While the POS industry has been around for quite some time, it hasn’t been until fairly recently that the technology has begun to truly innovate. There are several point of sale restaurant trends that stand out as the ones to watch.
Identifying the next-gen technological advancements available in POS systems, and to a lesser extent kitchen display systems (KDS), requires a bit of work. Let’s look at this from a modular perspective. Kitchen, servers, your menu offerings, and customers are the four essential elements which require the most focus to ensure success. Knowing this, you can break down what you need and find the right point of sale restaurant trends to fit.
Improving the Customer Experience
An unengaged, underwhelmed customer is as good as a lost customer as far as you are concerned. With dining options now seemingly limitless, you must work smarter, not harder, to retain a loyal client base while attracting new clientele to your restaurant. Keeping the customer’s interest is of vital importance, especially as people become used to and begin to expect higher levels of technical and automated interaction with businesses they frequent.
One of the top point of sale restaurant trends is all about process improvements, like line-busting, that add up to a better customer experience. Mobile ordering allows your customers to place their order before walking into your establishment, while online reservations provide them with an easy way to lock down a table, especially on a busier night.
Tablet-based POS systems are now growing in popularity, too. They can allow for ordering and paying at the table or at a kiosk, granting diners more control over their dining experience while allowing the waitstaff to provide beverage and meal recommendations without having to memorize nightly specials, adjust orders on the fly, and deliver meals in an effective, timely manner.
Meeting the Diners’ Needs
Do you know what the meal of choice is for your regular customers? How about their favorite cocktail? It is always amazing just how these seemingly small gestures can make all the difference in the world for the connection between diner and restaurant. It also does a great deal to help win repeat business. Usually, you’d rely on your staff to handle all of this. However, another key point of sale restaurant trend is to let your tech do the heavy lifting.
For example, you notice a couple that has recently started to dine with you on Sunday mornings at around 10 am for your brunch special. They order using a tablet-based ordering system at their table and they tend to sit at the same table each time they stop by.
Your staff loves them, and you notice that they are starting to bring friends with them on each visit; friends that have now started frequenting your restaurant. You want to present the couple with a reward for both their loyalty and recommendations, so you access their data and notice that they always order an egg-based item from your menu and a cup of coffee.
You create a loyalty reward for them in your POS system, giving them both discounts on any egg-based brunch item and a free cup of coffee. The following Sunday, after they had eaten, you are greeted with huge smiles and a thank you as they leave your restaurant.
This situation was made possible by integrating the advanced tools of a modern-POS solution into your restaurant operations. The information captures, sales history, and loyalty data are all incredibly helpful here. These trends empower you to give your diners what they want when they want it while reducing day-to-day pressures on your staff.
An Emphasis on Automation
One of the most important point of sale restaurant trends is all about automation and even self-ordering. In a traditional restaurant environment, there are many moving pieces and you’re probably handling most of them manually. Have you ever wished there were more hours in the day? While you’re stuck to the same 24 as the rest of the world, the right POS system can help you spend your time growing your business instead of babysitting it.
Combining your POS with a kitchen display system can help automate the ordering process. Orders go directly from the POS to the kitchen in their proper place in the queue. This reduces pesky missing tickets and helps you avoid hiring a writing specialist to decipher a waiter’s handwriting.
Inventory management can also be automated to a degree as well. Some POS systems allow you to set up low stock alerts on certain items so you’re never finding yourself in the middle of the dinner rush 86-ing items from your menu. Instead of spending hours each week tallying up items in your deep freeze, you have more accurate inventory tracking done without a printed spreadsheet on a clipboard.
Improving Your Kitchen Assembly Line
Last but not least is the aspect of your restaurant that is the most hands-on with your products and inventory: the kitchen. Managing your kitchen goes hand-in-hand with inventory management and customer service; unappetizing food, missing ingredients, and slow meal prep will all limit the potential of your restaurant. Reining in both the operational processes of your kitchen and effective management of inventory is much easier thanks to many of today’s POS technology trends.
This is another place where a KDS can help. With a KDS solution in your kitchen, and working in unison with your POS ordering system, orders are not just more accurate but come out of those swinging doors in rapid fashion. The additional production gained with this all comes without the need to add staff. Your inventory management becomes simplified, as you can receive real-time reporting and low stock alerts, and even automate the ordering of certain items should they fall below a preset threshold level.
This, of course, is only obtainable if you have identified the point of sale restaurant trends that are right for you. Given the complexity of this, though, we recommend that you seek experienced, external help before diving into new POS functionalities.
Identifying the Point of Sale Restaurant Trends to Follow
Not every POS system is created equally. While some will have all of the functionality you crave, others are lacking in both features and support. It’s important to pick a provider that gives you everything you need and more. Instead of just chasing trends, partner with a trendsetter instead.
When you reach out to talech, you gain more than a POS solution provider. We take the time to learn your business inside and out so that the solution we recommend and implement for you represents exactly where you are and where you want to be down the road. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and find out how we can leverage existing POS trends to elevate your restaurant to new heights.