The ways pizza operators acquire, access and use technology have not only changed greatly in recent years, but are now affecting how leadership at many brands select and use their point-of-sale systems. Now, since many restaurateurs are sometimes forced to stay in POS systems that are no longer serving their brands well after they find purchase prices for new systems prohibitive, a new paradigm has come to the POS choice, based on a rental model.
Just as with our personal technology, most consumers no longer acquire needed systems through direct upfront purchases, rather we typically use something like a subscription or rental model for these tools. Many pizza brand operators now do the same with their POS systems, allowing restaurant owners to more easily cross some of those price-y barriers to entry more cheaply and easily. Likewise, this approach provides a quick, easy way to keep these integral systems on the cutting edge through regular automatic updates, rather than purchased disc-based installations.
The flexibility of rental
The rental POS model is making significant inroads into all restaurant segments, and that has brought a completely different — and in my view — better experience to users who can take advantage of more affordable monthly payments and zero upfront costs, freeing up cash for capital expansion. Other benefits, include:
- Easier, less time-consuming software rental contracts.
- Installation often available as an app via cloud-based systems.
- Minimal required training via user-friendly software.
- Real-time, incremental, automatic, hands-free updates included in monthly fee.
- User’s choice of touchscreen device without ties to proprietary terminal hardware.
- Possibility of touchscreen devices that work with existing POS hardware.
- Possibilities for server-free and server farm-free options through POS systems that connect to (and through) the cloud.
On that last bullet point, restaurant operators should know that completely self-contained on-location systems are now available that offer the very significant benefit of allowing staff to continue to ring up sales and produce reports even when internet connections fail.
That’s a benefit that clearly will not only have your IT staff doing thankful back flips, but also the on-site staff and customers will walk away with good experiences all the time, instead of periodically taking away an experience involving the stress, long lines and overall inconvenience that downtime can produce, wreaking havoc on your pizza business and brand.
Christopher Sebes has spent his entire career in hospitality management and technology. He received a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in England and managed hotels and restaurants on three continents including multi-unit restaurant operations in Europe and the US. He created the first Microsoft Windows point-of-sale company, Twenty20 Visual Systems, which he sold to Squirrel Systems. He went on to become the CEO of Progressive Software before founding XPIENT in 2004. XPIENT was sold to Heartland Payments Systems in 2015, and he was tapped to become the President of Heartland Commerce, a major player in restaurant and retail management technology. Today Christopher is the President of Xenial Inc., formerly known as Heartland Commerce.