The dreaded feeling of being without POS in the middle of a busy service is one that we wouldn’t wish on anyone. Certainly, our hospitality-based staff have all got a few war stories to trade about the moment a POS has dropped out after taking a large order on a busy night.
Having to troubleshoot when you have a busy venue is probably the last thing on your list on any given weekend, but has your venue done all it can to ensure optimal performance?
You’ve invested heavily in educating staff on food and wine, service as well as marketing and administration to give your customers the best experience possible. You should do the same thing for your POS.
All terminals require a connection to the system database, either on a server or on a terminal. These connections are either hardwired or wireless via a router.
After a great deal of field implementation of our software in various venues we’ve found a number of best practices to make sure that your system will be a constant throughout your services and won’t let you down.
Over the past months the team at ImPOS have been consulting to venues around the country about the best ways to bolster their POS against connection drop outs.
Ensure great cabling
Patch panelling and cabling is vital to make sure that communication between the database and terminals is established. Even the slightest damage to cables can cause a connection dropout. In the building or renovation stage of your venue asking the tradesman to run extra Cat 5 or 6 cables could save you in the future. The investment in making sure that your venues cabling is strong will mean you are less likely to suffer from connection dropouts. If your terminals, server and printers are hardwired then any connection dropout is easily identified and isolated. Keeping your cabling up to date, clearly labelled and neat and tidy will mean less chance of damage to your cabling and minimise your chance of drop outs.
Keep router information safe
If you are using wireless solution, the passwords and information are invaluable for our support staff and also for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) if you are changing providers. Changing the IP address of a router will cause a dropout immediately.
Keep your networks secure
In any venue there is a huge amount of signals at any given time – kitchen equipment, phones, even tramlines can interfere with your wireless network and cause disconnection. Other users of course will slow the network down. Removing any unnecessary traffic from your POS network will mean giving your network the best chance to perform well.
Commercial grade vs Consumer Grade
As consultants to venues, we have noticed a huge shift towards venues finding further service efficiencies to maximise customer experience and turnover. We are encouraging our venues to look at commercial grade hardware to bolster network performance and ensure strong connections throughout service periods.
Our advice to our latest venues has been to build strong and reliable service stations with hardwired terminals. Rather than furnishing venues with non-commercial tablet solutions to gain these efficiencies by ordering at a table, we’ve steered towards smaller commercial grade terminals with strong connections.
The commercial grade, environment specific hardware is built to work in a live venue while non commercial tablets are built as multi-purpose household and office tools. We have found that since tablets have become favoured by operators the experience of network connection dropouts has sometimes outweighed the efficiencies gained. Rather than relying on tablets as a total wireless solution for venues, our consultants are recommending that they are used as an addition for a wired commercial grade terminal solution.