The uptick in off-premises and app-based ordering has inspired point-of-sale providers to think outside the box.

In the restaurant world, the idea of innovation is often tied to food and beverage trends, new cooking techniques, and emerging ingredients. But as technology entwines itself even tighter to the everyday operations of foodservice, restaurants are tasked with figuring out how to integrate such systems. At the bare minimum, the addition of tech should ensure that service—encompassing everything from hospitality to throughput—is not hampered. At best, embracing new technologies could enhance the experience both for guests and staff.

The point of sale can serve as a linchpin for various upgrades since many solutions now connect everything from off-premises ordering to back-of-house operations. And while limited service may have led the charge in adopting new, cutting-edge POS systems, full-service restaurants are now realizing the growing potential those solutions offer.

Kevin Yien | Product Manager, Square

In case it’s not obvious, restaurants are evolving, and the most important POS advancements have been driven by fundamental changes to restaurant business models. Labor has always been a large part of operating costs, but the recent rate of increase has led to leaner staff and more turnover. Restaurants are demanding more intuitive tools that are easier to use and train staff.

The point of sale can have a surprisingly direct impact on the dining experience. The easier it is, the more accurate servers can be. The faster it is, the more staff can focus on guests. It can improve the experience for guests, while saving time and waste for the business. It all comes back to hospitality.

We designed Square for Restaurants to be super intuitive for waitstaff. This extends to the management of the point of sale, which needs to be completely self-serve and remotely accessible. Our specialized restaurant platform with integrated software, hardware, and payments focuses on speed and customizability.

An important lesson is that no two restaurants operate the same way, even within the same restaurant group. The point of sale needs to provide operators with flexibility to meet their unique needs. With rising costs, restaurants are evolving their business models, and you need a partner that is evolving just as fast.

Lee Leet | CEO and Founder, QSR Automations

With a spike in off-premises and delivery, we’ve seen a whole new breed of online ordering point-of-sale systems crop up with an emphasis on the consumer. The demand for consumer convenience is driving the demand for these cloud-based solutions.

Restaurants should look for a solid back-of-house integration in their POS provider and a blended solution, one that has above-store and in-store solutions. Integration provides the operator with real-time data needed for executing an off-premises strategy. While cloud POS is a hot topic right now, operators would be in trouble if the internet goes out and their POS is only above store.

What we’re seeing with our data is that the majority of online orders come from a restaurant’s app or website. We’re seeing more consumers go to branded apps or websites of the restaurants they like rather than the third-party apps.

Integration to the kitchen is the most significant and notable feature of QSR Automations’ DineTime. It also has customizable tabs that allow the front of house to filter by destinations. That means the hostess or the carry-out station can have a take-out tab showing all to-go, delivery or off-premises orders and statuses of each.

Chris Lybeer | Chief Strategy Officer, Revel

The modern POS is wherever the customer is; restaurants can take payment through traditional terminals, self-service kiosks, mobile applications, handheld ordering devices, and more. Restaurants face tremendous demands and competition. The POS should be used as a management tool to support your efforts and create more efficiency in your business. Operators know the pain points, specific needs, and deal-breakers for their establishment. Pay attention to ease of payment processing, data, and security; how the system handles internet and other outages; and how often the system is updated.

Restaurants are increasingly dealing with new, consumer-driven ordering processes (mobile, voice ordering, etc.) and third-party delivery apps, which each require their own hardware and software. Managing an array of tablets for delivery services creates chaos for restaurants, amassing such a significant business concern that we have dubbed it the digital consumer tsunami. Restaurants need to learn how to ride the wave. One way to deal with this is through a deliberate digital strategy that leverages the POS as a platform for omnichannel services.

Revel has built a business platform that allows restaurants to stay competitive in this new landscape, offering omnichannel features, open API, and partner options. Our flexibility encourages reinvention and innovation, giving brands the freedom to rethink business as usual.

Feature, Technology