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.