POS Payment System Must Haves in 2022
These are the absolute POS payment system must haves going into summer 2022—it’s all about digital, convenient, and fast!
2022 is the year that the hospitality industry is coming out of what feels like a 2 year hibernation. While food and beverage workers continued to tirelessly hustle during shutdowns to meet off-premise demand, it’s been a minute since we’ve all felt the buzz of a crowded dining experience. This summer is expected to be full of long-awaited hugs, group gatherings, and, of course, eating and drinking at all of our favorite spots around town.
From a staff perspective, this busy season also means tackling new expectations from customers that have become accustomed to the “new normal”. We’re talking digital, convenient, and fast!
Here are the absolute POS payment system must haves going into summer 2022:
POS Payment System Must Have A Mobile & Cloud-Based System
POS payment systems started as clunky cash registers, and over time have become smaller and mightier! The latest POS tech that’s streamlining efficiencies for hospitality are mobile and cloud-based systems.
Mobile refers to the devices staff are using. While age-old chains like Applebees may still have their servers fighting over a single stationary payment terminal, mobile POS equips every staff member with a handheld smartphone or tablet. These nifty devices fit in the back of pockets or the front of aprons, and they let servers assist guests tableside. These speeds up ordering and checkout (servers don’t have to run tickets or receipts) and also gives you more face-to-face time with guests. Rack up those tips!
Cloud-based refers to how information within the POS system is transferred. All orders and sales are automatically uploaded to the cloud upon entry, and all devices are synced to the same cloud. That means as soon as an order is placed by a server, the kitchen and bar receive it instantly on their own devices. Now plate and drink assembly can start immediately, and guests can chow down even sooner! Cloud-based POS also makes reporting a cinch—but more on that later.
Did you know that by 2025, mobile POS payments are expected to reach $4.65 million? In the midst of an ongoing labor shortage, it makes sense that businesses are investing in tech that saves staff from the administrative burdens of paper tickets and receipts, as well as sales data collection.
So hop on board! This mobile, cloud-based train is increasing efficiency and the dining experience for guests.
POS Payment System Must Have Offline Mode
The best mobile POS systems aren’t shackled to being within range of your WiFi modem, either! The right mobile system is truly mobile, in that you can accept payments from anywhere with the help of offline mode. If you find yourself hit with a mean storm that knocks out power on-site, or you’re at an outdoor event without a signal, offline mode allows you to continue transacting. Once you’re back in range or power is restored, all sales data syncs with the cloud once again!
Besides being incredibly convenient, this feature of POS payment systems also helps diversify revenue streams for businesses. Pick up some extra cash and a new customer base by traveling around town at various events! There are no restrictions with the right POS.
POS Payment System Must Have Card On File
Speaking of the shackles of standard POS systems… Why should your team be tied to an old-school rolodex of credit cards? Any honest server would admit they hate fishing out credit cards for departing guests, and guests would gladly say they dislike handing their cards over!
To remove a headache for staff and offer a better checkout experience for guests, a POS payment system must is card on file. In other words, keeping a tab open without needing to hold onto the physical card. This feature is every bartender’s best friend!
POS Payment System Must Have Fast, Durable Hardware
In addition to mobile devices, your POS payment system hardware must work quickly and be able to withstand the daily wear and tear of this industry. Hospitality is fast-paced and the last thing you need is your POS to be glitching or doing anything to slow service down.
Plus, it’s very likely devices will get dropped or spilled on in a food and beverage setting. You pay a pretty penny for those tools, and it would behoove you to inquire with your POS rep and make sure you’re getting the sturdy stuff.
POS Payment System Must Have Diverse, Dynamic Menus
Another thing that can change at the drop of a hat is your menu! Whether your bartender has a new concoction they’d like to try out, or your rice shipment for the month never came, you must be able to add or nix menu items quickly. The best POS payment systems make those changes easy with digital menus that sync with the cloud, and therefore all staff and guest devices instantly.
Timed menus are also possible with savvy POS payment systems. Say goodbye to Happy Hour pricing confusion with this tool. Now, prices and menu items can automatically update from 3-6PM.
There are also a lot of promotion opportunities with dynamic digital menus. You can upload drool-worthy photos, icons pointing out best sellers, or even a banner promoting your event next weekend.
This benefits guests, too! If you have a constantly evolving menu, customers are eager to see what’s new each week and they’re more likely to choose your spot for their Friday night plan. Plus, they’ll never be disappointed by ordering something that ends up being out of stock, because the menu is always accurate!
POS Payment System Must Have Contactless Ordering Options
Here’s a prominent trend the best POS payment systems are catching onto due to consumer demand. Contactless ordering combines everything that guests have come to know and love since the beginning of the pandemic:
- Convenience → Guests can do it from the couch
- Speed → We’re all used to Amazon packages arriving the next day
- Options: → Choose Your Own (Dining) Adventure, if you will
These are the 3 methods in which a POS payment system puts ordering power in guests’ hands:
1. QR Code Menus, Ordering, & Payments
These matrix barcodes were invited to the hospitality party in 2020 as a germ-free way for guests to continue eating and drinking out. But, the business benefits and guest satisfaction they’ve spurred has made QR code ordering a staple in the dining experience for the indefinite future.
Giving guests the power to start and close their own tabs may sound like a service replacement, when really it’s a service enhancer! Not only does this technology make it really easy for guests to add any item to their tab at any time (making tabs 24% bigger!), it also makes it easy for staff to engage with tables when they come to deliver food and beverages. Roaming servers no longer have to worry about collecting orders and getting receipts signed. Instead, they can offer suggestions on the next round or tell a table the restaurant’s origin story, without feeling like another table is desperately needing them elsewhere.
With cloud-based technology, too, QR codes sync all sales data from guest devices right to the same reporting dashboard as everything else!
2. Mobile App
A guest-facing mobile app is another ordering option for your tech-savvy customers. By offering a downloadable app, guests can enter orders while their partner is still parking the car! Besides ordering ease, this also makes checkout a breeze because it requires no credit card or device swapping between guests and staff.
Sometimes, guests want to get in, have a beer, and get out. Offering great service is all about meeting guests where they are.
3. Online Storefront
The pandemic saw us buying toilet paper, groceries, and everything in between online. The same ordering method is trending for hospitality businesses! In fact, revenue from food and beverage ecommerce grew $8.2 billion in 2021 alone.
Online stores give you a platform to sell merchandise and food orders for to-go or delivery. This new revenue stream presents the opportunity to pick up even more orders, because you’re catering to the guests that are craving your goods but don’t have the energy to leave their houses at that particular time.
The best POS payment system fully integrates your menu and inventory with an online store, and doesn’t charge you monthly fees to host it. With an easy-to-set up, customizable store, you maximize your sales potential and set yourself up for long-term success in this growing ecommerce marketplace.
POS Payment System Must Have A Loyalty Program That Builds Community & Your Brand
- Discounted goods
- Exclusive access to special merch or events
- Involvement in a like-minded community
- Points to earn and redeem for free stuff
Anything that’s beneficial for guests is beneficial for business. After all, you can’t do what you do without them! Offering a program where guests can earn rewards like these drives traffic and inherently spreads the word about your businesses through your satisfied customers’ mouths.
Plus, it’s easy to run a loyalty program with the right tools, courtesy of POS payment systems. You can track membership stats, points accrued and redeemed, and also communicate with members right from your POS portal. A POS also must make these programs completely customizable, because you know your guests the best, and you can decide what motivates membership and which promotion types to run.
POS Payment System Must Have Extensive Reporting Tools
There’s nothing closer to a roadmap of your business’s future than POS payment system reports. These gems of data can definitively tell you what’s working, what could be refined, and what path you should take next!
The best POS offers both pre-built and customizable reports. That way, you can save time pulling standard reports (daily sales) and go granular with specific information from reports you care about (say, t-shirt sales in February 2022). All of this information should be accessible from a web-based sales dashboard that you can view from any device, anywhere in the world.
Another must of your POS reporting is that the numbers are comprehensive. As mentioned, a cloud-based system syncs all data into the cloud from all devices and all sales channels. This ensures you’re not missing any pertinent information, and you can trust your POS’s accuracy.
Looking into your business’s performance should be insightful and worthwhile, not a frustrating wrestling match with Excel.
POS Payment System Must Have Accessible, Industry-Specific Integrations
- Inventory Management: You need to track everything that comes and goes—food, liquid, and merchandise! This software keeps tabs on all inventory, all the time, and it also syncs with menus so nothing is listed as available to order that’s actually out of stock.
- Accounting & Reporting: Cross-reference your POS reporting with bank deposits to ensure utmost accuracy.
- Business Management: This software reduces manual bookkeeping of POS and ecommerce transactions with your POS system.
These third-party softwares make your POS payment system even more comprehensive and streamline all of your business data. They’re a must for any business looking to grow!
POS Payment System Must Have Exceptional & Unlimited Customer Support
Okay, enough tech talk. Let’s talk about how crucial it is to have a helpful group of humans available to you in case the robots go rogue!
From Day 1 onboarding a POS system, to Day 52 when you have an urgent question on a busy Saturday, the quality of a POS’s support team is vital to your business’s success. Many POS companies tout 24 hour support, but what good is that support if you’re stuck waiting on the line to get the help you need?
That’s why in addition to providing reasonable hours of availability, a must have for POS support is a guarantee that your calls and emails will be answered promptly, and your problems are solved just as quickly!
Trust when we say that this aspect makes or breaks a POS payment system. Empathetic, hardworking POS experts doing their best to ensure your business excels saves you time and headaches.
POS Payment System Must Have Trustworthy Security
When you’re processing hundreds of payments every day, you absolutely must work with a POS system using top-notch security measures. You put your customers and your business at risk if you don’t!
Credit card numbers, email addresses, and payroll are just some examples of the sensitive information POS payment systems handle. Keep an eye out for the following when you’re looking into security of any particular POS:
- Payment Card Industry (PCI) Standards: the set of security standards used by card brands
- Report of Compliance (ROC): industry audited security practices
- Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (SPII): information that can identify someone
Some of this can sound like another language, so don’t be afraid to ask your POS rep about the steps they take to ensure security. The right POS payment system won’t give you a hard time for asking, and will provide you with detailed information and assurances.
POS Payment System Must Have Your Staff’s Stamp of Approval
All of the above tools have a common party in mind. Yes, they’re designed to please guests and increase the likelihood that they visit again, but these POS system features are really meant to make your staffs’ lives easier. After all, if they aren’t appropriately equipped to service guests, it’s a domino effect of trouble.
If every other box on this list is checked, we have a feeling that your staff will love the proposed POS payment system. But it’s a must that you ask them! Every role in hospitality—servers, chefs, bartenders, warehouse workers—have a unique perspective on operations and how they would run the best. Keep the conversation ongoing! You won’t be sorry.