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40+ Point of Sale (POS) Statistics You Should Know (2024)

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Jordan Hollander in Food & Beverage

Last updated May 09, 2024

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Unless your restaurant offers all of its dishes for free, then a point-of-sale system is a critical piece of your business’s operations just like your PMS or hotel guest app. The POS system has come a long way from its cash register roots, but there’s still a lot of innovation happening in the restaurant technology space. What’s the future of mobile payments? What should you look for when you upgrade your existing POS system? And how can you capture guest data to incorporate into your marketing strategies? In this article, we’ll examine over 40 trends and statistics related to point-of-sale to help you make better informed decisions when it comes to purchasing or negotiating with a vendor. Let’s dive in!

History of the point-of-sale system

  • The precursor to the point-of-sale system, the cash register, was patented in 1879.

  • Electronic calculators became popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and in the 1970s, electronic cash registers became the norm.

  • IBM developed the world’s first point-of-sale system in 1973, and an especially cutting-edge model was created for McDonald’s in 1974.

  • As computers grew in popularity and functionality, IBM built the first computer-based point-of-sale system in 1985, and the first touchscreen model debuted the following year.

  • Traditional POS systems required both hardware and software; in 2002 a UK-based company launched the first cloud-based software POS system. This advancement paved the way for POS systems that could be used on tablets and smartphones.

  • Square (called Squareup at the time) released their Square Reader in 2010, which allowed users to plug a small device into a smartphone to accept credit card payments.

  • As of 2021, 30% of in-store POS transactions were made with mobile payments. Credit cards were the second most popular payment method (24%), followed by debit cards (23%) and cash (18%).

Point-of-sale software statistics

  • The point-of-sale software market value is growing rapidly, going from $12.2 billion in 2018 to a projected $42.5 billion in 2027.

  • Some of the most popular point-of-sale systems are Square, Toast, and Shopify.

  • According to a 2020 survey conducted by Salesforce, 50% of small businesses report that the analytics and reporting in their POS system is integral to their operations.

  • Only 19% of businesses are using POS systems that are less than two years old. Over half of POS software in use today is more than five years old.

  • 95% of businesses use some type of cloud-based software, according to a 2018 Cisco study, and this number is likely even higher today.

  • The global cloud-based POS software market was valued at $2.24 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $13.24 billion by 2028.

  • Cloud-based POS systems were projected to account for 53% of the market by the end of 2022, up significantly from 30% penetration in 2017.

  • The top features businesses look for in cloud-based POS systems are ease of use, functionality, and price.

  • According to a 2020 survey, 52% of corporations already use a cloud-based POS system, and 40% of those not using a cloud-based system plan to adopt one in the future.

  • 71% of respondents plan to purchase new features or functionality for their POS system in 2023, while 43% plan to deploy POS software for use on a mobile device, according to a HospitalityTech survey.

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Mobile POS statistics

  • The top providers of mobile POS payments worldwide are ApplePay, Google Pay, Samsung Wallet.

  • In 2023 the total transaction value of mobile POS payments is expected to hit $3.35 trillion.

  • Mobile POS payments will continue to grow, with a projected $5.63 trillion value by 2027.

  • Nearly 1 in 4 people in the world will use mobile POS payments in 2023; the total number of users is on track to reach 1.9 billion this year.

  • Users are also spending more money through mobile POS payments, with an average transaction value of around $2,100 per person per year in 2023, worldwide.

  • The average annual spend per user in the US was nearly $8,000 in 2021. This figure is expected to grow by 60% to reach $12,700 in 2026.

  • Consumers in the 25 to 34-year-old age bracket account for nearly 30% of mobile POS payments users, making this age group the one with the highest use of mobile POS payments.

  • Although mobile POS payments continue to grow, the annual growth rate is expected to slow to about 23% in 2023, down from a 44% annual growth rate in 2018.

Point-of-sale in the restaurant industry

  • The point-of-sale system is the most popular technology in restaurant back office operations, followed by accounting software and payroll software.

  • As of 2022, 32% of restaurateurs reported that installing a new POS system was a priority.

  • POS software with loyalty program functionality can increase ticket size by up to 46%.

  • In a 2021 survey done by the National Restaurant Associate, 9 out of 10 restaurateurs were struggling with staffing issues.

  • In the same survey, 82% of restaurants said they were facing difficulty hiring staff due to the industry-wide staffing shortage.

  • Point-of-sale systems can make order-taking and communication between front- and back-of-house more efficient. Cafe Gratitude, for example, which uses Toast, dropped their average order-taking time from 20 minutes to 3 minutes per table.  

  • The top reasons for restaurateurs to upgrade their POS systems are to get better data to understand customer preferences, to enable additional payment options, to offer self-service options, and to activate multi-channel sales, according to a 2022 HospitalityTech survey.

  • The same survey found that the majority of restaurateurs (71%) use data from their POS to optimize menus, streamline payments, and boost digital engagement.

  • The average restaurant’s profit margin is 5%, so a more efficient POS system can boost profitability.

  • According to POS vendor Toast, restaurants that use their mobile ordering and payment system see a 9% boost in average check size.

  • On average, restaurants use three different technology vendors to manage back office operations.

  • 46% of restaurateurs want to upgrade their POS so they can deliver a better omnichannel experience.

  • Although many customers prefer to pay with credit cards or mobile payments, an estimated 90% of restaurants still accept cash tips.

  • POS systems that accept digital tips can send tips straight to employees’ bank accounts, which is an important feature when tips account for up to 70% of restaurant workers’ pay.

  • 86% of restaurants use POS data to inform discounting, loyalty programs, and marketing strategies.

  • 69% of restaurateurs report that the most important feature when considering new POS software is integrations with other systems like hotel management software or accounting software.