4 POS Trends Shaping the F&B Industry
Which new POS trends could change the F&B industry as we know it?
The modern Point of Sale (POS) system is so much more than just a glorified cash register. Based on a growing set of features, POS systems are actually shaping the F&B industry in ways that are quite surprising. Let's take a look at four intriguing precedents so that you can gauge whether your POS system is offering your business the best experience possible.
1. Big Data
Gathering data about all aspects of your business can help to detect patterns and trends that can be used to improve overall performance. The best POS systems out there allow you to collect data on everything from customer spending habits, item sales and even inventory usage. Over time, when this data compiles, it becomes easier to discover surprising patterns about your business. For example, you may notice that a certain item sells exceptionally well during one season, but falls off in sales during another. Based on this, you can push this item during its popular period by utilizing sales and promotions to build hype. Then, you can simply remove it from your menu in favor of a more effective item during its low season. This not only saves on inventory items, but also helps your business tap into customer buying habits and trends for far more effective sales.
2. Cloud Tech
Cloud technology may seem like some strange, unfathomable concept; but in reality, you probably use it on a daily basis without even realizing. Google Docs, iCloud and Google Photos are all basic examples of cloud technology being used to great effect. When it comes to the best POS systems, cloud technology is something that should be offered for the most optimum experience. By utilizing cloud technology, your business can operate far more efficiently on a local level. For example, if you run a restaurant with a queuing system, full-service POS system, kitchen system, accounting system and more, it may become difficult to balance all these different technologies. Cloud tech allows your POS to integrate all these technologies directly into one solution so that all aspects of your business 'talk' to one another and share relevant information. For example, you would be able to manage queues, seat new customers, take orders and have them fired directly to the kitchen, all while keeping track of sales from one POS.
In addition, cloud technology lets your business share data between stores, even if you operate on a global scale. This means that you can share menus instantly between all locations, your VIP customers' data will be available at all stores so that they always receive the best experience possible and you will be able to have a full picture of your entire organization's finances from one location.
3. Mobile Payments
Nowadays, just about everyone uses a mobile phone or a smart device in some way, shape or form. Inevitably, technology has progressed to the point where cash is slowly becoming less relevant while mobile wallets and payments become the more convenient and preferred method of payment. Of course, this type of technology is catching on much more quickly with the younger generation. However, in places like China and India, cashless payment methods are popular among all demographics to the point where even taxi drivers often don't carry change! Mobile payments are supported by the best POS systems, and will ensure that you can offer this new payment method that's sure to guarantee you more happy customers.
The process of taking an order manually is often regarded as a staple of a good dining experience. However, in many quick serve businesses, manual ordering can slow down turnover, represent an increase in labor costs and lead to errors. Should you be using one of the best POS systems on the market, you will find that there is integrated support for kiosk systems so you can take advantage of the benefits that self-serve kiosks provide. Indeed, many food giants are fully-embracing this trend. According to Forbes,  "as of 2020, self-service ordering kiosks will be implemented at all U.S. McDonald's locations. Other chains, including fast-casual brands like Panera and casual-dining brands like Chili's, have already embraced this trend."