5 POS Trends That Will Impact Restaurants in 2021

Discover the point of sale trends that will define success in the food and beverage industry in 2021. Check out this interesting read now!

5 POS Trends That Can Help Restaurants Succeed in 2021

The need and satisfaction of shopping never goes away. What changes is how we shop and how we pay.


In the Philippines, payment has been just about cash for the longest time. Partly due to the country’s unbanked population, the vast majority of Filipinos haven’t embraced card usage. But the status quo from 10 years ago has become unrecognizable to many of us today.


One ground-breaking innovation after another, technology has empowered the most marginalized consumers and has revolutionized the food and beverage (F&B) industry.


Although the pandemic has brought turbulent circumstances, the march of progress on digital transformation has carried on and has even been stimulated by the way commerce has changed under quarantine guidelines.


As we approach the dawn of a new year, let’s talk about the hottest point of sale (POS) trends that will define how Filipinos shop and dictate which technological solutions F&B businesses should adopt.


1. Continuous E-Wallet Penetration

Also called digital wallets, e-wallets have been a huge hit in the Philippines.


Last year, tech pundits reported that e-wallet penetration had eclipsed credit card use. In 2018, the number of e-money accounts rose by 22%, pushing the total to 33 million. In comparison, only 9% of the country’s population of over 100 million attained credit card ownership.


This trend shows no signs of slowing down in the future. And it wouldn’t take a Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) representative to figure out why.


No thanks to the barriers that have kept unbanked Filipinos outside the mainstream financial system all this time, credit card penetration across the archipelago continues to be a disappointment.


Documentation, cost, and inconvenience have been the primary reasons why fewer than 1 in 10 Filipinos own a credit card.


On the other hand, e-wallets impose none such roadblocks. Although some of them offer credit too, they’ve become alternatives to formal bank accounts for consumers ignored by established financial institutions. In addition, these apps are feature-rich, allowing frictionless funds transfers and serving as marketplaces themselves.


If you accept online orders for delivery, pickup, or both, having a POS system that doesn’t support major e-wallets, like GCAsh, PayMaya, GrabPay, or Coins.PH, will alienate a massive number of Filipinos. Most digital payments happen via mobile, so you stand to miss out on significant potential revenue.


2. Sustained mPOS Payment Growth

The increasing popularity of handheld POS systems indicate that more and more restaurants want to transition from wired to wireless.


The total transaction value of mobile POS payments in the Philippines is expected to reach about $2.88 billion in 2021, which translates to 32.1% growth from 2020.


Of course, with everyone staying home, actual transactions have decreased due to the curveball that’s COVID-19. Despite the explosion of cashless payment during the coronavirus outbreak due to the perceived dangers of using paper bills and coins, credit card usage declined by 27% during the first six months of 2020.


Fortunately, the silver lining is that economic forces, not psychological factors, were the catalyst for this phenomenon. Card holders are likely to dine and pay with plastic once the economy regains its pre-pandemic momentum.


By then, you should adopt wireless handheld POS systems to process tableside card transactions, print receipts on the spot, and reduce physical contact between your staff and customers.


3. Proven Viability of Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service POS systems have grabbed the headlines at the tail end of 2019. Although talk of these multimedia displays has died down because of the changing priorities of F&B businesses since the onset of the pandemic. But the adoption of such multipurpose kiosks is poised to resume in 2021.


The upsides of self-service POS systems are too much to pass up. These multimedia displays give customers a convenient alternative to standing in line, which can speed up the ordering process and help your crew assist customers more effectively.


Further, self-service POS is about abundant payment choice. A good system still keeps cash as an option but accepts debit and credit cards along with e-wallets to appeal to various payment preferences.


If you have a loyalty program, you may also incorporate it into your POS solution to encourage repeat business.


Without having to speak with a cashier, your customers won’t be in a hurry to order and can feel free to explore your offerings. Self-service POS users may use more time to place an order, but each transaction may result in greater value because of unencumbered decision-making.


With the right tech vendor, you may be able to extend this level of self-service model to your drive-through lanes.


4. Widespread Adoption of Cloud POS

The use of a cloud-based POS solution is trending upward for five indisputable reasons.


1. Cloud technology gets rid of legacy hardware.
2. Software-as-a-service renders business data accessible through any internet-connected device.
3. Open web-based architecture allows seamless integration between in-store and digital platforms.
4. Cloud supports mobile payments.
5. Cloud POS systems lend themselves to advanced analytics.


Moreover, cloud POS solutions can drive down overhead. Since they run on remote servers, you won’t have to own and maintain in-house hardware and pay for software licenses and technical support as much as before if you use one.


Cloud may imply wirelessness, but POS systems based on this technology can function offline. So your operation doesn’t stop even when the internet connection drops.


Aside from having intuitive and scalable features, cloud tech also allows you to enjoy fast and unfailing software updates, reliable cybersecurity, and on-demand support.


5. Increasing Importance of Big Data

Owing to the evolution of electronic POS hardware and proliferation of digital channels, restaurant data has grown exponentially. As big data becomes even bigger and more complex, the harder it is to find meaningful patterns that reveal trends and operational inefficiencies.


Without a POS system that supports integration with other software solutions and advanced analytics, you won’t be able to harness actionable intelligence big data holds.


In 2021 and beyond, the number of data-driven restaurants will only grow. If you continue to run your operation the old-fashioned way, your closest competitors can outsmart you at every turn.


In Summary

Serving 21st-century customers with a 20th-century POS system is a favor you do for your tech-driven competitors.


Any technological advancement can entail some investment and adjustment, especially when it requires a major overhaul of your current IT infrastructure. But every wise F&B business owner knows that innovation should take priority.


Tech laggards generally miss the boat, so turn your POS system around in 2021 to adapt to the new normal and bounce back big time from a forgettable 2020.