Business owners know how much a restaurant and retail differ in sales, customer experience, employee management, and countless other variables. Therefore it makes sense that a point of sale system built for retail will not exactly offer everything that a restaurant, or even a quick service restaurant, needs from a business standpoint. In lieu of the demand for an exclusive cloud-based restaurant POS system, Vivonet has provided a solution to satisfy these needs. Vivonet spent no time coming up with a fancy name for it and simply labeled their POS system, “Restaurant POS”. This POS systems differs from many of the other POS companies that we’ve covered because it is solely dedicated to catering to restaurants alone, rather than attempting to be a jack-of-all-trades type of POS. Serving the restaurant POS industry since 2005, Vivonet has been around longer than many of the other cloud-based POS brands and was nominated in 2011 as one of the fastest growing tech companies in the North America region. Thriving for 9 years in the volatile tech industry, as well as winning a handful of business nominations awards, is indeed impressive and certainly no easy feat! So we’ll answer this pressing question that you, as a restaurant-owner, are asking yourself: is it worth using this POS service simply because they only focus on the restaurant industry? Let’s find out in our evaluative point of sale review of Vivonet’s Restaurant POS.
Who Should Use Vivonet’s Restaurant POS?
Again, Restaurant POS only caters to restaurants and not retailers. Although Vivonet has done a great job of catering to all the various types of restaurants and food establishments in need of a strong POS system:
- Limited Service Restaurants
- Full Service Restaurants
- Food Service Contractors
- Chain Restaurants
- Food Trucks and Carts
Whether you’re the manger of Joe’s Crab Shack, or the sole owner and chef of an organic burrito truck, Vivonet’s Restaurant POS is capable of serving your food establishment.
Fees & Pricing
Unfortunately Vivonet lists no official pricing for their POS systems and services. Restaurants owners must fill out their consultation form in order to receive individual pricing. According to third party review websites, Restaurant POS’ pricing rated as “average” as compared to others. Vivonet’s Restaurant POS also claims to have “no hidden fees”, “easy and low cost deployment” and is “easy and inexpensive to maintain”.
Credit Card Processors
As of 2012, Vivonet offers merchants the option to choose from a decent amount of payment solution providers that process credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and even student campus cards (linked to colleges and universities) :
- Chase Paymentech
- BNA Smart Payments
- Global Payments
- Mercury Payments
- First Data
- Intuit Merchant Services
The Restaurant POS Sale system boasts a plethora of appealing features that can enhance the functionality of a restaurant. Beginning with the notion that the POS system runs on the cloud, the software is accessible from anywhere at any time. Vivonet’s cloud network automatically stores all of the important data for your restaurant on the internet. The ability to track categorize your data on the cloud network allows for easy analysis, which can lead to saving money and cutting costs on expenditures that would otherwise go unnoticed. For those weary about storing all data and functions on the cloud network, Vivonet can still function without internet using the “offline manager” to continue running the store and storing/accessing all the pertinent data. Additionally, their cloud network follows the highest security standards to ensure that customer transactions and information are protected.
Vivonet also offers applications that make ordering and payment much easier for customers. Their “Kiosk” application is a nifty self-serving POS application that runs on the iPad. Using the Kiosk app, customers can use a mobile device (provided by the restaurant) to order and pay themselves (using the attached card reader) in addition to having employees making transaction with the regularly operating POS system. In addition Vivonet offers ordering and pick-up applications specifically branded to the restaurant, that are available to any customers using a mobile device. The application also allows customers to post their orders and purchases directly to social media, directly boosting both CRM and organizational branding. Vivonet clearly accounts for Customer Relationship Management in the aforementioned applications. The Restaurant POS system also offers customer reward programs, encouraging more frequent purchases.
As a point of sales system, Restaurant POS lets you manage employees by recording hours, payroll, etc. This information can then be sent via text message or email, making for direct and effective internal communication. Vivonet emphasizes their Big Data feature as a major advantage to using their service. Depicting key trends in sales and inventory, your information can become even more effective with the utilization of their Industry Insights team, who will help contextualize how to improve overall performance and profit. In addition to reports, Vivonet can provide your business with custom infographics, market trend forecasts, and direct data feeds.
Ease of Use & POS Interface
Here is where I found that the Restaurant POS differs from others. They allow for a multitude of user interfaces and user experiences, based on your type of restaurant, due to their implementation of various technologies. The interface of the POS system itself is fairly simple to learn and offers more than standard retail POS interfaces. It allows for necessary sales options such as splitting checks, restaurant seating management, tipping, etc. Vivonet offers helpful Training Guides that teach managers and employees how to set up and use the systems. Like most POS systems, it takes a little while to play around with before it become second nature.
Again there are various other interfaces to consider other than just the POS system, such as the Kiosk and mobile applications. Once set up they are easy more than sufficient enough to provide great customer experiences.
Vivonet offers great customer service, plain and simple. Whether it’s having experts create infographics and insightful reports to detail your organization’s growth, or helping you get over a simple problem with the POS software, the customer service covers it. In regards to first setting up the Restaurant POS, Vivonet representatives are available to walk you through the entire process. Their Professional Services support are available to every subscribing customer and include:
- Custom Menu Adaptation
- Database Optimization
- Rush Services
- Customized Project Management
- Integrated Credit Services
- Kitchen Display Planning
Although, Vivonet does not specify whether these services are included for free or cost extra. The company offers 24/7 phone support that’s available every day of the year, boasting “an average hold time of 2 minutes and 30 seconds”. Vivonet even gives their customers 3 year warranties on their POS terminals!
POS Software and Hardware Compatibility
- Every Vivonet POS system comes with your choice two different POS touch screen terminals
- HP RP78
- Partnertech SP1000
- Tablet POS (optional)
- Restaurant-specific, HP ElitePad 900
- Peripherals: printers, cash drawers, routers, and scales offered, but not specified
- These can be customized to fit an organization’s specific needs
- Cloud-based System
- Offline Back-up
- Access on mobile devices
- Fantastic customer support
- Mobile applications and “Kiosk”
- Restaurant specific POS System
- Big Data Insights
- Professional services to help grow business
- Great CRM functionality
- No official pricing
- Must request invoice
- Must have the touch screen terminal
- Restaurant specific software
- Only supports the iPad
- No specification on compatible peripherals
Vivonet’s Restaurant POS is a strong candidate for someone looking into a point of sale system specifically geared towards restaurants. It’s biggest strength lies within the auxiliary technology: the Kiosk and mobile applications. These two features allow for restaurant owners to vastly improve their customer relationship management and increase overall sales. Otherwise, the actual POS software used by the employees to complete transactions is standard compared to those in the restaurant POS industry. Drawing from this information, I think Vivonet’s product is more beneficial to restaurants looking to build a customer base, rather than a restaurant that is already an established and thriving organization. In order to improve its appeal to all restaurant owners, Vivonet needs to make an available pricing list.