Brand Specific POS’s: Perfectly tailored for the franchisee or the corporate office?

23rd December 2013
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Brand specific Point of Sale (POS) systems* are becoming more and more common. In some cases, they are a custom flavor of an existing POS, like PAR’s Subway product. In others, like Little Caesar’s CaesarVision they are a more custom, in-house solution.

At the same time, the relationship between franchisors and franchisees has become more complex. So when brands roll-out their own POS solutions, some restaurant owners may be hesitant to adopt them.

Common (real and perceived) concerns include:

  • Corporate is using this as another way to extract fees from franchisees
  • The system isn’t as well supported or robust as a more well known, brand-neutral POS’s like Micros, NCR or IBM
  • Corporate will use the data they access against franchisees in future negotiations
  • Training staff (and management) on a new POS will be time consuming and expensive
  • New capital costs like hardware purchases will be required (and the service contracts related to that hardware may be substantial)
  • For franchisees who own restaurants under multiple brands, data may no longer be accessible under a single POS vendor’s cloud dashboard. Learn more about an alternative solution here.
  • No benefit for an existing franchise owner, as their current POS already performs the same tasks

So why would anyone want a corporate POS?

  • The customization is already done. You sell “Bob’s Ribstickers” good news, those are already programmed into the system in all three sizes
  • Reporting back to head office is easy. Owners generally don’t have to create special reports, they are likely already pre-loaded. In some cases the regular reporting required by head office might submit itself overnight on a weekly basis, saving time and stress.
  • The price is right. In some cases brands charge a fee for their branded POS. However, in others the cost may be free, financed for new franchises or built into existing franchise fees
  • Gift card processing may be pre-configured and built-it
  • Franchisees (and head office) can more easily compare their performance against other locations within the chain

Not every brand provides a single POS option to their franchisees. For many brands, their are multiple options that are approved, sometimes by the corporate office itself or sometimes by a franchise buyer group like Subway’s Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC).  In these cases, there may be two or more approved options that are already customized for a brand. This allows flexibility on the part of the franchisee to choose the system that best fits their budget, store size and on-premises service/support needs . Often though, having more than one customized POS option to choose from is a luxury afforded to franchisees of larger brands.

What type of Point of Sale system do you use and what are your thoughts on it? Let us know below.

*Disclosure: LiveLenz software is Point of Sale (POS) agnostic. However, we are a Franchise Technologies Inc (FTI) reseller.

Chief Operating Officer at LIVELENZ. Greg began working part-time in restaurants when he was 15 and continued in the industry for a decade. He then began working for technology companies developing a passion for improving operational efficiencies at fast-growing organizations.

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