How to maximize restaurant sales and minimize costs during the COVID-19 crisis

States across the country are banning inside dining at restaurants. This is all part of the strategy of “social distancing,” or the limiting of social gatherings. The idea is to slow or stop the spread of the virus by cutting down on large gatherings where people could potentially infect new communities.

If you’re like most business owners, your restaurant is your livelihood and you are panicked in this time of uncertainty. Some people are hopeful, waiting out the storm for warmer weather that might halt the spread; others are hopeful that health officials will get a hold on the virus soon.

But how does that help your business now when you are forced to shut doors to your customers? The restaurant industry thrives on rooms full of people laughing, eating, drinking, and enjoying the company they are in. As more and more restaurants are forced to close their dining rooms, they fear the loss of business and profits.

So, what can you do when you fear that social distancing and mandated dining room shutdowns will ruin your business? We are here to give you a few ideas on how to keep the money flowing in amidst this insanity.

CONTINUE TO DRIVE SALES

Don’t become a victim of this virus, stay calm and positive and get creative.  Now more than ever is the time for you to engage your community and loyal customers as you find a new way to drive business.

Delivery/Takeout

We understand that you may be a fine dining restaurant and you don’t normally do delivery or take out, but why not? You can offer different versions of your food that can withstand delivery and takeout. Everyone still needs to eat. Try making as minimal human contact as you can by offering a curbside pick-up. 

Take Custom Orders

If you haven’t done this before, this is a great time to start. Your customers still need to eat, and you still need to keep your business going. With grocery shelves empty, your customers might find it difficult to cook balanced meals for their family. Offer customers the opportunity to place custom orders. Not only will this help you out, but it will keep your food suppliers happy too!

Offer Larger, Family Style Portions

Start by offering large family style portions of your best-selling dishes to those customers who want to buy in bulk and freeze.

Gift Cards

Start appealing to your local community of loyal customers and let them know you need help! Offer your customers the chance to purchase a gift card at a reduced rate of 10%, 15% or even 25% off. Who doesn’t love a good deal? It will help them realize normal life is around the corner all while saving money on their next meal with you.

Pop Up Drive Throughs

How about getting even more creative and setting up a pop-up drive through? This enables your customers to stay safely inside their vehicles and drive right up to collect their favorite meals.

REDUCE COSTS

Aside from the obvious fact that you will be reducing your staff and business hours, we wanted to put together a couple other cool tips to help minimize your business costs.

Use your POS to Focus your Menu on the Most Popular and Profitable Items

Last week we discussed the importance of  POS reporting for your business. All you need to do is pull a recent purchase history from your POS system. Look for three things: which item is making you the most profit, which item is the best-selling, and which items are the worst selling? Then you can temporarily adjust your menu to make sure you are selling what sells the most and what makes you the most money.

Use What You Have

This doesn’t just mean use what’s in the fridge-that’s pretty obvious. Get thrifty and offer any of your FOH staff that have cars the option of being a delivery driver.

Stay Aware of what the Government is Doing to Help your Business

Hopefully as the pandemic spreads the government will do the right thing and step in to help your business survive. There is nothing set in stone as of yet, but you need to be on top of what all your options are if you want to survive. For example, in New York City, city government has made this financial assistance available. How about you start by contacting your local Chamber of Commerce to find out more about what resources are available to businesses in your area.

Resources to help you:

COVID-19 is a worldwide crisis, and it is uncertain how long it will last and how much wreckage it will leave behind. What we know now is that “social distancing” is the new norm, and a lot of restaurants worldwide are being restricted on what their business can do. We hope this article gives you a bit of hope and some fresh ideas on how to adapt your business to the times ahead instead having to put up a “Sorry We’re Closed” sign.

Like our stories or want to hear more?

Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

4 ways POS reports can help boost your business

Your POS is filled with far too much data to keep track of with just a pen and paper, but that doesn’t mean your valuable data is lost. Your POS records all past transactions and gathers critical sales data, including total orders, tips, taxes, inventory, staff hours, customer info, and anything else that has to do with sales records.

This data is so important because it offers valuable insights that will help you run your business more efficiently. 

What is a POS report?

Point of sale (POS) reports consist of highlighted data collected by a point of sale system. These reports help you better understand critical measures of your business’ success and help you make smarter, more educated business decisions for your restaurant.

We’ve put together a few tips on how these reports can be put to work to help you boost your business.

#1 Manage your staff smarter

Are you scheduling the right number of employees on your busiest days? What about on slow days? Do you know who your top selling waitrons are? And do they work on your highest-traffic days? PointOS reporting tracks sales data to help you determine your busiest days and top-selling employees, so you can plan to have the right people on every day.

#2 Get more personal with your customers

Do you know your customers well enough to know what they eat and drink when they come to your restaurant? Well, your POS does. It will tell you all the data you want to know about your customers’ dining habits so you can start marketing to them directly.

You can customize your mailing list so you send different versions to different customers. Create a focused segment for all your customers that order pizza every time they come in, and send them an email with an offer for the next time they come in.

The segmenting doesn’t stop there. Break it down even further so your customers that come for dinner are targeted specifically for dinner related marketing. Customers who have sought you out and liked you on social media should be communicated with on those social media platforms. This type of reporting helps you paint a picture of who your customers are, what they like, and how to keep bringing them back for more.

#3 What’s your best seller, and what makes you the most money?

These could be the same, but they could be different. The best-selling item isn’t always the most profitable. If they are the same, genius! You can come up with a promotion to get more customers in to eat that delicious and money generating meal.

If they aren’t the same, take a look at the dish as a whole, what can you change to make it more cost effective?

All this and more can come from a click of a button when looking at your reports from PointOS.

#4 Get rid of that wastage

Wastage is a major problem for restaurants. You’re losing money left, right, front, and center. Money gets lost in purchase when items can’t be sold, and there’s even the cost of getting rid of it (remember, time is money).

A great POS will be able to track wastage and illuminate reasons it happened in the first place. Sounds great to me!

What’s even better? A pre-emptive inventory check and careful menu specials. Get in-depth info on your ingredients with stock-on-hand reports. You can then focus on creating specials to use (and profit from) items you have to much of or that you need to use up.

And remember, we’re here to help you make more knowledgeable decisions with PointOS

A restaurant management and point of sale system is the brain of your business.  Your dashboard gives you a quick overview on how your business is doing so you can manage your business from anywhere, in real time. Your detailed analytics provide even deeper insights on your staff, customers, and food for all your locations.

With all this knowledge, you are better prepared to make decisions that will boost your business. Get started today with PointOS.

Like our stories or want to hear more?

Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

Payment processing 101:Flat Rate vs Interchange Plus

PointOS Blog

Choosing the right credit card processor for your business can be a difficult task, especially when there are a variety of factors to consider. At the top of this list are the different pricing models payment processors can offer-some being more transparent than others.

If you are unaware of what you need to look out for, you could be costing your business more money than is necessary. To understand how payment processing affects your business’ bottom line, you need to look more closely at your processing rates to understand not just the rate alone, but also the pricing model that shapes this rate and which can either work to your benefit or against it.

The two most common payment processing pricing models are flat rate and interchange plus. While seemingly simple enough, truly understanding the two can be enough to make you scream.

So that’s where we come in.

We’ve laid out the important pieces of this daunting puzzle below so you can make the right choice for your business. But we’ll give you a hint… it’s most likely interchange plus.

First & foremost: lets find out whos involved?

Behind every credit card swipe you will find the following involved:

Issuing Bank– this is the financial institution that issues a credit card to a consumer on behalf of the credit card company. For example, Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo etc.

Credit Card Associations– These are the companies that create credit cards. Examples include Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

The Acquirer– Most commonly referred to as the “processor,” this is the middleman that processes the credit or debit card payments on behalf of a merchant. The acquirer communicates with the issuing bank to approve or decline a credit card transaction. These are also called merchant service providers (MSPs) or Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs).

The basics of credit card fees:

Wholesale Rate – The wholesale rate, also known as the interchange rate, is a fixed per transaction percentage and is set by both the issuing banks and the credit card companies like MC and Visa. This makes this aspect of the rate non-negotiable and standardized for all merchants. The rate does however differ depending on the type of transaction. For example, a typed-in transaction will always have a higher fee than a swiped one.

Processor Markup – This is a per transaction fee that processors will add on top of the interchange rate. This becomes the “plus” in interchange plus. Usually, it’s around $0.10 per transaction, but this can vary between processors and transaction types. A company like PointOS works with businesses by negotiating on their behalf to provide lower mark ups.

Now we move onto comparing the two most popular processing rate models.

Flat Rate Pricing
Many processors today advertise great flat rates with no fees or hassles, and that’s how they draw you in. What you need to understand is that this comes at a high price to you.

We get it, flat rate pricing is appealing. You pay a certain rate on every card transaction, which seems simple and to the point, but did you know that each type of card has a different rate? So, you could be offered a flat 3% rate on all credit card transactions, but if your customer is paying with a debit card and the interchange rate is around 1.2%, you actually end up paying 1.8% more on those transactions than you should be.

Interchange Plus Pricing
Interchange plus pricing, also known as cost-plus, is a transparent pricing model that helps you understand the real cost of credit card processing to get the lowest possible rate. Cost-plus pricing is based on the actual interchange rate plus a markup the processor charges. The “plus” component of interchange plus pricing may be a percentage or a flat fee per transaction.

With interchange plus pricing, you can better understand the true cost of merchant services. This pricing method is simple and shows you how much of your processing fee goes toward interchange fees and how much goes to your payment processor. The only drawback to cost-plus pricing is it can make your statements a bit more confusing until you understand the different rates you pay for different transactions.

In the past, interchange plus processing was only offered to high-volume merchants, but it’s now available to even new and small businesses. With its more transparent and cost-effective processing rates, interchange plus is the clear choice for most businesses.

By now you must be curious about what fees you are being charged and how you can save on processing. PointOS offers free rate consultations with payments experts who can walk you through your current statement and help you explore their more competitive interchange plus processing options. To get you own individualized statement review with a PointOS Payments expert, just email sales@pointos.com or call 857-250-2719.

You can also find out more on how PointOS Payments can save on your bottom line here.

Like our stories or want to hear more?

Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

How to make credit card transactions more profitable (and efficient) for your business

Is your payment processing working for you?

Owning and operating a restaurant is more complicated than ever. In an effort to make restaurateurs’ lives a little easier, PointOS has launched PointOS Payments, which brings payments in-house and directly bridges payment processing to point of sale. By eliminating the middleman, PointOS is able to advocate for merchants and provide honest and competitive processing rates that will actually help their bottom line, rather than take from it.

Credit card payments now account for well over ½ merchants’ total transactions, meaning all businesses need to accept credit cards to be profitable. Unfortunately, accepting credit cards means paying processing fees, which can be complicated and burdensome to any business, no matter the size.

But that’s not to say all processors are created equal. As a business owner, its your job to make sure you aren’t getting ripped off and fattening the pockets of your payment processor. Many POS companies have moved into payment processing to bring payments in-house and streamline the payment process on both the merchant and customer sides.

However, this does not mean they are being transparent about how much it will cost you every month. This article will show you how one company takes advantage of its customers when it comes to processing payments with a flat rate.

Look, PointOS isn’t the first company to introduce payment processing, and it won’t be the last. However, what we can promise is that with PointOS Payments, we apply the same philosophy as we do with the PointOS Platform, which is investing in the long-term success of our customers by saving them time and money. When it comes to payments, we do this by providing all customers with the best possible rates for them.

What is PointOS Payments?

PointOS Payments is a PCI-DSS and EMV compliant in-house credit card processing solution. Our payments keep merchants up to date with the industry’s best practices, supporting pre-authorization, sign to screen, and mobile wallet options. We take care of payments so that you and your staff can focus on what really matters. And with ultra-competitive effective rate processing, what’s not to love?

Why PointOS Payments?

We know all businesses’ needs are different, so why should all payment processing be the same? Why, for example, should a coffee shop with small transaction amounts pay high transaction fees on each transaction, no matter how small? On the flip side, why should a fine dining restaurant pay a high flat rate percentage on large tickets?

While flat rate models may seem simpler at first, they affect all businesses differently. A more individualized model is interchange plus processing, which takes into consideration varying factors that make some transactions more profitable than others. These factors include the different fees charged by card brands themselves. All cards brands charge their own fee, some much higher than others. With flat rate models, merchants pay the same amount no matter the fee charged by the card. Take for example, a low fee debit card. Under a flat rate model, merchants would pay the same rate that they do for much higher fee credit cards. Over time, this results in the merchant paying much more than they need to for transactions.

Alternatively, interchange plus models offer a low rate for every transaction based on the fee charged by each card on each transaction. PointOS Payments works on an interchange plus model so that all merchants can get the best possible rate on every transaction.

What else does PointOS Payments offer?

On & Offline Capabilities

With PointOS, you don’t need to worry about your internet going down. Store and forward capabilities allow you to securely accept payments online or offline, ensuring your business is always up and running.

Secure & Reliable Payment Platform

Securely accept credit card payments online or offline. The PointOS platform is PCI compliant, providing the latest in encryption and tokenization of payment data.

Gift and Loyalty

Keep your customers coming back for more with our integrated gift and loyalty program.

No Hidden Fees

We know how important cost management is for restaurants, which is why we don’t charge any hidden monthly, annual, or transaction fees. 

Interchange plus with the best effective rate possible

Rather than offer inflated flat-rate processing, PointOS offers the most competitive effective rate processing on all transactions to best cater to the needs of your restaurant.

24/7 Support

Do you know who to call if an issue comes up in your restaurant? With PointOS, it doesn’t matter if it’s credit card processing, POS software, or Wifi related– just call PointOS’ 24/7/365 support line.

Get in touch with a representative to learn more on how PointOS payments can save you money each month.

 Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

3 Ways to Save Money with Effective Restaurant Maintenance

Equipment failure is common in the restaurant business. The consequences: downtime and poor customer experience. Preventing equipment from unexpected failure is your first line of defense against unforeseen service delivery interruptions.

Fortunately, there are budget-friendly ways to reduce the likelihood of equipment breakdown. Here are 3 ways to save money with effective restaurant maintenance.

1. Avoid Unexpected Equipment Breakdown

When a machine that is crucial to your restaurant operation breaks down, it can leave adverse effects on customer service, besides causing service disruption. Broken equipment is also costly in terms of repair. All of these factors will ultimately lead to lost revenue.

Consider your deep fryer breaks down unexpectedly. Your restaurant depends on this piece of equipment for food preparation. When it ceases to function, it is going to cause considerable revenue loss. If deep-fried foods are your restaurant’s specialty, you’ll have to tell customers that their favorite foods are not available. Now, think about its effects on customer experience and the long-term consequences.

But the problem is most restaurants wait for equipment breakdown to happen and then do whatever is required to repair or replace it. This is a costly approach and comes with serious consequences in terms of customer experience. The best way is to avoid unexpected equipment failure in the first place. You should do everything you can to prevent equipment failure preemptively.

2. Implement Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a reliable and cost-effective way for restaurant maintenance. While it is not necessary for every piece of equipment, your high-value equipment has reasons to get preventive maintenance. If a large portion of your menu depends on certain equipment, its failure could result in downtime. Preventive maintenance will reduce the likelihood of unexpected failures and hence downtime.

By implementing preventive maintenance, your staff can quickly identify potential problems and take timely action to prevent breakdowns. Preventive maintenance has a high initial cost but in the long run it saves you money because it reduces the need for costly repairs and replacements.

For example, when a refrigerator suddenly ceases to function, it can put your inventory at risk in the form of spoiled food items. A huge repair bill and poor customer experience are other negative consequences that a broken restaurant refrigerator can cause.

Let’s say you have $10,000 worth of food items in your refrigerator. The machine suddenly breaks down. It takes two days to do a major repair that costs you $3,000. Because the refrigerator is not working during these two days, you lose $10,000 in expected profit. The food items are spoiled. The total immediate loss incurred sums up to $20,000. This amount does not include the $3,000 repair expense.

A preventive maintenance plan will save you from similar worse situations. It allows your staff to inspect and maintain the refrigerator and other equipment regularly. By doing so, they are preventing unexpected malfunctions and prolonging the machine’s life expectancy.

Here are some examples of how you can use preventive maintenance to reduce the likelihood of unexpected equipment failure in restaurants:

  • Make sure to clean, lubricate, upkeep, and repair restaurant equipment at regular intervals.
  • For a refrigerator, inspect the temperature settings and adjust it if necessary. Also, inspect the coil, fan blades, and defrost settings.
  • For a deep fryer, check the temperature, keep it free from floating debris, and clean and filter it twice a day every day.

 3. Train Staff Properly

The restaurant business involves a team of staff in and around equipment every day. This could affect your equipment’s operating condition. The lack of training for the team, especially the equipment operators, increases the likelihood of an unexpected breakdown.

Just imagine an operator who works on a piece of equipment they have not been adequately trained to operate. The risk of equipment failure increases considerably under such conditions. The operator may not use equipment properly or fail to spot signs of equipment malfunction. This can lead to unexpected equipment breakdown.

Training your staff is a budget-friendly way of restaurant maintenance. Make sure your staff members receive thorough training in the operating procedures and best practices for the equipment they work with. Also, be sure that you have sufficiently trained staff to use during emergency situations, such as when there is staff absence.

When you train your staff properly on how to use the equipment, it will reduce the risk of operator error for maintenance. Most important of all, do not allow a staff member to use machines or appliances they are not trained to operate. This is yet another way to reduce the risk of operational error. It is also crucial for regulatory compliance. Make sure to do your research about the regulatory implications of using untrained staff for operating certain equipment.

Written by – Warren Wu
Writers Bio – Warren Wu has years of restaurant experience from being a waiter at Common Theory Public House in San Diego, California. He now leads Growth for UpKeep, a software company that helps companies streamline their maintenance.

5 POS integrations you need now

Restaurant POS software has become a requirement for any business that sells products. Restaurant technology has come a long way in the last decade. With software moving to smaller, more mobile platforms and payments becoming increasingly digital, the POS space has evolved into a business powerhouse.

Your POS system, when setup correctly, can do almost anything your business needs with some limitations, such as large-scale data warehousing or analytics. However more and more, POS systems are offering back-office features and much more.

Although some POS vendors are including these features in their own products, you will find that the focus is more about integrations and partnerships with other software platforms. There are many reasons for this, but most of them are about keeping things simple. Building an integration is typically much easier than creating and testing new features from scratch and can save your company valuable resources.

What are the type of integrations your restaurant needs?

First and foremost it is important to know what your business needs, and that your restaurants needs will differ from that of a retailer. Alot of the integrations can be used for both, however there are several that are industry specific. If your business is using a POS system daily then you should definitely be looking into integrations as it will help streamline your business.

You will need to identify what your specific goals are and what you already have that works. If your current accounting tools work, then focus on adding something else like employee scheduling.

We’ve put together 6 of the hottest integrations to look into for 2019 below:

1. Delivery and Takeout

Ordering food online is the new norm. So if your restaurant doesnt consider an online strategy get started on this asap. The benefits of integrating restaurant delivery/takeout software are numerous.

Online ordering allows restaurants to maintain a consistent view of inventory and sales in real time. The last thing any kitchen needs is to be thrown off its rhythm during service, and orders not placed through your POS system can do just that.

2. Accounting software

Accounting software is the backbone of your business. To survive you need to know what is happening with your money at all times.  Integration with accounting solutions will give you reports on revenue costs, losses and profits in real time, tedious reporting methods are eliminated. It helps put you back in control and see things more clearly.  By implementing a POS system with integrated loss prevention and security features, inventory management stays precise, employee morale is increased and your business can continue to be profitable.

3. Scheduling

It’s not a secret that the restaurant industry is a revolving door for employment. Nothing is more frustrating than mapping out an employee schedule week after week, only to find a server is on the brink of overtime, or had requested off. This industry needs to be flexible since scheduling in restaurants is done in shifts. Help give your employees an easy way to make changes that only involve your finger clicking a button to approve. Employee scheduling tracks hours, schedules and performance.

4. Managing Inventory

Knowing what you have and what you need is crucial for any business. Restaurants need to ensure they have enough stock and ingredients to meet customer demand. Since every transaction is performed using POS software, integrations with inventory control software automatically adjust inventory in real time. This also helps businesses make smart purchasing decisions when it’s time to replenish inventory. Accurate inventory management can greatly improve customer experience. Staff are aware of exactly what stock is available and how much is left.

5. Customer Loyalty

Loyalty management software can play a large part in the success of a retail business or restaurant. Punch cards and point systems are a mainstay of retail and restaurant loyalty strategies. By integrating your loyalty management systems with your POS terminal, points and punches are automatically tracked using the credit card or debit card making the purchase. Taking the pressure off of customers improves the customer experience and makes them more likely to return.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

How you can improve your customer interaction and engagement with PointOS a handheld POS System

Getting new customers takes a lot more time, effort & money, than it does to keep an existing customer. This is why it is so important to have good customer relationships and take actions to ensure they visit more often and encourage others to come too. We have provided some tips to help improve customer interaction and engagement so that you can create customers for life.

Create an experience

If your customers aren’t happy with their experience, they will go elsewhere. Make sure your staff is as enthusiastic as you are to provide great customer service and promote your brand.

Listen to feedback

Your customers want to be heard. They can give good feedback, so why not ask for their advice? By letting customers know that you care about what they think and want to improve their experience for them, they will be more likely to visit more often. Leave a suggestion box, encourage online communication, and reply to customers’ questions, requests, and suggestions regularly so they know you are listening.

Engage Online

One way that all businesses, large and small, can compete on an equal playing field is online. Any business can establish a strong online presence, if they offer valuable information, a helpful website, and effective social media business pages. Keeping your mobile-friendly website and social media pages updated with valuable content and promos will remind customers of your presence and inform them of any upcoming specials or events. In fact, studies have shown that customers who engage with a brand online spend approximately 20% more on that brand.

Automatic Promotions

Integrating your POS  with marketing automation software,  you can make money effortlessly with automatic marketing campaigns designed to meet your customers’ needs. By first analyzing your customers purchase patterns, the software can customize the right deals and promotions for each customer. This can take the time and guesswork out of marketing to customers. The service takes no effort on your part and your customers will be subtly reminded to visit your store in the near feature.

Loyalty Programs

Thanking your customers can go a long way towards their future shopping patterns. Consider sending thank you cards or automatic emails letting customers know you appreciate their business. Loyalty programs are also mutually beneficial for both your business and your customers. They will encourage your customers to visit more often so that they can earn more points for a prize or discount, which can increase customer retention and sales in no time. This is also a simple way to collect customers’ information, including their phone number and email address, for future promotions.

Review Purchase Patterns

The best way to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations is to analyze their purchase patterns. This will help you quickly determine what is working and what needs to be improved. Contact PointOS to find out how we can automate this important step for you with customer relationship management software and POS solutions designed to fit your business.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

How reviews impact your restaurant

Over the last few years reviews have become vital to the success of a restaurant, as every restaurant owner is aware of the fact that good reviews can boost popularity and profitability, whereas terrible reviews have the opposite effect, and can potentially even close down your business. As online ordering and delivery become more and more popular – especially with Millennials and Generation Z – review sites have become essential to any marketing strategy. That’s why it is crucial for restauranteurs to understand the impact of reviews on your establishment.

Aside from reviews on your own platforms websites such as Yelp, Toptable or TripAdvisors will also play a part in the the success or downfall of a business.

This week, we’ll take a look at some important statistics about how online reviews impact your restaurant.

You can use these tips to improve your rating, guest loyalty, and bottom line.

Put your reviews to use

Did you know that 53% of guests find restaurants through review sites? Even if you don’t have many reviews yet, just having a presence on Yelp makes it easy for guests to learn about your restaurant. Make sure your profile includes important details – like your address, hours, and menu – so they can go directly from reading reviews to eating your foods.

Engage with your customers

In foodservice, customer service is key – and restaurants are leading the charge in keeping every customer happy. Since March 2017, there has been a 29% increase in the rate of restaurants responding to online reviews. This trend is unique in our industry: restaurants engage at a 46% higher rate than other retail businesses. Keep up with the competition by responding to every review, whether it’s positive or negative. Remember: negative reviews provide valuable information that you can use to improve guest loyalty in the future.

Responding directly to negative reviews can also improve ratings in the long term. Try offering dissatisfied guests a free menu item as an apology, and you’ll encourage them to return to your business.

Manage your menu

75% of guests look up menu info online. Although the younger generations are especially fluent in the use of restaurant technology, your more mature guests are hardly out of touch. A study from February of this year found that 56% of consumers aged 45-65 had recently used restaurant tech, and 4 out of 10 had used computers to review menu items in the past month.

As healthy eating becomes more important to guests of every age, your restaurant can take advantage of review sites to give them the information they crave. Make sure you include menu information on every platform – Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and your own website – to keep guests informed and excited to eat at your restaurant.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

6 Benefits of switching to a cloud based POS

Choosing to implement cloud POS software doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your existing system and terminals. Their is no need to turn in your traditional terminals and swap them for tablets and handheld devices. Cloud can be as simple and seamless as required by your restaurant business. The Cloud POS software can easily integrate into your current system to increase the security and visibility of your restaurant or retail store’s information.

So what is this cloud?

The cloud POS software, integrated with POS hardware, uses an internet infrastructure to access data via a remote server. In other words, the data stored in your POS system can be automatically backed up and synced, making it easier to protect and update information. Cloud solutions are capable of integrating multiple sales channels and, in addition to enhanced security, allow businesses to enjoy the benefits of centralized storage, memory, processing and bandwidth.

Real-time data means real-time solutions to situations before they become problems.  You will be saving money by identifying issues before they get too problematic. Cloud POS is convenient and can streamline how you run your business.

We’ve put together the benefits of the Cloud POS below:

1. Flexibility

With Cloud POS, you can take your business anywhere with an internet connection. You can view inventory counts, labor usage percentages, productivity reports or your daily totals remotely – and in real time. From a phone or a tablet, from work, vacation or from your sofa, you will always have access to your data. Managing your business doesn’t mean that you have to be in your store anymore.

Instead of printing out lengthy reports for every shift, now you can access your insights from any smart device—such as your computer, phone, or tablet—and get updated sales, inventory, customer feedback, and more, no matter where you are.

2. Keep up-to-date on latest trends

In today’s world technology is moving very fast, and you don’t want to have your new equipment obsolete a few weeks of possession. Cloud-based POS systems update automatically and for free, just like the apps on your mobile device, while traditional POS systems require manual updates that can be labor intensive and costly. New versions secure you will always have the latest trend and the best available tools.

3.Adaptability

Change is inevitable and over time the needs of your restaurant and your POS operations will change.  If you want your business to be successful you will  anticipate growth or change, so a cloud-based POS system is better enabled to grow with you.

Whether you want to update your menu on the regular, launching new or services, or requiring more accurate inventory tracking, the more your needs will shift over time, the more sense it makes to go for cloud-based.

Most cloud-based POS systems also update with new features as technology improves across the industry—something you’re unlikely to get with a legacy POS system.

4. Increased data security

In a cloud POS system, your restaurant business can rest easy knowing that your information will always be secure. Information is stored and synced electronically and can be easily restored. There is no need to worry about backing up data or losing it in the event of a power outage or hardware malfunction. Another big benefit of cloud-based systems is that they also allow for advanced security measures such as encryption to protect data from viruses and breaches. The benefits of a cloud-based POS aren’t limited to you and your staff. Customers will feel good knowing their credit card information is secure and encrypted with the most up-to-date technology.

5. Multiple location management streamlined

If you own or manage more than one retail store or restaurant, a cloud-based POS solution allows you to centralize your data across all locations. At any time, owners and managers can access information about each location from any computer, device or specific location, as well as perform an update that will be standardized for every location. Customers and employees alike are likely to become frustrated if their location is not functioning as highly as another, or is the last to receive new information.

6. Mobility

Since the system can be used from portable devices a cloud based POS allows you to be mobile inside the restaurant. This can be very practical as vendors can have the product’s information quickly available. This feature is extremely useful to restaurants as it allows servers to automatically send orders to the kitchen printer, and take payments at the customer’s tables which improves customer service.

Cloud-based POS systems are popular because they cost less, are easy to use and offer better security. So why not give it a try?

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

5 Tips on becoming a better restaurant server

Most likely when you became a server you weren’t handed a “how to” guide on your first day. It definitely takes a certain personality and skill set to be a waiter or waitress, but you will learn best on the job.

It’s important to remember that being a good server at a restaurant isn’t just about ensuring the guests get their orders on time, or smiling as you guide them towards their designated tables. It’s also about focusing on the finer details of their customer experience.

A good restaurant owner will realize that great waitrons are crucial in the success of their business, just as much as the menu and ambiance.

We are hear to give you some good news-your great restaurant servers are made, not born. Every server out there has the potential to live up to guests’ expectations – they just need a bit of extra training.

So, whether you want to hone the serving skills of your staff or train them to lead by example, following a few tricks can help the be the best at their job.

KNOWING THE MENU

An important thing to remember is that servers are the main touch point for the diners and are often the only ones with direct contact to them.

It’s crucial that they are well versed about everything that’s on the menu and know it inside out so that they can answer any questions posed by the diners, or they will be running around the floor trying to get clarity.

This includes knowing exactly what’s on the menu and the ingredients of each dish in order to assist the diners with allergies & dietary preferences. If you aren’t sure, be polite and let them know you’ll find out for them, don’t leave the hanging with a blunt “I don’t know”.

MAKE A CONNECTION

Creating a great experience for your guests is the number one priority of a server.  Any server will tell you that they have at least one million things running through their mind during a shift. They are juggling lots of tables at various different stages of their meals and could have drinks up at the bar food in the kitchen and all while a table was just sat. So multi-tasking is at the top of the list.

Servers need to be able to manage the experience your customer has which means not reverting to robot status by just taking, entering, and fulfilling your guests’ orders. The effort needs to be taken to have a personal connection with the guests as this will have a drastic impact on tips, sales, and restaurant’s overall performance.

Lets help here, with some tips:

  • Definitely don’t divulge your life story every time, it can be as simple as introducing yourself
  • Writing a quick “thank you” on the check.
  • Telling a quick joke
  • Offer detailed recommendations
  • Gage your customers everyone is different, so some might enjoy a bit more personal touches, while others will want to be left alone.

BE PREPARED FOR NITTY GRITTY WORK

A good server is always ready to put in the work regardless of the nature of a task. You’ll see them doing crappy jobs that people hate doing like filling condiments, restocking napkins and preparing linens without complaining and that’s what sets them apart.

You too can help prepare your servers for grunt work by making them run their plates, clean their section, and do any other tasks you have in the restaurant.

Incorporating jobs that lack the glamor and prestige will help you test your servers’ limits to see how much they want to excel and how much they can take. Also, it’ll enable you to see which servers are okay with working crummy shifts and hours that everyone typically hates.

Top servers are usually ready to take whatever sections/tables/tasks their managers give them.

HANDLE SQUATTERS CAREFULLY

Squatters, or whatever you call them are honestly the bane of every restaurant server’s existence.  They sit at your table for what feels like forever either after they’ve paid, or even before. Every time you go up to offer the check they say they are ok “for now” sometimes giving false hope that more is to be ordered.

It’s cool that your guests are having a nice time and want to stay, but they are don’t realize they are holding up the flow of your seatings. Whilst one server is waiting for a table to pack up and head home, another gets double-sat, sending them into a “weeds” while an even longer line starts to form at the door.

It’s frustrating because they are costing the restaurant and the server money. However, you need to be careful in how you kindly suggest them to leave without sounding rude. Its a case by case situation, so again gage the people and your relationship you’ve had with them throughout their dining. I used to say ” Hey , its been great having you, but can you move over to the bar to continue with your drinks? We have a long line of hungry customers.” 9/10 times it worked fine, and you will get customers who get offended but just handle with care.

BEING PROACTIVE

Most servers know that some customers are unbelievably easy to handle while others sitting at separate tables can be incredibly difficult. What they aren’t aware of are the steps they can take to make things go as smoothly as possible when do get a high maintenance group.

For example, after they’ve served meals on one of their tables, rather than asking whether patrons need anything in general, they can ask about specific items such as refills, utensils or condiments.

By specifically calling items out, servers can minimize their trips over an extra spoon or a bottle of ketchup because the diner forgot to request it the first time around. Also, a proactive server can make your restaurant appear as detailed oriented and genuinely caring of its customers.

Moreover, it goes without saying, but refilling glasses before they are empty is always an indication of good service and shows that you’ve employed top servers at your restaurant.

Like our stories or want to hear more? Drop us a line @ Blogpointos@gmail.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany