Square launches restaurant point-of-sale platform

Square, which has already made its way into retail stores and service-based businesses (think hair salons, massage therapists, etc.), is officially getting into the restaurant business with the launch of Square for Restaurants. Square for Restaurants is a point-of-sale system that handles everything from menu updates, floor layouts, employee scheduling and performance tracking to tip splitting.

Usually, restaurants have “some old legacy thing or something else,” Square Seller Lead Alyssa Henry told me.

“Historically, we’ve not served this customer segment very well,” Henry said. “With Square for Restaurants, we’re excited to finally be able to serve this customer segment and deliver on a couple of key things that are core to Square but also highly valued by sellers of all types.”

This new product is designed to be fast, self-serve, elegant and cohesive, Henry said. It also integrates seamlessly into Square’s existing ecosystem that includes Payroll, Capital and more. Given Square’s ownership of on-demand food delivery startup Caviar, it’s no wonder why Square fully integrated Caviar into the point-of-sale system. This means restaurants don’t need to have a separate tablet system for Caviar.

Square for Restaurant seating layout

“The omnichannel piece of restaurants is now truly coming into fruition with this integration,” Caviar Product Lead Gokul Rajaram told me. “We believe and we’ve seen restaurants increasingly becoming a multichannel or omnichannel platform where an increasing percent of their orders are coming from online channels — not just from diners coming into the store, but from delivery and pickup.”

Now, through the Square system, restaurants will be able to handle everything in one place. That means they can see their sales broken out by channel and understand what percentage of sales comes from delivery versus pickup versus in-restaurant dining, Rajaram said.

While these don’t yet exist, third-party applications from Postmates, UberEats and DoorDash could integrate into the Square POS. The issue right now for restaurants, according to Square, is the fact that delivering food for multiple services means a big tablet farm.

“The intention is that we can work with all of those because that’s what our sellers want,” Henry said.

While it’s been in beta, more than 100 restaurants have used the product, including Bar Agricole in San Francisco and Greca in New York City. According to Square, the platform is relatively easy to set up. At launch, Square is charging $60 per month plus $40 per month for each additional POS set-up.