Has your restaurant ever been in the weeds when the most inconvenient thing happens? It’s the craziest afternoon and your terminal freezes. You hit reset, but you stare in disbelief as the realization that it’s not going to fix itself sets in. Servers sigh, and you start to apologize to customers. It’s cash only until further notice.
There is no doubt: legacy systems are costing your restaurant money. You can cut back on labor and the dollars spent on server upkeep and hardware with a cloud-based POS system. They are both cheaper and more efficient. Giving you the tools to make smarter decisions and more time to do what you do best: manage your restaurants.
A point of sale system is the most important technology to 84% of restaurant owners. Only followed by credit card processors at 78%. It can be a bear to switch systems, but in most circumstances, you will end up saving thousands of dollars.
Legacy POS vs. cloud-based POS: What’s the difference?
In short, legacy POS systems rely on internal servers that connect by an intranet or in-house network. Cloud-based POS systems are always online and store data in the cloud.
Here are a few ways cloud-based point-of-sale systems outperform legacy systems:
- Restaurant access only / Anywhere with internet access
- Have to use the master terminal to make software changes / change or update all terminals at once
- Stores all data on internal servers / stores information in the cloud
- Pay for server upkeep / don’t have to pay for server upkeep
- Reliant on terminal’s built-in software / access to expanding world of third-party apps
- Have to save data / automatic data backups
- Lose data in case of a fire or destruction of equipment / never lose data
- Can’t use mobile transactions / can use mobile transactions
- Have to wait for data / real-time data
- Have to be at the terminal to see reports / can see stats anywhere with internet
- No API capabilities / Can build custom apps or attach other software
11 Ways Cloud-based POS Systems Can Improve Your Restaurant
Modern and innovative POS systems beat out legacy systems head-to-head across the board. Those opportunity costs add up. Here are 11 ways that upgrading your system could improve your restaurant:
#1 Cut the cost and need for internal servers
Server upkeep can cost thousands of dollars a year for restaurant chains. By utilizing a cloud-based system, you drop the need for physical server devices. This also will end any other equipment fees and repair costs you currently incur. Everything goes wireless, and you won’t have to worry about losing data or replacing old servers.
#2 Take payments from phones or tablets
#3 Craft an all-in-one solution
All-in-one solutions are the future of restaurant management. You can access restaurant wide insights when you have an interactive POS system. You then can make management decisions based on complete data. With cloud-based systems, you can incorporate a limitless number of applications. Resulting in your dream solution.
#4 Have a system that scales with you
As your restaurant grows, your needs and demands will change. Managing one restaurant is different from managing 12. Cloud-based POS systems scale up with you. Each terminal you add gets plugged into your overarching system. Immediately reporting in real-time the sales and data from that specific location. Do you want to offer delivery at a set number of locations? You could add that functionality in minutes by choosing those specific terminals. You’ll never have to go to each individual terminal to make updates again.
#5 Opens up the world of mobile dining
Imagine having a server drop by a table and ask their guests if they wanted a bit of dessert or some tea after the meal. They would have the ability to add it to their bill right there. Or if customers wanted another drink, the server could ring it up in an instant with a mobile tablet. Depending on the timing, a drink could show up for a customer before the server leaves the table! Mobile dining experiences aren’t for every restaurant. But if your style could improve from it, then a cloud-based application would get you there.
#6 Security is constant
Staying PCI compliant is important in today’s world of data breaches and fraud. Cloud-based systems use cloud storage and constant encryption to protect your customers’ data.
#7 Get the benefits of the cloud while still retaining offline capabilities
Because something is only on the cloud doesn’t mean you can’t accept transactions if the internet goes out. Take transactions as you would and once the connection is back, all that data gets uploaded.
#8 Unlock the world of real-time data & remote restaurant management
As soon as a sale has taken place, it’s recorded and you’ll see it in your reports. This gives you constant access to the most up-to-date insights possible. If you have internet access, you can make menu changes or add specials from anywhere.
#9 Automatic updates
Cloud-based POS systems can update themselves during off-hours. It will prompt you beforehand to make sure it’s a good time to update. Neglecting software updates is a common vulnerability for fraudsters to exploit. Having a cloud-based POS system protects you from that.
#10 Automatic data backups
Losing data or taking the time to export and backup your data won’t be a concern. Your data is immediately sent to the cloud one transaction at a time. From the moment you start up your new terminal system, your data will be forever protected.
#11 Use the third-party marketplace to build your dream restaurant setup
Unlock the powerful world of third-party apps with easy API integrations. This lets you build your dream solution and tie in any program you’d like. Here are a few that CAKE’s POS system supports out of the box:
- Orca for order management
How to choose the right provider
As awesome as cloud-based systems are, there is still a lot of variability by company. Some older legacy POS companies hacked together a cloud-based system, but it isn’t built for the cloud. This results in limited functionality and security.
Other companies have great software but awful customer service. You want to find a company that puts your interests first.
The best restaurant POS providers offer:
- 24/7 service. Errors happen, but that doesn’t mean you should have to wait for the company to be open to fixing them.
- Consistent updates. You want to work with a company that is growing and updating their software on the regular. The more innovative and active, the better your experience will be.
- No crazy or shady contracts. The company offers a clear monthly rate on both software and hardware. You can calculate the current and future costs associated with their service. If they try to include hefty cancellation fees or 3-5 year contracts, turn the other way.
State-of-the-art cloud-based POS systems with 24/7 service.