Tableside service: March Madness fans embrace POS functionality

With March Madness soon upon us, many restaurants and sports bars are gearing up for an onslaught of fans.

And the establishments using POS systems are especially ready for it. 

Justin Guinn, market researcher at the technology review firm Software Advice, conducted a study on preferred uses of self-service POS systems.

Guinn gathered 1926 responses from randomly selected adults in the U.S.

"The most surprising stat that we found was that the ability to customize an order was paramount for those wanting to use this," Guinn said. "This could be helpful  for a sports bar featuring different-flavored chicken wings, such as Buffalo Wild Wings, for example."

Another surprising statistic from the study showed that for 7 percent of those interviewed, ordering alcoholic beverages from the table would be their most preferred feature.

According to Guinn, interest in POS systems carry an element of being the "next big thing." This coincides with the survey's finding that 71 percent of millennials prefer to use self-service over traditional POS systems.

88 percent of those surveyed preferred tableside POS systems to those located at the front of the store.

Though no data was gathered on why those who didn't prefer POS systems didn't prefer them, Guinn suspects a big part of it could be around customers not wanting to sacrifice face-to-face time with their server, and what they expect from a customer experience. 

"What's interesting about that is it would actually free up servers in the end," Guinn said.

Key findings of the study:

  • Top self-ordering features: order customization (47 percent), view pictures of menu items (26 percent)
  • Top self-payment Features: split the bill (39 percent), use multiple payment types (31 percent)

The good news for sports fans (and other diners) is that the restaurants currently most likely to feature at-table POS systems are the neighborhood joints you’d already frequent for their large selection of TVs and casual atmosphere—namely chains like Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hooters and Chili’s.

Click here to see the full Software Advice report.
 

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