Square launches new tech to help restaurants do more with less

Sep 05, 2022

Square for Restaurants mobile POS enables seamless tableside service and order management, while other features help restaurants do more with less as staff shortages bite

PD04439 - new tech to help restaurants article

Today, Square announced two new products that give restaurant owners the tools they need to tackle staff shortages, boost their bottom line, and increase the efficiency of their operations.

Square for Restaurants mobile POS turns Square Terminal into a powerful tool for restaurants, and gives wait-staff an all-in-one restaurant POS in their apron pocket. Rather than use pen and paper to take orders, Square for Restaurants mobile POS enables wait-staff to share orders directly with the kitchen straight from the side of the table, while giving them total visibility into product availability and alerts from kitchen staff.

Sydney based wine bar and restaurant, No. 92 was one of the first venues in Australia to use Square for Restaurants on Mobile.

“We’ll do whatever we can to make our wait-staff’s lives easier and to get them spending more time on the floor, delighting our guests,” said Angela Kasimis, owner of No.92. “Staff shortages are top of mind for us, so we’re looking for technology that can do more of the heavy lifting. Square for Restaurants on Mobile has been a no-brainer: it improves our service efficiency - which our guests love - and is so intuitive that we don’t have to spend time that we don’t have training our staff on it - which the team loves.”

Technology adoption is on the menu for restaurant owners: Square’s Future of Restaurants report found that more than half (55%) of restaurant owners are turning to automation technology as a way to tackle staff shortages and improve operational efficiency. Square for Restaurants mobile POS eliminates unnecessary steps in ordering and helps restaurant staff to:

  • Cover more tables: Wait-staff cover more tables by reducing the number of trips from table to static POS.
  • Provide a flawless diner experience: By sending orders to the kitchen as soon as they’re received, wait-staff are able to reduce errors and improve customer experience. Some early users in the US reported seeing a 57% decrease in voids due to out-of-stock items.
  • Deliver a more profitable service: Efficient service means increasing profitability, while also keeping staff happy and aiding in retention. Alcohol sales at Scaffidi’s Restaurant & Tavern in the US increased by 22% since implementing Square for Restaurant on Mobile.

“Restaurants have had a challenging couple of years,” said Colin Birney, Head of Business Development at Square in Australia. “However, with staff shortages still weighing heavily on the industry, restaurant owners and operators are crying out for better tools to help them do more with less, and give their diners an experience worth coming back for.”

Many pandemic related pivots and new tech are likely to stick. Square’s Future of Restaurants report also revealed that almost all (97%) of restaurants that introduced an online offering over the past two years as a response to frequent lockdown measures will keep these in place, with takeaway and delivery from third-party apps being the services most likely to stay.

Many restaurants are partnering with multiple third party delivery apps in order to boost their discoverability, however that can also come with added burden and maintenance across multiple vendors. Square’s new Menu Import function reduces the time taken to build menus in third-party delivery apps, giving back valuable time to restaurant operators to focus on service.

“Selling online as well as in person doesn’t have to mean more admin,” says Birney. “Automatically uploading your menu from one delivery service to another may not seem like a huge deal, but enough of these time-saving moments stack up and provide long-term benefits.”

Square has a strong history building products that help Australian restaurants run more efficiently. Since launching its dedicated Square for Restaurants point of sale in 2019, Square’s Australian restaurant base has grown by 290% annually, and today it works with some of Australia’s finest full service restaurants and its most iconic quick service restaurants. The number of larger restaurants has increased by 390% annually over the same period.

And while staff shortages and omnichannel selling have been consistent challenges for restaurants, these are trends that have accelerated over the past two years.

“These are issues impacting restaurants of all types and size,” says Birney. “All restaurant owners need to be open to automation technology to reduce the burden on their staff and focus on what’s most important to a restaurant: customer service and staff happiness.”

Square will be demoing these new products, plus its broader restaurant product suite, at Fine Food Australia from September 5th to 8th (booth T26).