The restaurant point-of-sale (POS) of today has been advancing by leaps and bounds and new, more compact tablet-based systems appear to be all the rage. Restaurateurs are seeking a POS that can deliver on many fronts, but is also easy to use. What are some of the top things to look for in the POS of today? Here are three main features:
Integration with other systems
The POS of today should integrate well with other systems that help grow a restaurant business. The POS should be able to process payments and in addition to that integrate with mobile payment features. Millennials, in particular, are fans of mobile payments and that number is expected to grow over the coming years. A study by TD Bank in 2017 found that over 30 percent of restaurateurs surveyed acknowledge mobile-friendly pin pads (accepting Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.) are the most important feature of a restaurant POS.
Integration with loyalty programs is also important, as they are a great way to encourage additional business and capture & store data to better understand and market to customers. Many POS systems have built-in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools to help manage customer data; this can then be integrated with your loyalty providers’ systems.
According to the TD Bank study, 47 percent of respondents found their POS system makes the payment process faster, followed by more convenient and organized (25 percent). Integration with off-site cloud storage and because of mobile architecture, most of these have off-site, encrypted cloud storage. It goes without saying that restaurant owners and operators are interested in mobile POS systems and high of that list of reasons is the ability to archive and access customer data in the cloud.
In fact, a Forrester Research survey, commissioned by Revel iPad systems, a mobile point-of-sale vendor operating in the area, found that the vast majority of respondents say this is a must-have feature of their POS system, with over 80 percent reporting that the opportunity to collect new and expanded insights on customers, operations, and products influenced their decisions to implement tablet-based systems.
POS ease of use
Ease of use is a top feature that restaurateurs look for when purchasing a POS. It should be easy enough to operate and for users to train others on the system. This is an imperative in a high-turnover industry. As an additional layer and challenge, restaurants rely on fast transactions to get customers through the line quickly, thus helping retain their loyalty. Whether it be a quick-service chain or a fine-dining restaurant, when the customer is ready to check out, that should be an efficient and reliable process, so ease of use is critical.
Take, for example, Gusto POS. It uses conversational ordering, as it calls it, to help make it easier to use its system and also train others on the system. Gusto has received positive reviews since arriving on the scene and the team is very energetic and conversational. In addition to the ease of use, it’s also easy to consider the platform as a replacement to current systems because restaurants would be able to keep their current merchant processor, as it will work with the Gusto POS platform.
This is a good segue to another reality in today’s competitive environment: The restaurant POS of today should have the capability to process mobile transactions or work with payment processors that are committed to upgrades that enable current and future iterations of payment processing.
Millennials, in particular, appreciate mobile payments. According to a global study by Oracle Hospitality analyzing payments of any generational group and reported by Fast Casual, 29 percent of U.S. millennials reported already having paid with a mobile device, but 44 percent expressed a desire to do so.
When payment processing is integrated into the POS itself, then that solution should be scalable so that as technology changes, new mobile technology options are handled, including Apple Pay, Google Pay and many others. According to the TD Bank study, 85 percent of restaurant professionals believe mobile payment and loyalty offerings would help market their business to attract and retain millennial customers. TD Bank’s Clover solution is also a top POS solution with name-brand recognition, particularly in the Northeast and New England.
Author credit: Eric Nomis
Photo credit: Revel Systems