When looking back over the past 12 months, a lot has happened in the restaurant IT industry. Most prominent are the acquisitions of several restaurant POS ISVs by companies in the payment processing industry. In addition, within the quick service segment, we’ve seen the introduction and adoption of the self-ordering kiosk.
According to Mauricio Chacon, Senior Product Manager, Business Systems Group, Epson America, the adoption of such devices can be attributed to the “Fight for Fifteen” movement, which raises the minimum wage for fast food employees to $15 per hour. “This movement had tens of thousands of fast food workers in +200 cities protesting in what labor organizers consider as one of the largest protest by low-wage workers in US history,” he explains. “As a result, many cities are raising the minimum wage and some have committed to do so by 2020.”
He goes on to say that the increase in minimum wage has forced restaurants to reevaluate the way they manage their operating cost and technology investments with an eye toward automation (online and in-store) while delivering a positive customer experience. “Many of the large fast food restaurants chains have already started to deploy self-ordering and online ordering capabilities to their stores to grow their revenue and improve profitability,” he says. “In some cases, customers are using a self-ordering kiosk and ordering larger meals [super-size] because they do not want to be judged by a person behind a register.”
The ISV Opportunity
In 2018, Chacon expects small to medium quick service restaurants to follow the trend to stay competitive against large fast food chains. “ISVs have the opportunity to provide their customers with a complete solution that can fully support multiple aspects of their business,” he advises. “Integrating online ordering capabilities into their POS system can be key value to their customers. In addition, creating an easy-to-use interface for a self-ordering kiosk POS would ensure the order is correct. For ISVs that need help, Epson will continue to provide ISVs with solutions and technologies needed to support in-line, online, self-ordering, and line-busting applications.”