A traditional point of sale (POS) used to be a restaurant billing software that processed orders and produced receipts. But as cloud technology developed, the basic POS system transformed into a full-fledged restaurant management system. POS solutions are essential for enhancing convenience for dine-in and online customers and delivering a customer-centric experience as the restaurant industry continues to grow.
You can maximize the functionality of your current POS system or, better yet, have fresh insights on newer POS trends that can add value to your restaurant by assessing current reports and relevant data on POS adoption. Furthermore, to help you stay updated on the latest POS system developments, we compiled a list of the top features to look for. Read along!
Top 5 Restaurant POS Features To Look For In 2023
A POS system today is capable of handling employee schedules and clock-ins, data collection for business intelligence, and providing a personalized customer experience. Here are five restaurant POS trends to look out for in 2023:
Centralize All POS Tasks
Restaurant orders are made via multiple digital channels, from dine-in and take-out to curbside and delivery. This adds a layer of complexity to POS systems. This issue is most commonly solved by using the cloud — servers run by the POS company and accessible via the internet.
Moving to the cloud is a top priority for restaurant owners. Over 20% of POS solutions are already in the cloud, and 29% are planning to do so by 2024. In fact, by 2025, the cloud POS market is expected to reach $6 billion.
Most POS companies ensure that their servers are secure and up-to-date and that private sections are assigned to specific businesses. This simplifies and improves the situation for businesses, particularly small organizations that cannot afford their server. It also makes updating POS software simple.
Furthermore, regular software updates can be virtually pushed through with a cloud-based POS, and incentive systems or ordering channel settings can be standardized for all locations effortlessly. By switching to automatic updates and centralization across sites, owners and operators will save time by removing the need to constantly upgrade on-premise physical hardware.
Accessible POS Hardware
Restaurateurs are abandoning traditional cash registers in favor of more mobile, flexible, and sophisticated registers. In fact, 30% of businesses rank hardware upgrades as their top POS priority. Nowadays, businesses can use a sophisticated point-of-sale system that is easy to use and offers good flexibility thanks to the quick development of technological tools.
As the most recent POS display trends call for simple-to-use dashboards for point-of-sale operations, more POS solutions are giving companies a user-friendly interface and a number of features to support future growth. You can anticipate the following cloud-POS hardware trends in addition to the general upgraded POS systems:
- Increase in contactless payments and a decline in swipe transactions
- Increase in self-ordering kiosks and self-checkouts
- Increase in electronic shelves that automatically update the displayed price of a product when the central server changes the price.
- Increase in Bluetooth incorporations that will minimize wifi hogging and internet costs
Customer Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs, which offer incentives and individualized products and experiences, are essential to retaining and attracting customers. Customers adore loyalty programs’ benefits, like savings, cash rewards, or tailored offers.
With a well-planned and properly executed loyalty program, you can easily retain existing customers for a long time and even convert new customers into returning customers for your brand. As a result, your company’s long-term profits will increase, as will brand awareness.
Surprisingly, the best loyalty program software solutions integrate with POS systems, making it simple for customers to register for loyalty programs and personalize rewards.
Data Intelligence For Customer And Business Insights
Most customers are willing to save their shopping habits, preferences, and personal information if it makes the checkout process simpler and they can receive relevant offers. However, POS data is useful for more than just learning about your customers and their preferred methods of communication. The metrics from your POS can also provide details about your company’s personnel, merchandise, store design, foot traffic, return policy, and other metrics.
There are numerous POS solutions with add-ons or integrations that offer data as well for better business decisions. Some of those integrations are:
- Customer Surveys: Feedback from customers, such as attaching a link to the receipt
- Payment Processors: Track payment histories such as declined transactions
- Payroll Solutions: Insights on labor costs, employee tips, and job costing
- Time-tracking and Scheduling: Schedule tasks and shifts seamlessly that are aligned with employee schedules, sales, and revenue
- Foot Counters: Track peak hours, understand conversion rate and customer traffic
POS systems can also track which stock is selling fast and which items are not selling well with your customers. Similarly, POS data offers insight into seasonal trends and allows for increased margins based on pricing data. This simplifies the process of optimizing retail data analytics and driving sales for businesses.
Personalized Dining Experience For Customers
Customers today expect a personalized dining experience, and data is the secret ingredient in providing each guest with a truly unique experience. Many operators face difficulties achieving this because they do not own the customer data they use. Instead, delivery partners or third-party apps hold this data.
Yet, the POS industry is tackling these issues head-on, making personalization simpler and more affordable to small businesses on a large scale. In fact, a report projects that by the end of 2025, the global market for personalization software will increase from $620 million in 2020 to approximately $2 billion.
Most POS solutions today incorporate specific technologies to enable this for retail businesses. For example, updating POS systems to a centralized cloud experience streamlines customer data, allowing organizations to convert insights about ordering patterns into personalized dining experiences for both in-person and online diners.
Knowing more about customers, such as their preference for contactless delivery, frequently ordering add-on sides and condiments, ordering particular items regularly, or having allergies, all contribute to creating a personalized experience.
The POS system has significantly evolved since it was first introduced a few decades ago. Modern POS systems offer much more than the ability to process sales and take payments – they can operate as a virtual command center for your entire business. POS technologies are becoming increasingly important to restaurants due to increased mobility, data analysis, and security capabilities.
While browsing different restaurant POS solutions, you should consider some restaurant POS trends. Not all trends work for everyone, but implementing those that align with your restaurant’s needs will ensure your business remains competitive and relevant.