Episode Summary

In the latest episode of Restaurants Reinvented, Jen tackles her first solo-cast by diving deep into the frazzled, state of POS today and tackles head-first the broad misconception that “POS is Dead.” 

Jen clarifies market confusion by clearly stating that POS isn’t dead but is instead going through a massive transformation and evolution. 

“POS is no longer the main dish, it’s the side dish.” she says.

Jen articulates the current evolution of POS as simply one of many order channels stemming off a data-driven and unified foundational platform. At Qu, this is what we call the Unified Commerce Platform

Key Insights

➡️ The Evolution of POS

POS systems have been a staple in the restaurant industry for over 40 years. But with digital coming on strong, and changing demands of guests, the role of POS is undergoing a massive transformation. It’s no longer just a piece of technology but a part of a larger system. 

➡️ POS Today: Moving from Main Dish to Side Dish

The way restaurants perceive and use POS systems has changed. While it’s not dead, its role has evolved from being the central point to just a part of the system. Relying solely on POS for comprehensive business data can be limiting. Jen encourages reframing the perspective and mindset around POS, focusing on its “new role” in a broader foundational platform context built on modern microservices and data-first architecture.

➡️ The Future: Unified Commerce Platform

A unified commerce platform is the way forward for large fast casual and quick service chains, says Jen. It’s not just about merging and acquiring tech companies but building a solid data-first foundation from the ground up. This platform offers benefits like order accuracy, revenue-generating opportunities, and centralized operations. Most importantly, it provides the ability to innovate continuously, ensuring the restaurant industry flourishes, supported and enabled by technology.

Episode Highlights

Old (POS) Habits Die Hard

Jen discusses the history of POS, explaining how it was once the only piece of technology in restaurants. Over time, its role, reputation and reliance began to shift. The discussion touches on how the POS system has remained stagnant, leading to its tarnished reputation in the industry.

“Relying on POS to do everything for everyone is an old habit we all need to break. It can no longer adequately serve guest and employee demands without a strong underlying platform foundation.”  

– Jen Kern 

Reframing the Perspective on POS

Jen advocates for a change in perspective regarding POS. Instead of viewing it as the central piece of technology, it should be seen as simply one order channel within the large, expanding universe of ordering channels. She introduces the concept of the “big POS reframe” and emphasizes the importance of modernizing POS systems for the benefit of both employees and guests.

Let’s ask a more responsible question… like ‘How has POS changed?’ And how does your POS need to evolve to best serve your restaurant, guests and employees over the next 2-10 years?

 – Jen Kern 

The New World Order of POS

Jen discusses the evolving role of POS in the digital age. The future of POS lies in its integration within a unified commerce platform.

“…the foundation is built on data-first modern micro-services architecture. And when I say data-first, what I mean is this is a scalable system that starts with a native data creation layer: the menu items. Don’t try to collect non-native data after the fact. Start with one dynamic item and one menu, and grow from there.”

– Jen Kern

Top 10 Components of a
Unified Commerce Platform

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