Good POS vs. Bad POS Systems

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by emhahn, Aug 23, 2003.

  1. emhahn


    Likes Received:
    I get asked this question a lot. "What's the difference between good POS systems and bad ones?"

    In my humble opinion, I believe they are all very similar, with certain distinctions regarding service, maintenance, and turnaround for damaged product. Aside from all the "bells and whistles" they all have to offer, is there one out there that stands out from the competition?

    Just wondering.....

  2. jim berman

    jim berman

    Likes Received:
    Professional Chef
    I have found in evaluating the various POS systems, that the bells & whistles add up to real $$. From time clock/payroll functions, to inventory tracking, the more you want it to do (and the less you have to do) will cost you. Personally, I think some of the higher dollar systems are tied to so many functions of your operation, there tends to be some things that go overlooked until there is a problem. In my opinion...
  3. captain jack

    captain jack

    Likes Received:
    The Major POS Vendors have 90% of the POS market. Their POS products are very stable and widely recognized.  I have worked with them.  After 35 years in this industry, I want to share my business prospective as an operator. 

    1)        POS Hardware –The majors display their names on your POS System terminals.  They have applied subtle setting changes in dip switches, cables, plugs and connectors which make their brand work only with their software. . They also remove standard WIN drivers and install their own POS drivers.  You are compelled to purchase expensive support contracts forever so your system will stay running.

    2)         POS Software –Major players  plug in a serialized licensed hardware key into one of the POS Station.   Every morning on boot-up your POS System electronically looks for the hardware key to validate your company, dealer, # of POS stations, warranty expire date, track service history , and software version on file. This key limits your ability to program your own system. This key tracks you and encourages future support contracts at your expense. When you sell your restaurant or go out of business that serialized key must be re-licensed to the new owner at a considerable cost. This is often $10,000. A new Restaurant owner must negotiate this fee with the dealer before it will run.

    3)        POS Dealers–After you purchased a new POS System from a dealer/vendor, you sign the contract. From then on, only that specific dealer is authorized to work with you or support your future needs. That dealer controls your license through your serial number.    If you sell your business or the POS System, the new buyer can only get sales, service and support from that dealer. A monopoly of sorts.

    4)        POS Software Version- When you purchase a POS System you are buying the current or installed version of the POS software.  From that point forward updates, upgrades are charge at current rates.

    5)        POS Credit Card Processors– Major POS  Dealers sign unilateral agreements with  Credit Card Processor to bind them to you then deposit in your bank. to the POS System. This partnership is not cost effective to you. To begin the CC Processor offers you a rate of 1.6% to 1.8% but adds “other cost and fees.”   These “tack on charges” end up as reward or royalty of (.2%-.4%) to the POS Dealer/vendor. To test this theory type their CC processors name in you browser  followed by  the words “Rip Off’ and press enter. See the facts. When you pick a system ask for a 30 day termination clause. If they say no, then find another POS. Only one is approved by the CRA and NRA.

    6)        POS Packaged Systems or  “All in one deals”– Designed to talk in terms of your interest for now at least and get you into a POS System for a low start up cost. However you are leasing the system, not owning.  There will be a minimum 5 years contract that you cannot break it unless you go out of business or change your business name. Low cost leases where you lease by the terminal charge are $60 to $150/mo each and end up costing 5X as much,. Compare this to a rental car or an apartment lease.

    I am an operator like you, not salesmen. I don't sell things, I provide solutions that generate at ROI.
  4. redbeerd cantu

    redbeerd cantu

    Likes Received:
    St. Philip's College Culinary Arts (AAS, Cum Laude), International Kitchens
    What would be a good starting point to find indy POS providers?

    Thx for the info!

  5. chefross


    Likes Received:
    Former Chef
    I think this is subjective.I don't believe there are good or bad systems.

    Some POS systems track everything from sales to inventory to labor and are all tied in to the accounting system.

    That might be "good" for some operators

    This may be too much for John and Jane diner so to might be bad or not as necessary.
  6. captain jack

    captain jack

    Likes Received:
    Good question. Slick POS salesman have great well rehearsed marketing plans that ell you. I start with a visit. Then I give a prospective an 8 page questionaire which I wrote to go over how you do business. We go over it together. Then I want to know what 3 reasons/goals you have that a POS will provide. These are examples of the answers. Ticket control, food and liquor cost, time clock, gift cards, server tip management, better Credit Card rates, system crashes, expensive POS support, uninformed POS help, untimely POS support, manage my business on I Phone? "My cousin uses it". These reasons and the answers to my 8 page questionaire allows me to propose a system that meets your objectives. Personally this has never failed me.

    The quick and dirty about what you choose:

    Go to browser and type in this phrase "Rip Off and the name of the company and read the reviews.

    Get local referrals you can talk to. If comments are bad or untimely support. Then run!

    You want a system that works out of the box on your laptop or PC. (No one can own you).

    You want to buy, own,and sell the software whenever you want.

    No Contracts tied to CC processing or expensive support hardware/software assurance contracts. 

    No Contracts tying future support to a "territorial dealer".

    No cloud based system is there yet. It looks good but does little. No core features.

    No system you lease has proven worthy.They hook you but support and features are miles away.

    Own the software and don't depend on the internet to order a hamburger

    When you lease or $60-$150 per month per terminal they have all the power. This is exactly like leasing a car or an apartment.

    The cost of a one sided lease over 10 years is X5 times the price of a purchase.
  7. left4bread


    Likes Received:
    Wow, Captain Jack. That's a lot of info without shill.

    I'm impressed. No sarcasm.

    What's your opinion on this:

    Eight POS running Maitre D, touch screen, think we paid $2000 or something stupid like that each, running Win 95 or 98 (sometimes I can get into solitaire. whee!).

    Local company who sold us the units no longer supports the software company. We're kind of in limbo. Been using it for so long that we can fix it when it crashes, but...

    What are the chances of using the same POS with different software?

    And, if you feel comfortable saying, what POS system has the best customer service?