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POS Software Vendors Dish on Top Trends Impacting the Future

Advancements in AI, demand for accessible data make the list. Plus, vendors share what they're doing to meet the demand for tighter integrations.

HT surveyed POS software vendors about their unique features, 2023 rollouts and 2024 plans in 2024 POS Software Trends: Vendors Give A Glimpse of New Features Coming in 2024.

In this installment, POS software vendors reveal the top trends that will affect the future of the POS software and restaurant industry. 

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

With the use of AI to help predict sales, manage stock, and offer menu suggestions based on what customers like, automation solves mundane operational tasks. As more customers use digital wallets and scan-to-pay methods, these systems will be designed to handle all kinds of payments easily.  Instead of having separate tools for different tasks, the trend is towards having one system that does it all - from sales to staff schedules to online orders. -- eatOS POS Inc.

Two significant factors will shape the future of POS software trends. First, we will see a surge in customer touchpoints, with retailers aiming to engage customers through diverse channels like kiosks, mobile apps, convenience store fuel pumps and AI-powered personal assistants. POS software must become more flexible to support all of these interactions and more. Second, we'll see a wider range of payment options become prominent, including traditional cards, mobile wallets and cryptocurrencies. POS software will need to adapt to these evolving payment methods to provide a smooth and convenient payment experience for both businesses and customers. -- GK Software

In 2024 ordering trends will continue to be influenced both by the advancements in AI and other machine learning technologies and by the continued growth of consumers’ comfort level with various ordering channels. To date, we’ve seen consumers rely on 1-2 preferred ordering channels. However, as this technology grows, consumers will rely on more and more channels that fit their needs in different situations. Phone bots, text ordering, online ordering, at-home virtual assistant devices, etc., will continue to gain popularity. Restaurants looking to optimize labor costs will also choose a broader amount of technology solutions, especially as those solutions gain the ability to deliver an ideal experience to guests. Faster, easier and frictionless ordering experiences will dominate consumer expectations in 2024. -- HungerRush 

AI and Machine Learning are introducing predictive capabilities that enhance demand forecasting, leading to significant reductions in food costs and waste, and improvements in profit margins. Furthermore, these technologies enable personalized marketing, creating tailored experiences that increase customer engagement and loyalty. -- PAR Technology

Independent operators must have access to AI tools to optimize their menu, staffing and customer engagement in order to compete with larger restaurant groups and chains… As independent restaurants face competition from large brands, it’s increasingly important to keep their guests engaged. SpotOn will bring to market easy-to-use marketing tools that empower operators to stay top of mind and win loyal business - without needing a dedicated marketing person. The marketing tools will have a tight integration with SpotOn’s point-of-sale and reservations to create a more comprehensive guest profile. -- SpotOn

AI is impacting technology in a big way. Silverware is bringing this to market in 2024. From enhanced reporting, comparisons and projections, and powering service staff with more valuable information to help curate and elevate the guest experience. -- Silverware POS Inc.

Restaurateurs using advanced business intelligence to take their business to the next level. By looking beyond just the sales and transaction data, owners and operators will want to use reporting tools to tell a more holistic view of their whole business and show the full picture of what is and isn’t working in their operation to maximize profit and enhance guest experience.  -- Tabit

AI & automation. Inventory optimization to help combat waste/reduce costs. -- TouchBistro

Voice-activated technology and chatbots will likely make an impact on POS software trends in the next year and beyond. Consumers are fast adopting voice-prompted assistants now that Alexa and Siri have permeated millions of American homes. Habitual use in the home will likely translate to demand outside the home. Consider the emergence of chatbots at drive-thrus, for example. While the technology isn’t perfect, it’s improving with time and use. Further, there’s great benefit when it comes to automated voice technology in that it can lessen labor load and allow restaurant staff to focus on higher touch tasks. -- Tray

Whether adding a new concept like a ghost or virtual kitchen or incorporating new delivery methods such as drones or robots, restaurants seek solutions that allow them to integrate new technologies easily.  Many new technologies will drive cloud and mobility deployment as the restaurant sector is no longer constrained to a fixed location. The software will allow for operations management on the go and for meeting customer expectations across all touchpoints. Enhanced loyalty and promotions capabilities will differentiate restaurant and hospitality vendors. Customers, particularly younger generations, will increasingly see less value in a one-size-fits-all approach. The ability to tailor recommendations and promotions using AI will allow the most relevant and impactful information to help guide purchase decisions and ultimately increase wallet share.  -- Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions


Omnichannel Experiences

Omnichannel experiences will continue taking over the industry. In an age where customers are looking for convenience more than ever, flexible payment options including digital wallets, gift cards, and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) will help businesses meet customer expectations. As in-person dining continues to grow and more restaurants offer online ordering, kitchen staff will continue to be inundated with on-premise and online orders from multiple systems. Unified kitchen capabilities that can integrate ordering to streamline operations will be in high demand.  -- Clover

The future of POS software will be heavily influenced by the integration of omnichannel ordering capabilities, catering to the diverse needs of foodservice businesses. The emphasis will be on creating seamless experiences for both businesses and customers, whether it's in-store, online, or through mobile platforms. Additionally, the integration of various payment processing options will be crucial, ensuring that businesses can accommodate a wide range of payment methods, from traditional to contactless. The continuous evolution of restaurant technology solutions ... indicates a trend towards more adaptable, efficient, and customer-centric POS systems… CBS NorthStar continues to build a credit-card independent flagship ordering product with deep integrations to third party partners. CBS NorthStar product offerings will be enhanced on all major credit card processors utilizing mobile payments, text-to-pay, online commerce, kiosks, and traditional fixed terminal payments.   -- CBS NorthStar 

Streamlined Payments

Tableside conversational ordering to provide streamlined ordering flows, eliminate ordering mistakes, and enhance selling opportunities. Intuitive and stress-free check splitting capabilities that save time and eliminate operator mistakes. Tableside payments, saving time and enable quicker table turns, while remaining agnostic to the restaurant's processor of choice. -- Tabit

...Mobile card-free digital payments continuing to be demanded by consumers who don't want to carry additional items with them. Enabling operators to accept these digital payments in ways that are burden-free for the consumer will continue to become a priority for POS companies. AI opportunities and how POS software enables their operators to tap into and use the data in a positive way will also continue to be a trend and focus of POS companies.  -- Union


The Need for Optimized Operations 

The labor market and economic conditions are major influencers on POS trends. With potential recessions looming, restaurants are seeking cost-effective solutions to maintain quality guest experiences without significantly increasing their budget. This environment is fostering a rise in solutions like self-serve kiosks and bring-your-own-device options, helping restaurants manage with fewer staff.  … Our ongoing commitment is to expand our network of integrated partners and develop more innovative solutions…We aim to integrate AI more deeply into our products and general day-to-day operations. -- Givex 

With continued industry headwinds like high food costs and labor shortages coupled with heightened customer expectations, the modern POS must adapt to optimize operations, mitigate everyday challenges and improve the guest-centric experience. While operators may be hesitant to alter the way they serve guests, there will continue to be a shift to a more modern model powered by a multi-functioning POS that helps democratize decision making across the board, and those who capitalize on this shift will win. Following Covid, consumers continue to prioritize convenience above all else, and operators need to focus on providing a seamless guest experience if they want to stay in business. -- GoTab

Forward-thinking QSRs are making long-term operations changes and optimizing drive-thrus for spend to sustain service levels amid ongoing staff shortages. NCR Voyix expects to see drive-thru technology grow, and restaurants are predicted to increasingly rely upon these innovations. Drive-thru lanes will keep on evolving and giving customers what they want: convenience, speed, accuracy and experience. -- NCR Voyix

Increasing Labor Costs & Complexity: Recent and proposed legislation will continue to impact how restaurants manage their workforce and their bottom line. With notoriously slim margins, restaurants will need to find new ways to operate to meet new minimum wage requirements, tip credit eliminations, and additional compliance-related rules. Many operators will need to pivot leaner staffing models complemented by technology that makes their employee’s jobs easier. -- SpotOn

With the rise of generative AI along with continued labor shortages and economic uncertainty, restaurants are going to be looking to technology for help streamlining their businesses. While big players may invest in salad robots or digital makelines, most restaurants will instead need to be focusing on how they can find small efficiencies that add up to something bigger through using intuitive technology and automating routine tasks. -- Square

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  • Demand for Accessible Data & Tight Integrations

    HT also asked POS software vendors how they're responding to demand for accessible data and tight integrations.  


    By focusing on the full guest experience, Paytronix digital tools include the pieces restaurants and convenience store brands need to manage their mobile and web presence across all digital touchpoints. Paytronix provides real-time data and reporting so that marketers and loyalty managers have a complete view of all programs.  -- Paytronix

    Cloud-based POS systems and other applications are set to significantly shorten technology upgrade cycles without the need for on-site installations. This advancement provides relief to restaurant operators facing extended upgrade timelines with traditional POS platforms, which typically take 5-7 years to develop and deploy. Cloud data will also simplify testing innovations and integrations with third-party apps, accelerating the speed of innovation and enhancing operations, thereby improving the employee and customer experience.  -- PAR Technology 

    We believe that our clients should own their own data instead of giving it away to third parties so that they can find operational efficiencies, improve their employees’ experience, and create a better, more personalized customer experience. Data drives a more profitable business … We believe in providing the best technology at the best value -- and we are not precious about whether it is built by SpotOn or by a third party. We partner with best-in-class partners for deep integrations that not only fulfill the breadth of our client needs but empower them to adapt quickly to market changes and drive their restaurant’s profitability. -- SpotOn

    A well-designed open API lets brands take advantage of their preferred best-of-breed solutions and easily integrate those solutions into their POS for a seamless data exchange and guest experience. This provides tremendous flexibility for restaurants who want a technology stack they can tailor to their specific requirements. As more and more restaurants upgrade their POS to a cloud platform, they will look for solutions with open API so they can build a technology stack that meets their specific requirements. -- Revel Systems 

    Square for Restaurants introduced over 50 new integrations over the past year across restaurant management, delivery and order management, items and inventory,  kiosks, and more to allow restaurants the flexibility their businesses need.  -- Square

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