Believe it or not, 2022 is in full swing! Let’s look ahead at the trends to come this year as they pertain to POS systems for bars and restaurants.
1. Mobile & Cloud-Based POS Systems Will Continue to be Prioritized
This isn’t a huge surprise when you consider all of the benefits that businesses reap from having a mobile and cloud-based POS system:
- Enhance the guest experience: By taking orders tableside and sending the order instantly to the kitchen or bar, items are delivered much quicker than they would with paper tickets. Plus, guests don’t have to wait while servers run back and forth to retrieve credit cards and receipts.
- Increase staff efficiency: Servers save a lot of time on tedious administrative tasks with mobile POS systems. That means they have more time to do an even better job dazzling customers.
- Ability to service more customers: When your POS is mobile, you can take an order from anywhere. That means taking your product on the road to farmers markets or concerts is easy, and you can meet some new fans that may not have visited you in-person yet!
- Reporting capabilities: When all of your sales data is automatically uploaded to the cloud, it ensures the utmost accuracy and saves you a lot of time documenting that information yourself. You can also access that information from anywhere, and those insights let you make proactive business decisions.
But the choice in POS systems for bars and restaurants isn’t only being dictated by savvy business people—it’s also being driven by consumer behaviors. There is an ever-increasing number of smartphones in the world, and customers are now growing to prefer digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay as a form of payment.
The desires of business owners and their guests is also coupled with the fact that there’s an uncertain end in sight to COVID. Waiting until we return to normalcy is no longer a viable option, and bars and restaurants must adapt to new ways to serve guests. Customers (and your staff!) care more than ever about keeping a safe distance from strangers, and mobile POS systems appropriately limit interactions between servers and guests. All’s to say, you can definitely expect to see more and more mobile and cloud-based POS systems in bars and restaurants this year.
2. QR Codes Menus, Ordering, & Payments
If you read The Ultimate Guide to QR Codes for Bars and Restaurants, you know that QR code menus, ordering, and payments is a pandemic-induced craze that is here to stay. As of now, 50% of restaurants now accept QR code payments and it’s expected to become even more mainstream in 2022.
Besides being yet another way that guests can social distance while dining out, businesses are finding QR codes benefit their bottom lines, too:
- 24% higher tabs when guests open tabs and order on their own devices due to ease of ordering
- 24% higher tips when guests open tabs and order on their own devices
- Improved staff-guest interactions surrounding education and upselling
- Greatly reduce guest waiting time with increased efficiency in both front and back of house
Implementation of QR code ordering isn’t a huge lift with the support of your POS system for bars and restaurants. Check out this comprehensive guide for ways to start small, iterate, and eventually find a service model that works for both your staff and your guests.
3. Bigger & Better Loyalty Programs
Since businesses are having less chances to interact with their customers in-person, bars and restaurants are leaning into interacting via loyalty programs instead. Plus, it’s a great method to retain existing customers when people are less likely to go out of their way to try new places during the pandemic.
2021 was the year a lot of restaurants caught onto this trend: 41% of restaurants added or improved their rewards programs. This is only expected to continue growing in 2022, especially with reports that 75% of consumers prefer to purchase from businesses with loyalty programs in place.
In addition to seeing an increased number of POS systems for bars and restaurants support membership programs, it’s predicted in 2022 that these initiatives will largely start to be coupled with referral programs. As mentioned earlier, it’s getting increasingly harder to attract new customers during this pandemic, and efforts will instead start to focus around getting those newbies via existing fans.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Integrations
This is more of a trend in retail POS systems, but it’s worth noting because who knows how this could affect hospitality down the road?! 15% of US businesses are already using AI-integrated POS systems, with 40% of consumers ages 18-24 reporting that they would let artificial intelligence shop for them if the technology accurately understood their preferences.
Retail businesses are leaning in to this technology for the following reasons:
- Fraud protection and prevention
- Intuitive suggestions based on past purchases
- Ease of inventory tracking since buying habits are understood
Down the road, this could mean POS systems for bars and restaurants have predictive technology that suggests food and beverage items to guests based on their past visits. Maybe not in 2022, but keep an eye out!
5. Voice Technology
Voice commands are growing in popularity as a way to play music, learn the weather, and yes, find places to eat or drink. In 2022, the pressure for bars and restaurants to introduce in-app voice-activated technology for ordering will only get more pronounced.
For example, Chipotle has artificial intelligence assistants that take orders by phone. This, and other integrations with restaurant services and virtual assistants, will continue to evolve based on customers’ expectations.
As far as what this could mean for your bar and restaurant POS system, this innovation can be filed under the ever-growing Consumers Want Convenience tab. This is all about streamlining the ordering and payment processes!
6. Delivery Robots & Drones
Chances are you’ve cracked open some takeout and enjoyed it on your couch a few dozen times these past couple of years. There has been an undoubtable boom of food and alcohol delivery services following the stay-at-home orders set by COVID. (7% of alcohol sales are projected to come from e-commerce by 2024.)
Well, 2022 will find companies searching for more solutions to streamline the process of delivery to cut down both labor costs and wait times for customers. Google, Amazon, and Uber are all known to be testing drone delivery technology and they’re enthusiastic about the early results. Drones are expected to complete about 15 deliveries per hour, versus the average 3 per hour that humans in a car can complete.
While it’s unlikely that a robot will deliver your next UberEats order, the technologies are promising and expected to make a lot of headway in the coming year.
7. Digital Ordering Will Grow
In the same vein as the convenience of delivery, the actual process of digital ordering will see big growth in 2022. Here’s what is already happening in the hospitality industry:
- Facebook and Instagram now allow diners to make direct reservations via a restaurant’s business page.
- POS systems for bars and restaurants are facilitating the build of their own online storefronts to accommodate digital orders. These businesses are moving away from using third parties in order to hang on to their own customer data, protect profit margins, and have complete control over the guest experience.
- Investing in the management of online reputations on Yelp, Tripadvisor, OpenTable, etc. is growing. When bars and restaurants claim their listings on these platforms, they get in front of a lot more potential customers. BUT it’s becoming overwhelming to manage all of these reviews, and they have a big influence on whether people come to visit you or not.
Over 69% of restaurants claim they’ll continue to offer digital ordering with support from their POS system after the pandemic has passed. Again, though, those businesses recognize the detrimental effects of third party services and are attempting to move away from using them.
Rumor has it that automated prep line robots are expected to scale in the restaurant scene in 2022. This advanced machine learning is designed to assist in the back-of-house operations to increase kitchen capacity and efficiency for cooks. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a robot will be responsible for perfectly assembling plates, but the ability to chop vegetables, stir pots, and clean dirty counters are definitely in scope.
Robots are useful in the kitchen due to their ability to produce high volumes of food quickly, consistency in preparation, and for safety. (Accidentally cutting a finger isn’t a worry when it comes to this technology!)
Another positive aspect for restaurants is that robots could help fill gaps in the kitchen due to the present labor shortage, and also minimize repetitive back-of-house work like washing dishes or peeling garlic.
If integrated with POS systems for bars and restaurants, robots could also assist in relaying orders to chefs and bartenders.
9. Self-Serve Kiosks
In addition to an increase in mobile POS systems for bars and restaurants, 2022 will also see a larger number of self-serve kiosks in hospitality businesses. Typically fast casual dining has been first to utilize these, but as consumers get more tech-savvy and comfortable using technology like this, it will become more and more popular among full-service bars and restaurants. Besides the ability to work with a smaller staff, there are other benefits to using these kiosks:
- Upselling made easy: On a digital platform, all add-ons are visible and bars and restaurants can display combination deals and promotions right there in front of guests.
- Shorter order times: With guests being able to order themselves, it reduces the amount of waiting for servers to come help them.
- Better order accuracy: Since customers input their own orders, it’s guaranteed they get everything they want and nothing is incorrect.
Again, we will also see a rise in this technology in 2022 due to the continuation of COVID and the desire customers have to limit contact with people outside of their families.
10. Differentiating Revenue Streams
The last 2022 trend you can expect is businesses finding new unique ways to differentiate how they’re making money. These past couple of years have been hard on the hospitality industry, but if anything has been proven since the onset of COVID, it’s that these businesses won’t go down without a fight.
It’s reported that 50% of restaurant owners added new products and services to their repertoire as a result of COVID, and 75% of those establishments claim that the new products will stick around. Some examples of new product offerings include:
- Grocery-type selections in the storefront
- Subscription services that deliver goodies once a month
- Retail services
- Meal and cocktail kits
- Cooking and mixology classes
- Food and beverage tastings
The convenience-hungry consumers of today are definitely receptive to these new ventures of their favorite businesses. (Knocking off your grocery shopping list after lunch at your favorite restaurant? Yes, please!) Bars and restaurants also claim that many of these services could see virtual iterations in 2022, as the unknown surrounding COVID is still pending.
Bonus Trend: Humans > Robots
We can’t emphasize this enough: Robots will not (and should not!) replace your beloved staff. Do you really think a robot will be able to curate the perfect menu based on the nuanced tastes of your guests? Or serve up a dazzling pun while dropping off plates at the table? Nope!
BUT, embracing these technologies to go along with your amazing service and products is the way of the future and will help you stay ahead of the curve.
So here’s to 2022 seeing more human interaction AND technological advancements work together to curate the best customer experiences.
The bar and restaurant industry is continuing to surprise and delight with their tenacity, creativity, and dedication to meeting customer expectations despite the crappy hand they’ve been dealt following 2020. If you’re an owner looking for a POS system that’s just as committed as you are to finding success for your business, reach out to an Arryved POS specialist today to set up a free, personalized demo of our robust, tech-savvy system.