There are so many point of sale applications out there, but it is important to be well informed before you make a decision on which one will work best for your business. What most business owners are shopping for is a “solution” not just some fancy, popular software. There are certain questions that need answers when looking for an application that works best for you. I have taken time to identify some of them.
The needs of a restaurant, bar, and night-club are similar but can also be independently unique. Some bars do not sell food, some sell food and drinks. Some night-clubs do not sell shots, only drinks in bottles, some sell both bottles and shots. Some bars/night-clubs have only one service point, some have multiple service points. These are very important areas to consider because it will justify the cost implication and the effectiveness of the application. Some applications are built for certain kinds of businesses, the fact that it works for restaurant or bar A, does not mean it will work for you.
Point of Sale, Inventory Management, and Accounting. These are the bedrock of a complete point of sale solution. This can be expensive. This might not be needed, This might be just what you have been looking for! Do you want to raise purchase orders that will increase inventory in your point of sale? Do you want to effectively track inventory? Do you want the same application to manage your books? Do you want it mobile or in one place like the bar or certain areas in your facility?
Number of Locations
We have a number of clients who have more than one location, meaning they have a branch of their business in another city, state, or same facility but independent of each-other. Do you want to manage all these locations from one platform, having a holistic view of your operations? Or do you want to purchase 3 different licenses to manage 3 different locations?
Internal Control System
Some clients have an existing system that they have used for them and it has worked pretty well over the years. All they need now is an upgrade. Can the new system be adapted to your existing control system and do a lot more? Which areas bother you the most in your current business? Are waiters over billing customers? Are managers selling their own drinks, kitchen staff selling their own food? Managers using their own bank POS? You need to take time to ask the right questions, understand the features, so you do not invest in an application that will give you less value for money.
Garbage in Garbage out. The primary reason for a Point of Sale application is to reduce errors, enhance efficiency, productivity, and control. This can only be achieved when humans send relevant commands to the application. Who is going to monitor the application? If you opt for an accounting application, do you have someone that understands basic accounting? Do you plan to outsource certain managerial roles? Is the chain of command crispy clear?
A restaurant that makes an average turnover of N5 million a month, will do an average of 8,000 transactions monthly. Your monthly turnover will most likely determine your level of investment in an application, except you are starting a business as a research model. Some of our clients with no restaurant or bar experience, start small but are willing to invest more than some others in the same category. They see this as a learning process.
How much can you afford to pay monthly/yearly for an application? Or do you prefer an outright purchase? Remember your application should be able to reduce the number of people working for you, enhance efficiency and productivity. So if you your payroll budget is N200,000 monthly, with your new application two things should happen. Either you have a reduced payroll budget or you maintain that budget but with a more productive team.