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In an effort to help its members, and others in the foodservice industry, better understand the complex elements of implementing a point-of-sale system, the National Restaurant Association has released the "8 Essential Elements of POS System Ownership" tool kit.

The package includes information on how to effectively and economically make POS system acquisition decisions, whether purchased or leased. The solutions introduced by the NRA can help a restaurateur identify the components, costs, vendors and hidden fees associated with the most expensive technology purchase they'll make.

"Point-of-sale systems are one of the most critical tools for restaurant owners, and a fast, secure and reliable system is crucial for a restaurant to conduct business," said David Gilbert, the NRA's chief operating officer. "But POS systems are extremely complex and can include costly solutions for payment processing and complex vendor contracts and fee structures that adversely affect a restaurant's bottom line."

Gilbert adds that, because of this complexity, the NRA saw a need to educate industry members with the hopes of avoiding costly mistakes. The kit is part of the NRA's "8 Essential Elements" series.

"It offers must-have information all restaurateurs need to know to avoid POS pitfalls and hidden fees often wrapped into POS contracts," Gilbert said. "POS technology is a required tool for today's restaurant operator, but the technology must be acquired carefully to protect and increase restaurant profitability." 

The NRA's "8 Essential Elements of POS System Ownership" and "POS Tool Kit" package is free and includes:

  • "8 Essential Elements of POS System Ownership," which explains what every restaurateur must know to purchase a POS system;
  • "POS Checklist," which is an easy-to-use, step-by-step process to determine which POS services a restaurateur needs and which services are provided by a POS provider or a third-party technology provider. It is intended to be appended to the POS purchase agreement to document specific responsibilities and charges by party;
  • "POS Definition of Terms," which translates complex POS "language" into simple English; and
  • "POS Terms of Agreement," which is a document that a restaurateur can download, fill in blanks and add to his POS purchase agreement to document the exact services expected from the vendor. The Terms of Agreement is intended to establish who is responsible for what and for what duration.

The "8 Essential Elements" series is available for download online.

Additionally, in conjunction with its "8 Essential Elements" release, the NRA announced that it is endorsing Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) Certified POS System providers who endorse the "8 Essential Elements." The POS System providers can be found by visiting RSPA's website to check for certifications and references.

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