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Because technology can be expensive, it’s easy to think of any new system as a one-and-done purchase. You’ve installed a new POS system, so you can forget about it for a few years and shift to other needs, right? Actually, that’s a shortsighted approach. Even if you did just install a POS system, it makes good sense to invest in it on an ongoing basis for several reasons.

1. It’s the nerve center of your business. Nothing is cooked or sold and no dollar is earned until a customer’s order is entered into your POS system. Food preparation may begin long before you open your doors each day, but you’re not really “in business” until that first order is tapped into the system. Once that occurs, your POS controls everything else that takes place, instructing the staff on what each customer needs, managing payments, measuring performance, and even updating your inventory. The more powerful your POS, the better your business can operate.

2. Updates foster security. Your computers need to be updated regularly to protect against threats from cybercriminals through viruses and malware. Don’t assume that your POS system is immune to similar threats. After all, it’s a computer system, too. Criminals are constantly seeking ways to tap into businesses in the hopes of accessing their financial information or simply disrupting their operations. By keeping your POS technology up-to-date, you minimize the possibility that your business will become their next victim.

3. Keeps getting better. In terms of capabilities and reliability, POS systems have come a long way since they were introduced. As manufacturers upgrade their systems, they continue to improve. Based upon what they hear from franchisees, the manufacturers regularly add new capabilities and features. They identify and fix problem areas. If you don’t update, you’ll miss out on those improvements.

4. It takes a beating. Restaurants can present a hostile environment for often-delicate technology. Heat, steam, liquids, grease, cleaners … these and many other factors can wear your POS system out. Then there are employees, who aren’t always kind to the equipment they use. Replacing systems before they fall apart protects your business.

5. It’s your future. Your POS technology is just as important to the future of your franchise as your food prep equipment, your furniture, your signage, and every other physical component of your location. Just as you reinvest in those elements, you should keep this important piece of the puzzle in top condition. And if you’re not sure you have the capital on hand to do that, there are ways to obtain affordable financing by borrowing against your future cash flow.