Hospitality Technology surveyed POS software vendors to get their input for the 2022 POS Software Trends Report: Integration, Mobility and Analytics. In this online exclusive, HT asked POS software vendors to dish on trends impacting the future of POS software. Here are their responses, in alphabetical order.
Agilysys (agilysys.com): Rising expectations for experience personalization. Industry professionals recognize the value that AI-based POS systems can provide in tailoring experiences to suit the unique preferences of each individual guest. Continuing advancements in POS innovation are set to provide hoteliers with the ability to compile guest profiles that can point to what each guest considers to be an ideal experience based on previous purchase histories. This will not only result in elevating guest satisfaction even further, but can also lead to higher loyalty program sign-ups or promo campaign success rates by leveraging actionable data to create highly targeted messaging and offers that maximizes a hotel’s potential to grow revenue streams.
CBS Northstar (cbsnorthstar.com) will roll out deeper integration of third-party products that can be leveraged along with the POS data to provide out-of-the-box solutions for business problems. We believe this work is critical to the industry for survival, and is deeply innovative in that the largest 3 or 4 POS providers either do not provide integrations out of the box (as it cannibalizes their own solutions) or provide these solutions as expensive consulting engagements. Alternative payments are key for many of today’s consumers and most POS platforms do not do a good job of helping customers access their funds.
Clover (clover.com): People increasingly expect experiences that are customized and tailored to them. This has implications for POS software providers that will need to be able to enable highly customized offerings and extras such as loyalty programs. In addition, merchants themselves expect to be able to access features specific to their individual needs, they want to be able to pick and choose capabilities that are right for them and enable them to run their business better.
Givex (givex.com): Customers are engaging with restaurants in different ways though curbside and standard pickup, delivery, third-party delivery and even in-person dining by scanning QR codes, contactless ordering and mobile kiosks. This is going to impact how a restaurant needs to operate, and POS is the backbone of these operations. POS systems need to have good partnerships with restaurants’ preferred technology vendors in order to keep up with customers’ expectations.
GK Software (gk-software.com): It’s difficult to predict if the “new normal” will remain the “new normal” when it comes to pickup and delivery, but curbside options will still see frequent use, and as a result POS mobility must be efficient. Even as diners return to dining in restaurants, this will not change the demand for open platforms and the need for integration of multiple channels into the POS system. For example, a restaurant called The Pub in the Czech Republic has interactive screens at the table that allows customers to order directly. As well, all their locations in different cities are connected, allowing tables to interact with each other. Lastly, the ongoing labor challenges are driving self-service use among the POS, such as with kiosks at store entry or devices at dining tables. It’s also raised the need for kitchen production productivity to improve speed of customer service.
Infor (infor.com/industries/restaurants-food-services): AI, automation and improved operational metric enforcement in the face of a challenging labor market will be key areas of innovation and investment in the near future.
Lightspeed (lightspeedhq.com): Hospitality merchants need all the help they can get when it comes to streamlining shifts and helping their existing staff. COVID-19 has significantly changed hospitality technology, but the next shift will be to help those struggling with staff retention to find ways to automate tasks around inventory, order taking and more. In addition to labor shortages, the supply chain has been impacted by COVID-19 and continues to impact restaurants. Lightspeed is assessing how to take what it has learned on the retail side with the launch of its Supplier Network and apply those learnings for its hospitality merchants.
Linga rOS (lingaros.com): Large payment processors will continue to invest in the POS space, bringing their own solutions to the already crowded marketplace.
NCR Corp. (ncr.com/restaurants): The labor shortage. Customers are back, but the restaurant workforce is not. Restaurants realize this and are shifting their thinking and using technology to soften the effects of this shortage. Personalization is another key trend. Fast-casual restaurants are increasingly harnessing big data and automation to give their customers what they want before an order comes out of their mouth – or their brand’s app. Data and automation from POS systems have become table stakes – helping restaurants create a unique and differentiated dining experience across a highly competitive and quickly evolving landscape. Restaurant patrons’ interest in noise is declining, while their desire for individualized experiences is climbing. Brands that can harness data and automation with their POS to create these personalized experiences are the ones most likely to stand above the crowded marketplace and keep diners coming back.
Oracle Food and Beverage (oracle.com/food-beverage): The consumer-led journey will continue to drive the evolution of POS systems into multi-channel transaction processing platforms, including every interaction between the brand and the consumer, from initial online discovery to order fulfillment. We’ll see continued investment in the consolidation of siloed data, and increasing the maturity of omnichannel operations. Where and how guests interact with restaurants will continue to evolve. For example, newer concepts in quick service are leading indicators of where the industry is going in the fast-casual space. Balancing the volume of off-premises with in-house service is a challenge, and can be a detriment to brand loyalty because of increasing wait times. We’re going to see brands increase their investments in off-premises business models with no walk-up option, to protect the brand and maximize their labor force. This will require mobile, location technology, kitchen automation, and predictive analytics to prepare orders and so on. Eventually, natural language processing and AI solutions will come to drive-thrus for the same reason. Consumer demand for more supply chain transparency will drive brands to adopt compliant solutions to ensure supplier data integrity. Detailed supplier data will need to be integrated with the point-of-sale to feed menus across all customer touchpoints, and through to marketing communications platforms in the event of a recall (as we see in the retail grocery market today). We’ll also see increased adoption of sophisticated inventory forecasting to combat supply chain uncertainty, foster cost control, and reduce waste.
The labor market was up-ended with COVID-19, and people don’t want to go back to the way things were. Employees want the flexibility and latitude to manage one’s own schedule. Providing staff the tools they need to define their schedule and flexible labor models will start to gain traction, and will result in better customer’s experiences and brand value. This will require advanced analytics and machine learning to be applied to a brand’s POS transaction data to optimize schedules, help determine potential pay incentives for undesirable shifts, or spot bonuses for exceptional performance.
ParTech Inc. (partech.com): The lesson learned from the past year and therefore the impact on software trends will be the ability to support restaurants’ need to quickly test new approaches, implement, make changes and repeat.This past year has taught us that POS software shouldn’t constrain the restaurants ability to innovative quickly, but rather support the restaurant’s ability to innovate.
Qu (qubeyond.com): With the shortage of labor, we are going to focus more with touchless operation and ways to streamline ordering on premise. Giving the power to operators to better manage their production line by adding some intelligence to every aspect of the ordering and fulfillment process with the idea to optimize sales and margin but also to minimize waste.
Revel Systems (revelsystems.com): Prior to the pandemic, 90 percent of transactions were being rung up at an on site point-of-sale terminal. Today, nearly 70 percent of transactions are processed elsewhere — mobile apps, online ordering from desktops, mobile order takers in drive-thrus, or self-service kiosks. With technology at the fingertips of so many consumers, the concept of standing in line and ordering from an employee is already fading into the past. In 5-10 years, there may be no concept of a POS as it exists in the traditional sense. In its place will be a core transactional platform that will help merchants successfully conduct their business.
Shijii Group (www.shijigroup.com): The rise of apps and self-service experiences – these apps are here to stay and will continue to evolve to allow for a more personalized experience. Current order-ahead concepts will integrate with navigation apps to allow for proper, timely food preparation based on traffic and actual arrival time. Payments will continue to evolve and personalization, facial recognition, and room key presence will become more prevalent. With all these increases in guest technology, there will also be profit increases for operators, in addition to the introduction of dynamic pricing based on a variety of factors. With digital menus and apps, changing a price will be a quick action, not requiring extensive printing costs. Soon restaurants can tailor their pricing based on the time of day, day of week or even current business demand. Revenue management will move out of the hotel room and into the restaurant. Overall, core POS Systems must be able to connect to these systems and manage the connections to ensure full communication with the kitchen. Real-time order status feedback and other factors will determine the success of connections and partnerships.
Silverware POS Inc.(silverwarepos.com): Increasing the connection between the diner & establishment will be a large focus for operators. This will offer service staff the ability to project and better anticipate points of service; and offer guests with a curated experience. To assist with this trend, Silverware is focused on AI & machine learning tools to better understand guest behavior. Another very relevant trend is with the global labor shortage in the hospitality space. Meaning tools such as guest-facing ordering platforms, mobile payment solutions and more flexible point-of-sale technology (ie Silverware Clover App) will help alleviate stress in busier environments.
SpotOn (spoton.com/restaurants): Many businesses have been finding great success with outdoor spaces, and this trend will continue to affect POS software, even through the winter, since outdoor spaces have proven to be profitable. Expect more advancements in technologies like mobile ordering, virtual waiter and handheld devices. Operators of all sizes will have access to their own data from all channels to make smarter business decisions for growth and profitability. Lean operations have become the norm.
Square (squareup.com): Consumers will continue to expect more options in how they shop, while also expecting enhanced experiences from the businesses they frequent. It will be vital for businesses to bring omnichannel to the forefront of their operations so that merchants can meet buyers wherever they are, whenever they are ready, across any channel and device. With that in mind, POS software will need to be flexible and adaptable, so that sellers can use it for their unique needs. There will be a continued shift towards mobile as more and more consumers prefer to shop on their mobile devices. There’s been an increase in QR codes and social media shoppable, pointing to the need for sellers to ensure that their business offers these popular shopping experiences to buyers.
Squirrel Systems (squirrelsystems.com): The digital guest experience will continue to be something guests expect. Online ordering, mobile and self-service, loyalty rewards, and other digital capabilities are now woven into the dining experience and are unlikely to be diminished in 2022. Additionally, new business models such as ghost kitchens and virtual brands offer operators new opportunities to reach guests they otherwise couldn’t or provide new products and services under a complimentary brand.
Toast (toasttab.com): POS software will continue to need to drive labor efficiencies; self-ordering technologies will continue to evolve and gain traction. Fully integrated payroll and employee management platforms will help restaurants attract and retain great employees through easier scheduling, payroll processing, and benefits management. Takeout and delivery is here to stay. Keeping the cost of the third-party commissions to a minimum and taking control of the guest relationship will be key to long-term success. Inventory and cost management: With rising food costs, managing inventory will become more important than ever to maintain profitability. POS software will need to tightly integrate with inventory management to help restaurants manage their COGS and mitigate waste.
Touch Bistro (touchbistro.com) Customers are increasingly looking for tightly integrated capabilities from a single provider. The ability to more seamlessly integrate data and insights is offsetting demand for an assortment of third-party best-of-breed apps that don’t integrate well. As the POS has become more commoditized, restaurants are increasingly focusing their technology investment on improving customer data and engagement. Restaurants would prefer to own the relationship with their customers and market to them directly, vs leveraging third party marketplaces. They also want to offer their customers a more personalized experience, including customized offers and promotions.