For many restaurants, the POS system is at the core of the business. Service employees use them for ordering and payment processing, and managers need them for restaurant data collection and insights.

Unfortunately, this critical component to a restaurant’s operation can be disrupted with a loss of Internet connection or potential hardware failure. If POS technology fails and the proper precautions aren’t in place, a restaurant’s operations and quality of service could be compromised.

Here are a 4 key ways restaurants can minimize disruptions in the event of a POS crash:

 

Be Flexible

Staff need to be able to adapt their service in the event of a poor Internet connection or software crash. Instead of just training staff on how to use a POS system for taking orders, make sure they can just as easily use a pad of paper and a pen to take orders and communicate with the kitchen.

If a POS system goes down, it’s important that the level of customer service doesn’t change. Employees who are flustered will disrupt the dining ambiance for your guests. Maintaining a calm demeanor is key until the POS issue can be resolved.

A POS crash kit can also help restaurants affected by an outage or software crash in a pinch.

Armed with a manual credit card imprinter, credit card sales slips, pens, paper and calculators, employees will be able to continue serving card-paying customers without interruption.

While restaurants wait for technology professionals to fix the issue or the Internet connection to return, they will be able to service customers as normal.

 

Identify Signs of Hard Drive Crash

Like any computer, your POS system hardware can wear out and eventually crash. If employees experience frequent freeze-ups, slow processing speeds and unusual noises, it may be time to invest in new hardware before you hit bigger problems down the road.

When you identify one of these issues, it’s important to be able to contact technical support to resolve it as soon as possible.

A crash can happen at any time and having access to 24/7 technical support can help resolve the issue as soon as possible. Constant access to professional support is necessary in an industry that depends so heavily on its POS.

 

Identify Network Issues Early

If employees understand the issues that can cause POS failure, they may be able to respond and resolve the issue faster. Train staff on the three most common problems that can impact your POS technology’s network connection: a failing network card, faulty wire and misconfigured router.

A failing network card will appear to be working but will slow down network traffic and impact peak performance. A faulty wire can cause errors on the network, which can corrupt the data sent between POS devices. If a router is consistently left in diagnostic mode, it can cause harm to the network.

These issues can disrupt the internal timing of a POS system. Since the technology relies on the network to deliver data at a certain time, these issues can cause the system to stop working altogether.

 

Update Technology

Outdated POS technology can also be more susceptible to issues like a breakdown, according to Restaurant POS Central.

For that reason, restaurant owners and managers need to be up-to-date with vendor updates and stay consistent with routine POS support. Unfortunately, with an older POS system model, vendor updates may no longer be applicable and customer support isn’t available.

In that case, it may be time to purchase new hardware to avoid any potential crashes.

 

Final Thoughts

Starbucks recently experienced a huge POS computer outage that lasted overnight and affected millions of customers in the US and Canada. The crash caused many stores to temporarily close, while others tried to remedy the situation with free coffees.

Though the baristas were quick-thinking in offering a giveaway during the downtime, the closures and free drinks cost the restaurant tens of millions in revenue.

During a POS crash, losing revenue might be inevitable. With proper preparation, like employee training, POS crash kits and 24/7 technical support, these loses could be minimized and keep the restaurant on track during an outage.