If it’s time to renew the contract for the point of sale system for your bar or you’re thinking about using POS for the first time, dollar signs—and how to save them—might be flashing before your eyes. You don’t want to make a decision without having all the facts. Maybe you learned that lesson the hard way the last time you bought something for your establishment (strobe lights, anyone?).
For the most part, your bar point of sale cost will depend on a number of factors. That makes it crucial to be armed with the right set of questions to ask POS vendors. Your goal is not only to find a solution that works for your budget. It’s to find a system that also works for your business, making it worth the money.
What Factors into Your True Bar Point of Sale Cost?
Keeping that in mind, there are several factors that go into determining the true cost of POS for bars. These are what you want to formulate your questions around. What are they? Let’s take a look:
Whether Available Features Suit Your Bar’s Needs
It’s possible for point of sale software to be bloated with options that complicate operations and balloon your invoice. If you don’t have a full kitchen or offer a loyalty program, do you need to pay for features that support these functions? Probably not. You certainly won’t have a need for POS software that helps you book appointments, unless patrons get a shave with the purchase of a pint.
All that said, the reverse is also true. With too few features, your bar won’t run efficiently. No matter how much money you’ve saved, you’ll regret skimping on functionality. Make sure the software helps you schedule and manage employees, maintain inventory, and handle customer orders. And, don’t overlook details like whether tickets can be split or combined and if you’re able to track comped drinks and employee voids.
No question is a dumb one when it comes to discussing features with a potential POS vendor. You want the most for your money, but only if it benefits your bar’s operations.
What Is Included In Your Plan (and Hidden From Sight)
Unfortunately, it’s common that point of sale software for a bar be quoted at one price and yet charged at another. The issue usually boils down to hidden fees or, at least, a misunderstanding of just how much all the extras add up to. When inquiring about what is included in your bar’s plan, also ask for the nitty-gritty details about the things that aren’t—even if you don’t think these expenses will have a big impact on you. Someday, they might.
Asking the following questions are a good way to uncover fees that might not be in plain site:
- At startup, is your software’s configuration built into your initial costs and are ongoing updates or security patches included in your monthly fee as well?
- Will you have to purchase or lease hardware components separately or do they come with your plan?
- Are there subscription or licensing fees to use the software outside of your existing agreement? And, will an accidental lapse in payment result in late charges or an interruption in service?
- Will you have to process customer payments with proprietary hardware supplied by your vendor? Will you also have to pay transaction fees to get payments processed?
- Are there fees to run integrations or for adding on features?
Additionally, if you decide to sign up for a demo or a free trial, ask whether you’ll have to provide a credit card and if payments start automatically—whether you like the system or not.
If Customer Support Is Accessible Around the Clock
Around-the-clock access to customer support is often taken for granted. It’s easy to assume that help is always available if you need it and that it’s included in your fee structure—or offered free of charge. But, you know what they say about assumptions. And, making this one can kick your profit margin in the pants.
So, ask if and when customer support is available and whether there is an added cost should you need assistance. Confirm that installation is a joint effort with the vendor and that you’ll have help with uploading data and training your staff. Also, ask how customer service is best reached. If support is provided via email only, that won’t help you during a power outage or in an emergency.
Getting to the Bottom of Comparing Your Options
It’s also good to keep in mind that, just as the love of IPAs can wax and wane, economies can shift and cause the cost of everything to adjust. Even your business goals—and how you hope to meet them—will evolve over time. You may want to expand your business to include serving food or reduce your hours of operation during weekdays that are slow.
The point being that, in addition to transparency, your POS vendor should also offer flexibility. The software has got to be able to scale up or down, depending on your bar’s needs at any given time. For that reason, you shouldn’t have to commit to a pricing plan. When the cost of your bar’s point of sale system is designed to flow favorably in your direction, you can focus on the options that are important, like available features and customer service.
In ever-changing economies, it’s a relief when you have something you can rely on. That goes for the tools you use to keep your bar running smoothly, too. That’s why, at talech, we’ve kept our pricing structure simple and our commitment to service consistent. The cost for your bar’s POS system will never be a surprise. And, you can always count on our team to help yours. To see just how far your money will go, sign up for a free demo!