As a business owner, being cost-conscious is a fundamental part of your job. However, while buying used equipment can reduce operations costs, it’s important to remember you get what you pay for. When it comes to point of sale (POS) systems, the team at Harbortouch, one of the nation’s leading POS system providers, advises considering your purchase as an investment, and never buying secondhand.
First of all, keep in mind that POS systems are computer systems. As with any computer, they utilize operating systems (OS), such as Windows, Linux, Android, or iOS. Operating systems are regularly updated to provide a better user experience than the current version, enhanced functionality, added features, and more. In many cases, bargain POS systems contain outdated operating systems, which could hinder your operations and put you at risk of security vulnerabilities and decreased efficiency.
Secondly, when you purchase a new POS system you have the opportunity to choose POS software specifically suited to your business needs. When you buy used, this isn’t an option.
POS systems are available with a broad range of functions and designs tailored for particular businesses, from fast-casual dining to nightclubs, to sit-down restaurants and retail shops.
Choosing the right solution is essential to ensure you get the most out of your system. Furthermore, even if your used POS system is compatible with your business as is, the software may not be PCI compliant, meaning you may not be able to securely accept credit cards, a preferred payment method for many customers. What’s more, you may need to transfer ownership of the software account and may need to reprogram the software for your inventory, which can be challenging and time-consuming.
Another thing to be conscious of with secondhand POS systems is that the hardware is likely to be outdated or worn. New POS systems are likely to be built with sturdy, ergonomic design, while older models may be clunky and take up quite a bit of counter space. As with old phones or computers, it’s also more challenging to find replacement parts or hardware drivers for older POS models. Furthermore, used POS systems are typically out of warranty, meaning any repair costs will come out of your pocket. With new systems, you can rely on the manufacturer to repair or replace defective components.
More on Harbortouch
Harbortouch has served more than 400,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free POS program is regularly featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue.
The food truck business is booming. As of 2017, research firm Technomic reported food truck sales were increasing by about 15% a year, compared with about 5% for casual dining. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to start their foodservice venture or an established restaurateur in search of a new opportunity, now is the time to get in on the food truck biz.
However, before you can start serving the masses, it’s important to make sure your truck is equipped with all the necessities, including a Point of Sale (POS) system that can meet the demands of this unique fast-casual dining experience. Harbortouch, the United States’ leading provider of POS software and hardware, lists seven must-have features to look for when selecting a food truck POS system.
7 Must-Have POS System Features for Food Trucks
1. A Small Footprint and Ease of Use
One of the great things about a food truck is its versatility and mobility. However, along with a mobile venue comes interior space limitations. This means you’ll need a compact POS system that doesn’t take up valuable space. Similarly, choose a system that’s easy to use (and easy to learn for new employees). This will save you time on training seasonal or per-event staff and day-to-day operations.
2. Reports & Analytics
For any restaurant owner, real-time reports and analytics are crucial to make sure you’re on top of things. POS software should not just give you sales summaries, but also detailed reports such as inventory reports, labor reports, customer reports, and product reports. These can tell you valuable information about what items are low in stock, what’s selling well and what’s not. This data can help you make informed decisions about what to sell, how much to buy of what items, and more. Additionally, POS reports should also tell you when your food truck is the busiest so you can staff accordingly.
3. Customer Loyalty Program
Harbortouch recommends all businesses have a customer loyalty program as these can increase repeat diners and your profits. Many food trucks drive interest through social media. A customer loyalty program can complement your social media efforts and encourage customers to dine and share their experience with others.
4. Always-On Mode
With a food truck, you might not always be working in locations with a reliable internet connection. Cloud-based POS systems typically rely on a strong internet connection to operate, so you should look for a local-based or hybrid-cloud option to avoid any disruptions to your business.
One of the best things about a food truck is its flexibility. You can serve your cuisine just about anywhere, anytime. You’ll need a POS system that’s similarly adaptable. Choose one that enables you to make menu adjustments easily to accommodate stock or venue changes. You’ll also want to be able to adjust the sales tax in case you move from one jurisdiction to another. Furthermore, make sure you can easily change menu prices. Keep in mind you’ll pay much more for a spot at a hot NYC or LA festival than you would for a small community block party, and your menu prices should reflect that to ensure you make money, not lose it.
6. Online Ordering
Fast-casual restaurants should always have online ordering features, but it’s particularly useful for food trucks that are revered for their convenient eats. Letting customers order online is also good for you and your staff, as it makes wait times shorter while letting you plan and prepare ahead. The POS system should integrate with an online ordering platform like DoorDash to make this process as seamless as possible.
7. Mobile Payments
Self-service kiosks and mobile payments are other great ways to enhance the customer experience while increasing service speed. Mobile payments allow customers to pay with new technologies such as Apple Pay or Android Pay using their mobile device. Some customers, particularly at large events such as festivals, prefer this as they may not want to carry cash or cards.
More About Harbortouch
In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program is regularly featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support with no up-front costs.
Harbortouch has been named a Top Performer in the Point of Sale Software (POS) category for the Winter 2020 Customer Success Report published by FeaturedCustomers. FeaturedCustomers is the leading customer success content marketing platform for B2B business software & services helping potential B2B buyers make informed purchasing decisions through vendor validated customer success content such as customer testimonials, success stories, case studies, and customer videos.
FeaturedCustomers evaluated all the potential Point of Sale Software (POS) companies on its platform for possible inclusion in the report. Only 25 companies met the criteria needed for being included in the Winter 2020 Point of Sale Software (POS) Customer Success Report. Harbortouch earned a Top Performer award in the category.
The Customer Success Report is based on the curation of authenticated case studies, testimonials, and videos from across the web, telling a complete story of vendors in the Point of Sale Software (POS) space through real customer experiences. Rankings are determined by multiple factors including the total number of customer success content, social media and market presence, vendor momentum based on web traffic and search trends, and additional data aggregated from online sources and media properties.
Top Performer – The Top Performer designation is awarded to vendors with significant market presence and enough customer success content to validate their vision. Top Performers’ products are highly rated by their customers but have not achieved the customer base and scale of a Market Leader. Highly rated by customers, Harbortouch consistently publishes high quality, vendor produced customer success content and curates quality customer references from multiple third-party sites.
The full report, along with Harbortouch’s profile, is available for you to download here:
Harbortouch* is a leading national supplier of point of sale (POS) systems, serving thousands of businesses across the nation. The company offers an unprecedented free point of sale program that supplies a full-featured POS system to restaurants and retail businesses with no up-front costs. Professional installation and onsite training are included with every order and award-winning customer service and technical support are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to offering state-of-the-art POS systems, Harbortouch also delivers a full range of merchant services.
FeaturedCustomers, the world’s only customer reference platform for B2B business software & services, helps potential B2B buyers research and discover business software & services through vendor validated customer reference content such as customer testimonials, success stories, case studies, and customer videos. Every day their platform helps influence the purchasing decisions of thousands of B2B buyers in the final stages of their buying cycle from Fortune 500 companies to SMB’s. For more information, visit their website*.
Technology has revolutionized business, from management to marketing. In today’s world, marketing is more than just reaching your target demographic. It’s also about creating a great experience that users will want to engage with. One of the best ways to make your brand stand out from the crowd is with user-generated content. Content made by users can include images, videos, blogs, reviews, and testimonials.
The team at Harbortouch, the United States’ leading provider of point of sale (POS) systems, explains that consumers don’t want to be sold to anymore. Instead, they look to fellow end users as a trustworthy source of information when discovering and researching brands and making purchase decisions. Here are three reasons to use user-generated content for your business.
3 Reasons to Utilize User-Generated Content
1. It’s Cost-Effective
For the most part, user-generated content is free. Although you can’t control what people say or how they present your brand or products, the risk of negative attention shouldn’t deter you from taking advantage of all of the positive potential of user-generated content. Although negative attention can be costly to mitigate, it is cheaper to gather positive pieces of user-generated content than it is to create original marketing materials in-house. Rather than coming up with a campaign strategy, design, and distribution plan, all you have to do is ask permission to use the content and share away.
Because user-generated content is typically free, it provides a big bang for your buck. Regardless of how big or small your marketing budget may be, you can’t afford to not try using this approach.
2. Creates a Sense of Community
User-generated content can also help build a sense of community surrounding your brand or business. Consumers can share their experience on social media and connect with other consumers, building a sense of loyalty and camaraderie. Likewise, if you collaborate with users to share your product or brand with their followers on social media, you can ask them to utilize a unique hashtag that can build brand awareness and get more people on board.
3. Builds Credibility & Authority
Today’s consumers don’t put much stock in traditional advertising. Instead, they want to see what other users have to say. User-generated content is social proof to back up your brand’s claims. This is because people generally consider other users to be unbiased (or at least less biased) compared to a paid marketing team. The more backup you have from clients, the more credible you are in the public eye.
More About Harbortouch
In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 400,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free POS program is regularly featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. This program offers merchants with a complete package including hardware, software, custom programming, expert installation, and unparalleled customer support, all with no upfront costs.
As a small business owner, you’re likely budget-conscious. The offer of a “free” service or product, like free POS software, can be enticing. However, remember the saying, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” While free POS software exists, there’s more you need to know before you take an offer.
What is POS Software?
Point of sale software is what businesses use to streamline transactions and operations. Software and hardware combined form the POS system*, and you have a few options to choose from when it comes to the software side of the equation.
Traditional POS Software
Before cloud computing became all the rage, legacy POS software with locally-hosted data storage was the only option for point of sale software. With all of the data stored on-site, the business owner or manager must be present at the physical location to view reports, make changes to the menu, or any other task involving the point of sale software, typically through a dedicated back-office computer. Some benefits of this approach are less reliance on a stable internet connection and typically faster operation. However, this option lacks remote reporting and POS management functionality.
Cloud-Based POS Software
On the other hand, with cloud-based software, data is hosted on remote servers which you can access from anywhere with an Internet connection. This option gives you more flexibility when it comes to remote reporting, POS management, and software updates, but you do need to consider the fact that a stable internet connection is required to avoid any disruption to your operations.
Open Source POS Software
The last option, but only if you’re tech-savvy, is open-source POS software. With open-source software, you receive the source code, allowing you to customize it to suit your needs. However, unless you’re technically inclined, this may not be the ideal option for you, as most aspects of open-source software require a DIY approach.
POS Features: Free POS Software vs. Paying for POS Software
When it comes to POS software*, free products are typically the bare-bones version of a provider’s premium version. You’ll find limited capabilities and functions compared with the paid counterparts. Consider how this limited functionality could impact your business and whether you’ll need to purchase additional features down the line.
Some features that will be impacted include inventory management, employee management, and POS reports, all of which are significant parts of your business operations. With premium plans, you’ll have the tools to make these tasks easier, more efficient, and more accurate. Other features that may be impacted include returns and refund capabilities, discounts and promotions, and loyalty programs. Many free software packages will not have these built-in. Setup, configuration, and customization functions are usually also limited or less user-friendly with free software.
The Bottom Line
Free POS software may seem like a bargain, but it could cost you in the long-run. Consider how the limited functionality could affect you, your staff, and your business today and in the future. A POS system is an investment, and paying more now will likely pay off over time.
More About Harbortouch
In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch* has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers*. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program is frequently featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.
Software and hardware combined form the POS system* – https://pointofsale.com/point-of-sale-systems-explained-what-is-a-pos-system/
POS software* – https://www.harbortouch.com/pos-solutions
Harbortouch* – https://www.harbortouch.com/
Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers* – https://certifiedconsumerreviews.com/harbortouch/
Technology is revolutionizing the foodservice industry, from mobile ordering and delivery apps to tableside ordering. Although some of these new gadgets are passing fads, others are here to stay. Harbortouch, the nation’s leading point of sale (POS) system provider, has compiled five of the best technologies for independent restaurants.
5 Best Tech Solutions for Restaurants
- Tableside Ordering – You may have noticed an increasing number of servers have ditched the pen and pad for electronic tablets. With tableside ordering technology, servers can take a customer’s order electronically and directly transmit it to the kitchen. This enhances accuracy and speed, which is beneficial for employees and diners alike.
- Data Security – A number of serious data breaches have made the headlines recently. But the issue has been of widespread concern since the turn of the century. While you may not have a large budget for security, keep in mind preventing a security breach is typically much less expensive than mitigating a crisis. If customer data is compromised, it could not only cost you to lose patrons, but also result in heavy fines. Remember, all businesses are required to meet Payment Card Industry’s mandatory Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Ask your POS provider for ways to be PCI compliant and keep you and your customers’ data safe.
- Cloud-based Technology – The cloud is all the rage these days, and for good reason. Cloud-based solutions provide cost-effective, secure data management, as well as the convenience of being able to access your information from anywhere with an Internet connection.
- Mobile Payments – Mobile payments, including Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, provide an easy, fast way for customers to pay for their meals. By offering this payment option, you can enhance the customer experience by reducing wait times.
- Leveraging Data – Many POS systems provide ways to gain insight into customer behavior, including what menu items are popular (or not so popular) and what times of day are the busiest. These systems can also provide insight into staff performance, such as what servers are best at upselling, or who’s giving away too many free drinks. Furthermore, POS systems can provide customer loyalty programs, a great way to increase business and profit.
More About Harbortouch
In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program is frequently featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.
Technology is revolutionizing the foodservice industry, from mobile ordering and delivery apps to tableside ordering. Although some of these new gadgets may appear “trendy,” others are almost certainly here to stay. We at Harbortouch have compiled five of the best new technologies that can lead to long-term profits for your restaurant.
5 Best Tech Solutions for Restaurants
- Tableside Ordering – Have you noticed more and more servers are carrying electronic tablets instead of a pen and paper? Servers can use these tablets to take customers’ orders and send them directly to the kitchen. Not only do orders reach the kitchen faster, but as a result, but meals are delivered more quickly. Tableside ordering also eliminates paper usage and minimizes the risk of mistakes from kitchen staff trying to decipher handwriting. All of this makes for a better customer experience which, in turn, leads to repeat diners and word-of-mouth references.
- Data Security – Data breaches have been a serious issue since the advent of digital information. Recently, large national companies have had their customer data compromised by hackers and, as a result, incurred mind-boggling fines. Many small business owners, with lots on their plate as it is, don’t pay much mind to data security.
However, it’s essential for shops and restaurants to safeguard customers’ sensitive credit card data. A security breach could cost you your customers’ trust and business. Also, your restaurant, along with every other business, is required to meet Payment Card Industry’s new Data Security Standards known as “version 3.2” that became mandatory on October 31, 2016. One step you can take towards becoming PCI Compliant is to work with your local POS Value Added Reseller, like Harbortouch, to make sure you are using a system that can work with the latest standards for data security. By implementing these standards, you will help to safeguard payment data before, during, and after a purchase. These standards do require time, money and expertise to implement, but the cost of compliance is significantly less than the cost of a data breach.
- Cloud-based Technology – Another restaurant POS trend is the emergence of cloud-based reporting and POS management. Cloud-based solutions are becoming increasingly popular in nearly every industry because they can be accessed from anywhere the Internet is available, across any device (desktop computer, tablet or smartphone). This enables business owners to keep a closer eye on their business, whether they are across the restaurant or across the globe.
- Mobile Payments – Now that many banks issue EMV chip cards, restaurants need new technology to process payments. At the same time, customers want faster and easier ways to pay. That’s why most major players in the mobile device industry have delivered versions of the “mobile wallet” incorporating NFC technology (i.e., Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay). Mobile wallet payments are faster than using either EMV or traditional swipe credit cards and offering them can improve customer service and satisfaction.
- Leveraging Data – Improve customer experience by learning more about your guests. Checking guest analytics and other data gathered by your POS system are key, but your business may also have access to data from other sources, such as payroll services or a customer loyalty program. If you’re not using all these different data points, you’re missing out on important information that should be guiding your decision-making. Many restaurant technology specialists recommend implementing a real-time “Big Data” service that gathers actionable data from a variety of sources and delivers it—in real-time—to restaurant managers’ smartphones. For example, you can identify staff who attempt to process a suspicious number of voids on cash transactions, preventing theft and increasing profits. Even the smallest restaurants can profit from real-time data collection.
More About Harbortouch
In over twenty years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning numerous stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. Harbortouch’s ground-breaking free equipment program was featured on the hit TV show Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.
Harbortouch, a leading national provider of Point of Sale (POS) and payment processing systems, in October hosted its annual sales partner conference, Accelerate. Accelerate, “the ultimate business growth event” for business and tech leaders, took place Oct. 8-10 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Harbortouch representatives said the event was a tremendous success, providing valuable education, resources, and networking opportunities for attendees.
Accelerate is designed to propel business’ success via workshops, speaker presentations, networking, and more. The conference kicked off with a welcome reception at which attendees from around the nation mingled, enjoyed the scenery, nommed on delicious eats, and danced to Fusion, a DJ/hybrid band.
The following day, Harbortouch sales partners split up into various breakout sessions. These sessions, a Harbortouch spokesperson explained, give attendees the opportunity to customize their conference experience by selecting sessions they feel are most valuable to them.
The highlight of the day was Ed Viesturs’ keynote presentation. Viesturs is a high-level mountaineer, the only American, and the fifth person in the world, to successfully summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen. The motivational speaker delivered a powerful, inspirational message which garnered a well-deserved standing ovation.
On Wednesday, Harbortouch hosted a full morning of general sessions, along with an uplifting presentation by CEO Jared Isaacman. Later in the morning, Harbortouch executives discussed current and future initiatives. Then, sales partners networked with various vendor sponsors at the Vendor Show before attendees gathered for a beachside dinner at Wild Thyme Oceanside Eatery.
The next day kicked off with another round of informational sessions focused on various programs and partnerships offered by Harbortouch and associated vendors. Afterward, attendees took part in more breakout sessions. The conference closed with powerful, encouraging final remarks from EVP of Sales and Marketing, Brian Jones. But the cherry on top was a drawing for a BMW and Lexus awarded to two lucky attendees!
Overall, a Harbortouch spokesperson said, Accelerate 2019 was one of the company’s most successful conferences to date.
More About Harbortouch
In over 20 years of business, Harbortouch has served more than 300,000 small to mid-size businesses, providing first-class POS software and state-of-the-art POS hardware and earning thousands of stellar Harbortouch reviews from satisfied customers. From secure payment processing to cloud-based reporting and business management tools, Harbortouch’s model makes its products affordable for any budget. The company’s ground-breaking free equipment program was featured on the hit TV show, Bar Rescue. The program offers merchants custom programming, quality expert installation, and unparalleled customer support.