Professionals across the restaurant industry are constantly seeking ways to innovate their business. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this feat is by eliminating POS hardware. By opting for integrated, cloud-based solutions, restaurant operations can be simple for both staff and customers.
Every restaurant needs a POS system to stay in business. Without it, there'd be no way for merchants to accept transactions. However, there are many POS software options that make it easy to improve food service operations.
In traditional settings, restaurants rely on POS hardware like registers, barcode scanners and tablets for each delivery partner. In recent years, many restaurants worldwide have switched to digital solutions. From integrated ordering channels to omni channel fulfillment, such tools offer everything you could need.
In this blog, we'll cover tips of operating a restaurant with as few POS hardware devices as possible. We'll also discuss the many benefits that come along with the switch to cloud-based tech. Read on for everything you need to know!
POS Hardware: Definition
Point of Sale (POS) hardware refers to the systems and devices used to accept transactions. It also has the ability to take inventory and track sales. Every business, whether a brick and mortar or eCommerce, must use POS hardware to operate.
Restaurant Hardware Components
We're all familiar with standard POS hardware components. But which devices and systems are specific for restaurants? Here's a list of restaurant hardware that can be found in eateries:
- Kitchen display systems
- Barcode scanners
- Digital menu boards
- iPad POS hardware
There are instances when restaurant hardware is vital. However, lessening something like the number of tablets your host(s) have to use is a game-changer. When utilizing third-party delivery apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats, it can be overwhelming to have a device for each platform. But once you onboard integrated solutions, restaurant staff can begin doing more with less.
POS System Hardware: What’s Included?
Across the restaurant industry, hosts and wait staff frequent the POS hardware quite a bit. POS hardware consists of many components, including the following parts:
- Payment terminals
- Cash registers
- Barcode scanners
- Touchscreen tablets
- Chip and card readers
- Receipt printers
In most cases, POS hardware is used during the checkout process. However, there are times when it's part of the beginning of the sales funnel. This is primarily due to POS integrations. For example, many POS hardware devices can display menus and customer data.
A perfect balance of POS hardware and software can improve efficiency and business operations. However, there are instances when less hardware is ideal.
In fact, this observation is more applicable to the restaurant industry than any other. But before we jump into ways to eliminate POS hardware in restaurants, let's discuss what makes the industry’s POS hardware unique.
Restaurant POS Hardware: Key Differences
Now that we’ve discussed which devices and systems fall into each category, let’s discuss what is specific to restaurant POS hardware. To begin, restaurant POS hardware is often used by numerous types of people, from customers to chefs.
By using digital, integrated, and cloud-based solutions, all parties can be in sync. Though standard POS hardware is a major component of all business types, restaurant POS hardware is unique. Such solutions are used for tracking inventory, placing orders, hosting a customer rewards program, and so much more.
With this in mind, eliminating restaurant POS hardware will decrease the time it takes to process transactions and fulfill orders. But more importantly, it’ll boost the staff’s efficiency, accuracy, and speed.
3 Ways to Eliminate POS Hardware
There are many steps a restaurant can take when they eliminate POS hardware from the equation. Want a step-by-step guide? Check out the following tips to get started:
1. Accept Mobile Payments
Allowing customers to pay for orders via mobile devices can go a long way. Whether they use Apple Pay, Google, or pay via delivery apps, it'll streamline such processes. This is because restaurants can then reduce the usage of card readers or cash registers and receipt printers.
2. Use Self Ordering Kiosks
Kiosks utilize digital menus and self-service payment terminals for customers to place orders. With digital solutions, self-service tech is feasible. Plus, it'll allow you to ditch POS hardware like registers and barcode scanners.
3. Use Cloud Technology
With cloud-based solutions, restaurant leaders will be able to retrieve consumer data in real time. Restaurant data analytics is vital for an eatery's strategy. So, opt for this kind of data for optimal restaurant success.
By implementing these tactics, restaurants can reduce the amount of POS hardware they use. Then, it'll be time to reap the benefits of having all your processes taking place in the cloud. Read about all of them in the section below!
5 Benefits of Eliminating POS Hardware
One of the best ways to enhance a restaurant for both customers and staff is to onboard innovative solutions. If you can eliminate POS hardware from your restaurant, we highly encourage you to do so. There are numerous benefits of replacing POS hardware with software options.
From cost savings to boosting efficiency, we're confident going the digital route will be right for you. See below for the top five benefits of eliminating POS hardware in restaurants:
1. It Saves You Money
When you use POS hardware, it doesn't evolve with the times. As hospitality software companies roll out products and services, it can be difficult to keep up with new releases. Eventually, your physical systems will become obsolete and incompatible with all new innovations.
By switching to a digital landscape for such operations, businesses will be able to keep up with new systems. Whether it’s downloading app integrations or updating software, digital solutions are much more flexible. In turn, it's easier to make updates.
By not having to purchase new systems every time there’s a new product on the market, every business owner has the potential to save money. And considering the many restaurant expenses you encounter daily, the more savings the merrier.
2. Businesses Can Track Orders In Real Time
When all of a host’s processes are held within a restaurant POS platform, updates can be automatic. This means that restaurant staff members can view order statuses in real time.
For example, the restaurant POS system can sync with the kitchen display system. Then, as new orders enter the system, they’ll be able to track its progress. It also allows the sous chef to prepare dishes in a timely manner.
Real time updates are also valuable for live order tracking. Once a delivery leaves the facility with an order, the restaurant manager can view their location via GPS tracking. The best part? Customers can also use live order monitoring to view their order status.
Real time order updates prevent confusion and eliminate phone calls to the restaurant. In turn, it reduces work overload for the whole staff. More importantly, it's a level of convenience that POS hardware can't always offer.
3. Digital Restaurant POS Systems Boost Efficiency
Wouldn't it be great if a restaurant was so advanced that the staff had fewer duties to worry about? By removing POS hardware, restaurants can do just that.
For example, integrated solutions can sync with online menus, the POS system, and the KDS. When all of these solutions link to one another, customers can place orders with QR codes. Or, they can place orders and pay the bill with a tableside device.
When you eliminate handwritten orders, you're also decreasing the risk of errors. Not only is accuracy ideal for customer satisfaction, but also for health and safety. If a customer with a severe allergy places an order, it can be disastrous to serve the wrong dish. Or, if dishes take some time to prepare, extending the wait time can lead to frustration rather quickly.
Outdated solutions can cause you to face what should be outdated issues. Plus, when you envision tech, you likely think of perfection. So, why not use tools that can help produce the right outcomes every time? Remember--happy customers sustain profitable businesses.
4. Innovation Can Enhance the Customer Experience
Providing a great experience should be a top priority. In fact, customer satisfaction is the baseline of all customer retention strategies. It's also important to remember that first impressions are vital. So, implement customer-centric efforts at all times.
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective types of promotion, too. As people have pleasant and memorable experiences at local eateries, they'll likely tell friends and family about it. With this in mind, ensure that customers don't leave with anything bad to say.
Taking POS hardware out of restaurants can do more for customer satisfaction than you might think. For instance, mobile POS features are a preferred payment processing method. Actually, all forms of contactless payments are now popular.
With mobile wallets, there isn't a need for many types of POS hardware components. Instead, restaurants can process transactions quicker and more efficiently.
5. Software Can Offer Updates Instantly.
Similar to tracking orders in real time, digital solutions can provide updates instantly. First, let’s discuss how this is vital for off-premise deliveries.
As drivers are on their way to each residence, the restaurant will be able to track the status. However, the host and manager will also know when each driver drops off an order. This is a valuable feature for back of house operations, as it allows the staff to plan orders accordingly.
Using online ordering apps also provides instant updates. As customers place online orders, they'll instantly appear in the digital in-house systems. Then, the staff will have a clear view of the order status, just like the customer does, too.
It’s also important to note that instant updates are a major perk of using software. As software platforms evolve, there will be new versions that roll out. Instead of ordering brand new devices, simply update your current programs.
Your hospitality software provider will likely send out alerts about such updates in addition to relevant resources. Then, training and upgrades will be easier than ever. And as the industry evolves, you'll also be able to.
Frequently Asked Questions About POS Hardware
POS hardware and software is a standard aspect of every operating business. However, this doesn't change the fact that there is an entire area of knowledge surrounding the topic. From varying costs to unique devices, there is much to learn about such systems.
In learning why you should eliminate POS hardware in restaurant settings, you should first know its purpose in businesses. Read the following questions and answers to learn all about it.
What Is POS Hardware?
POS hardware stands for Point of Sale hardware. It refers to the physical systems used to run a business. These are the devices that allow merchants and customers to process transactions. It's also the technology used to manage sales.
What Are the Most Common Types of POS Hardware?
The most common types of POS hardware include cash registers, barcode scanners, card readers, tablets, receipt printers, and computer monitors. Many cloud-based software options can eliminate hardware for seamless operations.
How Much Does POS Hardware Cost?
The cost of POS hardware can vary depending on the systems and POS partners. It's vital that you budget ample funds to cover all the hardware, as well as necessary software.
How Do I Choose the Right POS System for My Business?
Consider current issues your business is facing to choose the best POS system. But regardless of what you need, an integrated solution will help operations be much more seamless for any business.
Do I Need to Purchase Hardware for My POS System?
No, not necessarily. Instead, many businesses in the restaurant industry can benefit from an all-inclusive cloud based POS system. With this kind of solution, business owners are able to accomplish more with less.
Eliminate the Hardware, Eliminate the Headaches
Making the switch from POS hardware to a completely digital restaurant might sound daunting. After all, it does contradict decades of industry norms. But once you experience how much more seamless business operations can be without several devices, you'll feel grateful you made the upgrade.
So you might be wondering what next steps may look like. Book a demo with a member of our team to discuss how POS integrations and a hardware-free business can improve your company. We can't wait to contribute to the digital transformation of your restaurant!