How Mobile POS Changes Everything

Advice From Operators Who Make it Work Well

By Teri Howe Principal Product Manager, Agilysys | June 18, 2017

An incredible meal will be forgotten if there are mistakes or delays during service. The most beautiful property will be forgotten if busy staff are ‘missing in action’ and inadvertently test guests’ patience too far.

One need not remind hotel executives of the criticality of continually evaluating our vision – and execution – of guest service. This is part in the DNA of industry leaders. A less common trait of this same group is an appetite for exploring technologies that might accelerate or enhance the ability to deliver a quality, personal, exceptional guest experience. Hospitality traditionally trails other industries in adoption of – and the creativity around – new technologies. A notable exception is mobile point-of-sale (POS).

The hospitality industry is second only to healthcare in its adoption of handheld device technology. And as technology begins to catch up with the demands of this market, growth continues to accelerate.

Upon first glance, this interest could be explained by reliable and sometimes outrageous revenue increases resulting from the adoption of untethered POS. Although significant revenue lifts of 60-80% have occurred at venues where the below steps were followed, we consistently hear properties reporting 15%, 20% and even as much as 40% growths during their busiest periods.

In addition to this revenue growth, properties boast about entirely new revenue streams. The opportunity to untether POS means that it’s possible to perform a guest service transaction in places that previously were inaccessible or too infrequent to justify a dedicated POS setup. Whether it’s accepting a credit card, engaging a room charge or redeeming loyalty rewards, hoteliers have more opportunities to provide just the right service to guests wherever they are, and whenever they desire.

This is the fundamental reason why more than 50% of food and beverage outlets list POS mobility as their top IT initiative in the next 3-5 years: it’s about serving more guests, more efficiently. The increased greenbacks help justify it, but it’s the following benefits that ensure it’s at the top of most IT department’s lists:

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Eco-Friendly Practices: The Greening of Your Bottom Line

There are strong moral and ethical reasons why a hotel should incorporate eco-friendly practices into their business but it is also becoming abundantly clear that “going green” can dramatically improve a hotel's bottom line. When energy-saving measures are introduced - fluorescent bulbs, ceiling fans, linen cards, lights out cards, motion sensors for all public spaces, and energy management systems - energy bills are substantially reduced. When water-saving equipment is introduced - low-flow showerheads, low-flow toilets, waterless urinals, and serving water only on request in restaurants - water bills are also considerably reduced. Waste hauling is another major expense which can be lowered through recycling efforts and by avoiding wastefully-packaged products. Vendors can be asked to deliver products in minimal wrapping, and to deliver products one day, and pick up the packaging materials the next day - generating substantial savings. In addition, renewable sources of energy (solar, geothermal, wind, etc.) have substantially improved the economics of using alternative energies at the property level. There are other compelling reasons to initiate sustainability practices in their operation. Being green means guests and staff are healthier, which can lead to an increase in staff retention, as well as increased business from health conscious guests. Also, sooner or later, all properties will be sold, and green hotels will command a higher price due to its energy efficiencies. Finally, some hotels qualify for tax credits, subsidies and rebates from local, regional and federal governments for the eco-friendly investments they've made in their hotels. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document how some hotels are integrating sustainable practices into their operations and how their hotels are benefiting from them.