POS-Agnostic Hardware: What it is and Why You Need it
The acceleration of innovation is measured by Moore’s Law, which states that the capacity of existing technology will double every 18 months. You can see that in everything from your smartphone to the technologies that power your kitchen, including kitchen display systems (KDS), guest management solutions, or point of sale (POS) systems. There are a lot of POS systems, which you can find in around 81% of restaurants. As a restaurateur, you’ve most likely used at least once over the course of your business. With the speed of tech evolving even faster than ever, the chances of needing to change your POS in the future is high. Having POS-Agnostic hardware allows you to explore your options as newer solutions come along, without compromising your existing tech stack.
What is “POS-Agnostic Hardware?”
Before we go any further, let’s examine what we mean by “POS-agnostic hardware.” Here, the term “agnostic” refers to the ability of your existing technologies to integrate with your preferred POS system. That means that you aren’t bound to any one specific tech stack, and can change out your POS to satisfy your demands as need be. POS-agnostic hardware allows you to make changes to your POS without upending your whole operation.
The integrations between your various technologies are imperative to your long term success and efficiency. Your technology stack likely includes a variety of devices throughout your operation. Are they connected? Let’s look at an example of how two devices might communicate.
Suppose you have both a POS and a KDS set up in a fast-casual restaurant. In the diner’s journey, a guest speaks with your staff to place their request. Your staff inputs that order into your POS system, which then communicates to a KDS for preparation. With the proper integrations between your technologies, you can:
- Transmit information from one device to another
- Eliminate paper waste
- Minimize the potential for error of paper tickets
An API allows two devices to speak with one another. An API is a technical language the constituent elements of your tech stack to communicate and unfortunately, are not one size fits all. For example, third-party delivery vendors use APIs to communicate between their service and your point of sale. In ceding control to a third-party API, the information provided to the customer is determined by your POS. If the API is between the third-party vendor and your KDS, you can provide accurate order status times, which is especially crucial during times where people have to calculate their expected wait.
What You Might Find on the Market
There are so many options available for POS systems that it’s hard to say how many individual brands and varieties are out there. With so many possibilities, some POS providers have developed all-in-one solutions that are meant to supply all of your tech needs in one package. But like we mentioned above, if you aren’t using POS-Agnostic hardware, then you run the risk of boxing in your future options.
Bear in mind that the inverse of POS-agnostic hardware is also true. The POS market changes all the time, be wary of any POS that cannot integrate with any technology. Look for opportunities in your tech investments that allow you the flexibility to evolve as new products become available.
No matter where the market goes next, technological innovation won’t slow down any time soon. Finding solutions for your restaurant that allow for modularity in your tech stack provides you the freedom to experiment with what works best for your operation. POS-agnostic hardware provides an elegant answer to your tech needs. Make sure that your gear can communicate effectively through APIs and integrations.
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About the Author
Syd was a content marketing specialist, which are fancy words for writing pretty to tell a good story. He likes writing things about food, drinks, and music. He’s a musician himself, a father of two, and loves his wife a whole lot. He’s at home like the rest of the world right now but finding time to play with the kids and create art.