Value-added resellers (VARs) and managed services providers (MSPs) providing restaurant point of sale (POS) and POS as a Service (POSaaS) software have had a turbulent year. Table service restaurants needed solutions to help them establish an online presence, accept digital orders and omnichannel payments, and build operations around outdoor dining spaces. Fast casual and quick service restaurants, too, faced their share of changes, instituting new socially distanced operations and tech solutions that support online ordering, delivery and curbside pickup.
The shift from business as usual in early 2020 to operations that met changing consumer and regulatory demands took quick action so restaurants could stay open. Acting fast often resulted in a “deal with it later” attitude—and for many VARs or MSPs and their clients, later is now. Restaurants and their solutions providers have reached the decision point of whether the restaurant management system they’ve put together this year is the best option moving forward, or it’s time to think about changes and optimization.
Stress these three facts about POS software with your clients as you set a course for the future:
1POS Software is Delivered in Many Ways
Some of your restaurant clients have probably been loyal on-premises POS software users and never wanted to consider that they could access their solution any other way than by loading it onto a local server and backing it up. Although those systems worked well for years, they didn’t provide restaurants with the agility they needed during coronavirus shutdowns.
Your client’s POS software vendor partner may offer a cloud-based product that gives your clients the ability to access their software in the cloud. This software delivery method probably would have been more beneficial to your clients, giving them access to reporting and management features of on-premises systems during stay-at-home orders.
You may also find yourself in a conversation about different POS software vendors that provide only browser-based systems. The appeal of using any device as a point of sale is understandable after months of managing from home, taking orders on an iPad, and reestablishing table service in a parking lot. If your client uses an on-premises system now, however, they may have to sacrifice some features for the ability to have POS functionality on any device at any time.
A takeaway for restaurant VARs and MSPs is that the need to adapt to the circumstances of 2020 has underscored how important it is to offer a full range of POS solutions with the features your clients need day to day—and business continuity during a crisis. Reevaluate your partnerships and close any gaps.
2POS Software Works in Different Ways
If your client is ready to change to a new POS system, it’s crucial to manage your clients’ expectations about what that will mean to a restaurant in the middle of an economic recovery. It may be possible to provide your client with a POSaaS solution from their current vendor. This can add features such as off-site access to data, menu updates, and other management functions. Their current vendor may also give your client the option to integrate a mobile solution that enables order and pay at the table—or curbside.
On the other hand, your client may need to migrate to new software to have these features, which can be a major undertaking. Also, remind your client that not all POS software runs on the same hardware or operating system, so changes may take finding the budget for new terminals and mobile devices.
VARs and MSPs who can offer total POS solutions as a service, software and hardware included for a monthly subscription, may have an edge in a market eager to adapt to change.
3POSaaS Makes Change Easier
In addition to the advantages of Software as a Service (SaaS) in general, such as no upfront license fees, security patches and upgrades included with the monthly subscription fee, POSaaS often makes it easier to build a seamlessly integrated system. A suite of POS software solutions built in the cloud ensures that the restaurant’s features work together, and they can choose the features they need, such as a loyalty program, gift card solution, customer relationship management (CRM) or customer surveys. Leading POSaaS providers also work with an array of payments companies, so restaurants can have omnichannel payment functionality for new business operations that are both online and in-person.
Although POSaaS, added features, and expanded payments accounts will mean more recurring revenue for you, it’s vital to always make your customers’ best interests the priority, especially at such a crucial time for their businesses. Ensuring their success will contribute to customer retention and more revenue for your business in the long run.
Implementing POSaaS Takes Advice from a Trusted Advisor
During a time of rapid change, there can be a tendency to make snap decisions. POSaaS can be a good choice for restaurants that now understand they need more agility to stay in business. However, they need information and guidance on which solutions are the best fit for their operation, which course of action they can afford and what will deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI).
VARs’ and MSPs’ expertise has never been in greater demand than it is right now.