Looking for Point of Sale System, Confused by the Options

I am trying to help a friend find a Point of Sale (POS) system.

I want to let you know that I have done research on this website, and I have found previous posts, but they haven’t answered all of my questions.

At first, Speedline Solutions looked good, but I heard that it is expensive.

I am looking for the cheapest option, which has the ability to have online ordering, keep track of customers, search by phone number, name, etc.

What experience do you all have with Point of Success?

In order to make the investment worth it, I would like to see increased sales as a result of purchasing a Point of Sale system.

  1. Does Point of Success offer marketing tools? I don’t see anything on their website about up selling, email marketing, etc.

  2. It looks like Mercury’s payment service is recommended. Do any of you use that, or do you use your own payment processor?

  3. What is Mercury’s credit card processing rate?

4)What is the cost of PCCharge to enable the ability to use a different payment processor? Do any of you use PCCharge?

  1. If we choose PCCharge, does that mean there are no loyalty, reward, or gift card programs available with Point of Success?

  2. What is the cheapest touchscreen monitor you recommend?

  3. What is the cheapest receipt printer you recommend? I’m reading thermal can cause problems if around heat, so we might want the other kind.

  4. What drawer do you recommend?

  5. Does all of this connect via USB? Is it simple “plug and play”? I want to make sure we purchase equipment that is compatible.

  6. Do you recommend any of the iPad based systems, such as NCR Silver?

Just to emphasize, the following is important:

Affordability: We are looking to invest as little as possible.

Record Keeping/Database: If it can keep track of the customer’s name, address, phone number, their previous orders, etc, that would be nice. It would be good to have the ability to search by phone number.

Online Ordering: I feel it is very important that this pizzeria adds online ordering to help increase sales. Do you agree? If so, we need a system that can add online ordering.

Marketing Tools: The more marketing tools, the better.

Thank you all! I appreciate your assistance.

We use POS Pizza. It has a free version that you can try out, and it is an affordable POS option. It does do all the tracking that you are looking for. Online ordering is also available-that is something that you would setup at your location or with your website host. I have been using it for about 10+ years. You will need to buy the computers and install the software on it, along with setting up your network, etc. It is not a “plug and play” system, per se - but you are not paying what you would pay for a “plug and play” system. I believe point of success is setup the same way. Check it out: http://www.pospizza.net/

Thank you for your reply.

Is the setup easy? Is it just plug and play?

If I just need to plug everything in via USB and it works that would be great. I don’t know if it requires more to set it up or not.

I am wondering about the online ordering. Do you use it? I didn’t see the web browse say “https”. Is it secure? I want to make sure there aren’t any issues with it.

What are some of your favorite features?

Thank you for your help.

Unless you are spending 10K plus on a POS system, you are probably not going to find something that is plug and play. How many stations do you need? POS Pizza is not plug and play. You have to install the software on the computer, install the printer(s). Set them up through the POS. Attach your cash drawer to the printer, or the computer (depending on the cash drawer). You will have to setup your network, etc.
We do not use the integrated online ordering. The link that I gave you was for the companies website so you could maybe download a demo of their software. The online ordering would be as secure as your network that it is on. If you use the online ordering, credit cards are processed through charge-it-pro.

Thank you for your help.

They need one station.

How do you install the printers and connect the cash drawer to them? Is there a tutorial somewhere? If there are instructions and a list of compatible printers I don’t think there will be a problem. I’m trying to figure out if they connect via USB, Ethernet, or another way.

I think I can set up the software just fine. I am worried about the hardware.

I’m not sure what you mean by the online ordering being as secure as the network. I just need to make sure the credit card and other personal information is secure. My guess is it is encrypted, but I know for sure.

How is POS Pizza’s support, are you satisfied with it?

Thank you for your help! It is nice that you are willing to share your knowledge with others who are still learning how to get it set up.

If anyone else has any comments, I would greatly appreciate it.

It looks like Point of Success or POS Pizza would be the best options (regarding the price and the number of features included). Does everyone agree?

Also, what can you tell me about the online ordering service you use? Do you like it?

What about the GoNextWorld Rewards? Are you happy with that?

I see you’re doing email marketing and SMS marketing as well. Those are both things I would like to try. Have you noticed an increase in sales and do you recommend any particular provider? I was considering Mail Chimp for the email marketing.

Thank you again!!

We use onlineordering.com It is not an integrated system, so we receive the orders by email & input them into the system. It is not free, there is a monthly charge. If we were to use the integrated it would be free, but we have been using this for a long time and prefer the interface of it.
The GNW rewards is just OK, their support is not the greatest. But it works.
MailChimp is great, that is what we use for our email marketing. The options are endless! We use eztexting, the cost is good and its easy to use. Not as many features as other providers might have, but its a lot less expensive.
POS Pizza has great support, Scott is very helpful.
Epson printers are what we use - TMU-220. They are solid printers, I would recommend Ethernet or USB (if that’s available). They are not too hard to install.
The online ordering, if you use POS Pizza’s will be run on your network. the credit cards will be secure because they are processed by a 3rd party (charge-it-pro), and are integrated with your POS and other credit cards you process through the POS.

Thank you again for your help.

In regards to connecting the hardware, I purchase the equipment, and plug it in via USB or Ethernet? The POS system will then recognize it and connect to it? If it is more complex, can you please explain how I would go about connecting them?

Is there a way to see who orders the most, see who has changed their ordering habits, etc? Mail Chimp is completely separate from the POS, they can’t be integrated can they?

This system looks like it might work. Some of what I am asking might be on more advanced systems but since this is more affordable we might be able to go without it.

Thank you again. You are a big help!

Do we need to use charge-it-pro for all credit card processing, or is that just for online orders? How can I find out what the credit card processing fees are?

In your experience, does the online ordering, text message marketing, and email marketing help? Is it worth the time to set them all up?

How often do you send text messages and emails to customers?

Thank you again!

TMP, above you say you’ll just need one station. You should put a bit of thought into that because if you only have one POS station you can only take one order at a time. What happens when you have someone on the phone ordering and someone walks to the counter to order? Are you going to make that person at the counter wait? In my opinion any pizza place that delivers should have at least three stations, 2 for order entry and one for driver dispatch.

I would suggest you stick with pizza specific software if you are a pizza restaurant. Many people have made general restaurant POS systems work for their pizza shop but you’ll find more than a few stories on the think tank of those that switched to pizza specific POS systems being very happy the switched.

Thank you for your reply.

I think you’re right, more than one system might be a good idea. I need to find out how the Pizza POS works with adding a second system and how to connect the printers and everything. We can always start with one system to try it out, and when we see if it helps, add another. By then we should know how to add the second one anyway.

I also agree that one that is focused on a pizzeria is better, a system we know is made just for a pizzeria and will do the job right.

Thank you again, I do think you’re right. If you have any more suggestions, please let me know. I appreciate the help you are both providing.

What POS system do you currently have?

  1. For the most part in this area, you get what you pay for. The higher priced systems do more, they are plug and play, they are expandable, they have integrated online ordering and credit card processing, they are more reliable and have better support.

  2. POS systems do not increase sales and that is not the reason to buy one. HOWEVER, I would be astonished if the businesses that use them do not tend to have higher sales and lower costs. They help you make better decisions, they save administrative time, they reduce the amount spent on labor to answer phones. If you use some of that time savings to grow your business…

I think you need to nail down what you really need. You are getting some good advice in the posts above but you keep coming back to absolute least expensive and that is likely a mistake. This is not the place to save money.

Honestly, I would get a POS that at least includes 2 order stations, makeline station and driver station. Otherwise, what is the cook looking at to know what to make? The days of paper slips floating around the kitchen are done!

I really liked reading about the better systems, because they had great features. For example, if somebody orders a pizza, it can pop up and ask the employee to ask the customer if they would like a topping. I really think features such as that can help to increase sales.

When I found out how expensive the systems are, that is when I knew it wouldn’t work.

The pizzeria is currently writing everything down, there isn’t a computer being used. Upgrading to a $10,000 system would be a huge jump and a risk since there is no guarantee that it would save that much money in management costs or increased sales from up selling.

So, although a more expensive system might be better because they will set it up, there is great support, more features, etc, I don’t think I could convince the owner to invest that much.

What do you think is the best balance between reliability, features, ease of use, and price? I know $10,000 is too high. What would you recommend that is $3,000 or less?

I think you’re right with the two order stations. I think that would be enough to get started. I will look into the make line station.

Thank you again for your help!

Sorry. I disagree with you on the cost savings etc. Not knowing what the numbers are in the store I can not speak to your specific example, but in my store an investment would need to produce less than 2% combined increase in revenue an/or reduction in costs, elimination of pricing errors etc to justify a 10K expenditure. (I want an investment like this to pay me back in three years or less) The systems out there that sell for 3K do not come close to doing the things I want and need.

In today’s world the absolute bottom line minimum for me even in a very small shop would be:

  1. No more paper other than POS generated labels and run slips. No handwriting on ANYTHING.
  2. Reasonable level of sales reporting.
  3. Employee clock in - clock out.
  4. Inventory management.
  5. Fully integrated online ordering.
  6. Live support during all hours open for business.

I am pretty comfortable with computers but I have zero interest in spending a bunch of time setting them up or programming menus or trouble shooting. If I spend those hours in the community building business I will come out WAY ahead.

Thank you for your response.

What features does your system have, that Point of Succcess of Pizza POS doesn’t? I think they have the generated labels and slips, sales reporting, the owner isn’t interested in employee clock in and clock out at this time, nor are they interested in inventory management. I am concerned about the online ordering and worried that the support won’t be good with the cheap system.

Price is a major factor still, and I don’t see them spending $10,000 unless there is almost a guarantee that it will be paid back with increased profits in a reasonable amount of time. There is a lot of competition in the area, but I’ve been reading on here not to compete with the chains like Little Ceasars. I also don’t see how prices can be increased so much. For example, there is a $5 medium pizza going on right now. How do we raise the prices without losing customers? There are some customers that come in just for the $5 deal. I was thinking about having the $7.95 pizza 25% off would make it $5.97. Then, in a month or two make it 20% which would make the price $6.36, etc. I’m trying to find a way to increase prices without hurting business. We don’t want to lose the customers that are still coming. We need to keep them and add more.

So, between investing in a system, and possibly changing the whole price structure around, this seems to be a big risk. There is a lot of competition like I mentioned, Pizza Hut, Little Ceasars, etc. Pizza Hut has online ordering, SMS marketing, email marketing, etc. We have none of that right now.

What features does your system have that will help to increase sales? For example, are there up selling and cross selling features? I like the idea that when someone orders a pizza it can come on the screen telling the employee to ask them if they want a topping. I think that is something the cheaper systems are lacking. Does the system automatically know if a customer used to order a lot and stops, and prompt the owner to call or send direct mail or an email to get the customer back?

Thank you all for your help. I don’t know how to explain how much I appreciate it!

I am trying to compare Point of Success to POS Pizza.

Although Point of Success has a free version, POS Pizza’s free version seems to have more features. Also, POS Pizza’s online ordering is free and doesn’t require a monthly fee.

I have noticed that many on this forum prefer Point of Success, and I don’t see a lot talking about POS Pizza. Is there a reason for that? Point of Success seems pricer and has an online ordering service that some have complained about.

Please help point me in the right direction in regards to which Point of Sale system to choose. I am still open to other options. You can find my other thread here: http://thinktank.pmq.com/threads/looking-for-point-of-sale-system-confused-by-the-options.15124/

The price is an important factor, as well as the reliability, ease of use, online ordering, and marketing tools.

Caller ID is also important, but we would rather not need to pay extra if there is a way around it such as manually entering the customer’s phone number.

Thank you!

Sorry in advance for jumping on the soap box. The under-powered Indy with no tools and very few resources is not equipped to duke it out with the nationals at their own game.

To hell with LC’s and $5 Pizza. We do not sell cr@p and we do not pay attention to national chain prices. Our 14" pizza starts at $13.40 and goes up $1.40 per topping. A typical coupon offer is giving $2-$3 off that price. After discounts our average ticket is about $35 in the winter and $30 in the Summer. We market to people who want a better product and we deliver it to them. Read my sig line. It sums up my views nicely.

If you are already locked into the $5 pizza world good luck to you. I do not think it is survivable as an indy store without the kind of huge volume that would REQUIRE a $20,000 POS system! (Like a big campus store) You just can not make enough money on $5 transactions to live unless you do huge numbers of them. So yes, if you want to raise prices you may have to think about losing those cheap customers and going and finding some better ones. Of course, you also have to deliver a differentiated product. I would not be concerned with trying to add nickles to the price when your problem is in dollars.

I do not use Point of Success so you will need to get that answer from someone else. We us Prism and it does all six items on my list and more. We run 6 stations and could add more if needed. Online orders (20% of sales now) appear on the make-line screen, the labels print out and the driver checks out the order and it prints a run slip and assigns the order to that driver’s till for checkout. Credit cards are processed and tips added and the tips appear on the employee’s wage report at payroll time. Employees clock in and out and reports correlate labor with sales and payroll reports are about three mouse clicks away with summaries of all hours worked by job type (same person can work as a driver or a cook at different wages and system tracks all of that).

And yes, the marketing features you are asking about are all there if you want them.

Talk to the POS suppliers about leasing. You can a system in place and make payments for three years with a $1 buy-out at the end.

Sorry for the rant.

The nice thing about caller ID is that the system can go right to the customer information without having to enter anything… really speeds things up. You are stepping over dollars to pick up nickles.

Thank you very much for the feedback! I really do appreciate it.

How would you suggest raising the prices and getting new customers at the same time?

I am thinking for now Point of Success or POS Pizza might be best due to the lower start up costs, but if we can find a way to increase prices in the future we might be able to invest in a better system. I just don’t know what people are going to think if the $5 medium pizza jumps to regular menu price at around $8. What do we tell the customers? What can we put in the menu? I think many are just looking for the cheapest pizza and aren’t looking for the quality we have. By increasing prices it will allow us to invest more in the business and eventually do more upgrades though.

Thank you for your help.

Thank you for the feedback.

It looks like you’re saying it is worth the investment for the Caller ID feature.

I think it is fine for us to spend a little bit more on a few features, but we definitely can’t do a top of the line $10,000 system right now. If you suggest it is worth spending a couple hundred for the Caller ID, then that is what we should do.

Thank you!