When I think about restaurants in the abstract, I most always picture my favorite
sit down Cheers-like restaurant where everyone knows my name. Of course
electronic tableside ordering would be extremely helpful there but for some
restaurant owners, it is still a challenge to justify incorporating a new system
when they purchased their register-based system a couple years ago. Tableside
ordering is making significant inroads in this arena and most restaurateurs
acknowledge that they will switch to tablet POS at some point in the future.
So let’s expand our vision beyond Cheers to vastly different food service locales
such as stadiums, concert venues, food trucks, street vendor carts, theaters,
amusement parks, outdoor summer festivals, concession stands at high school
track meets, Pop Warner football and Little League games. These sites have one
thing in common: they have to process a large number of orders for throngs of
people in short periods of time. If mobile device POS had poster children, these
fast service specialists would get my vote.
While standard PC-based POS system have historically been too expensive for
these smaller food purveyors, mobile POS takes the price point and merchant
services processing down to a level that can be justified even by the PTSA Band
Booster Club. While some benefits of mobile POS such as CRM and loyalty
programs may not be really useful in these moveable venues, capturing
transaction data and maintaining accurate inventory are a huge deal. In their
businesses, monitoring costs, managing time and understanding what’s trending
lets these merchants adjust to changing appetites, schedules and food prices
without missing a beat.
Less expensive merchant processing and widely accessible mobile food service
apps have lowered the barriers to entry for a whole new set of entrepreneurs.
These new restaurateurs probably would not put themselves in the same
category as Wolfgang Puck, Guy Fieri or Mario Batali but now they share the
same options for reducing their costs and satisfying their customers in any
possible food service location.