MarketMan’s Matthew Hardoon and POSist Technologies’ Ashish Tulsian on the newest trends in POS
Though point of sale systems are implemented in the front-of-house and traditionally designed with a focus on simplifying customer payments, new POS technology is expanding beyond billing solutions and providing profound back-of-house advantages for the restaurant industry.
New POS providers are touting a range of benefits that extend far beyond the convenience of quick and easy transactions, and most are integrating with other operational systems to create a broad and detailed overview not just of a restaurant’s sales, but its entire financial picture, including food waste and vendor costs.
That level of granular, comprehensive insight into a restaurant’s operations has allowed owners to take unprecedented control over their margins, avoiding previously unseen losses and taking full advantage of the most productive sales practices.
Two companies on the bleeding edge of POS and inventory-management technology are MarketMan and POSist Technologies. The companies are young — POSist was founded six years ago and MarketMan just five — but both have already become much-sought-after vendors in the industry.
We spoke with Matthew Hardoon, MarketMan’s director of sales, and Ashish Tulsian, POSist Technologies’ co-founder, to learn about the most important trends in POS tech.
Why is it essential for a restaurant to have an up-to-date POS system?
Hardoon: A restaurant is going to have a hard time growing effectively and cost-consciously if it does not have a great POS system. Consumers are learning to expect simple and efficient transactions, and the most effective restaurant managers require the insight and control that an up-to-date POS system provides.
Tulsian: Competition in the restaurant space is intense, and leveraging the right technology helps restaurants stay a step ahead. By monitoring each aspect of the operations through intelligent reporting, restaurants can avoid the pitfalls that cause other restaurants to fail.
What are some of the most important POS innovations you’ve seen recently?
Hardoon: Tableside ordering and KDS (kitchen display systems) are great. There are POS providers like Lightspeed and Toast creating those products and others with amazing functionality to drive efficiency in the front-of-house. Others, like Square, are expanding POS tools far beyond the restaurant industry.
We’re also seeing more and more cloud-based POS, which is expanding functionality and allowing for improved features, new releases and advancements on the fly.
Most important, though, may be the increasing integration of POS into other tech platforms. Inventory control, purchasing, invoice management and reporting services are all fundamentally related to POS, and by integrating the tools that restaurants use to manage those functions, restaurant owners are taking more control over their business.
Tulsian: Cloud technology has been enormously important. That has enabled restaurants to completely automate their operations. A POS that can update in real time not only streamlines a restaurant’s operations, it significantly reduces the labor and scope of error involved.
How are new POS tools improving operations for franchise restaurant brands?
Hardoon: There are three key areas where POS is having a dramatic impact on operations: time, costs and data. New POS tools are saving operators time, allowing them to serve more customers and focus on other aspects of the business; they are helping to cut costs by integrating with marketing and inventory management tools which look at sales trends for cues on where to spend and save; and they are providing data that was previously very hard to gather, giving owners and managers a new level of insight into their business.
Tulsian: POSist provides in-depth solutions for franchises and enterprise restaurants, making it possible to control each aspect of a system’s operations from one single panel. For instance, our Head Office Module allows restaurateurs to manage multiple outlets across different geographic locations from one central panel; the Base Kitchen Module controls entire kitchen operations, from yield management to food costing to recipe management to forecasting; Supply Chain Management gives complete control over daily stock consumption, generating purchase orders and managing multiple vendors; and the Master Franchise platform manages sales and payouts and keeps track of all units.
How do all these advancements affect consumers?
Hardoon: Simply put, these new systems let customers enjoy a seamless experience at restaurants. With tableside ordering, customers don’t have to visit different stations to pay and eat, and they can get their food faster. On another level, anything that helps the restaurant’s operations is going to make a better experience for the consumer. With better inventory management, for instance, restaurants can make sure that they are never out of stock of anything on their menu.
Tulsian: POS tools make for stronger restaurants, which makes for better customer experiences. By giving restaurants control over their billing, stock and inventory management, POS tools are removing the operational headaches from restaurant owners so they can focus on providing the best possible service and products.