Can restaurants go farther with a new point of sale

In today’s era of the foodie, it’s both the best of times and the worst of times for restaurants.  

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Can restaurants go farther with a new point of sale?

Feb 4, 2019

Can restaurants go farther with a new point of sale

In today’s era of the foodie, it’s both the best of times and the worst of times for restaurants. Never have restaurants been more popular — in 2015, restaurant spending passed grocery spending for the first time, and there’s no signs of slowdown.1 The stats show that Millennials love to dine out more than any generation before.2

But the downside is that means more restaurants and more intense competition. Restaurant owners are very familiar with the oft-cited statistics – almost 60% of restaurants close within the first year of opening, and 80% within five years.3 It’s tough sledding, and there’s no signs that it’s getting easier.

In this age of intense competition, restaurants need any edge they can get. And one unexpected advantage may come from leveraging a modern point-of-sale (POS) system.

What can a point-of-sale do for a restaurant?

Point-of-sale systems, of course, are most well known for their payment acceptance capabilities. This is important to help a restaurant accept the wide variety of popular payment types in use today – cash, debit, credit, mobile wallets. And EMV, or “chip” acceptance, of course, is especially crucial for restaurants as small-ticket items increasingly fall prey to friendly fraud at restaurants that still use magstripe.4

But modern point-of-sale systems do much more than accept payments—they simplify the entire process of running a business. They are customizable, and can offer retailers and restaurants specialized features that help with everything from day-to-day operations to long-term growth. And there’s plenty of features that can help restaurants specifically.

Pay-at-the-table

Pay at the table is far more common in Europe, but here in America, paying usually requires a long, involved process: waiters bring the check, then come back for the card after the patron has examined the check, then come back again to let the patron sign. It prolongs the dining experience on the customer’s side and lengthens wait times at the restaurant.

Pay-at-the-table, though, is finally growing in popularity in America, and it’s a simple task with a modern, mobile point-of-sale. Mobility allows a wait staff to bring the check right to the table on the device, let the customer sign it, add tip, and be off instantly. It saves time for the restaurant and lets the customer leave a bit sooner, and a bit happier.

Order-Ahead and Delivery

The growing trend of dining out extends beyond the walls of the restaurant, too. More consumers than ever are ordering ahead for pickup, or ordering delivery. Food delivery is expected to grow 12% per year over the next five years, and 86% of consumers use off-premise ordering at this point.5 Restaurant owners need not be concerned that it’s keeping diners away and cutting down on their in-restaurant business – most owners find that it’s generating additional revenue, not less.

All of this means that pickup/delivery are crucial for modern restaurant owners, and the process is made far easier with a POS. Integrating order-ahead tools with features like kitchen printers makes the entire process more efficient, and many mobile POS tools can even make taking payments during delivery simple by allowing a person to swipe and add tip at the door.

The most successful restaurants are using every means possible to make customers happier and business easier. Surviving in today’s competitive landscape is a difficult task, but modern POS systems can help. Food is the most crucial element of a restaurant, but there’s a lot more time to focus on cuisine and service when technology makes the rest of the operation easier.

Kitchen printer, server assignments, and more

The more a POS can be integrated into everyday operations, the more efficient a business will be – and the more a restaurant staff can focus on the important task of keeping customers happy. More and more features are simplified and automated by advanced POS technology.

Kitchen printers, for instance, are now integrated into many point-of-sale systems, as are server assignments. By keeping all of these features in one place, life is easier for any restaurant operator.

Keep Customers Happy

It’s what many have noted as the paradox of this “golden age of restaurants” – more dollars are being spent at restaurants, but that means more competition, too.6 To keep customers happy and stay ahead of the competition, restaurants need to ensure service is flawless, waiters are free to attend to customer needs, waits are minimized, and order-ahead and delivery are efficient.

And a modern POS can help with all of these tasks, so that restaurants can focus on what matters – serving amazing food.

1 Bloomberg, “Americans’ Spending on Dining Out Just Overtook Grocery Sales for the First Time Ever

2 USA Today, “Millennials eat up savings by dining out a lot, study shows

3 Parsa et al, “Why Restaurants Fail

4 Payments Journal, “The Rise of (Not So) Friendly Fraud

5 Restaurant Business Online, “The Stats Are In: Consumers Are Upping Restaurant Delivery

6 The Atlantic, “The Paradox of American Restaurants

EMV is a registered trademark of EMVCo LLC in the United States and other countries.

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