Maximizing Efficiency and Profitability: The Role of Embedded Fintech Services in Restaurant POS Software

Behind the Paycheck
embedded finance point of sale

Modern point of sale (POS) systems already serve as the nerve center for restaurants – a single place to accept payments, track inventory, manage employee schedules and labor costs, track guest loyalty, and so much more. Now, with the new wave of embedded fintech services integrated into Point of Sale (POS) solutions, restaurant owners have access to a suite of tools designed to streamline processes, enhance customer experience, and drive profitability – essential with the razor-thin margins of food service. Efficient operations and effective financial management are critical for a restaurant’s success. 

Embedding financial services is a win-win-win-win for POS providers, restaurateurs, employees, and customers. POS systems are stickier by offering a more comprehensive product; restaurateurs save time and money with an integrated solution; employees get access to their earned wages faster; and customers get better service from a happier team. 

In this guide, we will explore the potential of embedded fintech services in restaurant POS software, highlighting their importance, benefits, and impact on business operations. 


The Role of Fintech Services in Restaurant Point of Sale Systems

Importantly, the POS already functions as the payments hub, making embedded financial services a natural extension. Using POS data as a single source of truth unlocks a lot of potential. Having exact – and real-time – sales and cash flow information makes the POS the perfect home for embedded financial services. 

Embedded fintech services are essential for restaurant owners looking to optimize their operations and maximize profitability. These services streamline processes, reduce costs, and improve efficiency, allowing restaurant owners to focus on providing exceptional service to their customers. Whether it’s processing payments, managing payroll, or tracking expenses, Embedded Fintech offers a comprehensive solution to the financial needs of restaurant businesses.


Key Benefits of Embedded Fintech Services

Streamlined Operations

Integrated fintech services automate manual processes, such as payment processing and payroll management, saving time and reducing errors. This allows restaurant staff to focus on delivering exceptional service to customers, ultimately enhancing the overall dining experience.

According to Doron Friedman Cofounder of SpotOn, “We did a survey, and we found that over 50% of our clients have issues with payroll and have to make corrections to payroll. It’s a big headache. When we thought about teams, you know, you clock and clock out on the POS, you do your scheduling on [our POS], you do your tip distributions on our product. It’s a perfect place to now just run your payroll.”

Embedded finance on a restaurant POS is more than just saving time switching between browser tabs – it ensures error-free payroll, directly impacting team retention and, ultimately, customer service. 

Improved Customer Experience

Happy employees often translate to a better customer experience. Embedded financial services can help here, too. In addition to preventing payroll errors that, compounded, may pose a staff retention risk, integrating with a service like Clair for next-day payments can make a huge difference for hourly workers. 

This works in two ways: restaurant staff who are less stressed about an upcoming bill, for example, will likely provide better service. And, over time, restaurants that pay staff quickly and accurately will retain their top-performers.


Increased Profitability 

By optimizing operations, reducing costs, and improving efficiency, embedded fintech services help restaurant owners maximize profitability. Whether it’s through reduced transaction fees, improved inventory management, or enhanced employee productivity, these services contribute to the bottom line and long-term success of the business.

In another example of a win-win, embedding payroll within a restaurant POS system can benefit both parties, with the restaurant potentially paying lower fees for payroll and the POS provider gaining a new revenue stream. 

In a 2022 Gusto Embedded survey of business owners, we found that food-service businesses’ median spend on Payroll, benefits, and HR support totals $450/yr

The market is growing. According to a study by Accenture, embedded finance could capture up to 26% of the SME banking market by 2025 – representing $124 billion dollars in value.

Interestingly, that same survey found that 52% of SMBs with between 10 and 49 employees would be willing to pay a premium for embedded financial solutions built into the platforms they already use. Clearly, there’s a huge revenue opportunity for POS providers that integrate solutions that solve their customers’ pain points. 

Exploring the Four Essential Embedded Fintech Services

1. Payment Processing & Buy Now, Pay Later

Embedded payment processing is table stakes for a point of sale system these days. Most point of sale systems start with payment processing first and then branch out into inventory, team management, loyalty programs, and more.

One level beyond payment processing, however, is buy now pay later (BNPL) services. Introducing these at the point of payment processing just makes sense – the moment of purchase is when you’d typically offer the option to pay in installments instead of a lump sum. 

While lending at the point of sale has existed for some time – think of layaway at big box retailers – BNPL offers some unique advantages. For one, BNPL typically targets smaller purchases. And, while the terms of the financing agreement vary by provider, they may offer low- or no-interest loans, and may not require a hard credit check.

Importantly, these alternative payment options can provide a revenue stream for both business owners and POS providers, by facilitating incremental purchases that otherwise may not have occurred. According to Square’s Afterpay service, their BNPL customers spend 40% more on average than traditional customers and shop 50% more frequently than traditional customers. 


2. Capital Loans

Accessing capital is essential for restaurant owners looking to fund expansion initiatives, manage cash flow, or weather unexpected expenses. Embedded capital loan products offer a convenient and flexible solution for restaurant businesses, providing access to funding directly within the POS system. Providers specialize in offering capital loans tailored to the needs of small businesses, including restaurants, helping them thrive and grow in a competitive market.

Because these loans originate based on real-time payment data from the POS, business owners may have more options based on their payment history – different terms, fees, or payback periods.

In an interview with a business owner, Clover Capital highlighted some advantages of a POS-based loan. “Since Clover processes all her transactions, it automatically takes out 15 percent for Clover Capital repayment before sending her the proceeds of each day’s sales. ‘I’m not stressed paying it back because it’s automatically taken out,’ business owner Janelle Russell says.

“‘If I did not have Clover Capital, I would use my credit card, something I want to avoid,’ Russell explains. ‘I’m in a better place because of Clover Capital, it allows me to use that cash flow to grow my business.’”


3. Embedded Payroll Solutions

Payroll is critical to running a restaurant, ensuring that employees are compensated accurately and on time while complying with labor regulations. Embedded payroll solutions integrated into POS software streamline payroll processes, automate tax calculations, and simplify reporting, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. Platforms like Gusto Embedded offer comprehensive payroll solutions designed specifically for restaurant businesses, helping owners streamline operations and ensure compliance with labor laws.

Embedding payroll into a restaurant POS further transforms the solution into an all-in-one solution for running a small business. By tracking sales, team clock-ins, inventory, payroll, and more in one place, every business owner can get a more complete picture of their finances – and, when necessary, apply for a loan. 

While all but the newest restaurants already run payroll, there’s an appetite to switch to an integrated solution, particularly if it’s purpose-built for specific business types. In Gusto’s survey of SMB owners, we found that “70% of SMBs surveyed said they are likely to switch to a new payroll, HR, and benefits application.”  

What’s more, bundling embedded payroll with additional complementary services, like on-demand pay via Clair or benefits via SimplyInsured, can help retain your best staff in a competitive labor market, thereby improving customer satisfaction as well. 

Then, of course, there’s the time savings for business owners. According to Square, 42% of businesses earning more than $500,000 per year automated their payroll and benefits process. And 43% of restaurant owners say this automation has improved the employee experience overall.  


4. Invoicing, Spend Management and Accounting Software

Tracking expenses is essential for restaurant owners looking to control costs and optimize their supply chain. Embedded invoicing and spend management tools offer a centralized platform for communicating with vendors, negotiating terms, and tracking payment transactions. Platforms like Freshbooks provide robust invoicing and expense tracking features, helping restaurant owners streamline their financial workflows and improve efficiency. 

Integrated accounting software offers restaurant owners valuable tools for managing their cashflow and gaining insights into their business performance. With features such as real-time financial reporting, budgeting, and forecasting, integrated accounting software helps restaurant owners make informed decisions and drive profitability.

Once again, integrating accounts payable and spend management with your point of sale provider – and, in many cases, your bank as well by extension – helps to create a complete financial picture for the business, which creates more opportunities for improved cashflow. 


[Bonus] Embedded Insurance

For consumers, embedded insurance has been around for awhile – think of the option to add travel insurance before booking a flight, or adding an extended warranty to a physical product at the point of purchase. 

For restaurants, it’s more about insuring your team: offering health insurance, workers’ compensation, and even life insurance. While insurance requirements vary regionally, workers’ compensation insurance, for example, is required in many jurisdictions. 

The primary advantage to embedded insurance is really easier compliance and, in some cases, lower insurance costs for your team. According to Ernst and Young, embedded insurance offerings could cut costs by 30-40%, because of fewer intermediaries. Embedded insurance and embedded payroll work together ensure a seamless experience for team members, as premiums are deducted automatically from paychecks. 



Embedded fintech services have become indispensable for restaurant POS software, offering restaurant owners a comprehensive suite of tools to streamline operations, enhance financial management, and drive business success. Whether it’s processing payments, managing payroll, tracking expenses, or analyzing financial data, embedded fintech services provide restaurant owners with the tools they need to optimize their operations and maximize profitability. 

As restaurant owners strive to stay ahead in a competitive market with ever tighter margins and more sophisticated customers, exploring POS solutions with integrated fintech services is essential for achieving efficiency and profitability. By embracing embedded fintech services, restaurant owners can streamline processes, reduce costs, and improve the overall dining experience for their customers, driving long-term success and growth in the restaurant industry.

According to Doron Friedman of SpotOn POS, “We also believe that it makes our product a lot more sticky. Whether it’s issuing a credit card, whether it’s capital, whether it’s payroll, whether it’s scheduling. That makes it more sticky because they’re actually running their entire business on our platform.”

Ultimately, the main challenge for most small businesses is cash flow. According to PYMNTS, cash flow challenges already impact 25% of SMBs – a number that may go up as inflation challenges persist. While not a panacea, embedded finance can help by turning the restaurant point of sale system into an all-in-one tool for managing a business’s financial health and, when needed, exploring options for additional capital. 

Ravi Dehar Ravi is the product marketing lead for Gusto Embedded. In the past, Ravi worked at Plaid, Homebase, Yelp, and Google, helping businesses grow with software.
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