The Future of Your Restaurant POS System

Chris Rumpf

Founder and CEO, 15+ Years of Restaurant Technology Innovation

The Future Of Your Restaurant POS System

As a restaurant owner, you know that your POS needs to do some key things for you. In its simplest form, a POS needs to send orders to the kitchen, accept credit card payments, and tell you what your sales were at the end of the day but those are only the basics.

What I think is more interesting is where I see POS systems changing over the next few years and what you can expect. At the moment, everything revolves around the sale, it’s like the sun in the middle of the solar system. My vision is that the sale will become just one of the planets in orbit, not the sun itself. There needs to be an easy-to-use hub at the center of the solar system that is your business.

Why do I think this is important? Well, right now it is far too difficult to get every piece of tech you use in your restaurant to talk to each other. Sure, there are integrations but integrations are sort of like a band-aid on the problem. There are companies that make certain aspects of your business easier like payroll, inventory, and business intelligence but this piecemeal approach isn’t cutting it.

Too many POS companies offer you their point of sale system and tell you that they’ll do their best to integrate with the other tools you use but nothing works seamlessly. Here at Flyght, our whole philosophy centers on how to unify this ecosystem for restaurants. Not integrate, but unify. We don’t want you to have to think about whether X tool will work, you just have everything you need in one place and it just works.

At the moment, we are seeing a lot of legacy POS providers be purchased by credit card providers. This trend is stifling innovation with the legacy POS products. At the moment, more than 50% of restaurants in the United States are using one of these legacy products. Over the next few years, that lack of innovation now that the companies have been acquired is going to put a strain on these restaurants.

In case you’re not familiar with the term, legacy POS is also referred to as a “traditional” POS. It is a system that runs on a closed internal network and stores all of your data there. You can think of it as storing your important documents on your computer vs storing them in the cloud. If you only store them on your computer, you can’t access them anywhere else and if something happens to that computer, there are going to be serious problems. These systems are already older than cloud-based systems and the lack of innovation is going to make them a lot like using an old, slow computer.

These restaurants are going to find it harder and harder to integrate the tools they need with their legacy POS system because integrations require constant upkeep and management. It will become virtually impossible to unify these systems and that’s why there are statistics that show that between 70%-80% of restaurants will switch providers in the next 3 years.

The future of POS is more unity and interoperating. I think we’ll see a higher level of fidelity in the tools on the market for restaurants. Of course, there will always be lower quality products out there for companies who want to use them but it is difficult to offset the decreasing level of functionality that we will find with these products over the next few years. The good news for restaurant owners is that you’re going to be seeing increasingly high-quality products that can do more than just send orders to the kitchen, take credit card payments, and give you a sales report at the end of the day.