Pizza POS Decisions
When it comes to pizza POS systems everyone is looking for the best features and the best technology for the lowest price. Keep in mind that a key factor that is greatly overlooked and undervalued is the service that you’ll be getting from your pizza POS dealer. For the purpose of this article lets define the word “best” as something that is superior and it would be difficult or impossible to find anything better. I’ve found that there are few who can truly deliver the best everything, the best features, the best hardware technology, the best service, and the lowest price. In my opinion there is always a compromise. So far I haven’t been able to find a single organization that has not had to make a compromise on these aspects of their offerings.
Get what you pay for
The trend I’ve seen is that eventually people see that “you actually get what you pay for”. What you end up with is determined by the compromises that the company has made with their hardware, software, service, and price of their pizza POS system.
What I have learned is that there is only one compromise that will lead to long term success and customer retention. That compromise is with price. I don’t believe you can offer the best hardware, software, and true managed service at a superior level and offer it at the lowest price in the market. Price is really the only component a company can make the most significant compromise. So as a customer even if the price is more than you’d like to pay, you’re getting what you wanted. I believe that’s called satisfaction.
So what if you didn’t get what you paid for? If it’s extreme this is called getting ripped off or scammed. This is the experience everyone wants to avoid. How do you avoid this? Typically a more experienced person will be able to better avoid these bad experiences. An experienced person may have also gone through some of these bad experiences which is why they know what to avoid and what to look for. As you probably can guess it can cost lots of time, money, and stress to learn this hard lesson and become experienced.
Generally speaking what I find is that there are two kinds of decision making models that pizza business owners follow. The first and most common is the pizza business owner who wants everything at the lowest price. With this decision making model they will almost blindly make a decision simply based on price. If pizza POS systems were a commodity then this is not a bad approach. True(many claim their system is made for pizza business, but it isn’t) Pizza POS systems are not a commodity and can differ greatly. If you disagree please check out our other articles on Differences in Restaurant POS and Pizza POS systems or How to find the best POS system for your pizza business.
Why is the “lowest price only” a poor decision making model for pizza POS?
- No VALUE – This decision making model does not account for value. So, even if the price is low you may still be dissatisfied because you may have not gotten what you truly wanted.
- Out GROW – If you’re growing you’ll probably have to buy another POS system down the road. The cheapest POS systems are typically not made for pizza business. You’ll eventually realize you need something better for your pizza business.
- Do it AGAIN – Buying another system is a waste of time and money. Re-install, re-train, reorganize. Not to mention, you have to go through making a POS decision again.
- No MARKETING – The cheap POS systems probably didn’t help your pizza business grow. It probably made some things a little easier, but didn’t help drive growth. The best POS systems are able to help you grow your pizza business.
Unfortunately for some pizza business owners they will never avoid this problem because they will stick to this decision making model for everything. The silver lining is you can learn from your bad experience and hopefully avoid these problems by changing your decision making model.
The second decision making model which is most often adopted by experienced or savvy pizza business owners is to look for the best bang for your buck. A good word for this is value. Pizza business owners that use this decision making model typically look for the best pizza POS but at the best value. Defining value is easy, attaining value is not always so easy. The reason for this is because companies will not openly share with customers about the many compromises that the pizza POS company had to make in order to provide their products and service offerings. For example, they may have a delivery mapping system, but they fail to tell you that the roads don’t update in real-time because it’s static map or that it lacks live traffic data.
Compromises are necessary and good (as long as it’s done right)
Apple made many compromises. They chose to provide premium software, decent hardware(they were actually even better when they made their own hardware back in the day), and ok service(this may be up to debate), but what isn’t debatable is that their price is not the lowest. Apple is an excellent example of what happens when you try to deliver on customers expectations despite a premium price.
The POS industry seems to be the exception when it comes to this type of business model. It’s not uncommon to see the premium price tag, but unfortunately premium managed services, software, and/or hardware do not always follow. One concerning fact I’ve seen is that POS systems are generally sold like used cars. Most of the effort in selling a POS involves showing off feature lists and other gimmicks like “free pos”. The used car salesman approach has built a massive barrier of mistrust between POS dealer and restaurateur.
Why is it so hard to build trust?
In general, purchasing a pizza POS system is not simple. Much like buying an automobile there are many layers to fully understand before you’re able to make an informed decision. Fortunately when buying a car nowadays there are certain laws to protect consumers. Unfortunately, for POS purchases there are no laws to protect business owners, because businesses are not considered consumers. To make matters worse there are even more layers to making an informed POS decision.
- What are all the features?
- How are they designed?
- How does it work?
- What kind of computers can I use?
- Does it integrate with my existing merchant services?
- How can I get gift cards integrated?
- Can I integrate online ordering?
- Will it meet my delivery needs?
- What other services/products can I integrate with?
- What are the limitations?
- How much should it really cost?
There are so many factors and questions it can leave you in a web of confusion. This web can cause someone to get stuck with a variety of choices every step of the decision making process. The amount of information and experience someone will need in order to make a good decision to choose the best pizza POS system is enough to make the process a little intimidating or even frustrating. One way to get through the web is to make sure you understand what you are getting and not getting. You should always ask questions and dig deeper. It’s always a good idea to find someone who can explain the details to you. Generally speaking salespeople aren’t equipped to explain to you all the in’s and out’s of every layer.
What can I do?
If you’ve been able to narrow down your choices I’d recommend speaking with or if possible, visiting some of the customers (not just one but many) that are using the pizza POS in their own pizza business. You should prepare a detailed list of questions that not only ask about features, but more critical questions.
- What is their support and customer service like? Is the staff knowledgeable? Do they help you right away?
- Do they provide updates for the Pizza POS? How often? Do the updates make a difference? How much do updates cost?
- Do they specialize in pizza POS systems?
- If you could improve the pizza POS system what would you want to improve?
- What do you like about this pizza POS company?
- What do you dislike about this pizza POS company?
- How has the pizza POS system helped you grow your business?
- How has the POS company helped you grow your pizza business?
- What was your on-boarding/installation like? Tell me about your experience? What did you like or dislike? Why?
- If you had to do it all over again, would you choose this company and their products and services for your pizza business?
- Do you believe that this pizza POS system is a good value?
- Do you trust this pizza POS company?
- What’s the worst experience you had with this pizza POS system or company?
- What’s the best experience you had with this pizza POS system or company?
The answers you get from some of these questions may help you find the right pizza POS system and company to help you grow your pizza business. Compare the answers that people give you and educate yourself on what people are saying. You can also do research and find online reviews. A customer’s experience is important and can help guide you in the right direction. Not everyone has the same experience and you also need to get a feel for the type of business owner you are talking to. However if everyone seems to be saying the same thing no matter which owner you’re talking to that can show you the more consistent facts about the pizza POS system or company.