Not long ago, restaurant operators were hesitant to accept the idea of cloud point of sale (POS) software. POS built on the client-server model had matured, and offered a full range of features operators needed to handle orders, kitchen, and even some back of house functions. It was hard to move out of that comfort zone and consider trusting POS functionality and data security to the “cloud.”
Today, however, cloud POS is the preferred restaurant POS. In fact, Hospitality Technology’s 2018 POS Software Trends Report states that 61% of restaurant operators surveyed listed “cloud” as the most desired feature for POS upgrades.
To ensure you will make an informed decision when you make your next POS software investment, consider these three things and the impact they can have on your restaurant:
What cloud POS is
Advantages of cloud POS
How to Choose a Reliable POS Provider Partner
What is Cloud POS?
Cloud POS, like legacy POS systems, enables restaurants to manage orders, complete transactions and accept payments. Unlike client-server POS, which required an on-site server, a wired network, and bulky terminals, cloud POS typically runs on modern smart devices and can be downloaded as an app. In some cloud POS platforms like Xenial, devices back one another up (so no server is required), and send data to the cloud. They also operate wirelessly, so there’s no pulling wire just to install the POS or add an ordering station. Lightweight touch screen devices running Android or iOS untether servers so they can accept orders table-side or bust through a line at the counter, in the case of quick-serve and fast casual concepts.
Advantages of Cloud POS
Cloud POS has a number of benefits that are driving its adoption in the restaurant industry:
Cloud POS is omnichannel by design: Cloud POS platforms often are created using modern, cloud-native programming languages to enable more ordering channels, natively. That way, you can meet the expectations of today’s digitally immersed consumers, and offer mobile / in-app ordering and online reservations. Open APIs common in modern cloud POS solutions also enable integrations with third-party tools that can allow you to stand out from the competition by providing unique customer experiences.
Easy mobile POS: Your servers can take orders and payment at the table with devices connected wirelessly.There’s no need for all your devices to have wired connections.
Minimized IT burden: With your application running in the cloud and data backed up in the cloud, your restaurant can minimize the IT hardware and networking required on-site. Less hardware means less cost, less maintenance, and less IT labor required.
How to Choose a Cloud POS Partner
Because cloud POS can be developed more rapidly than an equally feature-rich client-server POS application, new restaurant POS vendors emerge daily. Be wary of POS software providers with a short history and those that are unproven when it comes to supporting their products and providing excellent customer service.
It may be quicker to develop, but cloud POS, like any POS system, still takes a significant commitment of resources and finances to develop and sustain it. Make sure the company you choose to work with has the tenure and the financial backing to deliver, deploy, and continually support a robust POS software application.
Ready to learn more about the benefits of a complete restaurant cloud platform backed by an established vendor with decades of experience providing solutions to the restaurant industry? Please get in touch. We'd love to talk!