POS Trends in Review: The Topics & Tools that Mattered Most in 2009


At the end of last year, Hospitality Technology spoke with restaurant operators and point of sale (POS) vendors to identify what the top trends and technologies would be for 2009 in its special editorial report, POS System Trends 2009. Twelve months later, a review of HT's most read POS headlines from 2009 reveals that while many of those predictions held true, there were also a number of surprises.

Money saving features still top of mind
Given the state of the economy at the end of 2008, it wasn't a surprise when both operators and vendors alike cited the economic climate as the most important factor influencing point of sale software trends for the year ahead. From financials and reporting to curtailing inventory and waste, POS features that cut costs and promoted efficiency were top of mind. And based off of HT's most read headlines, this is a trend that proved to be a strong one this year. An interesting area related to this, although not covered in depth in the 2009 outlook, was the affect that loss prevention and labor management strategies would have on cutting costs. Technologies that promote employee accountability and stop shrink in its tracks were of particular interest to operators this year. Biometrics, POS-integrated video and beverage tracking solutions were just some of the most read about technologies in this area.
Online ordering capabilities
While many operators are looking for ways to cut costs with their POS, others are looking for ways to generate more revenue. Technologies that marry the POS with online ordering and e-marketing solutions were identified as important features that are needed to build profitable customer relationships in POS System Trends 2009. This online ordering trend, and others, continued to be of interest this year as operator attention in online ordering was sparked with articles that focused on peer technology reviews and success stories. Domino's successful online ordering campaign, an initiative that earned them the number one ranking in online ordering sales in the first quarter of 2009 according to The NPD Group, was of particular interest to readers. And according to the Industry Outlook 2010, operators are identifying this area as a valuable strategy for building a loyal customer base.
Portability matters
Mobility in the form of tableside ordering and payment is another trend that was expected to be big this year, as restaurant operators looked to it as a way to up-sell their products and increase order accuracy and security, among other things. In HT's 11th Annual Restaurant Technology Study, nearly 30% of respondents identified it as an important peripheral, and installation best practices proved to be one of the most read POS topics this year. What's more, in HT's Industry Outlook 2010, Tanya Mareno, Petrus Brands' VP of franchise sales and development, and Chuck Marratt, MTM Luxury Lodging's VP of IT, predicted that pay-at-table and the use of tablets for mobile POS use will be a top POS trend in the year ahead.

The top 15 of 2009
What follows is a breakdown of HT's most read POS articles, including coverage on the trends listed above and more:

1. POS System Trends 2009: As the end of a tumultuous 2008 draws near, the majority of hospitality operators are looking for ways to cut costs, curb waste, and coax consumers into their doors. What many may not have considered is that one of their heaviest pieces of artillery in the battle against a downturned economy is their point of sale systems. Hospitality Technology puts a focus on POS trends, functions and releases to find out what exactly this system can do to help restaurants sell more and spend less in 2009.

2. POS Software Innovations: Hospitality Technology scours the POS vendor marketplace to find out the latest innovations in POS software. Bundled offerings, new third-party integrations, and simplified user interfaces are just some of the newest updates.

3. Scorecard 2009: Restaurants Rate Top POS Trends: Ask any operator, and they will tell you that point of sale (POS) systems are at the heart of restaurant management systems. Learn how operators across quick service, family/casual, and fine dining restaurants rank POS features, peripherals and system replacement plans in 2009.

4. Industry Q&A: Wendy's Franchisee Dishes on its Complete POS Makeover: A few years ago, Tar Heel Capital's IT and operations departments evaluated their stores' POS environment, concluding that the software and hardware components were nearing the end of life. HT sits down with Rob Ireland, IT director for one of the largest Wendy's franchise owners to learn more about the innovative solutions that are going into Tar Heel's locations.

5. POS Peer Review 2009: Hospitality Technology speaks to a cross-section of restaurant operators for an informal review of the next-gen POS solutions that are impacting their business. Franchisees from Dairy Queen, Wendy's and more chime in.

6. Peer Review: Online Ordering: POS-integrated online ordering solutions deliver greater functionality to restaurant operations than ever before. HT asks three operators which solutions work best for their restaurant concepts, and why.

7. Subway to Implement Restaurant POS across 30,000 Global Locations: After evaluating over 25 POS vendors, SUBWAY announces that it has selected Torex's Quick Service Restaurant POS solution to be installed in over 30,000 of its restaurants in 87 countries.

8. Top POS Tips for Franchises: A restaurant's point of sale is a substantial tech investment for franchisees, and can have a significant impact on the efficiency and success of both the franchisee's business and that of the parent company. Before selecting a POS for your franchisees, review these top system considerations.

9. Portable POS Success: Operators are dropping the cords on their point-of-sale in favor of mobile technology solutions. From access points to system security, learn how to guarantee handheld POS success with the proper planning and installation tips.

10. Combat Shrink at the POS: Four Profit Loss Prevention Strategies: In a dynamic economy where restaurateurs need to work even harder to get customers out of their homes and into their restaurants, the loss of valuable profits to untrusting employees is a disheartening occurrence. Stop employee theft at the POS with these top four loss prevention technologies.

11. Four Money Saving POS Functions for 2009: Hospitality Technology's November/ December cover story explored how operators are levering POS forecasting, financials, marketing and customer loyalty functions to fight the current battle against falling profit margins. However, these features only scratch the surface of POS money saving applications. Learn how to harness theft determent functions, menu analysis and more.

12. Is the Future of POS Open-Source?: According to recent reports, CIOs are now allocating up to nearly one quarter of their budgets towards open-source software. IHL Group reveals how this trend is expected to affect the hospitality point of sale marketplace.

13. Drive Restaurant Efficiency with POS-Integrated Video: Today, video is no longer just for surveillance. Restaurants that integrate POS data with managed video as a service (MVaas) can create custom exception-based reports for an in-depth view of operations. Learn how these solutions can cut costs, reduce loss and drive efficiency.

14. Chili's Enforces Accountability at the POS: Biometric fingerprint readers are beginning to find their way into restaurant security measures. Learn how one Southern-based Chili's franchisee is reinforcing employee accountability at its POS thanks to this next-generation peripheral.

15. Domino's Pizza Ranks No. 1 in Online Ordering Sales: Domino's beats out both Papa John's and Pizza Hut in online ordering sales in the first quarter of 2009 to capture 28 percent of the market share.

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