Point of Sale and the Cloud

The biggest trends everyone seems to be talking about are Big Data and The Cloud.

Both concepts are not new in the technology world, however, the buzzwords are getting thrown around a lot recently by companies offering web-based reporting and point of sale to restaurants and bars.

Still a little fuzzy on what these two terms mean? Check out our other posts on The Cloud and Big Data to learn more.

If a POS system was 100% cloud-based, you would not be able to utilize it when your internet goes down. So instead, most point of sale companies that market themselves as cloud-based have built solutions that allow you to operate offline. In most cases, data is always stored somewhere locally before being sent across the internet to a remote data storage facility.

Most major point of sale systems currently have the capabilities for their data to be accessed in one way or another from the web. FOCUS, for instance, has MyFocus Central that provides real-time web reporting, manager log, and a mobile application for quick access from your phone. The newest addition to the MyFocus Suite is MyFocus Office, which allows you to manage your menu and employees directly from a web portal.

So then, what are the major differences between systems marketed as cloud-based and those typically thought of as “legacy”? The biggest difference is the pricing model.

Subscription-based services make sense for start-ups that don’t have a lot of capital, however, over time the cost adds up meaning you end up putting more of an investment into technology than if you outright purchased the whole system up front (and you never own it, you literally pay for it forever).

Our team introduced FOCUSCloud this year so businesses could have the best of both worlds. This monthly subscription service gets you a stable on-premises point of sale system along with cloud-based services such as reporting, online ordering, gift cards, loyalty rewards, remote management and 24/7 helpdesk support. We even have options for subscription hardware to dramatically reduce your upfront cost.

What can Big Data do for restaurants and bars?

For years businesses have been able to pull reporting to analyze sales, inventory, financials and labor. The benefit to this data being in the cloud is not just the quick access to this reporting, it is the ability to use all of the data together for broader trend watching using AI and advanced analysis. This reporting on steroids will allow business owners and operators to make faster and more informed decisions.

The cloud, big data, and all other subscription-based services help augment point of sale to take your business to the next level.

Reach out to a FOCUS Solution Consultant to take advantage of these solutions.

Visiting the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo? Meet with our team in booth 1121 to talk about all things cloud.

The Ins and Outs of a Cloud POS Solution

What is the cloud and why does your restaurant need a cloud POS solution? We’re glad you asked. First, let’s take the mystery out of what the cloud is, exactly. The cloud is, in its simplest form, a virtual space on the internet. When data is accessed through the internet instead of off a local server in the back of one of your restaurants, it’s considered to be in the cloud.

Second, of course you can function without a cloud POS solution BUT there are so many benefits to the cloud versus an on-premises point of sale system that it makes good business sense to make the move in that direction.

Cloud POS Benefits

  • Instant access to your data from any mobile device including smartphones, tablets and laptops. This means you can monitor what’s happening in your restaurant from anywhere.
  • Information is constantly backed up and secure. When you have a cloud POS system the onus is on the software vendor to store, secure and backup your data so that is never lost or compromised.
  • Working within the cloud means that you are automatically running the very latest software release.

In the end the cloud is whatever — and wherever — you need it to be. For fast casual, table service or delivery restaurants the cloud can be a point of sale system that makes running the business side of your operations infinitely easier.

The Pros and Cons of a Cloud POS

When you consider a cloud POS solution though, there are some cons that you need to address. The main — and most important one — is internet access. If your cloud POS solution is dependent on an internet connection, you should also have a solid Plan B for when the internet goes out. Think about how frustrating it is when your credit card machine is offline and the havoc that can wreak. Times that by ten when your whole point of sale is out of commission because you can’t connect to the internet.

Luckily, Focus POS California has recognized the benefits of the cloud and combined them with the benefits of a traditional point of sale. FocusCloud is the perfect marriage of cloud based technology and on-premises reliability. You get the best of both worlds. You get the instant access to data from any mobile device, you get the peace of mind knowing your data is backed up at all times, and you can stop worrying about upgrades and updates to your software.

Plus, FOCUS is structured it so you can operate offline as well. The internet going out is not a catastrophic event. On top of all that you get near zero downtime. If your primary station goes down, we shift to the next available one allowing you to continue normal operations

Before you think that you can’t afford to have your cake and eat it too with FocusCloud, check out our pricing structure and then get in touch with us to schedule a demo.