5 Steps To Launching a Powerful Restaurant POS System

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CONTENTS


  • Chapter 1: Navigating Transformation
  • Chapter 2: Challenges
  • Chapter 3: The Customer Journey
  • Chapter 4: Roles and Teams
  • Chapter 5: Best Practices
  • Chapter 6: Case Studies
  • Chapter 7: The Onboarding Manifesto
  • About PAR

CHAPTER 1

 


NAVIGATION
TRANSFORMATION


 

 

Onboarding and Deployment are integral steps in the Customer Journey. What happens after the sale and ahead of full-scale operations is of great interest to us at PAR.

Based on our extensive experience serving multi-unit operators nationally and internationally, we understand the general challenges to technology deployment, as well as issues that are specific to the implementation of Brink POS software for food retailers. An additional level of complexity in the food and dining segment involves franchisees.

When our Sales team engages, we dive deep into customer requirements. This approach prepares PAR to better understand our customer’s culture, desired outcome, and challenges specific to their environment.

This allows our team to define the solutions and services that will help our customers achieve success.

We typically find that larger legacy software providers lack flexibility in this critical step, taking a “one size fits all” approach that does not adapt to the nuances of food retailer needs and culture. The emerging software players don’t yet have the experience to guide a customer through the process of assessing complexity and risk, to ensure the solution and deployment plan address the reality of the operator’s environment.

What makes PAR different is our unique combination of experience, longevity, and adaptability.

No two restaurant concepts are exactly alike. Very rarely does one deployment approach fit all the needs of a brand or more than one. There are, of course, standard approaches and best practices, processes that PAR’s operations follow, but we do not seek to shoehorn our customers into an ill-fitting approach or plan. At the core, our best practices are in discovery, accurate scoping, and thorough communication.

This document exists to provide an overview of PAR’s methodology and philosophy on bringing new members into the PAR family, starting with a solution build with the goal of deploying that solution to dozens, hundreds, and even thousands, of stores.

consumer handing their credit card to a cashier

CHAPTER 2

 


CHALLENGES


 

 

Onboarding benefits from the conversations and information received in prior phases.

As you can see in the graphic to the right, Onboarding occurs early in the Customer Journey. Onboarding benefits from the conversations and information received in prior phases, and it builds iteratively from the later phases of implementation and pilot prior to final sign-off.

In our view, Onboarding never completely ends. There will always be the need to communicate with new customers and third-party vendors who join the program later, via store expansion, acquisition or upgrade.

THERE ARE THREE LEVELS OF CUSTOMER IN FOOD RETAILER ONBOARDING:

  • Corporate Customer
  • Franchisee
  • Food Retailer Guest

Chef Pouring Soup

PAR understands that a thoughtful Onboarding process is the key to providing value to each of these customers.

By guiding the Corporate customer through both solution design and deployment planning, using PAR’s experience to assist in planning for the franchisee experience and ultimate guest experience, our clients achieve maximum value from their investments.

The most common software deployment issues involve coordination and communication across multiple stakeholders and locations, which could be in the dozens, hundreds or even thousands.

Now add in the variable of franchisees, entities that are one step removed from the way a corporate store is managed. While a franchise agreement will define the terms of engagement, there are still cultural considerations. Buy-in from franchisee stakeholders is key.

PAR understands that a thoughtful Onboarding process is the key to providing value to each of these customers.

By guiding the Corporate customer through both solution design and deployment planning, using PAR’s experience to assist in planning for the franchisee experience and ultimate guest experience, our clients achieve maximum value from their investments.

The most common software deployment issues involve coordination and communication across multiple stakeholders and locations, which could be in the dozens, hundreds or even thousands.

Now add in the variable of franchisees, entities that are one step removed from the way a corporate store is managed. While a franchise agreement will define the terms of engagement, there are still cultural considerations. Buy-in from franchisee stakeholders is key.

In one deployment example, a 1,300-store brand in the fast-casual segment, the restaurant was such a new concept most franchisees had never placed POS equipment into their existing stores. In this engagement, it was critical for PAR to work closely with the corporate IT team to ensure the franchisee’s expectations were set properly and their responsibilities were clearly understood throughout the store-level implementation.

Conversely, aging stores represent a different set of challenges. Older infrastructure may increase the cost of the solution, as low voltage cabling often comes into play. Many POS software vendors do not provide low voltage cabling services. Even fewer conduct the permit research process that is required by law. Oftentimes in older, existing locations, additional technology must be refreshed to future-proof the solution. The scope of the project quickly moves from replacing the front of house software to a full technology refresh. The resources, experience, and tools to manage multiple vendors and requirements can be daunting.

The pace of deployment can also be problematic. What if some locations are ready and others are not? This brings up consistency for brands when one store is running the new software and a nearby location is still running the old system. It will not only be confusing for staff, but also for guests.

THERE IS NO “COOKIE-CUTTER” APPROACH FOR ONBOARDING. THERE IS NO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL WHEN DESIGNING AN IMPLEMENTATION.

In terms of alignment, our initial focus is on product and service delivery, care and support, operations, and information technology as the most important functional groups during deployment.

CHAPTER 3


THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY AT PAR


 

 

Onboarding image

Sales and Customer Success teams work together to ensure that the customer is a proper fit for PAR and our solutions. PAR Technology knows that the first step to a successful deployment is a meaningful onboarding process. The five phases below are a standard pathway we have developed and perfected from our numerous software deployment engagements.

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PHASE 1

SALES DISCOVERY


 

During the Sales Discovery process, the Sales and Customer Success teams work together to ensure that PAR and our solutions meet all customer needs.

As the client moves through the steps of this phase, the requirements and expectations of the client and PAR’s ability to support are formalized and documented. The services and resources required to support the desired schedule and solution are agreed to.

In this phase, the Sales Team will:

1. Ensure PAR Solutions Meet Customer Needs

2. Assess Customer Engagement and Resources

3. Understand Customer Ecosystem and Full Technology Solution

4. Explore Desired Schedule and Approach for Deployment

5. Document the Customer’s Desired Support Experience

 


PHASE 2

CORE ONBOARDING


During the Core Onboarding Phase, the PAR Customer Success engages directly with the client to continue discovery efforts to refine the solution and the project plan.

The exact work in this phase is dependent upon the needs of the client, but typically includes Menu Build, Database Import, Operational Consultation, and Brink POS system training. This phase completes with formal approval of the Project Plan, Menu Build, and Training.

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PHASE 3 

PILOT


 

The Pilot Phase is the opportunity for the PAR and client teams to assess the solution in a live environment. The specifics of the Pilot phase are determined by the PAR and client teams in terms of entrance criteria for this phase, store count, and services provided during this phase.

The approach to the Pilot phase is discussed during Sales Discovery. The goal of this phase is to achieve an approved solution in a live environment and meet any additional success criteria as established in the Project Plan.

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PHASE 4 

PILOT


 

The Deployment Phase includes the PAR and client teams monitoring and controlling the deployment of the solution across the client’s site base according to the project plan.

The PAR Implementation Services team provides services that include deployment schedule management, store-level onboarding, and discovery to ensure each store has a positive experience receiving their new POS technology, low voltage cabling and permit research, and of course, installation of the point of sale system.


PHASE 5

ONGOING OPERATIONS

AND SUPPORT


 

The Pilot Phase is the opportunity for the PAR and client teams to assess the solution in a live environment. The specifics of the Pilot phase are determined by the PAR and client teams in terms of entrance criteria for this phase, store count, and services provided during this phase.

The approach to the Pilot phase is discussed during Sales Discovery. The goal of this phase is to achieve an approved solution in a live environment and meet any additional success criteria as established in the Project Plan.

CHAPTER 4

 


ROLES AND TEAM


 

 

PAR assigns projects based on complexity and volume, but all customers will meet the same PAR team members on their journey. Key team members include the pre-sales engineer, project manager, and solutions architect.

The Pre-Sales Engineer ensures the
solution – hardware and software – meets
each client’s current needs and accounts for
future vision. This team member will perform
product demos and consult on what is
possible.
A Project Manager works with each client
team to design a project plan to ensure a
functioning ecosystem for the customer while
implementing best practices and aligning
both PAR and the customer for success.
The Solutions Architect builds the menu
and database, works with the client to design
the workflow, sets up all integrations and
prepares the Lab environment for testing.
They also train the client on how to own the
solution moving forward.

CHAPTER 5


ONBOARDING AND

DEPLOYMENT

BEST PRACTICES


 

 

1. Understanding of Why

Successful deployments begin with a message from the corporate entity on rationale, or the reason “why”. The corporate team should explain to employees and franchisees the motivation behind the change, including a clear explanation of the goal.

A software deployment is not only a remedy to fix a technology or operational problem, it can also create enhanced capabilities and conditions for increased revenue and profitability.

2. Carefully Constructed Choices for Franchisees

When a project is mandated, not all franchisees will embrace the solution. franchisees need to fully understand what their choices are, and what is required. Most frequently, the options come in the form of support choices.

It is important for franchisees to be allowed to make choices about what services best fit their operations. PAR’s portfolio of services offerings makes this possible.

Restaurant POS Guide

CHAPTER 6

 


ONBOARDING AND

DEPLOYMENT

CASE STUDIES


 

National Dessert Retailer

900 Stores in 3 Months

The implementation involved simple configurations, with self-installation. The scope included software change, operational change and choice of support model.

We converted our manufacturing floor into a premier store-specific operation and created a training video for franchisees. The fast pace and complex process required strict rules of engagement, which we communicated in an Implementation Statement of Work.


National Quick Serve Restaurant

2000 Stores in 9 Months

This brand has a powerful franchisee base, which required a high touch during the Sales process. With our customer, we created a joint communications effort to tag-team on franchisee questions and concerns. There were few configuration differences and no software change.


National Fast Casual Brand

1300 Stores in 36+ Months

Despite a simple configuration and “cookie-cutter” stores, most franchisees for this new concept had never put POS equipment into an existing store. Multiple vendors created challenges, as did false starts with telecom vendors.

We relied on clear communication with our customer on Vendor Escalation Path, and we created a staging facility to mimic the on-site experience and reduce install times. Some rework was involved to meet franchisee needs.


Entertainment/Restaurant Chain

240 Centers in 13 Weeks

This project involved large configurations, with 20+ terminals per location and multiple drop shipments. There were no franchisees but implementation occurred midway through a corporate acquisition. The customer needed massive operational changes due to the new software. We conducted morning installations followed by two days of training and support. A strong operational team communicated the changes and the WHY. A strong customer PMO coordinated Multiple Vendors. A unique, fast and successful deployment.


Regional Fast Casual Restaurant

62 Stores in 120 Days

This Brink POS software customer asked for a unified system that would allow them to manage system operations (12 corporate stores, 50 franchisees) centrally from headquarters. Equally important was an integrated POS that incorporated unit reporting, a loyalty program, and online ordering.

The deployment ran in parallel with another corporate technology initiative, the switchover to a new merchant card processor. The Brink POS Software team also developed a hardware change kit, providing flexibility for franchise owners during the retrofit. The smooth and rapid deployment took one quarter of the time that the customer expected. They attributed the speed in the Brink POS software deployment to PAR’s hardware legacy and deep restaurant industry experience.

 

CHAPTER 7

 


THE ONBOARDING

MANIFESTO


 

 

1.
Onboarding and Deployment are not an afterthought,
they are the keys to full solution adoption.

2.
Onboarding starts in the Sales phase, not after.
It is never too early to understand the full breadth of customer requirements.

3.
Both the Corporate customer and the franchisee
are deserving of full attention and communication.

4.
The “Why” must be articulated and communicated to everyone involved, including third party vendors
and franchisees. What is the desired business outcome for the brand?

5.
Defined roles are essential, including team alignment.
Experienced POS vendors will advise customers on what roles and decision points
are needed on each project.

6.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to solution design and deployment.
Continual improvement is required during a project to ensure the best outcome and response to project nuances.

7.
A Change Management plan is essential.
Operations representatives must be involved in the project to ensure technology decisions support the
goals of the organization at the store level.

8.
A guest advocate is essential, so the Guest end-user
experience is represented across all touchpoints.

9.
Onboarding and Deployment do not occur in isolation. There will be other technology and
corporate initiatives at play during this part of the customer journey.
Change should be expected and flexibility built-in to the Onboarding methodology.

10.
Best practices are woven into our standard approach and methodology, but it doesn’t stop there.
Continuous improvement means we are always learning from installations and seeking new
refinements from inside and outside the food retail segment.

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