A POS system is not a one-time purchase. While a regular support subscription will keep your software up to date, other costs are inevitable. The trick is learning the maintenance tricks that help put off hardware failures and avoid associated data loss entirely. You already have a maintenance schedule in place for your ovens (right?).
As a restaurant operator, you are always looking for ways to cut costs and increase profit. There are significant costs associated with running a restaurant—from the unavoidable costs of doing business to the investments you make to ensure the longevity of your business. A point of sale system is that kind of an investment. But the lifetime cost of your POS depends largely on how well you maintain it. Regular maintenance will extend the life of your POS life...and in the end, you’ll spend a lot less.
Think about it.
Your POS isn’t a one-time purchase. Computers eventually die—and it doesn’t always matter how new your computer is. In a bar or restaurant, POS systems are used up to 7 days a week for more than 18 hours a day in an environment where there is moisture, heat, and grease. That's a lot of demand on your hardware.
But with some simple routine maintenance, you can extend the life of your POS.
Back it up, you’ll thank me later.
Data back ups are like an insurance policy for the information stored in your POS. With SpeedLine HotBackup, your POS database and selected files are backed up automatically all throughout the day. You can also customize your backup for by adding files to the list. Your data is priceless, so protecting it should be a priority.
Keep it clean!
POS terminals can easily accumulate grime and grease, but by routinely wiping them down you are removing buildup that can eat away at their shelf life. On your CRT touch screens, use a glass cleaner -- but avoid any containing ammonia. Spray the glass cleaner on a clean cloth or towel first; don’t spray it directly on the screen. Inside your computer, dust can pile up and cause overheating. Clean your computers at least twice a year. Remove buildup from finger sensors easily with a piece of clear tape. Same goes for your printers: by wiping them down inside and out, you could save yourself costly repairs down the road.
Use your finger, not a pen.
I can’t tell you how much it makes me cringe when I am dining out and I see a server using a pen to tap in orders. Touch screens are sensitive, and react to the pressure being applied. Keep servers aware and encourage them to leave those pens in their pockets.
The first step in troubleshooting virtually any piece of electronic equipment is to power it off and restart. Yet many restaurants keep their POS systems running round the clock for months at a time, often not noticing when performance begins to degrade. But while turning off your stations at night may seem like the right thing to do, if you have routine tasks scheduled at night for things like upgrades or reporting, they won’t work without power. So set yourself a regular monthly task to restart the system. And if you notice unexplained issues such as printer queue or networking errors, restart more often.
Help keep a lid on operational expenses by taking care of your technology investment. What other maintenance do you do to extend the life of your POS?
Care for your system.
Regular disk maintenance will help keep your POS running fast and prevent errors. This simple step-by-step tutorial for SpeedLine users shows you how to run disk error checking and defragment your hard drives. Schedule this monthly, or any time you notice problems with the system running slower than usual, if a power outage forces a shutdown, or if you’ve been doing a lot of file downloads, deleting, or installing new software.
Looking for maintenance tips for other hardware? Read Prolonging the Life of Your POS & POS Maintenance: Extend the Life of Your POS Terminal.
Posted on Thu, Oct 27, 2011 @ 14:10 PM.
Updated on August 24, 2020 @ 6:07 PM PST.