Wednesday , October 5, 2022

Shift4 Ups Its Game As Rivalry Gets Intense in the Restaurant POS Market

Shift4 Payments Inc., which has built a large client base in the hotel and hospitality market, made a bid for greater share in the highly competitive restaurant POS market Tuesday with the introduction of SkyTab POS, a modular, Android-based software application that combines back-end functionality and point-of-sale capabilities in a single app.

Features within SkyTab include online ordering and reservations, contactless and QR code, mobile devices for tableside ordering and payment, eGift cards, and loyalty. In addition, restaurants can access a marketplace featuring such complementary third-party applications as DoorDash, DoorDash Drive, Uber Eats, and Postmates. The marketplace can be integrated into SkyTab. Other features include reporting and analytics, remote menu management, labor scheduling, and a dedicated mobile app.

The tech also includes integrations with several property-management systems (PMS) to support restaurants in hotel environments. The PMS integrations available at launch are Oracle OPERA, Innquest, and Ezee.

The genesis for SkyTab grew out of Shift4’s experience in providing ordering and POS systems to merchants in the hospitality industry, which includes concessions at sports stadiums.  

“SkyTab pulls all the experience Shift4 has in the [hospitality] industry into a single, branded, out-of-the-box solution,” says Shift4 chief technology officer Mike Russo.

Shift4 connects to more than 100,000 merchants in the hospitality industry that run one of its legacy POS applications, according to Russo. More than 4,000 restaurants have been running SkyTab during the beta period, Russo adds.

Restaurants and venues that have installed SkyTab include Shoney’s North America LLC, which operates restaurants in 17 states, the United Center in Chicago, and the Toyota Center, home of the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets.   

In addition to offering a menu of POS and back-end/kitchen-management capabilities, SkyTab was built using a hybrid-cloud architecture that is meant to ensure that the merchant can continue to process orders and payments internally if a Web connection goes down.

“It’s not uncommon for Internet connections to go down, but when that happens, restaurants, and stadiums especially, need to be able to continue operating,” Russo says.

SkyTab also includes hardware options such as a POS workstation with a large customer-facing display and a 4G handheld mobile device for taking orders and payment at the table, a tablet-based mobile POS option and a touchscreen kitchen display system to relay orders to the kitchen.

Shift4 is pricing SkyTab POS starting at $29.95/month, with no upfront costs, a price Shift4 describes as genuinely “disruptive” in the highly competitive restaurant POS market.

SkyTab POS arrives as other restaurant POS providers have upped their game this year, including Toast Inc., Revel Systems and Block Inc.’s Square unit.

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