Restaurant POS System Trends to Look Out for in 2019
A good restaurant POS system is probably the most important part of your restaurant’s technology investments. That’s because it’s central to a well managed restaurant.
2019 is all about connectivity when it comes to POS systems. The role of the POS system, used primarily for billing, has evolved into an operations hub that connects all your online order sources, guest-facing technology, and your kitchen (via Kitchen Display Systems). It’s the foundation of a technical system that helps you manage your restaurant operations better on the whole.
POS systems can then feed your transaction data into CRM systems for marketing, into your accounting software for tax management, and into your analytics software for you to get an accurate picture of your restaurant business.
All of this is not as simple as transporting data to data tables. A good POS system helps break down siloed data into more meaningful building blocks that then help all your other software run correctly. You can imagine why a POS is the most crucial part of your restaurant technology stack.
Going into 2019, there are some cutting-edge trends developing in the area of restaurant POS technology. I break them down below.
Restaurant POS trends in 2019
1. The POS is now handheld – Tablet and iPad POS systems are all the rage. These work on all operating systems. Order taking is much faster on handheld POS systems, and servers can use auto-suggested menu recommendations based on what’s popular at a given restaurant. Once the order is taken, cutting-edge POS tech can shoot the order ticket straight to the kitchen. This significantly reduces table flip and ordering processing time. Management of data is a lot easier, too.
2. Cloud restaurant POS system – The POS has now also moved to the cloud. This means that the POS no longer has an on-premise server, and all the data is backed up. These internet-based Cloud POS systems have a significantly lower downtime and remotely get regular software updates from the company that offers them. This makes them very secure. You could also access these systems from anywhere without having to be physically present on your restaurant floor. You can imagine how handy that can be if you are traveling or need to make an emergency update to your system. The cloud POS system works offline, too, with data that gets auto-saved when the connection is restored. One of the biggest advantages of the cloud POS system is that most services are pay-as-you go. This saves you from incurring a big expense all at once and disrupting your cash flow.
3. Self-ordering Kiosks – Self-ordering kiosks allow customers to place their own orders. Unlike conventional Quick Service restaurant set-ups where customers have to wait in a queue to place their order, self-ordering kiosks allow customers to place their orders directly in a digital menu board. Kiosks are quick to learn and give you all the statistics on the numbers that matter – such as the hottest item, the day’s specialty, and so on, which further enhance the customer experience. Also, digital menus are easier to update giving you a dynamic menu that changes with customer preferences while also saving on printing costs.
4. Fully integrated restaurant management system – Touched upon earlier, a connected POS system that powers all your restaurant functions is truly going to be the defining restaurant POS characteristic going on 2019. Today’s restaurant needs a single software solution for all restaurant functions—getting online orders, delivery orders, marketing, feedback, and analytics.
5. Big data – That brings us to big data. Sales reports can give you clear numbers, but analytics based on a variety of consumer touchpoint data can give you a real direction for your business. Modern consumer behavior is increasingly becoming multi-touch and multi-channel, and your POS needs to adapt to this change in consumer behavior.
6. New payment methods – Think mobile payments, digital wallets, and loyalty programs. Consumers are moving to these payment methods as payment preferences move towards the elimination of cash. Being able to accept these payment modes directly into a handheld device looks like the future of the POS machine.
7. Facial recognition – An upcoming trend to watch out for in 2019. We have seen some quick service restaurants make use of biometric facial recognition. In this, all you have to do is smile at the camera, and the software will populate your details on the screen, and the restaurant will quickly profile you—your demographic details, your past order history, your loyalty points, and so on. Also, there are very practical applications of facial recognition technology in the payment process. Imagine what that could do for your customer experience!
These are the key trends we feel you should have an eye on this year when considering restaurant management and POS systems in particular. Consider these functions when contemplating how to better serve your customers.
Now, back to growing.
Souradeep Datta is a content marketer at LimeTray, an end-to-end technology and marketing company for restaurants. He spends his days researching and writing about restaurant technology, operations and marketing.