Could there still be hope for your restaurant?

The detailing descriptions of the $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which issued paycheck protection loans, created by the Cares Act, are also the most frustrating, especially for restaurant owners. These loans are said to be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is divided up by 75% for payroll and 25% for the remainder of expenses like rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

So how can a restaurant that has been mandated to close utilize these funds in this way? The short answer: they can’t, and when they can re-open, they will need to operate at a limited capacity with a limited amount of staff.

You spoke, and congress listened.

The restaurant and hospitality industry are the largest hit industry throughout this pandemic, and they will continue to feel the impact for months to come. Last week, representatives of congress introduced the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, which would extend the period in which small businesses can use the money and ease restrictions on the amount they can spend on non-payroll expenses such as rent.

So how would this look?

1. Expands forgiveness for expenses beyond the eight-week period

2. Eliminates the capping of non-payroll expenses from 25%

3. Extends loan terms beyond 2 years

4. Allows deferment on payroll tax for businesses

5. Extends deadlines of re-hiring furloughed or laid-off workers

In addition, a newly proposed bill supporting small and medium-sized restaurants that have struggled to access and make use of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been introduced. The Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive Act of 2020, or simply, the Restaurants Act, would create a $120 billion grant program tailored at the 500,000 plus medium to small restaurants, and would infuse them with the cash needed to stay open through the rest of the year. This bill aims to help restaurants ride out the pandemic as they face a future of limited dining capacity, public fear and rising costs to cover masks, gloves and cleaning products with very few strings attached.

So how would this look?

1. Under the Restaurants Act, funds are available only to independent establishments with fewer than 20 locations under the same name. This was a caveat designed to avoid a repeat of PPP embarrassments where huge franchises capitalized on these funds and small businesses were left in the dark.

2. Funding would be available until end of 2020

3. The grant covers restaurants’ difference between revenue from 2019 and the anticipated revenue through 2020, and will be capped at $10 million

4. It could be used to cover payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, protective equipment and cleaning supplies, as well as debts and outstanding vendor invoices with no restrictions on how to divvy it up.

The act is far from being signed into a bill of law, but is being widely supported by the likes of chefs and restaurant groups, including the Independent Restaurant Coalition — an advocacy group that took part in a restaurant relief roundtable discussion at the White House earlier this week.

Like our stories or want to hear more?

Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

6 ways restaurants are innovating the restaurant experience with Covid-19

The way we eat, where we eat, and what we eat are definitely changing as a result of the coronavirus. Restaurants are now coming up with new and innovative ways of giving their customers a unique dining experience, while making sure that all guidelines of social distancing are maintained.

Here’s a look at 6 of the unique ways restaurants are battling this challenge.

1. The Inn at Little Washington @innalittlewash

This 3 star Michelin restaurant in Virginia is placing fully kitted out mannequins in their establishment to help with social distancing. With stricter and more limited capacity rules, the idea of guests feeling lonely triggered this restaurant’s idea.

2. Café Roth, Schwerin Germany

This restaurant in Schwerin Germany is taking a more playful approach to social distancing regulations-giving its patrons pool noodle hats to make sure they keep a safe distance.

3. Mediamatic ETEN, Amsterdam @mediamatic_eten

A waterfront vegan restaurant and bar in Amsterdam is sold out through the end of June due to their creative take on social distancing. Guests are seated in private mini greenhouses big enough for three- creating an intimate experience for guests.

4. Fish Tales, Ocean City Maryland @ocfishtales

This Ocean City Bar and Grill has debuted a creative way to ensure customers maintain their distance with some social distancing tube tables.

5. Penguin Eat Shabu, Bangkok China @penguineatshabu

Restaurants are getting thrifty as these patrons eat in between plastic partitions, set up in an effort to contain any spread of COVID-19.

6. Maison Saigon, Thailand @maison.saigon

Originally placing only 1 chair per table, the restaurant felt empty and isolating so in came the panda to help guests to not feel alone.

Like our stories or want to hear more?

Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

Guidance for dine-in restaurants as re-opening phases begin

Our lives and the economy have been disrupted in unimaginable ways due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we can’t keep the world shut down forever, life must continue into the next phase of normal. Whilst the country plans to start re-opening in phases, they use what has been learnt from China for the foundation of the approach. You can check in the map here for the re-opening of states.

The restaurant industry, more than any other industry in the nation, has suffered the most significant sales and job losses since the COVID-19 outbreak began. So far, more than 8 million restaurant employees have been laid off or furloughed, and the industry has lost close to $80 billion in sales already, with a total projection of $240 billion in sales lost for the by the end of 2020.

Some restaurants have been able to stay afloat by offering takeout and delivery to their customers, but this hasn’t been able to help everyone. As the country starts to open state economies in phases, restaurants will soon be able to start serving sit-down customers. Like everything, there is a “new normal” approach, so if you’re planning on opening your restaurant for dine-in guests you will need to know how to prepare your space. California, Georgia and Florida are a few to mention that have re-opened, but each state will have different phased openings and different guidelines.

We’ve gone ahead and put together some guidance based for your restaurant to follow for Dine-In guests below:

Clean, Sanitize & Disinfect

Before you get ready to re-open, make sure you have your entire restaurant properly cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected. This initial clean is important, but it’s also what you do after to keep it clean. You must continue to keep surfaces clean and disinfect before, during, and after every shift and even every seating change. You should also make sanitizer available to your customers by placing them on every table, bathroom, and entry and exit.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Proper hygiene and hand washing from all your staff will help reduce the cross-contamination in your restaurant.  It’s important to remember that hygiene starts before your employees get to work and is essential to protect themselves and others.

You can read more on hygiene safety guidelines for your restaurant here.

Protect your staff

Make sure you provide your staff with the necessary items for protection like gloves, masks and sanitizers to ensure they can protect others and themselves.

  • If you buy disposable masks in bulk, make sure they are accessible to your staff on arrival.
  • A great marketing initiative would be to make branded masks for your staff. You could even offer them for sale to customers who might be interested or forgot their mask in the car or at home.
  • The pre-screening of staff and guests for symptoms should be mandatory by taking temperatures on arrival.
  • Encourage contactless payments like card taps, apple or google pay etc. to help reduce unnecessary contact.

You can read more on employee safety guidelines for your restaurant here.

Social Distancing

Your staff and your guests should remember to social distance at all times.

  • You can place tables 6 feet apart.
  • You can keep your seating as is and put signage that says “not used for social distancing” on tables that won’t be used.
  • Bar areas must remain closed.
  • Encourage customers to make reservations to allow restaurants time to prepare for guests and ask people to sit in their cars while waiting to be seated.

A Breath of Fresh Air

With summer coming and the good weather rolling in, there is no better reason to place guests outside. Most restaurants will be limited to the amount of occupancy they can fill in their restaurant, so If you have outdoor seating, use it and try and expand it to help replace those unused tables inside. This could be done by asking to use adjacent parking lots or sidewalks.

For indoor seating, make sure windows and doors remain open to increase air circulation and ask guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

One-use items

This one really rubs me the wrong way, because here we have been almost saving the environment from lack of pollution and garbage, and now we are going to start adding more garbage. But if you want to stay safe you will need to make sure the following are disposable to minimize contact from staff and customers.

  • Provide one-use menus for each customer. Try by explaining to your customers and see if they are happy to share one menu per table.
  • Utilize single-use utensils, plates, and cups.
  • Replace communal, refillable condiments with single serve packets.

Please remember to use recyclable or composable items where you can.

We are just as excited as you are to get back to business. Keep your selves and your customers safe and healthy by following the above. Don’t forget to use your website and social media to keep customers up to date on what’s happening with your business.

Like our stories or want to hear more?

Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

What safety regulations you need to know for your restaurant

COVID-19 has changed the way we as business owners, employees, and customers need to operate-for the un-seeable future. If you’ve remained open or plan on re-opening your restaurant, there are strict health and safety regulations you will need to follow to keep everyone safe. We’ve put together some of these for you.

What is the new normal going to look like?

How to protect yourself and slow the spread if you are a food worker

  • Don’t go to work if you’re having symptoms.
  • Don’t return to work until you’ve met self-isolation guidelines.
  • Notify your supervisor if you have a sick family member, even if you feel fine.
  • Limit close contact to others and remain at least 6ft away when possible.
  • Wear a cloth mask in public.
  • Encourage touchless payment methods and minimize handling of cash, cc, reward cards and mobile devices.
  • If you do need to exchange money, don’t touch your face, place money on counter when exchanging and wipe the counter as well as your hands with sanitizer.
  • Continuously clean and disinfect surfaces and hands.
  • Avoid contact with body fluids.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Use tissues when coughing, sneezing or touching your face and dispose of them afterwards.

The steps you need to take if you are an employer

Reducing transmission amongst staff

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • Employees diagnosed with the virus should not return to work until after self-isolation criteria are met.
  • Be aware that some of your staff may be higher risk than others due to other underlying conditions.
  • Provide proper training for employees on hygiene.
  • Provide appropriate materials for keeping clean like running water, soap, sanitizer, disinfectant, etc.

 How can you keep your work environment clean, safe?

  • Continue to practice social distancing
    • Use partitions made of clear materials such as plexiglass with pass-through openings at top and bottom at checkouts.
    • Move the electronic payment terminal/credit card reader farther away from the cashier.
    • Identify alternative areas such as closed customer seating spaces to accommodate overflow volume.
  • Continue to provide remote shopping alternatives for customers, including click-and-collect, delivery, curbside pick-up, and shop-by-phone to limit customers in the establishment. Set up designated pick-up areas.
  • Place posters that encourage staying home when sickcough and sneeze etiquette, and good hand hygieneat the entrance to the workplace.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces within the establishments.
  • Provide appropriate disposable disinfectant wipes, cleaner &/or spray for your employees to keep areas and hands clean.
  • Follow all applicable local, state, and federal regulations and public health agency guidelines.

Where can you find more information?

Things are constantly changing, but make sure you stay as informed as you can.

The below sources can be utilized for more information on reducing the risk of exposures to COVID-19:

Like our stories or want to hear more?

Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,

Brittany

What you need to know: Selling groceries at your Boston restaurant

Covid-19 continues to have overwhelming impacts on the restaurant industry during this uncertain time. In times like these your business needs to adapt and change to continue to generate income.

The latest news for restaurants in Boston is a program allowing restaurants to sell a limited number of grocery supplies to their community. It’s a way for restaurants to make a little more money, help keep staff employed and provide convenience to its customers during this pandemic.

Mayor Walsh said. “By allowing restaurants to also sell grocery and other essential items, we can help address social distancing concerns in grocery stores while supporting restaurants and food businesses during these unprecedented times.”

While restaurants can supply supermarket staples like paper goods, meats, poultry, fish, dairy, and produce, they won’t be selling all the other essentials you can buy from a supermarket.

So, what do you need to know to get your restaurant started?

It’s actually quite easy, especially if you’re already offering take-out and delivery services at your establishment.

Follow the food safety guidelines

 Food facilities, like all work establishments, need to follow protocols set by local and state health departments, which vary depending on the spread of the virus in a particular area.

You can follow the best practices laid out by the FDA here as well as checking with your local health officials so they can offer you accurate information an guide you appropriately on the requirements in your specific area.

Key practices are as follows:

1-Be healthy & clean

2-Clean and disinfect frequently

3-Social distance

4-Manage food pick-up & delivery appropriately

Applying for your permit 

1- You will need to apply for your permit through the city’s Inspectional Services Department here .

2- You will need to submit your Health and Safety Operations Plan to the Licensing Board.

3- Follow clear guidelines for packaging and labeling of foods which you can find more info on here.

What are the benefits for consumers?

 If you own a restaurant, you most definitely have loyal customers who would rather support your small business.  You can offer your customers convenience and safety. Instead of traveling to larger supermarkets, they can buy from you to limit interactions with others and minimize essential trips outside their homes.

What are some unique offerings for your restaurant?

1-Sell higher quality food products- You can offer local and organic products with less packaging.

2- You can put together food package offerings at certain price points. For example, a protein pack offering meat and nut products, or a veggie pack with fresh produce.

3- Put together packs of foods with recipes. Send your customers home with some of your favorite recipes and all the ingredients to cook them in the comfort of their own homes.

 By allowing groceries to be sold for delivery, curbside pickup, and takeout, Boston government is importing restaurants to help their communities continue to social distance all the while helping local businesses retain cash flow and working staff. Not in Boston? Do a quick internet search on COVID-19 programs in your town, county, and state to see if similar programs are being offered in your area.

Don’t forget to market your new offerings on your social media so your consumers can keep up-to-date on what you’re doing.

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 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.