As customer payments power the restaurant industry, payment processing solutions power the technology that holds it all together, or at least they will if point-of-sale (POS) providers have anything to say about it. Major players in the space are competing to meet as many of their restaurant customers’ needs as possible.
Boston-based restaurant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and POS system provider Toast announced Thursday (July 7) that it has acquired Sling, a company that offers employee scheduling and management tools, folding the latter’s features into Toast Payroll and Team Management products, which include payment features.
“By adding Sling to the Toast platform, we can provide a more comprehensive suite of team management products purpose-built for restaurants, from new hire onboarding to payroll processing, and now the ability to schedule shifts across the team,” said Toast Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Aman Narang in a statement. “Our customers will benefit from the ability to simplify communication across their team, control their labor costs and efficiently manage their teams through one integrated platform.”
The news comes as ongoing labor challenges have many restaurants looking to find more efficient solutions for managing their workforce. Down the line, restaurants that have their labor tools integrated with their POS can be more efficient about financial decisions, especially if other processes that affect cash flow, such as procurement, are also integrated. For instance, the software could help operators keep track of employee payments relative to revenue from food sales.
Additionally, with these labor challenges making it all the more important to use each moment efficiently, operators have increasingly been seeking out unified, plug-and-play solutions.
“Restaurant owners did not start restaurants in order to manage a tech stack,” Krystle Mobayeni, co-founder of BentoBox and head of restaurants at its parent company Fiserv, said last month in an interview with PYMNTS. “They started in order to be able to run their restaurant. … All technology providers for restaurants should be focused on consolidating and making it easier for the restaurant owner.”
Across the industry, top POS providers have been broadening their offerings. Square, for instance, launched a set of solutions for restaurants meant to improve tableside service and order management in May with its new Square for Restaurants mobile POS.
The trend also goes the other way, with tech providers from other areas looking to center their offerings in restaurants’ tech suites by debuting POS products or acquiring existing providers. Late last month, business software giant Oracle announced the launch of its Oracle Food and Beverage Payment Cloud Service.
In February, B2B SaaS restaurant technology company Olo announced that it had signed a deal to acquire Omnivore, a restaurant technology company that connects restaurants’ POS systems to operational management tools to boost efficiency.
As restaurants implement these tech upgrades, it is key to balance making the experience more efficient and maintaining high-quality customer service. Findings from the May/June edition of PYMNTS and Paytronix’s Digital Divide series, “The Digital Divide: Technology, the Metaverse and the Future of Dining Out,” revealed that while 58% of grab-and-go consumers thought that more technology inside restaurants — digital integrations such as QR code menus, kiosk ordering and digital order-ahead — meant better customer service, only 29% of dine-in consumers thought the same.