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An All-in-One Restaurant POS System

Larry Field, Signature Systems
Larry Fiel, VP, Marketing, PDQ Signature Systems

Restaurant operators report that a top feature influencing their POS purchases is integration with other systems — can you speak to the benefits of seamless integration for restaurant operators?

Certainly, seamless integration is paramount in today's restaurant industry. While POS providers all essentially do the same thing—taking orders on the front end and collecting data on the back end—it's the integrations that set them apart. The benefits of true integration lie in adding inherent value. Picture it like the connection between ET and Elliot in the movie poster, where some providers merely touch fingertips, while others fully immerse themselves into a myriad of systems. Restaurant operators should partner with a provider who truly understands the value of integration, offers robust project management, and provides comprehensive documentation. In essence, integration is the linchpin of managing the entire platform effectively, preventing a chaotic blame game scenario.

Using data to better understand guest preferences is a top business driver — how has that process become integral to restaurant operations?

Data is the lifeblood of modern restaurant operations. It offers an unfiltered snapshot of a restaurant's health. It's not just about collecting data; it's about how you present it. Data must be meaningful and tailored for various stakeholders. What's crucial is presenting data in a clear, concise manner—a "single pane of glass" approach, if you will. Think back to the early iPhone – it wasn't just the functionality but how user experience was presented that set it apart. Without clear presentation, store managers might be left wondering, "Great, but what do I do with this data?" Showing them how to use it is key.

Digital engagement with customers is more important than ever. Can you speak to best practices and benefits?

The shift toward digital engagement with customers is no longer an option; it's an expectation. COVID-19 accelerated these digital habits, particularly in ordering and payments. For instance, the traditional "dining dance" in restaurants, involving handing over bills and payment cards, is being replaced by the desire for self-sufficiency. Customers want to order and pay digitally, with minimal back-and-forth with servers. If a restaurant can't offer this convenience, they risk falling behind. The benefits are clear: faster table turnover and increased guest satisfaction. Digital engagement streamlines the entire dining experience.

What are some critical considerations for implementing an effective customer platform, including payment processing, loyalty, and more?

Implementing an effective customer platform today involves adopting a holistic, end-to-end approach. You have two choices: layered or synchronous. The layered approach used to mean selecting the best-of-breed solutions for different functions. However, managing these layers can become a complex task. The alternative is a synchronous approach, where a single provider manages everything in an all-in-one fashion. Best practice dictates trusting a provider that can confidently say, "Yes, we'll manage it for you." This approach frees up restaurant operators to focus on what they do best: making great food.

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