The History of Point-Of-Sale in the Hospitality Industry

Monday, June 16, 2014 - 19:00
The History of Point-Of-Sale in the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is one that has always relied on the integration of record-keeping and sales transactions.

Whether it is a hotel requiring integration of room rates and billable amenities, or a restaurant incorporating both front and back-end activities, the point-of-sale (POS) environment is critical to successful operations. It is safe to say the evolution of POS has completely revolutionised the hospitality industry. Here is a brief history of POS, broken down into four distinct periods:

1. Era of Manual Registers

Did you know the first cash register was invented in the late 1800s? From those earliest days through to the early 1980s, manual cash registers were combined with paper transactions to keep track of everything occurring within the hospitality business. Electronic cash registers continued that tradition from the 1980s through to the mid-90s. While the cash register was very helpful for business transactions, there was no way to integrate what happened at the counter with back office operations. Companies were still required to enter the same data two and three times by way of manual transcription.

2. Era of Register Software

The mid-1990s saw the development of POS software that could be run on a standard computer. The electronic cash register was replaced with a desktop computer system consisting of a monitor, keyboard, CPU, and cash drawer. The major benefit of these systems came by way of the data contained on their hard drives. That data could be downloaded to a disk and transferred to a back office computer, thereby eliminating the need to manually transcribe data.

3. Era of Linked POS

Even as register software was being rolled out in the mid-1990s, a number of well-known software companies began working on technology that could link software systems across a local network. These early systems took advantage of the concept of object linking to make it possible for multiple terminals to all access a piece of software simultaneously. This was the start of the modern single entry point-of-sale system.

4. Cloud Era

Cloud computing really took off at the turn of the 21st century. It is cloud computing that forms the basis of today's electronic point-of-sale systems (EPOS) now used by virtually every company in the hospitality industry. EPOS makes it possible to integrate nearly every aspect of a hospitality business into a single system located on the cloud. What has the cloud done for hospitality? It has brought scalability, efficiency, and ease of use to software systems employed by nearly every hospitality worker. The same system used by the back office clerk is also used by the restaurant server. Moreover, because all of the data is stored on the cloud, it is easily accessible by any department at any time. We have certainly come a long way since the 1800s. The hospitality industry is more efficient than it has ever been, thanks to the continual development of POS. If you are interested in the latest EPOS on the market, contact us and ask about intelligentpos®.

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Robin Knox, CEO
Robin Knox, CEO

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