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The Difference a Robust, Flexible POS Makes

Andrew Ilyn, Delivery Director at Dev.Pro
Andrew Ilyn, Delivery Director at Dev.Pro

Please speak to the benefits of implementing a robust, flexible restaurant POS system?

It’s the robustness and flexibility of the POS system that really makes the difference now and this will only increase in importance in the upcoming years. Every corner café has some POS software, but it’s the complexity of the features and the levels of connectivity, synchronization, and scalability embedded in them that warrant the degree of technical advancement sought by QSR industry leaders.

At Dev.Pro we always measure the number of features a solution has. This helps us determine the level of capabilities that the software offers. All parties involved in the food service industry - including customers, employees and management - have high expectations that need to be met. For example, guests may expect a seamless online ordering experience, while restaurant staff may expect easier routine tasks throughout the day, while management may be more focused on profitability, streamlining processes, business insights and cost optimization. 

Customization and integration capabilities are the other two critical components for a POS system to be able to live up to the rush-hour tempo of QSRs. Having integrated with dozens of different systems and devices, we understand that optimizing the accuracy and speed of food order processing, even by 1-2%, can save large operators millions of dollars each month.

The restaurant industry has undergone a tectonic shift in consumer behavior due to COVID-19, which has accelerated the digital transformation of our industry by many years. As emerging technologies like QR codes, contactless payments, AI and voice recognition become the norm, POS systems must be robust and flexible to meet the demands of customers and operators alike. 

Our research shows that kitchen automation is on the rise. What are some of the critical considerations for implementation?

The rise of kitchen automation offers many rewards, but comes with risks that need to be managed, such as potential system downtime, security vulnerabilities, limited flexibility and development costs.

When creating a roadmap for kitchen automation, it’s critical to pragmatically balance potential ROI and risks. Today’s labor shortage is expected to continue, while labor costs continue to rise, which explains why kitchen automation – like burger-flipping robots – is on the rise and worthy of investment by QSRs. It’s not far-fetched to assume that IoT and robotics will eventually take over many processes in QSR kitchens.

Since food is a top cost for restaurants, inventory management automation can be a high-ROI solution as it prevents overstocking and reduces food waste, while saving time for staff and managers, and improves guest satisfaction by cutting wait times for food orders. 

At the end of the day, the industry is likely to end up with a tightly-knit ecosystem of IoT devices with camera vision on the shelves connected with barcode scanners at the door, and a POS-integrated inventory management solution.

Legacy and integration remain a challenge in the restaurant industry. What are some key components for multi-location integrations?

Single pane of glass observability for multi-location units allows for added efficiencies across a number of restaurant management functions: inventory management, team scheduling and training, as well as sales optimization. To achieve this, restaurant chains need to transform digitally through cloud technology adoption.

It’s essential that one’s POS system(s) across multiple locations be integrated into a unified cloud platform, which provides a single source of truth for essential data. The tight integration of the multi-unit software ecosystem into near-real-time mode with two-way synchronization can bring several benefits, including real-time data sharing, business insights, faster decision-making, and improved operational efficiency.

In addition, some large restaurant chains opt to outsource certain back-of-house functions, such as menu maintenance and content management, to companies like ours. This enables them to keep their digital menu boards up-to-date with the latest items, prices, and promotions, ensuring consistency and branding across all locations.

When approaching a multi-unit integration project, it’s important to strategize and plan thoroughly, prioritizing the locations, systems, processes, and departments to perform the integrations first. Operators should aim to pick high-ROI activities that will yield maximum business benefit, sustain the team's sense of accomplishment and help to overcome institutional resistance to change at large. Within this set of targeted activities, we generally suggest starting with less critical functions, locations, and systems to minimize potential risks as procedures are being polished among all parties of the integration processes. 

Our research shows that reporting & analytics are more important than ever as restaurants gather customer data for actionable insights. What are some best practices?

Larger QSRs have no lack of data, but rather a lack of focus and/or effort to make sense of it. The quality of data is an issue, as sentiments gleaned from social media, review sites, and complaint processing require a lot of cleaning to be digitized and interpreted. We leverage multiple approaches and technologies like AI to ensure data integrity, quality and availability, as these elements are critical for analytical systems to gain insights.

Visualization and customization of dashboards per role, region, and department is another focus that can elevate user experience on so many levels. When data is visualized properly, it goes from a boring, indecipherable string of endless digits into red and green flags as well as peaks and valleys that can be interpreted by a user for quick decision making on the go.

Real-time monitoring of the datasets is now automated, sending alerts to the parties involved to check and respond to inconsistent patterns or potential risks in real-time and not subject to delays over hours or weeks. For example, if a restaurant sees that a particular menu item is not selling well at one location, but is popular at another location, they can quickly update the menu so it is optimized for each location to maximize sales.

About Dev.Pro

Dev.Pro is a software development outsourcing partner that helps technology-enabled companies to amplify their growth ambitions and expedite time-to-market.

With 800+ highly skilled specialists, it serves tech and tech-enabled companies, helping to scale their teams and expedite time-to-market in Retail & Digital Commerce, Restaurants & Hospitality and Financial Services, Cloud and other areas. Dev.Pro offers a wide range of technical expertise including: software engineering, cloud computing, system integration, data management, QA, DevOps, and application security, among others.  

Clients include companies like Global Payments, Heartland, Popmenu, Lavu and SalesLoft.

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