Leaner margins are affecting most restaurants, bars, and cafés that continue to open for business each day. Government-imposed operating restrictions due to COVID-19 have had a volatile effect on dining rooms since March 2020. The number of positive cases being reported each day is an unpredictable moving target. Strategic operations planning has shifted into an effort to control losses in sales revenue for many. Business and café owners are taking new approaches to sustain their businesses all while cutting back on costs.
Restaurants are engaging in many variations of consolidated or shared kitchens. In one example, industrial facilities owners negotiate agreements with brand owners to use their equipment and space to prepare the menus that they advertise online. Another example is where the owner of a large restaurant agrees to reconfigure their kitchen and train staff to prepare the food for different restaurant brands. Yet another example is a mobile kitchen which looks like a single food cart but serves multiple virtual, or “ghost,” restaurants. The orders are available for pick-up and third-party food delivery services in all scenarios.
Managers are discovering many ways to cut back on costs. They are selling orders and staying open. However, when it comes to purchasing cheap ePOS systems for restaurants, it’s important to take some careful consideration because of the potential for hidden fees.
Credit Card Processing Fees
Sales managers, of course, expect to get some service fees on credit card transactions. Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover all charge vendors discount rates to accept payment using their card service. They offer lower fees to businesses who agree to in-store advertising or who make their card the preferred card.
Equipment Charge Increases
The equipment used to swipe or insert the card typically has a monthly fee when the product is rented. “Contactless” near-field communication (NFC) is another important feature to have with today’s added health precautions. As expected, the more technology included on an ePOS device the more potential there is for a higher monthly fee. Customers expect more options, so it behooves the restaurant manager to purchase the added features.
Restaurants are charged monthly usage fees for each ePOS device used on the network. ePOS solutions providers sometimes offer a discounted rate on additional equipment; however, what you may get back can vary widely. Certain devices do not come with a price reduction for additional equipment in use onsite.
Storage, Security, and Network Charges
Cloud-based storage is needed for all ePOS systems, but the total data storage requirements can exceed what is included in the standard service fee. Vibrant reports, photos, and enhanced business analytics all use large file sizes. Cloud storage fees are divided into tiers of data usage, and costs can increase over time. Further, federal laws require your business to store certain types of records over varying lengths of time to stay in compliance.
ePOS Professional Services Fees
Payroll management, mobile ordering, and custom communication features for kitchens oftentimes fall under added services. The standard price for cheap ePOS systems for restaurants can include a “bare bones” only system. Specialty software developers create apps that “plug into” cheap ePOS standard software. Restaurants pay a monthly subscription fee for each specialized software app they add on.
Overall payroll services expenses depend on the number of employees and the services provided. Third-party delivery services make a percentage off each order. Companies like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and GrubHub sometimes offer restaurants sales volume discounts and new customer incentives.
Added fees may appear on an ePOS services price list or bill as pennies on the dollar. However, in the long-run, costs can continue to climb as your business grows. Scalable ePOS solutions, like talech, provide integrated functions for each area of your business operations. Here are some of them below:
- Menu management
- Inventory control
- Table management
- Customer profiles/purchase histories
- Bill splitting
You may find it easier to control the cost of services fees because they do not increase over time as a result of application services added on. Restauranteurs often find that ePOS systems perform better overall when feature-rich software comes onboard the system.
ePOS Solutions Value Providers
Times are lean for many in the restaurant business, and talech understands the impact that the COVID-19 crisis is having on even the most well-established businesses. ePOS associates work to ensure every new client has ample opportunity to fully assess what they need, view demo videos, and review customer testimonials from your industry. No need to hide from hidden fees when, with talech, the best ePOS solution is clear.
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