The term “point-of-sale” can be a bit of a misnomer. On the surface, it’s an easy-to-use way for customers and staff to interact during the time of sale, but signing a credit card transaction with a finger is hardly the only use for that screen’s real estate.

New POS technology has obvious benefits for a restaurant (managing orders/voids, data insights, etc.), but consumers only interaction with it is when they sign their name after placing an order. Now, more than ever, restaurants have the ability to use their POS system to get more return on their investment for consumers, and using it for marketing programs is one obvious tactic.

Classic restaurant marketing tactics—even the timeless “drop your business card into the fishbowl” concept—have been updated to fit into POS systems and involves scanning, emailing and phone number entry. It’s not salacious or invasive, it’s just marketing.

But POS systems and new technologies mean you can go above and beyond the fishbowl technique that will maximize your restaurant’s marketing efforts.

Instant coupons for email signups

With the influx of daily emails inundating everyone’s inbox, it’s difficult to get people excited about email today. However, if you incentivize customers by offering the option of receiving coupons good for future visits, they’ll more than likely share their vitals in exchange.

With this feedback, restaurateurs can grow their database quickly from people who’ve visited, and presumably enjoyed the restaurant. This is a targeted list and the kind that marketers usually have to segment over months and, in some cases, years.

Once you have the names, send a monthly email offering even more incentive to return. Coupons, special promotions, loyalty point redemption—all of it drives people to consider your restaurant when there are myriad options at their disposal. In fact, it’s these incentives that often make the decision for guests to choose one establishment over another. The best part? Your cloud-based POS system has this capability built in making it an easy plug and play.

Feedback is king

The most ingenious marketing tool on a POS interface is the use of the bill payment screen to procure valuable customer feedback, in the form of ratings systems and testimonial entry. Marketing companies have used similar surveys for years to analyze customer behaviors, after months of research and planning to find the “right” representative customers.

This restaurant’s customers likely just volunteered this info, simply because it was presented in front of them while waiting to pay the bill. And this info can give priceless insights on menu options, service quality, restaurant décor, and anything else that might need some attention.

Thousands of dollars in consultants and marketing experts couldn’t gain this insight as quickly as these restaurants, by placing it on your POS system screen. Now there’s a benefit you’ll definitely see, right on the bottom line.

Jesse Noyes is the Senior Director of Marketing at Upserve, an industry leading Restaurant Management Platform.
Compliance, Outside Insights, POS Solutions, Story, Technology