Everyone talks a good game, but you’d be surprised how many pizza point of sale vendors take shortcuts when it comes to quality. Unless you ask the right questions up front, you might end up paying your POS vendor for the privilege of testing their software for them. While it might sound like a lot of fancy words, when a restaurateur invests in their technology, it's vital that they be able to depend on it for the long haul.
The stakes have never been so high for independent restaurant operators. With the big three pizza chains waging a global technology war, you need the best pizza POS you can find, one that’s truly battle ready. Yet most pizza POS systems are based on out-of-date technology and, worse yet, technology totally incompatible with modern engineering and quality practices.
Modern software engineering practices put a huge emphasis on automated testing and continuous integration. Taken together, these practices ensure thousands of automated tests are run every day in response to the smallest code change. Even small changes in punctuation or formatting in source code will trigger a fully-automated regression test of the entire software package. Without these practices in place, software is tested by hand every few months, if at all. With modern engineering practices, the best point of sale systems are retested every time they change – meaning several times a day instead of several times a year.
Test-Driven Development has become a standard engineering practice in Silicon Valley and around the world. It’s a fancy term, but it essentially means that developers write the tests before they write the code. It guarantees that the developer’s code works and because the test is automated, it becomes part of a library of tests rerun every time the code is changed.
As you shop for a quality point of sale system, bear in mind that engineering practices like Automated Testing, Continuous Integration, and Test Driven Development are established practices at leading tech companies – not bleeding edge trends still awaiting widespread adoption. These days, it’s assumed that serious, professional software engineers will embrace and follow these practices.
Sadly, these practices are still awaiting widespread adoption in the pizza POS space. You can count the number of pizza POS vendors that actually practice Test Driven Development, Test Automation, and Continuous Integration on one hand, maybe even one finger. Even the big pizza chains – with their audacious press releases lauding their cutting edge technology – rarely follow these practices.
Luckily you don’t need to be an engineer to sniff out which vendors take quality seriously. When you’re shopping for a new point of sale system, just ask the vendor’s rep about whether these practices are followed. And never take their word for it. Make them prove it. Ask them what Continuous Integration platform they use. Reputable software companies are proud of their practices and will be happy to put real documentation behind their quality claims.
The search for the best pizza POS has long been a difficult one. The big companies with cutting edge technology usually overlook the pizza space in their pursuit of the larger restaurant business. But this is changing in recent years. Quality and modern engineering practices are finally trickling down to those of use in pizza business. You just have to know what questions to ask and where to look.
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