How Restaurant Software Architecture Impacts APIs and Performance


In this article, we dig deeper into the APIs, further explaining the differences between modern and legacy architectures; how APIs impact your entire technology stack; and how they relate to and impact your underlying technology foundation.

In a previous blog post, we summarized the “Who, What, and Why of APIs” and explained their importance in connecting recovery technologies, especially large enterprise recovery technology stacks. If you need an API 101, check out this article before continuing here!

As our restaurant industry continues to embrace digital-first models, API technologies are more critical than ever. They power a wide range of critical customer-facing and operational functions, from online ordering and workforce management tools to data access and beyond.

The underlying API technology allows for greater simplicity and less development effort, but please note that not all APIs are created equal. Just because you “have an API” doesn’t mean it will work as expected or be as useful as you want it to be.

In this article, we dig deeper into the APIs, further explaining the differences between modern and legacy architectures; how APIs impact your entire technology stack; and how they relate to and impact the underlying foundations of your technology.

Legacy architectures: heavy and monolithic

Typically, APIs were created for a specific purpose; that is, to facilitate a functional connection between two different applications. However, the different types of POS system architectures can have a tangible effect on APIs and how brands manage their tech stacks.

Both legacy and first-generation cloud restaurant POS systems are built using heavy code that is monolithic in nature. In this software design pattern, applications are written as a single block of code, a seemingly endless series of lines of code. A change in the codebase can lead to unexpected downstream impacts on the functionality and stability of the entire system.

APIs written for legacy architectures are considered “reactive” (built after the fact to “ease” integrations). A major challenge is that the original database was designed exclusively to communicate with the POS client, also written by the same company, and only to provide the data needed to this POS customer.

This structural reality is a major impediment to the effectiveness of an API written on legacy architecture and databases. In many cases, these APIs cannot adequately integrate with other APIs and systems, and even when they can, critical endpoints, data and features are often missing. Also, when an API is embedded in 20+ year old software that it was not designed to interact with, things tend to get very messy…and fast.

API Cloud

Essentially, a linked approach means that:

  • The overall tech stack is more difficult to manage (brittle)
  • Systems, databases and applications can be overloaded at rush hour (not scalable)
  • A waterfall management process is generally used (ineffective)
  • Changes are more difficult do and take longer to do (cumbersome)
  • More effort and resources are needed to manage APIs (slow/heavy/expensive)

A lighter microservices framework

Enter a new world of APIs! It is a world based on a base of lighter and open architectures which rely on containerization and future-ready software engineering. Systems designed and developed in this way provide a multitude of benefits to development teams and restaurants, rather than being designed around a particular customer (POS).

A containerized approach places APIs at the center of this type of architecture, providing the ability to Quickly onboard new features, channels, and customers with reduced development effort. This isn’t a particularly new concept, as most modern tech companies use this approach. However, it happens to be rarer in restaurant technology, especially when it comes to operations, controls and equipment inside the four walls of the store.

Qu’s Unified Commerce Platform was developed this way, and our approach to APIs provides businesses with truly valuable business, financial, and technical benefits:

  • Simplified administration of all control channels and operational systems (holistic)
  • Faster and improved capacity implement change (speed)
  • Agile development and management process (agile)
  • High quality and easily scalable APIs that can be consumed in ways that restaurants and customers haven’t even thought of (future proof)

An example of our unique and modern API approach is Qu’s next-generation cloud, which was designed and developed with the understanding that the point of sale is no longer the center of a restaurant’s universe. Our next-generation cloud delivers the stability and availability operators need both in-store and online, up to 99.99%.

Qu was built from cloud to point of sale

– Peter Wiley, co-founder of Rapid Fired Pizza

Qu’s platform is intentionally designed to:

  • To integrate through and use our own robust two-way APIs
  • Connect easily with all API typess, regardless of the customer
  • Connected independently clients and terminals
  • Allow data to flow freely through our core platform and products

So what does this mean for you and your restaurant chain?

The benefits derived from Qu’s flexible approach and architecture drive tangible improvements for corporate brands: restaurants that partner with us see higher levels of platform, product and integration, leading to more stable operations and increased customer satisfaction.

With offsite and self-service options becoming increasingly popular, restaurants simply cannot afford to let reliability issues associated with legacy architectures hinder stable operations and customer enjoyment. Additionally, systems that enable a clean and transparent flow of customer data determine the kind of customer engagement and loyalty that make the difference between a good brand and a great one.

Qu infuses speed, agility and innovation into restaurants, enabling them to seize new opportunities and build healthier relationships with customers and employees.

Finally, the ability to pivot and shift successfully when business conditions and customer expectations change has never been more valuable. The pandemic has shown us that a wide range of factors can directly influence how restaurants should conduct business, which means that flexible and adaptable technology stacks can help enterprise brands not only meet a multitude of challenges different, but also to thrive in uncertainty.

If you want to learn more about modern, unified restaurant architecture, check out this article on building a strong digital foundation.


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