Financing a restaurant is risky business. Operating costs are almost always higher than expected and if you’re not careful, startup costs can be enough to kill your venture before you even had a chance to serve your first customer.We admire your bravery, risk-taking restaurateurs!

With so many upfront expenses it’s tempting to want to cut corners, but business owner beware:Trimming too much fat can lead to massive inefficiencies in your restaurant. So get ready to learn why there’s no such thing as free restaurant POS. And for a bonus, here are 2 other restaurant myths we’ll debunk in the process.

Free As In Beer Rids The Heart of Fear

When it comes to Restaurant POS, we regret to inform you that, like a free lunch, it doesn’t exist. Deep down, you already knew this. Perhaps you were busy paying through the nose for permits, rent, staff and unexpected equipment failures, when you came across a free restaurant POS and decided to ignore your inner skeptic. Whatever the case, that *FREE* point of sale system is costing you, one way or another.

SEE ALSO:The Hidden Benefits of Restaurant POS Software

Let’s briefly discuss the cons of free restaurant POS.

  • Oftentimes, the company offering the free restaurant point of sale is only providing you with the software at no charge. They will however, charge you for hardware, installation, training, support, and upgrades. At first glance, this might not sound so bad, but it could end up costing you thousands of dollars more than you would have spent on a complete pos system in the long run.
  • Free restaurant POS systems tend to have limited features and probably will never have all of the necessary functions you need to run a more efficient business. Trying to make free point of sale work for you, will only waste a lot of your time.
  • For argument’s sake, let’s just assume that you do find a free restaurant POS that comes with all of the necessary bells and whistles, the provider is still likely charging you per transaction. A small percentage of your transactions might not sound too bad, especially if you are a merchant with low or sporadic sales volume. But assuming you are the successful restaurateur that we know you are, this oversimplified credit card processing can cost you significantly more in monthly fees.
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All POS Software is Created Equal

We know, on the surface that all POS systems look the same. Unfortunately, they are not. When evaluating restaurant POS software, you want to choose a system that was designed with you in mind. Training your employees to use the system should take minutes not hours, and changing menus and accessing key data should be a breeze.

SEE ALSO: Features That Define Superior Restaurat POS Software

If It Glitters It Must Be Gold

It seems like every other day there is a new POS system on the market, and as the market continues to grow, the bar gets higher and higher. This competitive landscape has inadvertently caused a race to become the most feature-rich solution.

Afterall, just because a restaurant POS system offers integrated Twitter functionality doesn’t mean it’s going to provide you with the sufficient inventory management, employee management, and reporting features you need. Let’s be honest, Tweets aren’t going to pay the bills.

Beware of the promise of free restaurant POS and flashy functionless features. Choosing the right point of sale system is a decision that directly impacts your bottom line. The best way to avoid an expensive headache is to take the time to research the options available for your business.

About the Author

Yamarie Grullon has years of experience creating helpful & engaging content for small business owners. As Manager of Content Strategy at ShopKeep, Yamarie provides merchants with practical advice on all things related to their business or their POS system.