Getting the most from your POS system
Technology shifts in restaurant point-of-sale business are happening, and in many ways, these changes will alter the consumer experience while dining out.
A recent trend found in the business of foodservice and restaurants is a shift of sorts to table-hosted serving of the guests. This is where a POS device of some variety holds the menu and prompts the customer through the ordering process. The culmination of this new dining experience is payment and receipt printing at the tableside.
This is a more extreme example, but if you watch closely, you will find that even traditional tableside ordering is shifting to the use of tablets, or POS-hosted handheld devices.
These changes are intended to provide better efficiency for both the consumer and the restaurant establishment alike. However, the need remains for technology to provide several key things to make this all work harmoniously:
- Wireless or Bluetooth communication technology for data transmissions
- Products that are easy to use and navigate for both consumers and employees
- Robustly designed, high quality and connected peripheral devices
A recent white paper written by a major brand of POS systems stated that one of four signs that a new point-of-sale system is needed by a business is that the printer hardware breaks down too often. It’s a sign that a new system is likely required to bypass the replacement or repair headaches.
While it is not a factual assertion, it leads one to consider the quality of the devices that are initially attached to these POS systems. If a sign of system obsolescence is the peripherals functioning properly, then by all means it would make sense to select brand of printer or monitor, for example, that provide the following traits:
- High quality designs and manufacturing processes
- Enabled technology—such as communications—or the ability to upgrade as needed (future proofing)
- Strong value to feature costs associated with the deployments
A recent visit to several restaurants during a VoC (voice of the customer) effort by Citizen Systems America showed that several of the companies’ point-of-sale products were being used in stores or restaurants in multiple generations of installation. This is because the products are high quality and the older generation units would not likely result in a failure. The printers would simply continue to perform the needed legacy functions, while the newer products in the store environment from Citizen were deployed due to technology shifts.
The result of the newer printers being backward compatible and the older units maintaining productive use was the ability to do ad-hoc upgrades to the POS system without a complete overhaul as well as cost savings for operators.
While consumers will continue to want a cost effective way to enjoy dining out, the key for foodservice chains will be to keep costs down and provide the value to the consumer in menu pricing. Efficiency, high quality supporting products and installation of technology that results in streamlining store operations are several key ways to make this goal a reality.
For more information on upgrading your POS printer, check out Citizen Systems America at www.citizen-systems.com.