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Point of Sale and Kiosks for On-Campus Food Services: 3 Key Elements for Success

May 21, 2019 By Robert Jones

In conversation with our customers who serve on-campus food management in the higher education sector, we’ve had some fruitful conversations about what’s most important to them, and to those they serve. Along with our own expertise around where hospitality technology is evolving, those conversations with our customers and partners have helped to shape our development activities to deliver the latest versions of our cloud-based point of sale and kiosk solutions.

We regularly build in new features that enhance the user experience. But, we understand that features are a means to an end. Our product development efforts are always about enabling our higher education on-campus food services customers to better serve students and faculty; a group of consumers who expect intuitive and seamless technology to play a major role in supporting their day-to-day lives whether they're on campus or not. Anticipating, meeting, and even surpassing that expectation is what makes the most difference to our customers.

With that in mind, here are 3 of the key elements of what our point of sale and kiosks add to on-campus food services to create a great experience for students and faculty, and support the operational efficiencies that allow our customers to continue to serve their customers in a cost-effective manner, too. 

1. A better line of sight for everyone

Creating greater visibility is an essential priority for our higher education food services partners. In a POS context, this is relevant to operations as well as to students and faculty. That means that we’re mandated to deliver simple but very important features to address it day to day.

Greater visibility means producing printouts that offer more detail about purchases. Some examples are balances on meal plans to orient the student or faculty member where they stand when it comes to their plan from purchase to purchase. That includes displaying remaining meal balances and cash equivalencies and displaying student ID photo information to secure the use of a meal card. This is also helpful for operators, allowing them to easily connect the user as being the rightful owner of the card. 

Offering that level of transparency is vital to our customers, and for the students and faculty they serve. Enabling it in day to day operations is something of which our team is very proud. Greater clarity that our technology helps to create has impact on how our on-campus food services customers are able to foster long-lasting relationships with their customers. Relationships like these are at the heart of every successful business, even as technology shifts and changes the landscape.

2. A wider range of transactional options

More options are better than fewer when serving a range of customer preferences. But when developing products for on-campus food services having options that specifically meet the needs of everyone involved in a transaction – operators and their customers – are better still. 

In the context of point-of-sale and kiosks, our team has worked very hard on allowing flexibility when it comes to paying for meals on campus. Seamless integrations with meal plan providers being a given and mentioned above, extending split payments to students and faculty to pay in part with meal cards and with mobile payments, or cash, debit, and credit cards allows them greater control over how they wish to pay. 

On the operational side, offline mode for POS allows for these payment methods to remain available even when a location is experiencing internet disruptions. That’s another important aspect of keeping options open; being able to take orders regardless of local connectivity issues. That enables freedom of choice, and freedom for operations to continue to deliver a great experience while making sure sales aren’t lost either.

3. A greater capacity to adapt

Meal times on campus can be irregular, often happening before or after conventional hours of operation. That’s where consumer-directed options represented by self-serve and dual mode kiosks serve on-campus food services best, and with the same level of functionality, too. They help operations be more flexible, and able to serve at any time of day.

Empowering students and faculty by allowing them to process their own transactions via kiosk late at night or early in the morning is a key way for on-campus food services operations to adapt to irregular traffic patterns and schedules. It helps them expand the capacity for services, too without impacting staff scheduling. That means maximizing revenues and minimizing labor spend all at once.

Overall, it’s the cloud-based nature of these solutions that really open up the possibilities to adapt to changing patterns and demand. With cloud-based point of sale and kiosks, on-campus food services can quickly and inexpensively scale operations to meet their needs in a more agile manner. They can invest in new concepts based on what their data is telling them. They can expand on existing ones that are successful day-to-day as shown by that same data. And they can add functions and features that reflect the needs of operators and the needs of students and faculty, too.

An ongoing conversation

Developing point of sale, kiosks, and other cloud-based solutions for on-campus food services organizations can be defined by our knowledge of the industry and by our ongoing conversations with our customers. Regularly going to partner sites, getting a sense of their environments, listening to their concerns, and aligning our product development activities with theirs is all a part of the process of enabling them to serve their customers better. That helps them to continue to build their reputations in the higher education food services space as industry leaders.

Offering greater visibility, flexibility, and a greater capacity for scalability as demands shift and change are core aspects of our mission in Product Development. It’s a team effort. And that ongoing work between our team and our partners continues to help higher education food services organizations become better and better at what they do.

For more on how cloud-based point of sale and kiosk technology is making an impact in food services sectors that include higher education, get your copy of the brief we produced on that topic.

Filed Under
  • Cloud
  • Technology
  • Trends
  • Hospitality
  • Infor POS (Point of Sale)
  • North America
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