What is the McDonald’s POS system in 2023?
McDonald’s uses the NewPOS NP6 system, also known as the McDonald’s NP6, MediaWorks NewPOS, or MW NewPOS (as well as Torex or Savista NewPOS). The NP6 runs a version of Microsoft Windows XP Embedded. The NewPOS device was originally designed, supported, and manufactured starting in 1998 by Brazilian firm MediaWorks (previous versions include the NewPOS 3, or NP3, system). In 2007, McDonald’s acquired the NewPOS system source code and many of the engineers from MediaWorks’ NewPOS team and took development of the system in-house. In 2008, McDonald’s introduced the NP6 with upgraded software.
The McDonald’s NP6 is not a commercially available POS system. McDonald’s supports and procures its POS systems internally and does not sell or license its hardware systems or point of sale software. The best place to learn about the NP6 and its history is from its former manufacturer, MW.
How does the McDonald’s NP6 POS system work?
Quick service restaurants demand robust, scalable, and reliable point of sale systems. These devices may process hundreds of orders in a shift and must be able to stand up to constant, nearly uninterrupted use — frequently more than 18 hours per day. That’s why McDonald’s has been using the same basic hardware for over 20 years: It works.
It stands to reason that using a POS system similar to a QSR leader like McDonald’s has benefits. Your QSR business could scale more efficiently and process more transactions per hour, right? But McDonald’s also leverages a sophisticated series of processes, training programs, and staffing strategies to serve as many customers as it does — a McDonald’s POS system doesn’t come with any of that.
This is why looking to global QSR leaders for POS hardware inspiration is a struggle. In-house solutions like those used by McDonald’s are exceptionally optimized for a particular business model and set of use cases. A McDonald’s NP6, even if it could be programmed to work for your own restaurants, would not be capable of the same transaction volume and reliability outside of a McDonald’s store with McDonald’s digital and physical infrastructure.
Can I build a McDonald’s NP6 POS system?
You can’t build a McDonald’s POS system, but you can ask a better question: How do I get a POS system with the transaction throughput, reliability, and scalability of McDonald’s? You can’t just buy it; far more goes into your larger POS strategy than hardware. Here are a few key considerations to make when shopping for QSR POS systems and solutions.
- Number and distribution of locations: This one is obvious for any business, but a POS solution has to be implemented uniformly across your restaurant locations. Cost of shipping and the availability of staff to support new deployments are crucial considerations for scaling a QSR POS solution.
- Time to scale: The ability to scale is a given for any viable QSR POS, but time to scale is a whole other question. If your vendor isn’t able to ship enough systems to meet your deployment timeline, your new system isn’t doing what it needs to (creating business results). Don’t let the supply chain disrupt your plans. Similarly, software development hell can lock your solution in the lab for months — validate technical viability early and often.
- Kitting and deployment costs: Getting your POS system to a store is an achievement in and of itself, but it’s really step one on the larger deployment journey. Before your POS arrives at a store, will it need to be kitted (initially provisioned and set up), or will staff handle provisioning on site (if that’s even possible)? On top of that, the length of time your kitting and provisioning processes consume will be directly attributable costs for your fleet deployment — indefinitely.
- Remote support requirements: The ability to remotely diagnose and even fix a problem with a device can save thousands of dollars per incident. Every support call that can be resolved via reliable and complete remote control of your POS systems from anywhere in the world is money you aren’t spending on costly on-site support.
- Content management: How will POS systems get the latest information about menu items, promotions, and any content served to the device dynamically over its internet connection? The cloud is ubiquitous in 2023, but your POS system needs a content management system to ensure devices display the appropriate content at all times.
- Remote updates: Supporting, controlling, and managing the displays of devices remotely is all well and good, but what happens when that POS system needs a software update? You need the infrastructure to test that update, deploy it, and then validate that deployment at scale through management by exception. That’s not in the box with your POS.
- OS and platform security: What operating system is your POS system going to run? That’s not as ridiculous a question as you might think: Android-based, Windows, and iOS solutions (and even Linux) are all potential options, but each comes with its own considerations.
If you’re considering making a big shift in your restaurant’s POS strategy — total fleet replacement, custom POS systems, more agile update experimentation, and new platform choices — come talk to Esper. We know the world of POS hardware and software better than any MDM solution, and global POS brands like Xenial, NCR, and Intelity trust Esper as a POS software partner. Major QSRs like Taco Bell use Esper to power their restaurants. Learn more about Esper POS solutions here.
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