HT surveyed POS software vendors for the 2023 POS Software Trends Report where they detailed their 2022 product launches and plans 2023. In this new HT exclusive, POS vendors share their views on the top trends impacting the future of the point-of-sale system and restaurants. Read on!
Agilysys InfoGenesis POS
There has been a dramatic increase in the market for bleisure and stay-and-play travel. With this increase, the industry has been challenged to provide guests with a better mobile experience, retain staff in a challenging economic environment, and be very focused on the overall guest experience.
Top 10 POS Trends
- Increased focus on CX including personalization
- Continued self-service capabilities
- More mobile
- Supporting additional revenue streams/ hybrid business models
- Workforce and increased mobility and efficiency
- Deeper integrations with key business tools
- Additional payment options
- Increased use of AI solutions to ease operational burdens, improve CX and drive loyalty
- More Security, including POS payments and new forms of payments
- Digital gift cards for customers' digital wallets
Modern on-demand guests want to have self-service options via mobile devices for convenience when ordering services or activities to elevate the overall stay experience. Empowered guests spend more time and more money on property, leave higher reviews, and award staff with better tips.
Additionally, properties are having a harder time attracting and retaining top hospitality talent. Staff needs to be empowered to spend more time focusing on the quest experience. Properties must understand and begin to focus on Return on Experience and Revenue per Guest, rather than the traditional measures of success like ADR and RevPar.
Ultimately, guests will win. Guests will continue to push technology companies and restaurants to allow them to order, pay and interact with the brands the way they want to - through text, voice ordering, third party, kiosk and other methods to make the guest experience personalized to their own. Restaurants will start to utilize data to continue to optimize the guest experience as more and more platforms integrate and consolidate.
Security will continue to impact how POS software evolves. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of alternative payments grow in popularity, including QR codes, handheld devices and pay-at-table tablets. Through all of these options, the method of payment stays with the customer – leading to a more secure payment experience. What’s more, these payment options increase speed of service as they eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth for an in-store employee. Secondly, as retail segments continue to blend, businesses that operate hospitality services require a single, unified POS solution for all of their processes. A unified POS simplifies integrations, reduces the cost and time required for maintenance and gives retailers the agility needed for continuous innovation.
Industry challenges including labor shortages, inflation, and other operational complexities continue to impact restaurants, breweries, hotels, and other venues, and we do not anticipate this changing in the upcoming year. As guests continue to lean towards digital and contactless, POS trends will have to follow suit. Further, we believe there will be an increase in mobile ordering capabilities that will empower guests to control their own dining experiences, and provide the convenience of managing their own tabs, re-orders and checkout process.
Engaging with customers in new ways. The POS system has become more than just an ordering and payment station, as it now offers automated features and integrations that can scale according to a restaurant's needs today or five years from now - regardless of the ordering journey. The successful POS solutions will be commerce-based solutions that extend to provide consistent touchpoints to the customer.
Restaurants are implementing AI solutions to solve everything from menu changes to marketing automation to taking and fulfilling orders. In the long run, AI solutions will continue to help ease a variety of operational burdens and address challenges associated with labor shortages, improve customer experience, and drive brand loyalty. Smart technology is the way to prepare for the unexpected and ensure that the business 2023 goals are met even with a bit of turbulence.
In today’s modern world, diners expect to have a personalized experience. To create a truly customized experience for each customer, data is the secret sauce. The challenge for many operators is that they do not own their customer data. Instead, this data is held by third-party apps or delivery partners. By upgrading POS systems to a unified cloud experience that incorporates artificial intelligence, customer data is more centralized, allowing operators to turn those insights around ordering behaviors into customized dining experiences, for both in-person and online diners. Knowing more about customers, such as if they prefer contactless delivery, choose add-on sides and sauces regularly, order specific items more frequently or have allergies or dietary restrictions, all adds up to creating a personalized experience.
Lavu is focused on new technology and integrations that bolster the online ordering platform, allow merchants to accept payments via QR codes and enable merchants to attract new customer segments by accepting alternate payments like Venmo, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies.
The payments landscape has been evolving quickly as a result of the wide range of possibilities enabled through fintech, so I imagine we’ll continue seeing many new innovations that are responsive to consumer needs. Experiences across the board will be digitally optimized. But there’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to independent businesses. Believe it or not, on one side of the spectrum there are still businesses that only accept cash! We have a lot of work to do to drive adoption.
Restaurant trends show us that a consumer's patience to place and receive orders is waning, as is the increased desire to have complete flexibility and freedom to discover and decide what and where to eat next. Supply chain delays, staffing shortages, and rising food costs are just a few of the other hurdles operators are maneuvering daily.
Whether it is checking into the restaurant, ordering a drink ahead of time, curbside delivery, kiosk ordering, or contactless payment, customers expect convenience and control. Enabling consumer flexibility creates less predictability for brands and directly translates to operational challenges. These challenges can only be delivered at scale through restaurant technology.
POS has evolved rapidly and from our point of view, modern restaurant operations requires a transaction platform that is scalable, can configure and manage all menu data across all digital experiences (web, app, confirmation boards, etc), informs and automates kitchen production, and drives back office processes to reduce manual labor particularly in the finance and HR departments. It has to seamlessly connect with other mission-critical business systems like ERP for restaurants, HCM and marketing systems, and provide near real-time data analytics to help restaurateurs make informed decisions on the fly, and continuously fine tune their long-term strategy.
Unified commerce and receiving the perfect combination of technologies, solutions and services from a single vendor is the future of the POS landscape. Brands no longer need to waste valuable time on vendor management and harboring disparate technologies with a unified, data-driven network.
Mobility and efficiency are key areas of focus for restaurant operations. Restaurants will continue to shift to a more hybrid or off-premises business model. Businesses investing in online ordering, delivery, drive-thru and curbside pickup technology will continue to grow at a fast rate during the years to follow. Restaurants will focus on POS technology that can streamline back-of-house operations to lower costs and help offset labor challenges. Also, loyalty solutions and payment flexibility will be top of mind for businesses, with convenience being the primary driver of a positive consumer experience.
"Over 80% of restaurants now operate a hybrid business model, one that offers some combination of sit down, drive-thru, curbside pickup and delivery options. Gone are the days of a clear distinction between restaurant styles, but one fact is universal: those with greater flexibility can control their destiny and will be in a position to increase revenue and win.
Currently customers are craving experience. Any way that the hospitality industry can improve the guest’s experience through flexible and frictionless technology will increase their satisfaction. Technology that puts guests in the driver's seat, through hardware flexibility, integrated solutions, and guest recognition functionality especially, will continue to grow.
Given that many independent and small chain restaurant operators are still using legacy POS systems, we foresee operators making the move to a cloud-based, integrated POS system that helps them manage their overall restaurant beyond the sale. POS software with deeper integrations with key business tools including accounting platforms, loyalty programs, inventory management, employee scheduling and management and QR codes and online ordering capabilities
Labor will continue to be a force in the industry; operators will be turning to technology more than ever both to manage the labor they do have and maintain (and in some aspects streamline) operations to adapt to a new leaner team. For the POS, this means a continued move towards intuitive systems. How do we make it easier and faster for guests to order, and pay for their items? You will see more easy-to-use guest-facing displays (think kiosk, table-side tablets and mobile ordering from the table) with easily-navigable menus and modifiers, smart recommendations and upsells and better order timing communication. For the service team, it will be all about making the experience faster and easier to place orders so they are freed up to focus on their customers, take more tables and orders, and ultimately make more money – crucial for retention.
The election and various legislation in the hopper will, of course, impact the industry far and wide. This becomes the point-of-sale system’s time to shine as the heartbeat of a restaurant, where employees not only enter in orders but clock in/out, confirm meal breaks, and more.
As restaurants are working to recession-proof their businesses amid concerns around the economy, rising inflation, and labor shortages, it is more important than ever for business owners to find solutions that increase efficiency and save money. Established restaurants, in particular, need to evolve quickly and they need trusted technology partners to do so.
There is no question that 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 2023. Additionally, managing the market conditions around labor, payment processing fees, and supply chain stability is an area of increased focus for our customers.
An area we are focused on is making sure that customers have a pathway to future capabilities. As businesses grow, they require new systems, additional functionality, and processes and technology they may not have foreseen. It is our role to help them choose and plot a foundation that supports that growth and does not limit their choices, all while staying true to the brand vision that is unique to their offering. Additionally, we are seeing more customers move to digital gift cards that can be used either online or on-premise and distributed easily via email for inclusion in digital wallets.
Continued consumer self-serve capabilities: kiosk, mobile payment, self-ordering at the table, etc. Support of extended multiple ordering flows as consumer preferences continue to evolve.
Consumer demand for increased personalization — which at restaurants can actually mean a better hospitality experience. For example, while some guests experience hospitality as engaging directly with a server who might be holding a handheld device, other guests’ desired experience is about an entirely digital, contactless interaction. As consumers become more eager for options, software will have to adapt in order to meet diners’ needs.
In addition to personalization, we’ve seen an increase in restaurant owners and operators adding sales channels that give them additional revenue streams as well as the chance to acquire new and different types of patrons. Whether restaurants are focused on catering, retail, wholesale, or subscriptions/membership clubs, restaurants are reaching customers in more ways than ever before and innovative software will help streamline these processes.
The adoption of cloud-based technology accelerated during the pandemic. Restaurant operators are now realizing the full value of technology to further improve the guest experience through improved products, enhanced guest engagement, and loyalty programs while also increasing operations efficiency given labor shortages and rising food costs. We feel this restaurant industry trend is here to stay and the adoption of technology will only continue to increase. Given the current economic climate, tools that allow restaurant owners to connect with and better understand their customers will become even more important than they are today.
The use of more mobile tablets and pay at the table. With businesses struggling to find employees, restaurants are assigning bigger sections with keeping the same standards of service with the ability to turn tables faster; technology will have to adapt to these trends. We are adapting and integrating with gateways that allow these features for our customers.
Labor shortages, minimum wage increases, inventory costs increase, and sourcing inventory will impact future POS software trends. Key customer insights that allow POS providers to work with venues in helping upsell items and creating an enhanced customer journey.