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Restaurant POS Software Leader Has Removed “Restaurant” From Its Vocabulary In 2021

In recent years, point of sale (POS) systems have become a key differentiator for restaurants across the globe. These systems allow restaurateurs to meet many practical needs such as growing profits, running more efficient and organized businesses, and improving bookkeeping. 

With the rise of COVID-19 over the past 18 months, the closure of many restaurants, and the growth of the online ordering and delivery market, marketing teams for restaurant POS software companies have had their hands full. Not only have they had to pivot their positioning and messaging, but they’ve had to appeal to restaurants in new ways.                                                      

To provide you with a glimpse into how restaurant POS software companies have navigated the past year and kept the conversation going, Crayon has created a brand new report entitled, “Who Has Led the Conversation In the Restaurant POS Software Industry?” 

Using data pulled directly from our competitive intelligence software platform, the report analyzes insights from restaurant POS software companies’ content marketing, social media, news and PR, and messaging and copy initiatives. 

The report focuses on the efforts of five industry leaders:

  • Toast
  • Revel Systems
  • Square
  • TouchBistro
  • Upserve (formerly known as Breadcrumb) 

Although there are tons of insights to discuss, we want to make sure that one, in particular, gets highlighted: Throughout this year, a top industry leader, Square, has been talking about restaurants less and less often.

Download our full report on the restaurant POS industry >>

A significant change in direction 

Using Crayon, we analyzed the terms Square was focusing on throughout its marketing efforts and discovered a critical piece of intel: “restaurant” is slowly being removed from their marketing communications. Take a look at the graph below for some more context.

The downward slope is clear. Since February, Square’s usage of the term “restaurant” has steadily declined. In fact, there was no mention of it at all during various timeframes and most recently in late July. 

Also, take a look at the intervals on the Y-axis. The number of insights Crayon captured (in other words, the number of mentions of the term throughout all Square’s marketing initiatives) was small to begin with. It’s clear that it’s a declining priority for them.

Now, you may assume that the reason for this decline was an overall reduction in marketing efforts—but our data shows that this isn’t the case. If we look at overall content marketing, news and PR, and social media activity, Square has actually been incredibly busy and relatively consistent. See the graph below.

Since February, Square has produced a high volume of content pieces, utilized social media regularly, and has been a consistent topic within the media. There have been plenty of opportunities for Square to appeal to its restaurant target audience, but they simply haven’t made much of an effort. The company’s priorities seem to have shifted.

This shift makes sense, given that Square provides solutions for several business types other than restaurants. They've long had a strong presence in the food service industry, which has set the stage for them to pursue domination elsewhere.

Activating intel to your advantage

That Square—with their far-reaching, authoritative brand—is talking less and less about restaurants presents an opportunity for smaller POS companies that are focused specifically on the food service industry: an opportunity to reach prospective customers in ways that may not have been possible had Square continued to go to market with a high volume of restaurant-related messaging. 

Here are a few examples of how Square’s restaurant-focused rivals may activate the intelligence we’ve presented today: Since Square is not focusing its news and PR efforts on restaurant trade publications, this is an opportunity for competitors to increase their media spending and activities. For example, one could seize the opportunity to tackle and pitch to the media restaurant-related topics that Square has yet to cover or pay to sponsor a publication so that their brand name consistently pops up for readers.

Another idea: Because Square’s content marketing efforts haven’t been geared towards restaurants, this is an opportunity for competitors to spotlight their successes through content. For example, one could create a blog series interviewing happy restaurant customers or spotlight success stories through customer case studies and testimonials. 

The time is now for these companies to start activating this intel to their advantage. Based on our findings, we’re confident that a gap is opening up, and that there’s an opportunity for another company to take the lead in guiding the conversation in the restaurant POS space. 

Comment below if you have other examples of how POS companies can activate this intel to their advantage, and be sure to download our full report to learn more about the other leaders and explore our findings more deeply.

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Mackenzie Colcord
Mackenzie Colcord is a Content Marketing & Community Specialist at Crayon, the software-driven competitive intelligence platform that enables companies to create sustainable business advantages. Prior to joining Crayon, Mackenzie worked as an Account Executive at a public relations and marketing agency, Trevi Communications.