NRA Show Insights

I returned from the NRA Show just about a week ago. And let’s not kid ourselves. The National Restaurant Association knows how to put on a show.
I was there to meet up with some of my POS partners, and prospect new business. I spent 2 solid days walking around, talking to technology companies. And there were some interesting things I noticed that seem to be shaping the way POS works.

The Big Players Don’t Seem So Big Anymore…

The restaurant industry fueled itself on a few legacy POS systems for many years. NCR’s Aloha, Oracle’s Micros, Digital Dining, and a few others.
That seems to have changed. I’m shocked at how big the new mPOS players are. TouchBistro has a wonderful setup. So did Toast, Lightspeed, and Revel Systems. I found myself talking to people at Squirrel Systems, and Lavu. Companies I didn’t really see as “contenders,” seem to be getting into the mix.
This is good news for an industry that’s been choosing from the lesser of evils for years. They can now find the solution they need, that fits their budget!

Delivery is the New Black…

At the NRA Show, all the POS companies there were partnering with delivery companies. DoorDash, and GrubHub. All the POS guys were showing off their new delivery integrations.
This shows a shift in the way restaurants do business. It seems that people would rather trade the restaurant “experience.” They’d rather have some food delivered, and watch a movie. And it’s changing the landscape of the restaurant business.
Even fast food giants like McDonalds are getting into the delivery business.

Digital Signage is HUGE…

It’s all around you. Digital signage. And you never even notice it. But especially for fast-casual and fast food restaurants. Digital signage is a great way to have daily specials. It’s a great way to show off your signature dishes. It’s even a great way to show who’s next to be seated.
And interactive? Before I even got the the NRA Show, there was a 4′ wide digital board at the hotel I stayed at. It let you look at different restaurants, and segment. Maybe tonight I want seafood. Or maybe barbecue? It was a very cool interaction.
And while I’d seen all this before, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how much of it I saw at the restaurant show. Digital signage is a trend to look out for. Touchscreens, and menu boards with video. It’s just a matter of time!
If you’d like more insight into the restaurant business, please keep reading my posts on the POS and Restaurant industry: POSRumor – Restaurant Insights
Also, check out the POS companies I’m talking about in more depth here:
And as always, if you have questions, shoot me an email!
Cole Goebel
Cole Goebel is a POS Industry insider. He's an expert in encoding and barcode data, and has a great knowledge of POS integrations. Cole currently works at Plastic Printers in Minnesota, where he's the Channel Manager. He works directly with POS providers to deliver gift, and loyalty cards to their clients.

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