The Point-of-Sale Revolution

There’s an exciting innovation every day, it seems, in the brave new world of point-of-sale (POS) systems. For the most part, of course, the restaurant business itself has changed very little over the centuries. As with the thermopolia of ancient Rome and the taverns and bodegas of medieval Europe, customers still walk in, order something tasty from the menu, gobble it down and pay the bill. But whereas peasants and pilgrims once paid with shekels, doubloons and the occasional fat piglet, nowadays customers prefer to use a little plastic card that, by the looks of it, ought to be worth no more than a deuce of spades.

As the nature of our currency evolves, restaurateurs have been forced to quickly adapt, and an entirely new industry has sprung up. Multifunctional POS systems abound, and the choices can seem overwhelming. The best ones integrate the latest technologies, including tablets, smartphones and the cloud. In many cases, the restaurant transaction has become a cashless, cardless experience for everyone involved.

But, as PMQ’s Tracy Morin explains in this month’s info-packed article, “The Power of POS” (page 36), POS systems are so much more than highfalutin cash registers. Forward-thinking restaurant operators are leveraging these technologies in ways that will likely lead to an entirely new paradigm of commerce, using POS systems for everything from building customer loyalty (and this experience, too, can be cardless as well as cashless) to managing payroll, monitoring food costs and profit margins, tracking franchise or multiunit performance, and developing and executing complex marketing strategies.
In other words, the moneymaking potential of POS is virtually limitless, and, even better, the technology is getting simpler to use every year. If you can operate your smartphone, you can be a POS whiz in no time. Tracy’s article will fill you in on many of the possible uses, including call-in and online ordering, rewards and loyalty programs, and minimizing human error and security issues. Check it out and see for yourself how the revolution in POS technology can help you achieve your long-term sales goals without having to count shekels and piglets.

Rick Hynum