contactless-paymentsThe restaurant POS system of today doesn’t look anything like the restaurant POS system of tomorrow. Advancements in technology and new customer behavior means POS systems are rapidly changing and we all have to keep up.

Here are some things restaurants should be doing today to future proof their POS systems so they will be able to be used in the future as technology changes.

1. Accept contactless payments. With the launch of Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Softcard, PayPal, Samsung Pay and CurrentTC (MCX) customers are expecting and embracing the use of mobile payments. Getting near field communication (NFC) on your POS system today will ensure you’re prepared as the use of this technology continues to boom, particularly with younger Millennial and Gen Z audiences who are frequenters of limited service establishments.

2. Build in loyalty applications. Speaking of younger generations, loyalty programs are huge with QSR and Fast Casual establishments, with repeat Millennial and Gen Z customers using these on every visit. The use of loyalty programs at limited service restaurants is growing as people now expect to be rewarded for being a loyal customer. Your restaurant POS should be built to support a concept’s loyalty application so cashiers can quickly recognize and reward customers for their frequent visits.

3. Integrating with your digital menus. Your restaurant POS system should synch with both your indoor and outdoor Digital Menu Boards so you can ensure all prices and items are displayed properly in all locations. Having a highly profitable popular food item displayed prominently on your menu is great, until the cashier can’t find it in the POS system. The use of digital menus continues to explode across the country so making sure your POS integrates with yours is key.

4. Using EMV readers. Many restaurants are taking a “wait and see” approach when it comes to installing EMV readers in their stores. If you’re looking to have a restaurant POS that is future proofed we can’t stress enough the importance of having EMV terminals. Credit card companies are issuing cards en masse and running huge customer education campaigns so more customers use these when they shop. Before long everyone will be looking to dine where EMV cards are accepted, so better to be ahead of the curve on this one.

5. Mobile Apps.  Mobile apps create operational efficiency in the restaurant, performing tasks like line busting, employee scheduling, and tracking Key Performance Indicators. And of course, they also allow customers to order from you while they are on the go!

While it may seem there is a lot to think about and many changes happening at once with restaurant POS systems, this may be the perfect time to examine how you are handling this mission critical aspect of your business. In fact, an abundance of options and competition in the payment process marketplace means that somme payment processes are offering incentives as they aggressively vie for new customers. The bottom line is if you’ve been avoiding the “is it time for a new POS system?” question then it probably means it is time.