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5 Essential Steps for Your Restaurant POS Launch Plan

Cover Image for cafe worker using restaurant pos system
By Tock Staff

Implementing or transitioning to a new POS system can feel overwhelming. We’ve got you covered with five must-follow steps to ensure a smooth and timely launch.

When you’re launching a new POS system for your restaurant, ensuring a smooth rollout is key. You’ve considered the options, talked to sales reps, sat through a few demos, and made your choice. Now, it’s time to make a plan and put it into action. We’ve compiled a helpful guide to launching your restaurant’s POS system and creating a seamless transition into this new phase. With these tips, you’ll be able to start seeing a return on this crucial investment as soon as it goes live.

Sketch out your timeline

It shouldn’t take more than a few weeks after getting demos from restaurant POS providers to go live with your new system. Discuss the estimated duration and any potential bottlenecks with your chosen provider. Whether you operate a single boutique café or manage a multi-location enterprise, aligning your launch timeline with other pre-launch activities like staff training and data migration will keep you on track.

Install the new system and input your data

Modern cloud-based POS systems are much easier to install than old-school hardwired terminals, so this step should be relatively straightforward. POS providers typically offer written guides, FAQs, and other resources for getting started and should be able to walk you through the steps over the phone or on a video call if need be.

Be sure to set aside adequate time as you’ll need to input everything from your open hours to the information that appears on receipts to menu items and inventory.

Once the hardware is in place, it’s time to log into the new system, set up your account, connect your bank, and upload your data. This is also an excellent time to integrate third-party apps, like Tock, to further enhance your restaurant’s operational efficiency.

Plan how you’ll roll out new features and promotions

Today’s robust POS systems offer various features and capabilities, from digital waitlists to email marketing. If your old POS didn’t include some of the features of your new system, think about how you can use those to improve the guest experience and operations for your team.

If you’re not ready to put all the bells and whistles of your new POS system in place at launch, that’s okay. You can phase in features like rewards programs or special promotions later.

Train staff on the new POS system

Once you’ve set up your restaurant’s new POS system, it’s time to train your staff on how to use it. Everyone on your team must learn and practice, from hosts and servers to the restaurant manager.

Let employees tap through menu categories, practice transactions, and get a look at any other functions they’ll need to perform through the system, like clocking in and out, managing reservations, or pulling reports. You’ll also want to go over troubleshooting steps so the team is ready to resolve any issues that arise post-launch.

Go live during your off-hours

When your staff feels comfortable with the new system, and you’ve got features like third-party integrations in place, it’s ready to use with real customers—but the best time to go live with your POS system is when your business is closed. Schedule a time to officially launch your restaurant’s POS after hours or on a day you’re not usually open. This will help your staff transition from the old system to the new one. It can also give you and your POS provider time to address any issues or bugs that might pop up.

That’s it—you’ve just launched a restaurant POS system! Expect to see ongoing benefits as you control your dining room more efficiently, increase covers, and watch your bottom line grow.

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