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How to integrate your POS into your restaurant

Photograph: Shutterstock

The restaurant industry today is more responsive to consumers than ever. Point-of-sale (POS) systems provide individualized experiences, and online ordering provides customers a way to get food they want when and where they need it at the mere push of a button. Also, POS systems offer a wealth of data that restaurants can use to understand and appeal to customers.

All of this convenience and data analysis does not happen by itself, though. It requires a POS technology provider that can integrate this functionality for the operator.

“You want your POS company to take the lead and have your back,” said Larry Fiel, vice president of marketing for PDQ POS, which provides POS systems for restaurant industry segments, including quick-service restaurants, fast casuals and more. “We’ll test it and work it out. That’s the true value. We like to get involved and we like to be the point guard and distribute the ball where it needs to go.”

Integration with other software: Olo case study

When Jimmy John’s, a major player in the fast-food sandwich segment, integrated with Olo, a mobile ordering platform, PDQ POS served as the developer and project manager to help make this transition seamless. Among its tasks, PDQ POS helped to create a menu system that was nimble enough to handle hundreds of different fluctuations—from price changes to running out of food and menu alterations—and function appropriately, easily and intuitively for consumers.

“There are so many nuances to integrating with POS,” Fiel said. “There is communication between the stores and offline communication and halting the user when the store is offline.”

There are other challenges, too. The POS system also must be able to handle peak traffic times, be it on holidays, during the big game or even just on a busy Saturday night. It also has to maintain consistency and quality of service if the internet drops.

“It has to be real-time, live,” Fiel said. “How do you manage the cloud? How do you do credit card processing? Your tips, voids, batches? There are millions of transactions that are handled.”

Another part of PDQ POS’ job was to aggregate all the data in a way that the operator could understand and use it to an advantage. “It’s how you manipulate the data, how you can make the reporting structure better,” Fiel said.

New rewards program

PDQ POS was also instrumental when Jimmy John’s started a new rewards program last year.

“Not only did we have to work with the nuances of that, but their current payment processing devices needed to be fast enough to handle reward and payment,” Fiel said.

To solve this problem, Jimmy John’s also integrated with Paytronix and developed what is believed to be the first single-tap payment loyalty program. When customers go to a Jimmy John’s restaurant, they only need to tap their credit card for both payment and loyalty/reward information, rather than using their credit card to pay and a second card to tally loyalty points.

“We took a need—integrating a new loyalty program—and we enhanced it such that it is single-tap,” Fiel said. 

A strong POS company should offer these types of solutions, he emphasized: “We can add a tremendous amount of value, and that’s key. It’s the willingness to add value and go the extra mile.”

This post is sponsored by PDQ POS

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