Smart restaurant operators understand that paying attention to industry trends plays a significant role in the success of their businesses. With this in mind, it’s time to consider some key restaurant trends related to Point of Sale (POS) for 2017.
Mobile POS Gathers Momentum
The advantages of eliminating paper-based order-taking methods put mobile POS high on the list of current restaurant trends. Mobile POS replaces taking orders at customers’ tables to be re-entered into a central terminal on the restaurant floor as well as the need to deliver paper order tickets to the kitchen. With mobile POS technology, servers input items right into the system as customers order them, complete with any changes made during the order-taking process. Orders are immediately transmitted to the bar or kitchen in component-by-component fashion.
Mobile POS not only speeds up the ordering process, it also increases preparation efficiencies. Immediately inputting orders minimizes the mistakes that can occur when hand-written orders are re-keyed or must be deciphered by kitchen staff. The end-result: a better customer experience, enhanced customer satisfaction, and more business for your restaurant.
POS Technology Improves the Customer Experience
Mobile POS’ potential to improve the customer experience places it squarely on the list of top restaurant trends. Mobile POS at table-service restaurants are speeding up service and taking customers’ comfort level to new heights by offering guests the opportunity to pay their checks on a mobile device right at the table. Customers don’t have to hand over a credit card and then wait for a server to return with it. Since customers never lose sight of their payment cards, it increases sense of security.
In addition, some restaurants with counter service make it easier for customers to pay for their food by signing for credit card transactions (and to add a tip if desired) directly on tablet devices. The use of mobile POS devices for self-ordering in quick-service and fast-casual restaurants also contributes to more convenient, faster, and accurate customer ordering experiences.
Reporting Goes “Custom”
You won’t find the use of “one-size-fits-all” reporting tools topping any list of restaurant trends, but you will see robust analytics and reporting integrated with restaurant POS systems trending. Savvy restaurateurs have begun to recognize that analytics designed for their industry can help them to conserve food costs, create staff schedules that suit their needs, formulate strategies based on information that’s pertinent to their business, and obtain actionable insights into their particular operations.
Accessible via customizable dashboards, charts, and reports, restaurant-specific analytics eliminate guesswork and track trends so operators can proactively prepare for busy and slow times. They also enable restaurateurs to allocate resources, whether inventor or labor, in a more effective manner.
Data Goes to Work
Leveraging data is one of the most prevalent restaurant trends as more restaurateurs try to improve the customer experience by learning more about their guests and acting on what they discover. Some operators use restaurant management or customer relationship management software to record details about repeat customers such as seating and dining preferences, dietary restrictions, birthdays, anniversaries, and VIP status. Such data are then used to better cater to or impress guests, for example, by seating them in a section of the restaurant serviced by their favorite server. Data from social media can be used in a similar manner.
Keeping up with restaurant trends takes dedication on operators’ part. However, the payoff is a sharper competitive edge and a bigger bottom line, which definitely makes the effort worthwhile.