If there is a single industry outside of healthcare that is broken, it’s got to be point of sale systems.
I’m calling for an end-around.
end-around – noun : a solution to a problem that avoids the problem rather than dealing with it directly:
The selection of a restaurant POS system is critical to the restaurant’s daily operation and is a major investment that the restaurant’s management and staff must live with for many years.
A restaurant POS system interfaces with all phases of the restaurant operation and with everyone that is involved with the restaurant including guests, suppliers, employees, managers and owners.
Generally, the selection of a restaurant POS system is a complex process that should be undertaken by the restaurant owner and not delegated to an employee.
The purchase process can be summarized into three steps: Design, Compare and Negotiate.
The Design step requires research to determine which restaurant POS features are needed for the restaurant operation. With this information the restaurant owner or manager can compare various restaurant POS solutions to determine which POS systems meet their requirements. The final step is to Negotiate the price, payment terms, included training, initial warranty and ongoing support costs.(Wikipedia)
All true. The issue?
When you have a solution to a significant problem experienced by players and participants in the industry, in our case, the spirits, wine, and beer industries, you can’t easily serve the hospitality industry without integrations into the software systems that run the Point of Sale Systems.
I get it. The cost of developing the POS systems, selling them into the venues, growing traction, and servicing the clients, bars and restaurants is a tough task. No company in their right mind would want to make it possible for an upstart tech firm with nowhere nearly as much at stake financially or reputationally to insert code into their software and risk taking it all down.
That my dear readers is why the end-around could be so very valuable.
If your service to the hospitality community could in someway be automated to run on what I call the “payment rail” or a Visa/MC type payment or mobile payment mechanism where the establishment being visited could be paid automatically without a POS integration; then, you’re as Dave Chappelle says, RICH BI..H!
Let’s close with a use case. You have a mobile app. The app delivers a gifted meal or menu item offered by the merchant. The recipient comes into the establishment and has the gifted item in the mobile app. With the right tech, the individual should be able to click a button in the app and the establishment know they’ve received payment for the item WITHOUT a point of sale integration. Or perhaps, the individual recipient of the gift would be automatically paid when they tab out.
The staff could see evidence of the received payment any number of ways outside the point of sale system and then reconcile in fairly automated ways as well.
The two dozen or so top types of POS systems make wholesale integrations very very complex. If you’re someone who has conquered this issue for some form of industry serving anyone in the hospitality supply chain, I want to know you. I have a multi-billion dollar liquor industry awaiting your solution.
Sherman Mohr serves as CEO of Shared Spirits Marketing, an innovative spirits and wine sampling, tasting, and activation company leveraging technology for true ROI driven experiences.