Smart restaurant CIOs are sold on cloud point of sale (POS) software. Although less than a decade ago, most restaurants were still using POS technology based on the client-server model, there’s been a mass migration among restaurant POS systems to the cloud. A recent Hospitality Technology survey found the majority of restaurant operators cite cloud as the most important feature they’re looking for in a POS upgrade. Restaurant operators realize the advantages cloud POS can give them when it comes to omnichannel ordering and customer engagement, mobility, and hardware requirements. As a CIO, however, there are other advantages that make your job easier and help you run your restaurant’s IT department more efficiently.
Four Tangible Advantages of Cloud POS Software
You can’t talk about the benefits of cloud without talking about cost. At first glance, it may seem like purchasing software upfront is less expensive, especially if you are planning to use the system over a number of years. But when you factor in the elimination of upgrade and maintenance costs, built-in integration (or open, well-documented APIs to allow easy integration with third party apps and software), less hardware on-site, and less IT labor required for upgrades, patches, and ongoing maintenance, cloud POS is a bargain. For a predictable monthly fee, your restaurant has a reliable POS platform, period.
Cloud POS software makes the IT department’s job easier. With cloud POS, there’s no lengthy installation process or complex configuration. Cloud providers are making things like menu and modifier setup much simpler. Download the app and start taking orders. And when it’s time for a new version, automatic updates are pushed from the cloud, requiring little to no attention from IT. Cloud POS can even eliminate much if not all of that costly corporate data center, with its servers, network gear, and cabling.
Another advantage of cloud POS software is its scalability. Does the restaurant need another terminal or mobile POS device? Do you need to add waitstaff for your outdoor deck seating during summer months? You can quickly and easily add it with cloud POS. Whereas the client-server model required a large upfront investment to add an additional terminal, and a per-terminal fee, as well as IT support to configure and set up the new terminal. With cloud POS, a restaurant can start with just the devices it needs and add more as the business grows. Cloud POS typically uses inexpensive, consumer grade tablets that are easy and inexpensive to acquire and intuitive to use.
Cloud POS is sometimes perceived as having only basic POS functions — sort of a “light version” of POS. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is cloud POS software on the market that is every bit as robust as the most feature-rich client-server POS. Moreover, cloud POS software written in cloud-native programming languages and with open APIs enables integration with third-party applications and services, and it’s easier to learn and use. With cloud POS, you will have greater flexibility to build a system that fits your restaurant’s needs exactly, in terms of functionality and flexibility.
Finding the Right Solution
With so many cloud POS software solutions available, you may need help narrowing your choices to the ones that provide the best value while still delivering the simplicity, scalability and functionality you need.