POS of the Future Predictions & Insights

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POS of the Future Predictions & Insights

By Dorothy Creamer, Editor-in-Chief, Michal Christine Escobar, Managing Editor and Anna Wolfe, Senior Editor Restaurants - 12/27/2018
Don't Miss What's Inside!
  • The 2019 POS Software Trends Report
  • POS Software Providers' Plans & Predictions
  • INFOGRAPHIC: Appetize Outlines How Today's Guests Put a Premium on Ultra-Convenience at POS
  • EXECUTIVE INSIGHT: CAKE from Sysco Details How Future-Ready POS Provides Competitive Edge for Restaurants
  • EXECUTIVE INSIGHT: ParTech Discusses Evolution of POS: Hyper Convenience for Guests & Efficiency for Operations

The customer is powering the point of sale as we move into 2019, and tech and trend prognosticators agree that guest preferences are driving what the POS of the future will look like. As restaurants grapple with how to enable more and more ordering channels and fulfillment from in-store, drive-thru, curbside and delivery, they are facing a — perhaps uneasy — reality in which sales are up despite a decline in in-store traffic. The point of service is becoming untethered from the point of sale. The next-generation point of sale is being shaped by the call for the POS to be all things for all people. To achieve this, suppliers and operators must pinpoint customers’ biggest pain points and solve for that.   

Every year, Hospitality Technology polls restaurant technology executives to gauge buying plans and track what features and functionalities are shaping the path to POS purchase for restaurants. We compare this with input from the POS supplier base to see how their responses and strategies align and where there might be a disconnect. The combined insight helps to elucidate how the POS of the future will take shape.

This year’s results indicate that restaurants are preparing to take an active role in the evolution of the POS. More than half are testing and researching new POS solutions for 2019 and beyond, and 46% plan to add functionalities to current software in 2019 (Fig. 1).

About two out of five (39%) operators are focusing on putting the POS on mobile in 2019 and more than half (58%) say adding mobile POS is a top business driver influencing next POS upgrades (Fig. 2). Of the top three business drivers that will be prompting POS enhancements, two — adding mobile POS and enabling new payment options — speak to a bigger issue: providing customers with frictionless ways to pay, wherever and however they want.

What emerges this year as even more influential is the need to use data to better understand guests. Restaurants are putting a hyper-focus on the POS as data aggregator and analyst. More than half (61%) of operators say that being able to use data to understand guest preferences and behavior is the top driver influencing a POS upgrade. Restaurants that can serve up authentic service through personalization will emerge as leaders in an increasingly competitive space. As third-party delivery services offer consumers ways to just find a “food type” rather than necessarily a particular brand, restaurants are aware that knowing who customers are, what they like, when and how to best reach them will be key.