure you have an efficient accounting system in place is to seek the help of an accountant or a restaurant financial consultant. They can help you make sure your systems are all working together and instruct you on how to correctly post different information to your General Ledger. Additionally, point of sale software, also known as POS software, can greatly facilitate your ability to track diverse aspects of your business so that you can be proactive in running your restaurant.

 

2. Incorrect Point of Sale (POS) Setup

 

The Problem:

After the basic accounting system, the most common accounting mishap happens during the initial setup of a restaurant POS system. Whether you as a restaurant owner or manager intend to use the accounting side of the point of sale software or not, it is important to understand that your General Ledger is only as accurate as you want it to be.

 

The Solution:

Correctly setting up your restaurant POS allows it to correctly track and report a myriad of information that can be integrated into your General Ledger. Remember that basic balances journalized on day one of month one go a long way toward the accuracy of (and your ability to accurately report) your company’s financial situation.

 

3. Bank Account Reconciliation

 

The Problem:

Another common mistake that can be avoided is found in the reconciliation of your bank account. Restaurant owners often forget that they have to manually journalize unrealized charges found on their bank statements—charges that are not known by the accounting software. These are often small charges for offhand supplies or inventory, bank fees, chargebacks, and credit card fees.

 

The Solution:

If you intend on reconciling your company’s bank account from month to month (as you should), you will need to be prepared to manually journalize unrealized transactions from your bank account to your General Ledger. These small charges add up quickly and can create a big difference between your actual account balances and what your accounting software is reporting. Again, your General Ledger is only as accurate as you want it to be.

 

4. Reports That Don’t Include Useful and Timely Information

 

The Problem:

Generally, income statements aren’t available until part way through the following month. So, if all you’re looking at are monthly income statements, your information is typically incomplete and not up to date. This makes it difficult to adjust employee schedules and food purchasing in a proactive manner.

 

The Solution:

Utilizing a restaurant POS, especially one that integrates directly with your accounting software, can help you track sales, inventory, and labor in an up-to-date and accurate way. You can get timely reports on accounts payable, accounts receivable, vendor ordering and inventory, payroll, transactions, and many more. Properly set up, point of sale software can even adjust inventory for each item sold based on what’s in it.

 

5. Menu Items Have Not Been Costed

 

The Problem:

Common practice when pricing menu items is to find a similar item at competing restaurants and then price your item similarly. While taking your competitors’ prices into account is important, it should never be your sole consideration. You need to know how much each item costs in order to correctly price your menu.

 

The Solution:

Each item’s cost should be determined and documented. While it can be time consuming, it is important to know exactly what goes into each menu item and how much those ingredients cost. This should also be reevaluated on a regular basis as your vendors and food costs change so that you can accurately account for how much each menu item costs and how much you should be charging for them.


In order for your restaurant to be as profitable as possible, you need to be able to make good decisions. In order for you to make good decisions, you need good information. You need to make sure that your General Ledger accurately reflects what is actually going on in your business. Hopefully this list helps you to find some of the pitfalls of restaurant accounting before they trip you up.

5 Undervalued or Overlooked Elements to Opening Your Own Restaurant

If you’ve decided to open a restaurant, there are a lot of things you’ve probably thought a lot about. Hopefully, some of these include concept, location, recipes, vendors, location, decor, and...location. If any of these elements have not been a big part of your planning, you should probably take a step back and figure them out before you move forward. Opening a restaurant is expensive, both in terms of time and money. You want to make sure that you get it right so that your new business can succeed.

 

While the elements listed above tend to be front and center in the mind of a potential restaurateur, there are other things that may not cross your worried and harried mind until it’s too late. We’ve put together a list of 5 undervalued or overlooked elements to opening your own restaurant.

 

 

1. A Signature Dish

Having a signature dish isn’t something a lot of people talk about, but it’s definitely something worth thinking about. It doesn’t matter what it is, but you should have something that is exceptional on your menu. This is the item that makes people say, “Hey, let’s go to that one restaurant, they have the best ________________ !” In the age of social media, you may think that word of mouth is dead, but that’s not true. Word of mouth is alive and well, and it’s found a comfortable home online. Social media can make or break a businesses these days. Finding your signature dish and encouraging your customers to post or tweet about it can make a huge difference to your success.

 

2. Pricing

There’s a lot to consider when deciding on your pricing. You’re opening a restaurant to make money, and the profit margin on restaurants is lower than in many industries. That means your prices have to be exactly right—like Goldilocks right. Your prices have to be high enough to cover your overhead with a little left over at the end of the day, but they can’t be so high that people won’t be willing to pay them. The all-important location plays into this one, too. If you want to open a fancy steak and seafood restaurant, you don’t locate it in a low-income area. 

 

3. Cash Reserves

Most people seriously underestimate the amount of money they should have in reserve when they open a new business. The sad truth is, it takes time for a restaurant to really find its stride. To be quite frank, you should probably have enough money in reserve to run your restaurant without any monetary inflow for several months to a year. Equipment breaks, customer bases take time to establish, and disasters happen. A good reserve lets you stay open despite early setbacks.

 

4. Restaurant Computer Systems

If you really want to survive, a restaurant computer system can really make a difference. They represent a big initial investment, but they tend to be worth it. These systems are designed to help you with everything from ordering and receiving to employee data. They can even help you track sales volume and food waste. A good restaurant computer system can save you a lot of time and hassle when it comes to the large quantity of paperwork it takes to run a successful restaurant.

 

5. Having a “Cold Open”

Face it, it’s going to take a few days or weeks for everything to start running smoothly. A cold open gives you the chance to work out the kinks before your Grand Opening. Unfortunately, the only way to find out if your equipment works right is to use it. A cold open gives you the time to find things that aren’t working right and fix them. It also gives you a chance to make sure your new staff gets the chance to learn how to work as a team. People that come in during a cold open expect things to be a little rocky, so it’s okay when everything doesn’t go perfectly.


We’re not going to lie to you, opening a new restaurant isn’t going to be easy. However, we hope that these tips help you to be successful in doing so. Follow your dream, and make it worth the time and money spent.

The 2014 Restaurant Innovation Summit

restaraurant Innovation SummitIf you have ever wondered how you could better put data to work for your business, you should attend this conference. If you are looking for ways to integrate social media with your operations, you should attend this conference. If you are looking to find out what your customers want more of from a loyalty program or get more participation, you should attend this conference.

The 2014 Restaurant Innovation Summit promises to be positively brimming with industry innovations and insights! 

What is it?

The Restaurant Innovation Summit is a gathering of restaurant professionals put on by the National Restaurant Association to discuss emerging technologies and their application in innovating restaurant operations. This year, the summit is focused on data alchemy—how data stewardship can lead to innovation that can provide better hospitality experiences. In other words, data alchemy is harnessing the power of the customer information you can collect. Data can hold immense decision-making power if you know how to collect and use it to improve restaurant operations and outreach.

What to Expect

At the Summit, there will be 9 dynamic breakout sessions that you can attend in addition to two keynote presentations. The topics of these sessions will be:

  • Mobile Payments
  • Data Stewardship and Privacy
  • Collaborative Economy
  • Behavior Science and Loyalty
  • Innovative Use of Social Media

This event is meant to excite and inspire its attendees by presenting a positive exchange of ideas and innovations that are applicable to the restaurant world using data and new technologies.

According to the NRA’s chief innovation and member advancement officer, Phil Kafarakis, “The ideas presented at this year’s summit will help operators be more efficient, cost effective and achieve business success.”

Who Will Be in Attendance?

Let’s just say that last year, there were Chief Executive, Marketing, and Financial officers in attendance from a variety of well-known companies and organizations. There are 26 exceptional thought leaders scheduled to speak at this year’s summit. Coming from a wide range of technology, marketing, business development, and operations positions and experiences, those in attendance should prepare to have the fire of innovation lit from these great speakers.

When/Where is it?

The summit is held in Atlanta, Georgia, and will be held on October 28th and 29th. The registration fee is $395 for active NRA members and $895 for non-members.

Why Backup Your POS System in the Cloud?

The Problem

Cloud BackupPicture this:

There is a strong power surge at your business that affects your entire POS (Point of Sale) system. You lose your accounting information, your sales information, and your employee information. How quickly and how easily can you get all of that information back? How quickly can you be back up and running?

That may sound extreme, but data loss happens. Power surges, equipment failure, and equipment theft can all cause data loss. Having a good backup system for your data is the only way to recover quickly from catastrophic data loss. However, setting up and managing your own local backup system can be costly in both time and money. There’s also no guarantee that what affected your original data won’t affect your backup as well. Don’t you have more important things to worry about?

Many business owners don’t even have a backup system in place. If you’re one of those business owners, and you had a catastrophic loss of data, it could easily take over 40 hours to manually re-enter products and reprogram menus. That’s a lot of lost time, and a lot of that data would be lost forever.

 

The Solution

What you need is a safe, secure method of backup for your POS system that isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg. A good cloud backup system could have you back up and running in as little as 15 minutes! Cloud backup puts your backup off site. That means that even if all of your equipment is affected, your data isn’t lost.

So, what makes a good cloud backup system? There are four attributes that a good cloud backup system should have: automation, security, redundancy, and affordability.

 

Automated

Backing up your POS data doesn’t do you as much good if it’s not up to date. As a business owner, you’re busy. You don’t need to worry about having to manually backup your data. An automated backup means that you can rest assured that even if your system goes down, the most you’ll lose is a day’s worth of data.

 

Secure

You don’t want your data available for anyone to see. A good cloud backup company knows that high level encryption is needed to keep your backup data safe and secure.

 

Redundant

The data centers used by cloud backup companies are designed to withstand the causes of data loss, but that doesn’t mean that they’re immune to them. Therefore, a good cloud backup system will use redundant servers in multiple locations in order to better protect your information. Your data should be kept in multiple, secure data centers in order to ensure that it’s nearly impossible for your data to be lost.

 

Affordable

Your peace of mind is priceless, and so is having backup data available. Nevertheless, cloud backup of your data doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A good company will provide their service for a reasonable monthly fee, helping you keep your overhead low while giving you the security you need.

Learn more about cloud backup for your POS system today.

A Day in the Life of a Shop Owner in the 1950s

A Scene of the 1950s

In the early 1950s, the shopping scene was much different from the operations of store owners of today. The way people lived was changing, in part because:

  • The television was a new and powerful way of exposing Americans to an "ideal lifestyle" through tv programs. This led to the desire to mimic the lifestyles portrayed on these tv shows.
  • More and more people had access to automobiles, and new highways were constructed.
  • Much of the population moved into new, low-cost development areas, allowing the birth of suburbs.
  • The rise of shopping centers contributed to people being able to get more shops and services without needing to travel into the big cities.
  • Credit cards were invented, gaining popularity and use through the 50s. This was leading people to a “buy now, pay later” mentality.

Shop in the 50sA Day in the Life

Let’s look at a day in the life of a retail shop owner in the 50s. Let’s say our owner is named Jim. Jim owns an appliance store in a shopping center in rapidly expanding Miami, Florida. Business was good as people were seeing the new appliances in the television programs and wanted to achieve this new standard of living.

Jim would come in early to start the day by accounting for his inventory and figuring the number of toasters, refrigerators, and washing machines he would need to re-order soon. This was done by walking through the showroom and the back room where the rest of his inventory was stocked. Jim would then check the sales data from the previous week since the last shipment had come in and then check the cash register to find out how much cash he was starting the day out with. Once completed with his rounds, the time would come to open his doors.

Cash and checks were the gold standard as Jim had gotten into the industry, but credit cards were the new payment method with which he was becoming well acquainted. Charging for products was becoming the norm during Jim’s era, and he was able to take advantage of this because more people were able to buy his expensive appliances than ever before. Jim would keep track of his sales and new orders in his logs. At the end of the day, Jim would have to add up the cash in his cash register, the checks, and the credit card payments with which the customers had paid with. Keeping track of the income for the day with the accounting skills that he would have had to know, Jim would deposit the money at the bank and go on his merry way.

Back in 2014…

Looking back on this time period, we can realize the changes in the economy and the way that society functions today. Similar to the leaps that credit cards made on the shopping experience, we as a people have made many advancements in technology that are game-changers. Our appliance store owner had many hats to wear and jobs to do throughout the day. Technology allows many of those barriers that Jim had to deal with to become smaller. With modern technology, shop owners can now rely on different operating systems to take care of the day-to-day business while they have the opportunity to focus on what they truly excel at: selling their products.