In a world that is more dependent than ever on technological innovation, the traditional Point of Sale (POS) cash register is becoming obsolete. Stationery card readers and basic registers may still serve their purpose in some industries — however, POS systems around the world are moving towards more advanced solutions — giving merchants better control, flexibility, and business insight. It’s no surprise that restaurant POS solutions are changing. After all, most businesses are turning to digital technology as a way of advancing their internal operations. Just like in any other industry, restaurant software is evolving, allowing restaurateurs to demand features that were unheard of a few decades ago. All-in-one systems for technology are replacing complex operations, allowing for better employee management, quicker customer service, and improved documentation. Following, we’ll cover just some of the ways in which restaurant POS systems are changing, and which features could define the future of restaurant POS.

The Evolution of Restaurant POS

The original restaurant POS systems that used computer technology were basic cash registers introduced in the mid-1970s. Revolutionary in their time, these POS systems could deliver orders to the kitchen and produce receipts for customers that allowed them to see the complete cost of their chosen meal. While these services remain a crucial part of any POS system today, new technology is allowing for POS systems to offer more convenience and benefit than ever before. Mobile POS and cloud computing combined with customer relationship management technology (CRM) have allowed restaurants to have easy access to management tools in a centralized dashboard. CRM enabled systems are capable of creating client records and email marketing lists through POS tills, allowing small businesses to extract valuable information from their recorded transactions. In other words, this all-in-one approach to POS and CRM means that everything from back-office operations like inventory management to front-office systems like waitlists and reservations can move through a singular streamlined process. Modern, integrated POS systems allow for restaurant employees to stay on the floor, and engaged with the customer, instead of running back and forwards between cash registers and kitchens, while customers receive relevant marketing, and brand opportunities. Modern restaurant POS systems are essential to any successful growth strategy.

Sleeker, Smarter Technology

Research conducted by the IHL group suggests that 78% of retailers are planning to make a new decision regarding mobile POS systems by the middle of 2016 – this data can apply to restaurants as well. The reason for this is that mobile modern point of sale systems allow for flexibility and convenience for retailers around the world. What’s more, mobile payments are easy to implement, as they can involve anything from POS tablets connected to a cloud-based payment system, to a portable card reader attached to tablets or smartphones through the necessary implementation of apps. Having a mobile POS system can save time within a restaurant environment by reducing the amount of trips a server has to make to a terminal. Guests can complete transactions on handheld tablets rather than having to wait for a server to collect their credit card and return to the table. The quicker customers can view their bill, tip their server, and have their receipt digitally delivered to their phone or email address the more customers the restaurant can serve in a night. Indeed, a number of companies are beginning to offer guests the option of completing payments and issuing tips through a downloaded app. This option eliminates the problem of waiting for a bill, and can move diners in and out of seats faster, for a more streamlined restaurant environment.

The Introduction of Cloud-based POS Systems

Modern restaurant POS systems offer restaurant owners access not only to the technology and documentation they need in order to run a viable business, but also the information they need to grow their consumer base. Indeed, with cloud technology, and the right system software, restaurants can use POS systems to learn:

  • Who their customers are
  • How much their customers are spending
  • What the bestselling meals and drinks are
  • Where the majority of their customers come from
  • How customers respond to deals and offers

For instance, the introduction of the cloud into POS management allows guests the ease of accessing gift cards and offers from their smartphone or tablet, while restaurant owners can have complete control over their business from anywhere, at any time. Observing a trend on a POS dashboard from the cloud could help restaurants to learn which times of the day see the most business for their food, and which days are the least profitable.

The Future of Restaurant POS

The restaurant POS environment is always changing, with new technology options appearing almost constantly. One factor that remains clear is that POS systems that provide a comprehensive system for managing customer relationships, business details, and payment options will form a vital part of a well-organized and streamlined restaurant system. As features continue to emerge, and technology updates, restaurant managers will pursue POS systems that offer the greatest amount of secure, actionable data. How do you plan to incorporate POS innovations into your business? What are some of the features you look forward to the most? Let us know in the comments.View our Case Studies to see the impact that technology can have on your business.