For those in the restaurant industry, effective use of point of sale systems can have a transformational effect. However, to get the most from restaurant POS systems, it is important to develop an understanding of the associated trends. In this article, you can learn about existing and upcoming trends and how they impact restaurants and their customers.

Quick Menu

What is a POS System?

A POS system otherwise referred to as a point of sale system, is an electronic software system, which allows users to process payments, track sales data, and access other important information. With this in mind, restaurant POS systems serve as a means of processing orders and payments within restaurant settings.

One of the core differences between a POS system and a more conventional cash register is the integration with wider company data and the automation that is on offer. This allows sales data, revenue information, inventory levels, and other relevant information to be updated automatically, as orders are made, and as payments are processed.

Many newer solutions tend to be cloud-based, providing compatibility with a wider range of devices.

Restaurant POS Systems and Their Benefits

One of the biggest benefits associated with restaurant POS systems is their versatility. Using a device with access to POS software, it is possible for restaurant staff to do everything from printing food orders for kitchen staff, to creating bills for customers, and processing credit card, debit card, mobile wallet, and cash payments.

At the same time, the POS system can help to aid communication between different areas of the restaurant. For instance, each order can feed information in real-time, so that inventory levels are automatically tracked. In many cases, POS systems can also handle restaurant reservations too.

Going further, some of the best systems include built-in analytics and even marketing features. Meanwhile, cloud-based solutions have aided portability, allowing payments to be easily processed using tablets or smartphones, and allowing remote access to data. Therefore, the systems are core restaurant technology, rather than simple payment systems.

Latest Trends in Restaurant POS Systems

It is important for those in charge of restaurants to gain a clear sense of the latest restaurant technology trends and the trends associated with restaurant POS systems are a good example of this. Below, you can find out more about the ways POS systems are being used by restaurants and similar businesses in the food and beverages industry.

Self-Ordering

For many restaurants, self-ordering has been one of the biggest trends of recent times and restaurant POS systems can help to facilitate this. Using these systems, it is possible to set up a process where customers place their orders themselves, cutting waiting times while avoiding issues where employees get their orders wrong.

The most common approach to self-ordering is through a website. Here, visitors can go to the website’s order page, place their order and pay for it via credit card, debit card, or a service like PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay. This can streamline the dining experience, while also assisting restaurants that offer a takeaway service.

A good alternative to this is through a mobile app. The app can be made available for free through the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and QR codes can be provided in the restaurant to make this easier. From there, it functions much like the website, with a menu, and the ability to place and pay for orders. Apps can also add to the personalisation component by allowing users to save orders or favourite meals for future use.

Finally, the third main type of self-ordering within the restaurant industry occurs via kiosks placed in the restaurant. These are ideal for fast food or casual restaurants and allow users to skip queues and customise their orders more easily. Kiosks also provide great opportunities for selling extras and promoting special offers.

In all cases, the self-ordering system connects up with other aspects of the restaurant POS system.

Video: Are self-order kiosks a good idea for restaurants?

Mobile Point-of-Sale

A major trend that those involved with restaurant management need to be aware of is the rise of mobile POS systems. These systems are designed to work on smartphones, or on similar portable devices, such as tablets and iPads.

When using mobile POS systems, staff are afforded greater flexibility, while customers have more opportunities to pay. It can speed up restaurant operations too, reducing wait times for customers and potentially allowing restaurants to sit more guests each day. Setup is generally extremely quick and easy, although steps do need to be taken to guarantee the security of mobile POS systems and to inspire trust in customers.

A good example of mobile POS software is mPOS. With this solution, you simply download the mPOS app, connect your card reader to the mobile device the software has been installed on, and you can process payments. The system is cloud-based, meaning data is continually updated and saved, but an internet connection is required at all times.

Mobile POS software is available for both Android and iOS devices.

Cashless Restaurants

A growing trend within various aspects of the hospitality industry, including restaurants, has been the trend of going cashless. Some restaurants have stopped accepting paper notes and coins, while others have taken steps to actively discourage their use in favour of cards, mobile wallets, and online payments.

There are a number of key benefits associated with going cashless too. Avoiding the use of physical money is more hygienic and this was an especially significant consideration at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, electronic payments can be tracked more easily, which offers safety and security advantages. It can also offer businesses protection against break-ins and theft because there is no money on-site.

Restaurant POS systems make the transition to cashless fairly simple and although some restaurants hesitate to put obstacles in the way of customers, most customers simply want a clear process, which is explained beforehand, and which works as seamlessly as possible. A good restaurant POS system can certainly deliver this.

For employees, the move towards cashless restaurants can help them to feel safer in the workplace, because they are less vulnerable to threats like burglaries, and because they are less likely to get the blame for cash-related errors. Additionally, the move can help to encourage customers to use restaurant apps and pre-book meals, which can make life easier for kitchen staff, who then know what they need to prepare in advance.

For more information, read the “Contactless Payments Are Becoming More Important Within Hospitality” article.

3 Future Technological Trends in Restaurant POS Systems and Their Upgrades

Aside from having an awareness of current restaurant POS system trends, it is also important to think about the future and some of the emerging trends that are likely to become more prominent in the years ahead. Below, you can learn more about three technological trends that will disrupt the restaurant industry in the years ahead.

Voice-Activated Ordering

Voice recognition technology has improved dramatically over recent years and as more consumers make use of devices like smart speakers and voice assistants on their mobile phones, demand for voice ordering within the hospitality industry is likely to grow. Restaurants are ideally placed to capitalise on this.

Logically, voice ordering is most likely to take off in fast-food restaurants and especially those that offer a drive-through takeaway service. However, it could also be useful in other settings too, taking pressure off of waiters and providing customers with a faster and more intuitive option than self-ordering on an app.

Video: Voice Ordering for Restaurants and Food Delivery

Augmented Reality (AR)

Modern reliance on smartphones is also likely to enable greater use of augmented reality within the restaurant industry, and there are a number of ways this could potentially manifest in the years to come.

The augmented reality inside buffet restaurants could be used to mark out different sections or to map out the best route. In other restaurants, AR could mark out pay points, or areas to queue, or it could be used to provide animations or themed graphical overlays that can help to entertain younger guests.

Authentication Technology

Mobile phones, iPads and a variety of other devices already make use of technology like facial recognition and fingerprint scanning, in order to authenticate that the user is who they say they are.

This technology is likely to disrupt the hospitality industry at large in the years to come and can be used within restaurant settings to confirm arrival when customers have booked a table. The first signs of its usage are already in place, with Apple Pay customers making use of Face ID, while Google Pay customers may use other biometrics.

Restaurant POS systems are facilitating a number of new trends for those in the industry, from self-ordering and voice ordering to customer authentication and cashless restaurants. Getting the most from POS systems requires business leaders to keep pace with emerging trends, but also keep one eye on the future too.

Hospitality and Restaurant POS Systems: Exploring the Value

Point of sale systems, or POS systems, have an important role to play within the hospitality industry in general, assisting businesses with everything from record keeping, to data analytics and, of course, payment processing. For business leaders, understanding the full value of these systems is crucial.

Read the “POS Systems: Overview and Importance in the Hospitality Industry” article to gather more information about how POS systems are used within the hospitality and how they can be of benefit to businesses and their managers.

Restaurant POS Systems and Voice Technology

Voice recognition technology is quickly emerging as a key trend in the hospitality industry, but its uses are not simply limited to restaurant POS systems alone. In actual fact, voice search is one of the biggest growth areas and businesses in the industry need to be aware of how this is used by customers and how it can be leveraged.

Read “Voice Search: How the Hospitality Industry Can Benefit From It!” if you would like to learn more about the rise of voice search technology and the ways hospitality businesses can capitalise on this trend.

Benefits of Hotel and Restaurant POS Systems

The use of hotel and restaurant POS systems offers a number of key benefits for business leaders and their employees, including integration with wider company data, and the ability to process all types of payments from customers. However, there are various additional benefits that many businesses are not yet making the most of.

Take a look at the “6 Benefits of Point-of-Sale Software for Hotels” article to explore the topic of POS systems within hospitality further and to learn about some of the specific advantages of using these systems.

Restaurant POS Systems and Restaurant Management Systems

Restaurant management systems are intended to assist with common managerial tasks and may include components from restaurant POS systems, order management software, employee management software and more. Understanding restaurant management software and its uses can help you to optimise financial results and the customer experience.

To find out about how the software works, the main features that are included, and the different components that make up restaurant management software, read “Restaurant Management Systems: Overview, Key Aspects and Features”.

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