Magazine Article | June 25, 2012

VARs' Guide To Hospitality POS

By Business Solutions magazine

Significant Trends

Fast, Flex Casual Dining Have Special Needs — “Over the past few years, fast casual has been the best performing segment in the restaurant industry. Fast casual operators need simple yet powerful POS software for their typically smaller and fast-paced businesses. Flex casual operations, which mix both counter service and table service, is a growing market that requires flexible POS software with the ability to accommodate both styles. Other trends include dashboards/alerts that provide operators with readily available actionable information about operations. Finally, POS software should beable to integrate with kitchen video to improve quality, speed service, and reduce paper consumption.” Joe Cortese, VP of product development, Squirrel Systems.

Cloud-Based POS — “Merchants are attracted to the speed of implementation advantages, as well as potential for initial and ongoing cost savings with added in-store portability options, such as tablets. Cloud computing has administrative advantages as well by making key information readily reachable from anywhere via the Web. Applications that embrace the fluid nature of the cloud will leverage connectivity further by enabling integration with other software, including third party/mobile payment options.” Teddi Davis, VP of marketing, ProfitStreams.

Pitfalls To Avoid

Don’t Assume You Know What Your Customer Needs — “When a client’s requirements are not entirely understood before the implementation, this may lead to customer perception that the POS software doesn’t work even if it’s fully capable of performing the needed tasks. A comprehensive review of the customer’s operations (including menus, staff, tables, etc.) should be completed prior to implementation to ensure expectations are successfully met.” Joe Cortese, VP of product development, Squirrel Systems

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone — “The new POS paradigm creates significant opportunities for recurring revenue. It’s a mistake to stick with a stale formula focused on the initial sale only. This approach is unsatisfying for the merchant as well and leaves a significant amount of earning potential untapped. Traditional maintenance contracts can be bundled to include ongoing services that help merchants make money through loyalty or gift options. By working to become an ongoing resource as a respected advisor/partner, VARs move back to the higher margins of the value-add space.” Teddi Davis, VP of marketing, ProfitStreams

Sales Advice

Keep Ahead Of The Curve — “R&D is an important part of any business. VARs are subject matter experts, but only as long as they keep both current and ahead of the curve on the products within their space. Concepts and products such as mobility, SaaS, mobile wallets, cloud, tablets, and several others are dramatically changing the face of POS. Play with a few attractive solutions today. It’s too early to pick winners and losers; however, the experience gained will help position VARs best for success in the future.” David Gosman, CEO, pcAmerica

Consider Support — “POS VARs should take into account the overall solution to be successful in selling and implementing POS software. Not only is the feature set of the software important, but support and maintenance should also be considered. POS VARs that align themselves with a vendor that can provide feature-rich POS software along with timely 24/7 support will be more competitive.” Joe Cortese, VP of product development, Squirrel Systems

Be Open-Minded — “Embrace the cloud and mobile technologies — the benefits are substantial and worth the effort.” Teddi Davis, VP of marketing, ProfitStreams

Why Hospitality POS?

Easy Sale ... If You Can Share The Right Message — “POS software enhancements extend the power and value of the POS and help merchants run their business more efficiently, effectively—and more profitably!” Teddi Davis, VP of marketing, ProfitStreams

Good Potential In The Restaurant Market — “In 2012, the biggest share of IT spending in the restaurant industry will go to hardware. POS systems are the financial backbone of an operation, with other business management solutions including software, digital signage, and security tied to it. Restaurants are looking to introduce improved POS workstations in order to increase efficiency and enhance guest services.” Bill Brennan, senior director of channel sales, Panasonic Solutions for Business

Time-Tested And Reliable — “Stationary POS has been field-tested to be retail- and hospitality-hardened, so that it can operate optimally in such punishing environments, while combating environmental pollutants and rough handling by its users.” Doyle Ledford, VP of Sales, Posiflex USA