Are Your Point of Sale Terminals Really Terminal? 7 Signs It’s Time for an Upgrade

Take The Self-Assessment Below To Determine Your Upgrade Timeline

Today, color television seems natural, antiquated even—but that wasn’t always the case.
In 1954, just months after its public release, fewer than 8,500 color television sets were manufactured and sold in the U.S. It seems strange to think that color televisions weren’t an instant hit, but hesitation from networks, advertisers, and the public managed to extend the black and white television’s life. Yet the future was color. The pace of adoption ultimately picked up as the color TV took the market by storm. By 1971, nearly half of all U.S. households had a color television1.

As a franchisee, you know the rapid pace of technology innovation—particularly in today’s omni-channel landscape. As new solutions emerge, the bar continues to rise for faster, more efficient, and more engaging restaurant experiences. With so many different technologies running in your restaurant, each with its own purpose and lifecycle, it can be hard to decipher the when and why behind making an upgrade.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the point of sale—the most central technology at work in the quick service restaurant environment. Much like the consumers who embraced the possibilities of colorful broadcasts, how do you know when it’s time to put hesitation aside and upgrade your system?

The prospect of a point of sale upgrade is often met with an initial aversion to spending—and an overall reluctance to change. After all, why fix something that isn’t broken? The truth is, while your point of sale may not be broken, it may not be setting you up for success in today’s restaurant landscape—a landscape in which operational demands and customer expectations are greater and more complex than ever.

Is it time for you to make a point of sale upgrade? Here are 7 signs that it might be time to take the next step:

1. Your Software is Slow, Buggy, and Complicated

As a quick service or fast casual restaurant, your greatest asset is your speed. If your point of sale software is a bottleneck that keeps crew members and guests waiting, it’s time to consider another solution.

Today’s best-in-class POS solutions deliver rapid speed and are equipped to handle more complex data sets and greater volumes. If you’re dealing with slow and buggy software, you’ll likely notice that a new solution will pay for itself by making a measurable improvement to speed of service right off the bat.

2. You Don’t Have the Features or Data You Need

Today’s point of sale is no longer a passive till that sits on your front counter. Instead, your point of sale should be a dynamic solution that delivers the data you need to inform decisions, along with a host of high-utility features that harness this data to elevate your entire operation.

If your point of sale does nothing more than ring up transactions, you might be surprised to find that there is a far better way. An advanced point of sale solution can empower your restaurant to make proactive, data-driven decisions that lead to happier guests and greater profitability. Look for a solution that is dedicated to unleashing high-utility data, and provides a host of features like speed of service tracking and reporting right out of the box.

3. It Looks Old and Antiquated

Beauty might only be skin deep, but in a restaurant landscape that values guest experience more than ever, the appearance of your point of sale really matters. In fact, a bulky or antiquated point of sale terminal can be a drag on your entire front of house, leading guests to make sweeping inferences about your brand.

More importantly, a bulky solution can quite literally impair interactions by putting a physical barrier between you and your guests. Look for a solution that is not only durable, but also attractive.

4. It Treats Every Guest the Same

According to a recent Epsilon report, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience2. Today’s restaurant guests expect personalization, and your point of sale should help you accomplish this.

If your point of sale is incapable of contextual selling to guests based on order, location, or day part, or simply lacks the ability to deploy new LTOs, it’s time to make a switch. Look for a solution that provides a robust and flexible menu framework along with robust suggestive selling that makes each guest feel uniquely served.

5. It’s a Single Channel Solution

It’s an omni-channel world. Your point of sale should set you up for omni-channel success by maintaining cross-channel menu consistency and providing integrated solutions for kiosks and tablets.

New channels emerge all the time, so your point of sale should also be capable of onboarding new channels quickly without a loss of continuity or control. If your point of sale provider thinks the front counter is the only channel—it’s time for a different solution.

6. Security is Sub-Par, Leaving You Vulnerable

We know that the mere thought of a security breach is enough to keep you up at night. In today’s uber-connected world, a world in which word travels faster than ever, a single security compromise can have disastrous implications.

As today’s cyber threats continue to evolve, dated technology is naturally vulnerable. Your point of sale solution should have a clean security track record, PCI-compliance, and most importantly—a commitment to staying one step ahead of harmful hackers.

7. The Support Just Doesn’t Make the Cut

You know the drill. A crew member has a pressing question and is left on the line for an hour, waiting to get ahold of a support rep. Worse still, this question could arise during off-hours, when your vendor may not even have live support available.

Your point of sale support is a critical aspect of your point of sale solution. If your solution has subpar support quality or simply isn’t equipped for your growing needs, look for a solution that puts support first.

Still not sure if you need an upgrade? Use the self-assessment below to determine the answer.

Rate your level of agreement with each of the following statements using the following scale.

Statement 1: My point of sale is fast and reliable.

Statement 2: My point of sale gives me the features and data I need.

Statement 3: My point of sale terminals are attractive.

Statement 4: My point of sale helps me deliver personalized experiences.

Statement 5: My point of sale is an omni-channel solution.

Statement 6: My point of sale protects my guests and my business.

Statement 7: My point of sale partner delivers best-in-class support.

Now add up your points!

If you scored between 21 and 25, congratulations! It sounds like your point of sale is best-in-class.
If you scored between 15 and 20, you might want to consider an upgrade in order to keep your business ahead.
If you scored below 14, then it’s definitely time for an upgrade. 

SICOM Encounter™ Omni-Channel Point of Sale

SICOM Encounter Omni-Channel Point of Sale delivers restaurants the ease of use they need to raise the bar for speed of service, with the cross-channel flexibility required to set new standards for guest experience and engagement. With solutions for the front counter, kiosks, and tablets, and open-APIs to integrate with your many crew- and customer-facing channels, SICOM Encounter sets restaurants up for omni-channel success.

Designed for today’s data-driven restaurant reality, SICOM Encounter unleashes the comprehensive insights and flexible menu framework you need to make more proactive decisions and deliver personalized guest experiences at scale. The PCI-compliant solution has never had a breach, and is trusted by some of the world’s largest franchise communities. Plus, with round-the-clock support from SICOMSERV, SICOM Encounter ensures that your team members will never be left waiting for the answers they need.

Ready for an Upgrade?

Here are the top 10 reasons to choose SICOM Encounter Point of Sale.


point of sale guide

Ryles Dodd
June 6, 2018

Ryles is responsible for all things front of house at SICOM, including point of sale, kiosks, and kitchen displays. Ryles has over 20 years of experience running restaurant technology groups for enterprise quick service brands such as Arby’s, Wendy’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, and The Capital Grille.

Connect with Ryles on LinkedIn

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